April 1, 2003 - Continental Basketball Association 1 (CBA 1) News Release
CBA PLAYOFFS RECAP
The Yakima Sun Kings won their third CBA Championship (1995, 2000) in franchise history Monday, March 11, defeating the Grand Rapids Hoops 117-107 before a Yakima Valley SunDome crowd of 4,815. The Sun Kings are the only CBA team ever to win three championships in the same city. The Tampa Bay Thrillers won back-to-back titles in 1985 and 1986, and a third in 1987 after moving to Rapid City, S.D.
Yakima guard Darrick Martin posted a team-high 33 points and a game-high 6 assists. His 23.0 ppg and 5.8 apg in five playoff games earned him 2003 CBA Playoff MVP honors. Mitchell Butler posted 24 points and 13 rebounds, while 2003 CBA Newcomer of the Year Damian Cantrell tallied 16 points and 15 rebounds. Anthony Pig Miller posted 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Alex Scales led the Hoops with 34 points while Olden Polynice posted 14 points and 9 rebounds.
The game was tied at the end of the first quarter 30-30 and the Hoops led at halftime 57-56. The Sun Kings led by two after the third (89-87) and at the 8:22 mark they led 96-95. The Sun Kings then went on a 17-6 run till the 1:06 mark, sealing their third Jay Ramsdell CBA Championship Trophy.
After defeating the regular season conference champion Rockford Lightning three-games-to-one in the American Conference Finals, the Hoops entered the final game in search of the 14-year-old franchises first CBA title. The Hoops fell four-games-to-two to the Omaha Racers in their first championship appearance (1993). First-year Head Coach Rod Baker continued a stretch in which every head coach in Hoops' history has made it to the playoffs in their rookie campaign (seventh coach overall).
Yakima also entered the championship with a first-year CBA head coach in Bill Bayno, marking the first time since the leagues original season as the CBA, that two first-year CBA head coaches led their teams to the final game. In 1978-79, the first year the old Eastern Basketball Association (1946-78) was known as the CBA, rookie coach Mauro Pannagio led the Rochester Zeniths to a 4-0 sweep of Ron Moores Anchorage Northern Knights.
Leading the 17-year-old franchise into the history books was a trio of veteran guards in Anthony Goldwire (31.0 ppg in conference finals), Butler (15.5 ppg in conference finals), and Martin (20.5 ppg in conference finals).
After his release from the NBAs Washington Wizards, Goldwire rejoined the Sun Kings midway through their three-games-to-one defeat of the Dakota Wizards in the National Conference Finals. In his two conference playoff appearances, the 6-1, 190 lb. Houston (94) product tallied game-highs with 36 and 26 points off the bench. Former UCLA teammates, Martin (92) and Butler (93) brought 15 years of combined NBA experience to the Sun Kings. Since joining the team in early January (Martin on Jan. 7 and Butler on Jan. 3), the former Bruins combined to average 18.5 ppg and 4.6 apg.
The Sun Kings also brought a pair of rebounding kings in playoffs leader Miller (12.6 rpg) and regular season leader Cantrell (12.8 rpg). Cantrell was not only a terror on the boards but a marksmen from long range, trailing only teammate Fred Vinson with a .460 (40-87) regular season three-point shooting percentage. Vinson, a member of the 2003 National Conference All-Star Team, averaged a team-high 19.4 ppg during the regular season and shot .517 (104-201) from the arc.
For the second straight season the CBA Championship Game was available on the Internet from SportsJuice.com. Veteran CBA broadcaster Scott Johnson (the current Director of Operations for the CBA) provided play-by-play.
THIS WEEK IN CBA HISTORY
On April 1, 1980, Charles Jones of the Maine Lumberjacks pulled down a CBA record 26 rebounds in a 140-132 loss to the Rochester Zeniths in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Zeniths would take the second game of the best-of-three game series three days later to advance to the CBA Finals. The Zeniths fell four-games-to-three to the Anchorage Northern Knights in the best-of-seven CBA Finals.
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Continental Basketball Association 1 Stories from April 1, 2003
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