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January 7, 2008 - Continental Basketball Association 1 (CBA 1) News Release


Rio Grande Valley forward lead team in scoring, garnered win over Oklahoma

The Continental Basketball Association is pleased to announce that Demorris "Toby" Smith of the Rio Grande Valley Silverados has been named National Conference Player of the Week for the week ending January 6, 2008. This is the first time a member of the Rio Grande Valley Silverados has received this award.

In three games this week, Smith, a 6'10" forward from Connoe State, led the Silverados in scoring, including notching 40 points in a 119-113 overtime loss to the Oklahoma Cavalry, then turning around and setting a team record with 45 points in the Silverados' 120-115 victory over the Cavalry on January 3. Smith finished his solid week with 32 points in a Sunday afternoon game against the Minot Skyrockets. "He's playing some great basketball," Silverados head coach Derrick Rowland said to the Lawton Constitution about Smith. "He's a leader for me, he's doing whatever I ask him to do. He's a heck of a talent."

Other players receiving consideration for Player of the Week included: Harvey Thomas, Yakama; Odell Bradley, Butte; Cody Toppert, Great Falls; Marvin Phillips, Oklahoma.


Instrumental in two road victories for Xplosion

The Continental Basketball Association is pleased to announce that John DeGroat of the Pittsburgh Xplosion has been named American Conference Player of the Week for the week ending January 6, 2008. DeGroat is the first Xplosion player to earn the award this season.

DeGroat, a 6'6" forward from the University of Pittsburgh, led the Xplosion in scoring on Monday night, New Year's Eve, with 27 points and 7 rebounds in a road loss against Albany. The next two road games, however, were both victories for the Xplosion; as DeGroat was one of three members of the Black and Gold to garner eight rebounds in Pittsburgh's 108-104 victory over Albany on Friday, January 4; the next night, DeGroat scored 26 points and 11 rebounds in a 121-109 Xplosion win over the Patroons.

Other players receiving consideration for Player of the Week included: Nat Burton, Albany; Terrance Hunter, Atlanta; Jason MacLeish, East Kentucky; Marshall Phillips, Minot.


Ronnie Fields' 5,508 career CBA points is the highest total for a player without college basketball experience in the CBA's modern era. Only Stacey Arceneaux, a New York City playground legend who played in the CBA's "classic" Eastern League era, and who suited up for the Scranton Miners and Trenton Colonials in the 1950's and 1960's, has more points, with 7,735 - without a single second of college ball on his resume.


Albany Patroons (10-8, 69.0 QP, 3.83 AVG, 2nd place, American Conference) It was New Year's Eve at the Washington Avenue Armory, and the Patroons celebrated with a 109-100 [5-2] victory over the Pittsburgh Xplosion, the Pats' seventh straight home victory. Nat Burton and Rashaad Powell each had 27 points on the night; Amal McCaskill scored 25 points and added 12 boards; Jamaal Miller's 20 points included a trio of treys. Albany's home winning streak was snapped, however, by the Xplosion on Friday night, when the visitors took the win 108-104 [4.5-2.5]. Nat Burton led all scorers with 27 points; Amal McCaskill earned 22 points and 9 rebounds. With the first period tied at 28-all, Albany's Chad Timberlake scored a buzzer-beating floater to put Albany up by two and take the quarterpoint. The third straight game for the Patroons and Xplosion occurred Saturday night, but the Patroons fell behind quickly, losing the first quarter 32-17 - and eventually lost the contest 121-109 [5.5-1.5]. Albany was led by Jamaal Miller with 25 points; Lucious Jordan added 22 points. Amal McCaskill was the leading rebounder for the Patroons, with 13 boards.

Atlanta Krunk (7-12, 52.5 QP, 2.76 AVG, 5th place, American Conference) The Krunk hosted the Yakama Sun Kings for two games at John H. Lewis Gymnasium. In the Wednesday night opener, the Krunk could not surpass the National Conference division leader, and fell 98-89 [6-1] to the Sun Kings. Terrance Hunter led all Atlanta players with 21 points; Steve Thomas' 18 rebounds was a franchise single-game season high. The Krunk's second game against the Sun Kings was postponed due to cold temperatures inside the gymnasium.

Butte Daredevils (12-9, 81.0 QP, 3.86 AVG, 2nd place, National Conference) The Daredevils hosted the East Kentucky Miners for the final two games of the "Mining City Challenge," where the winning team's city would receive customary meals indigenous of the losing team's culture. Despite a strong effort of 31 points and 12 boards for Odell Bradley, the undermanned Daredevils could not surpass a fully-stocked East Kentucky crew, and fell 103-95 [5-2]. Friday night was no better for the Daredevils, as they bowed to East Kentucky 109-104 [5-2], despite 38 points from Odell Bradley, tying Butte's record for points in a game. Martane Freeman and Jibril Hodges added 19 points apiece; Aaron Cook's 13 points were augmented with 10 rebounds. The Miners won the challenge 3 games to 1, so orders of pasties should be on their way to Pikeville very soon. A Saturday night road contest against the Great Falls Explorers was postponed.

East Kentucky Miners (12-12, 79.5 QP, 3.31 AVG, 4th place, American Conference) Games 3 and 4 of the "Mining City Challenge" between Butte and East Kentucky were held at the Butte Civic Center, and the Pikeville quintet surged ahead of the Copper City crew, with a 103-95 [5-2] victory. Josh Pace was the top scorer for the Miners, with 20 points; James "Boo" Jackson pulled down 20 rebounds in the contest. In the final game of the regular season between these two franchises, the Miners completed the road sweep of Butte with a 109-104 [5-2] victory, and winning the "Mining City Challenge" 3 games to 1, earning the Pikeville citizens orders of "pasties," a fried food staple enjoyed by Butte's copper miners, as part of the challenge. James "Boo" Jackson's 23 points led all Miners in scoring; Josh Pace added 17. Lawrence Barnes had 15 points and 10 rebounds on the night, as well as four steals. Next up were the Yakama Sun Kings, who visited the East Kentucky Expo Center for the first time this season. Despite a strong effort from the Miners, the Sun Kings were able to prevail 117-105 [5.5-1.5]. Josh Pace's 26 points were tops among all Miners in scoring; Jason MacLeish's 22 points were next highest. James "Boo" Jackson earned 14 points; he also scored nine rebounds to lead all Miners in that category.

Great Falls Explorers (6-15, 48.5 QP, 2.31 AVG, 4th place, National Conference) The Great Falls Explorers hosted Minot on Wednesday night, only to fall 106-79 [7-0] against the American Conference leaders. Keith Salscheider's 19 points were tops for the Blue and White; Cody Toppert added 17 points of his own. Nate Johnson had nine assists for the Explorers, while Marlyn Bryant's 10 points included three steals. Thursday night was a different story, as the Explorers roared out to a 23-5 lead to start the rematch. Minot came back to keep the score close, but it was Cody Toppert's 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in the 4th quarter that gave Great Falls a 96-95 [5-2] win. Toppert scored 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting, while Nate Green added 17 and Marlyn Bryant had 15. A Saturday night home game against the Butte Daredevils was postponed.

Minot Skyrockets (14-6, 95.5 QP, 4.77 AVG, 1st place, American Conference) In their first game at the Four Seasons Center this season, the Minot Skyrockets easily dominated the Great Falls Explorers, taking a 106-79 [7-0] victory from the home team. Ray Cunningham's 20 points included 15 rebounds in the game; Marshall Phillips, Kellen Miliner and Kevin Rice each scored 17 for the Skyrockets. Sidney Holmes notched five steals and 11 rebounds in the game. In the Thursday night rematch at the Four Seasons Arena, the Skyrockets closed up a 23-5 first-quarter deficit with a 21-1 run of its own, but lost 96-95 [5-2] when a last-second Minot shot failed to score. Marshall Phillips led all Skyrockets in scoring with 26. Ronnie Fields sat out both games with flu-like symptoms. Fields returned to the Skyrockets for their next game, a road contest against the Rio Grande Valley Silverados. The Skyrockets made quick work of the McAllen quintet, winning 94-84 [6-1]. Sidney Holmes was one of three Skyrockets to score double-doubles in the match - he put up 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Other double-doubles were generated by the returning Ronnie Fields (16 pts, 10 rebs) and Marshall Phillips (10 pts, 11 rebs). Minot outrebounded Rio Grande Valley 51-29 in the match. Minot and Rio Grande Valley continued their series in a Sunday afternoon contest in McAllen TX, and the Skyrockets were able to take advantage of several RGV turnovers, winning 94-87 [6-1]. With the Silverados up 81-79 with 6:01 remaining, the Skyrockets went on a 15-6 run to end the game.

Oklahoma Cavalry (8-9, 55.0 QP, 3.23 AVG, 3rd place, National Conference) The Cavalry looked to keep their perfect home record intact on Wednesday afternoon, hosting the Rio Grande Valley Silverados in a rare weekday game affair. The Cavs were able to take only the second quarter, 33-22, but played the Silverados into overtime - where Oklahoma won 119-113 [4-3]. Daryan Selvy scored 27 points to lead the Cavalry; Gregory Plummer's 21 points included four 3-pointers; Marvin Phillips led all rebounders with twelve. The Cavs made the most of turnover points, outscoring the Silverados 29-15 off turnovers. The Cavalry's home winning streak, however, came to an end the next night, as the Silverados upset Oklahoma 120-115 [5-2], despite 38 points from Daryan Selvy, and a double-double of 25 points and 16 rebounds for Marvin Phillips.

Pittsburgh Xplosion (11-11, 78.0 QP, 3.54 AVG, 3rd place, American Conference) The Xplosion ventured to the Washington Avenue Armory for their first of three road games against the Albany Patroons. On Monday night, New Year's Eve, the Xplosion kept things close with the Patroons, but ultimately fell in the final minutes 109-100 [5-2]. John DeGroat finished the night with 27 points to lead the Xplosion in scoring; both Shaun Fountain and Carl Krauser put 21 points apiece on the board. DeGroat and Chaz McCrommon each scored 7 rebounds for Pittsburgh. On Friday night at the Armory, the Xplosion finally picked up their first road victory of the season, defeating Albany 108-104 [4.5-2.5]. With Pittsburgh leading 102-10 in the final minute, Carl Krauser stole the ball from Lucious Jordan, and fed it to Albert White, whose basket put Pittsburgh up by three. The Xplosion then hit 4-of-5 from the free throw line in the closing seconds to seal the victory. Chaz McCrommon led the Xplosion with 24 points. McCrommon, John DeGroat and Simplice N'Joya added eight rebounds apiece. In the third game of the series, the Xplosion ran off an early 32-17 lead, and continued to stay strong, winning the second straight contest from the Albany Patroons, 121-109 [5.5-1.5]. The Xplosion scored 61% of their shots from the floor (44-71), as well as 7-of-13 from beyond 3-point range. Four Xplosion players had 26 points or more; including John DeGroat (26 points, 11 rebounds); Shaun Fountain (26 points, 6 assists), Kevin Mickens (21 pts) and Albert White (21 pts).

Rio Grande Valley Silverados (3-19, 39.5 QP, 1.79 AVG, 5th place, National Conference)After securing the Silverados' first home win of the year, Derrick Rowland brought his Texas troops up to Lawton for a match with the Oklahoma Cavalry - and against the head coach under which he apprenticed, Micheal Ray Richardson. In a Wednesday afternoon affair at the Great Plains Coliseum, the Silverados took three quarter points, including the final quarter, to tie the contest at 105-all, but the Cavalry survived in overtime, 119-113 [4-3]. Demorris Smith had a season-high 40 points for the Silverados; Smith and Rod Nealy each pulled down 13 boards. Of the two Silverados losses against the Cavalry, both have been overtime affairs. The rematch on Thursday, however, was a different story, as the Silverados became the first team to defeat Oklahoma on the Cavalry's home floor, winning 120-115 [5-2]. Demorris Smith notched a franchise-high and league-high 45 points in the Silverados victory; the newly-acquired Patrick Fields added 31 points and 7 assists. The Silverados returned home for a contest against the Minot Skyrockets, but despite 25 points from Demorris Smith, the Silverados succumbed to the Skyrockets 94-84 [6-1]. Rod Nealy added 17 points for his teammates. The Silverados' free throwers had more bricks than at a masonry convention; RGV was 18-of-32 from the line, including 4-of-12 in the fourth quarter. Demorris Smith was the lead scorer for the Silverados in their Sunday matchup with the Skyrockets, with 32 points; but the team committed 17 turnovers to lose 94-87 [6-1] to Minot. Rod Nealy recorded 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds, and guard Patrick Fields added 14 points.

Yakama Sun Kings (19-1, 115.5 QP, 5.78 AVG, 1st place, National Conference) On the road the Sun Kings went, visiting Atlanta for the first of two games against the Krunk. The Wednesday night opener was a close affair, with the Sun Kings pulling out a 98-89 [6-1] victory. Harvey Thomas was the top Sun Kings scorer with 16 points; Desmond Ferguson's 14 points included three more 3-pointers. Moochie Norris continued to lead the team in assists with 8 on the game; Norris also achieved three steals. The Sun Kings were unable to continue their winning ways in Atlanta due to inadequate temperature conditions inside the gym, and the Friday night game was postponed. The Sun Kings' next game would take place Sunday night in Pikeville, as guests of the East Kentucky Miners. In the Sunday afternoon contest, the Sun Kings battled the Miners back and forth before finally pulling away in the final minutes, 117-105 [5.5-1.5]. Desmond Ferguson led all Sun Kings in scoring with 28 points; 15 of those points were a quintet of 3-pointers. Jason Sasser garnered ten rebounds for the nearly unbeatable Sun Kings. The win, the 224th of Paul Woolpert's CBA career, allowed the coach pass Henry Bibby (223 wins) for eighth place on the CBA all-time coaching wins list.

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