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Dakota Wizards Win 2002 CBA Championship

April 7, 2002 - Continental Basketball Association 1 (CBA 1) News Release

Rockford, Ill. (March 6, 2002)— In their first season in the CBA the Dakota Wizards defeated the Rockford Lightning 116-109 in the one game CBA championship before a packed Rockford MetroCentre crowd of 7,201. Newcomer of the Year and regular season MVP Miles Simon picked up more hardware earning Playoff Most Valuable Player honors for his team high 19.5 points in four playoff games.

The Wizards and Lightning were tied at the end of the first (33-33) and second (59-59) quarters in a game that saw 21 ties and 21 lead changes. Simon led Dakota with 24 points and 9 assists, followed by Chris Porter (21 points) and Courtney James (15 points and 9 rebounds).

The Lightning were again led by forward Dickey Simpkins (32 points and 16 rebounds) who averaged team highs of 18.8 points and 10.8 rebounds during the playoffs. Versile Shaw and Ray Weathers each posted 18 points in the final game.

This was the first time Rockford had played for the CBA title since 1989, when they were swept in the Finals in four games by the Tulsa Fast Breakers. In their only other Finals appearance in 1987, they were defeated 4-1 by the Rapid City Thrillers. They defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce in four games of a five game series to earn American Conference champion honors.

The Dakota Wizards, making their first CBA Finals appearance in their first CBA season, swept the Fargo-Moorhead Beez in three games to take the National Conference crown. The Wizards and Lightning split four games during the regular season, with each team winning twice on its home floor.

This marked just the second time in the last 11 seasons that the regular season champs in each conference met for the title. The last time it happened was in 1999, when the American Conference Champion Connecticut Pride defeated the National Conference Champion Sioux Falls Skyforce in the Finals in five games for the Pride's only CBA crown.

The live broadcast of the championship game will be archived on beginning on Sunday.

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