Rochester wins series opener at home 105-101
The Matchup: This is game two of the best-of-three game series for the fourth Premier Basketball League championship. It pits the regular season and defending champion Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry against the former two time champion Rochester RazorSharks. Rochester won the series opener at home 105-101.
The RazorSharks (15-9) ran off to a second quarter 18 point lead and withstood a 22-2 third quarter run to win game one. Rochester won off its ability to draw fouls on opposing teams. Lawton committed 34 fouls to the Sharks 14. Rochester outscored LFS 35-7 from the free throw line. An advantage to that degree is unlikely in Oklahoma.
Rochester got 21 often times spectacular points from Sammy Monroe. Monroe had averaged 8.5 points per game in his previous eight and missed the two semifinal games in Quebec.
Off his career high 36 point effort in the deciding game against the Kebs, Melvin Council continued his excellent play with 19 points. Jerice Crouch added 12 points so the Sharks got 31 from their point guards.
Mike Williams had another big game off the boards with 11 rebounds. In the four postseason games, Williams has rebounded a consistent 12-11-11-11.
The RazorSharks are 3-7 overall against the Cavalry. They are 0-6 in Oklahoma.
The Cavalry (20-4) in two seasons have lost just seven PBL games. Three of those seven have been to Rochester.
Eddie Smith scored a game high 23 points against the Sharks. It was his third straight playoff game surpassing 20 points.
Lawton lost Friday night despite shooting 52% from the floor, ourebounding Rochester 49-40 and owning a 60-40 edge in points in the paint. The Cavalry's bench was outscored by Rochester's 72-38.
The team has won a league championship each of its three seasons in Lawton, two in the CBA and last year's PBL crown. The Cavalry relocated from Oklahoma City in 2007.
Lawton is 11-1 at home this season. The Cavs saw their 34 game home court winning streak snapped by Halifax in the semifinals last week.
Of note: There are five players on each team who played in the finals against each other last year. For the Sharks, Council, Crouch, Keith Friel, Fred Durr and Eric Walton were in the PBL finals against the Cavs. For Lawton, Eddie Smith, Elvin Mims, Brandon Dean, Shawn Fountain and DeAnthony Bowden were here last year.
Of note: The five returning Cavs combined to score 98 in Lawton's 126-108 win in the championship game. Rochester's scored 45.
Of note: Rochester has won 13 of 16 games since a 2-6 start to the 2011 PBL season.
Television: AtSports web-cast beginning at 8:00. http://atsportstv.com/Home.aspx
Quotable: Rochester's Jerice Crouch on the Sharks not having ever won at Lawton, "There wouldn't be a better chance to get the first one out than a championship win."
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Premier Basketball League Stories from April 16, 2011
- Rochester wins series opener at home 105-101 - Rochester RazorSharks
- Traveling with a Game in Hand - Rochester RazorSharks
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