Steelheads Defeat Sun Kings in Playoff Opener, 106-98
GARY, Indiana (March 16, 2006) - The Gary Steelheads, competing in the CBA Playoffs for just the second time in franchise history, defeated the Yakama Sun Kings, 106-98. The victory capped an incredible day in which coach Jaren Jackson became the first coach in Steelheads' history to be named CBA Coach of the Year.
The Sun Kings came in ready to play, grabbing the first quarter point 32-30. But it stopped there, as the Steelheads came back to narrowly win the next three quarters in a tightly-played game. Gary earned six quarter points with the victory.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well, particularly in the second half when the defensive pressure intensified. The Sun Kings were held to .400 shooting in the second half, while the Steelheads shot a sub-par .444 in the half. The Sun Kings held an early lead on the boards, but Gary dug in and won the boards 48-40 for the evening.
The Steelheads had five players in double figures, pace by forward Randy Holcomb who matched his season high of 32 points for the third time this season. He also grabbed 8 rebounds, handed out 2 assists and picked up 2 steals. Guard Brian Chase tossed in 19 points, while guard Eric Chatfield contributed a double-double of 15 points and 11 assists. Center Chris Alexander paced all rebounders with 16, along with 7 points and 3 blocked shots.
The Sun Kings balanced their scoring with seven players in double figures. Guard Antwain Barbour fired in 21 points, with 4 assists and 4 rebounds. Forward Elvin Mims scored 15, and forward Leonard White added 14. Yakama committed just 13 turnovers for the evening, quite an achievement in the absence of guard Anthony Goldwire, who did not play in the game.
Prior to the game, Steelheads Owner and Chief Executive Officer Jewell Harris Sr. honored coach Jackson, presenting the first year Gary coach with a trophy symbolizing his Coach of the Year selection earlier in the day. The trophy was so large that Mr. Harris had to wrap his overcoat around it so he could bring it into the Genesis Center unnoticed.
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