Steelheads Lose at Idaho 100-90; Will Face Yakama Sun Kings in CBA Finals
GARY, Indiana (March 21, 2006) - The Gary Steelheads now know whom they will face in the CBA Finals. While the Steelheads lost to the Idaho Stampede 100-90 Tuesday night at the Qwest Center in Boise, Idaho, the Western Conference champion Yakama Sun Kings defeated the Albany Patroons 132-114 at the Yakima Valley Sun Dome. With the victory, the Sun Kings secured their spot in the Finals.
The Steelheads-Stampede game lacked playoff drama because the Steelheads were already assured of a slot in the upcoming CBA Finals, as well as the home court advantage. The Stampede were mathematically eliminated with two road losses. The Stampede played this game as if it was their last...which it was. That made it a tough night for Gary, which saw its five-game win streak come to an end.
The Stampede sprinted to a 27-24 first quarter victory, earning the second quarter point 27-20 for a 54-44 halftime lead. The Steelheads played the last two quarters to a tie, 24-24 in the third quarter and 22-22 in the fourth quarter. Gary earned one quarter point with the loss, giving the team a total of 14 points in the first playoff round.
There were some impressive performances in the game, despite its lack of playoff impact. Center Chris Alexander paced all scorers with a career high 24 points. He hit 10-of-14 shots from the field on the evening. He also outrebounded Eric Chenowith, the CBA's leading rebounder during the regular season, 14-5. It was Alexander's 12th double-double of the season.
Forward Carl Mitchell and Randy Holcomb tossed in 15 points each, while guards Eric Chatfield and Brian Chase added 13 apiece. In a game where the Steelheads substituted liberally, Gary could manage only 11 assists on the evening. They shot just .341 from the field for the game.
The Stampede played without guard Randy Livingston, who received an NBA call-up to the Chicago Bulls. Forward Josh Davis poured in 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, while forward Matt Freije added 20 points with eight rebounds in the victory.
But the big headlines of the evening were made 363 miles further west, where the Yakama Sun Kings turned in a superb playoff pressure performance for a 132-114 victory over the Albany Patroons. By earning the maximum seven quarter points with the win, Yakama punched their ticket to the CBA Finals.
The Steelheads will travel directly to Yakima for the opening game of the CBA Finals at the Yakima Sun Dome on Thursday night. Gary will then return home and host the second game of the Finals Sunday at the Genesis Center. If the teams split the first two games, a deciding game will be played at the Genesis Center on Monday night.
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