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Motor City Cruise Pull off Thriller in Fort Wayne

Motor City Cruise

Motor City came into Fort Wayne looking to get back on track after a loss to Long Island. The Cruise had a chance to get started early with an 11:00 AM showdown against the Mad Ants.

Rise and Shine

Outside of just a few games this season, Motor City has been used to a later start in the day. However, it didn’t seem to bother them in the early goings of this one. They trailed 6-8 until midway through the first quarter as it looked like we might be in for a defensive slugfest.

It wouldn’t take long for the Cruise to get their offense going, though. Motor City put together a big 13-2 run to grab a nine-point lead (19-10) with 4:47 remaining in the quarter. Fort Wayne would cut into the lead a bit, but Motor City held the lead after one, 27-22.

Jermaine Samuels was really the only one to hurt the Cruise early as he went for 9 points in the quarter. Stanley Umude got off to a quick start for Motor City by scoring 7 points in a balanced offensive attack in the quarter.

Both teams would go back and forth to begin the second quarter as the Cruise held a slim three-point lead with just about seven minutes to go in the quarter. A Trevelin Queen three-pointer would tie things up at 38-38. Fort Wayne picked up the momentum as they held just a 53-49 lead to round out the quarter.

The Motor City defense struggled to limit Queen (9 points) and Jordan Bone (8 points) as they led much of the charge to get the Mad Ants back on top. Keifer Sykes finished with 8 points in the second as he helped in not letting this get away from the Cruise.

Buckle up and Find a Way

Fort Wayne came out with more urgency to begin the third quarter as they built their lead to double-digits (66-56) by going on a 13-7 run. The Cruise weren’t going to just lay down. They came back with a run of their own (11-6) to climb right back in the game, trailing just 67-72. Neither team would pick up much distance the rest of the way out. Motor City had some work to do, but they were right in it as they headed to the fourth down, 81-87.

Justin Anderson was in attack mode as he led Fort Wayne with 11 points in the quarter. Queen was at it again, finishing with 7 points. David Nwaba was a spark for the Cruise to climb back in it, leading the team with 7 points to end the third.

Motor City really set the tone to begin the final quarter as they were urgent with their offense. The Mad Ants lead would be cut to just one (86-87) as Ryan Turrell knocked down a big three-pointer with 10:47 left to play.

What a battle we had throughout the quarter. The Cruise would have a chance to take the lead on several occasions, but Fort Wayne responded with a big bucket of their own each time. Finally, with 6:51 on the clock, Jaylen Johnson would knock a big three-pointer to knot the game at 96-96.

Both Teams Want It

It was clear both teams wanted this one as both teams continued to trade baskets. Newly acquired Reggie Perry put in a big finger roll layup with just over five minutes to play to tie it again at 102-102. Something was going to have to give, one team was going to blink first.

A Keifer Sykes fadeaway finally gave the Cruise the lead late in the quarter. It wouldn’t take long for the Mad Ants to take it back on their next possession after a big and-one opportunity for Trevelin Queen.

Regaining the lead with a David Nwaba layup, Buddy Boeheim upped the anty on a three-point that gave Motor City a two possession lead. Up 111-106 with 1:37 left to play, Fort Wayne would get bailed out on a contested missed three-pointer. After the play was reviewed, the referees determined that Trevelin Queen was fouled on the attempt. He paid it off and hit all three free throws to cut it to 111-109.

Well, these are what teams are made of late in the season. It wasn’t going to be easy, and this one was a clear indication of that. On the next possession for the Cruise, Reggie Perry got called for a foul that gave the ball back to the Mad Ants with a chance to tie or take the lead. A Jamar Samuels layup did just that, and we were tied.

It’s Not Over

Buckle up; we aren’t finished yet. Motor City came right back in a hurry as David Nwaba found Reggie Perry for an easy dunk. Cruise, back up two. A defensive stand gave the Cruise the ball back that David Nwaba paid off with an easy two-point. Motor City, to this point, led 115-111. An attacking Justin Anderson was sent to the free-throw line after a Cruise fall, the Mad Ants cut it back to one possession.

Fort Wayne had to foul to extend the game, sending David Nwaba to the free-throw line. The door was left open for the Mad Ants as he missed the first. Knocking down the second one to give Motor City a 116-113 lead with just seconds remaining. Then it happened. The man all night for Fort Wayne, Trevelin Queen, tied it up after a big three-pointer. Timeout Cruise with little time remaining.

Sometimes these games go your way, all too often, they do not. But not tonight. With one shot left or we were headed to overtime, Jaylen Johnson knocks down a three-pointer that could very well be a monumental season maker down the stretch for Motor City. The Mad Ants would have one final shot, but they would barely get it off. Goodnight, the Cruise go on to survive a thrilling game, 119-116.

The Numbers

Trevelin Queen was a problem all night for Motor City, leading the Mad Ants with 29 points (3 three-pointers) 9 assists, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Jermaine Samuels was an astounding 11 of 11 from the field (26 points) with 9 rebounds and 2 steals. Justin Anderson put together an aggressive 21 points and 6 rebounds.

Gabe York struggled from the field but knocked down some big shots to finish with 15 points while dishing out 6 assists. Jordan Bone led the Fort Wayne bench with 15 points (3 three-pointers) and 8 rebounds. Tevin Brown finished with 5 points, and David Stockton dished out 9 assists.

Jaylen Johnson was the man of the hour. The big man led Motor City with 23 points (including the game-winning three-pointer) , 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Keifer Sykes was back in the starting lineup to help with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Reggie Perry picked up vital minutes to finish with 17 points (7-10 from the field) and 9 rebounds.

David Nwaba came through in key moments to add 16 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Jared Rhoden added 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Buddy Boeheim knocked down 3 three-pointers to go with 11 points and 5 rebounds. ShawnDre Jones and Stanley Umude combined for 20 points on the night.

Up Next

The loss will extend the Mad Ants losing streak to four. They fall to just a game and a half out of the final playoff spot.

This was a big one for the Cruise as they continue to battle down the stretch of the season. They stay right in the thick of things in the East. They’ll have another shot against Fort Wayne as the two will face off again on Saturday at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The tip is set for 7:00. The story of this one was everyone stepping up for the Cruise when it was needed.

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