Spectacular Shooting Sends Skyforce into Showcase with Win
A Tuesday night tune up in advance of the NBADL Showcase was all Sioux Falls as the Skyforce never trailed in a 127-96 thrashing of the Erie BayHawks in front of 2,180 at the Sanford Pentagon.
Not to make excuses for the visitors, but it didn’t help that Erie’s top scorer guard Seth Curry was sidelined with a high ankle sprain. The BayHawks (7-15) were already slumping coming into the contest, yet to post a win since turning the calendar to 2015.
Sioux Falls (11-10) scored the first 10 points and held a double digit lead from the early second quarter to the close of business. Henry Walker made the most of his court time with another efficient performance. In just over 22 minutes, the forward from Kansas State scored 23 on 9-10 shooting (including all 5 of his attempts from deep), grabbed 8 rebounds and blocked 2 shots as you can see above. Sioux Falls as a team shot 58 percent from the floor.
Returning to Sioux Falls via the allocation route from the Miami Heat, Andre Dawkins hit 6 from long distance to finish with 22. Scotty Hopson and Shawn Jones each notched 18 points to pace the effort. Jones also grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked 3 shots which helped the cause. “(Offensively) our flow was pretty good. The ball moved pretty well and we had 31 assists (as a team). Inside we would get the ball and making a quick move would be our best bet to get a bucket or to the foul line.”
Jones also noted that after the loss to the D-Fenders on Saturday that the Skyforce needed to stay focused against a short-handed team. “Most teams when their best player goes down, that gives an opportunity for their backup players to come in with a full head of steam. We still had to focus and play them with or without Curry.” To get an insight to
Guard Lenzelle Smith did his best to pick up the slack with 16 points in a reserve role, while starters Drew Crawford (14 points) and Peyton Siva (12 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists) gamely marched forward without Curry who currently leads the league in scoring with 26.1 points per contest.
Thursday will be the next test for Sioux Falls as the 8th seed at the NBADL Showcase Tournament. Top-seeded Maine will get things started with the second round opponent to be determined. Erie will hook up with Rio Grande Valley on Friday in Santa Cruz, the host of this year’s extravaganza.