Iowa Energy Surpass Sioux Falls Skyforce
Jarvis Varnado was his old self as he returned to Sioux Falls as a member of the Iowa Energy. The trade was made after the Miami Heat released the center during training camp as Varnado became a bargaining chip to get Iowa’s first round draft choice. Wearing the Iowa colors didn’t stop the fans from gasping when the NBA champ knocked away 5 shots. More to the point, Varnado was a key component in the Energy’s 99-95 win at the Sanford Pentagon Friday night. The NCAA all-time block shot record holder added 9 points and 10 rebounds, cementing his status as one of the top prospects in the NBA Development League. Varnado’s mates filled their roles for the Energy (3-0) with guard Kalin Lucas netting 22 points with both Patrick Christopher and Chris Allen scoring 19. Othyus Jeffers was impressive after shaking off a 1-10 start from the floor to end with 14 points and 9 rebounds.
For Sioux Falls (2-1) it was a gutty effort with only 8 players available to repel the visitors. Quincy Douby’s departure was settled earlier this week, whittling the roster to nine. What was left to chance was a balky leg muscle for guard Larry Drew II and by game time, DeAndre Liggins was charged with running the offense. The former member of the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder was up to the challenge, scoring 15 points and dealing 13 assists. Forward Ryan Evans came through big as well leading all scorers with 29 to go with 12 rebounds with center Justin Hamilton collecting his first double-double of the season (13 points/15 rebounds).
The two teams will meet again Saturday evening for the second of eight tussles on this season’s docket.