ST. CHARLES, Mo. — The St. Louis RiverSharks got their second win of the season Sunday in a thrilling 113-109 victory over the Bloomington Flex. The RiverSharks relied on a balanced attack and some clutch shooting to win the first game of the doubleheader over the vaunted Flex.
Al Grushkin’s squad was coming off a game in which they clearly had a size advantage, but against the Flex if anything they were the underdogs down low. Forward Keith Dewitt, coming off a 30 point 11 rebound performance, had a formidable task inside dealing with forwards Anthony Slack and Matt Salley. The duo kept Dewitt in check, holding him to 8 points and 8 rebounds, while Slack scored 18 with 13 rebounds and his running mate Salley had 6 rebounds of his own. The pair helped lead the Flex to a 40-34 advantage on the glass.
However, St. Louis overcame the Flex’s strength inside with a balanced offense led by Terry Leak. The RiverSharks had six players finish the game in double figures. Leak dropped 28 on the Flex including going 3-7 from three-point range and a perfect 5-5 at the line. Tyrell Hursey (13), Brandon Hogg (14), Kenny McGowen (15), James Hicks (12), and Terry Evans (10) were the other top contributors.
Part of the reason the inside discrepancy did not hurt the RiverSharks as much as it could have was their proficiency from three. St. Louis shot 39% from distance, led by McGowen (3-6) and Hursey (3-5). Meanwhile, the Flex shot just 25% from the behind the arc.
The RiverSharks captured the lead for the final time at 109-108 with 1:16 left in the game. The RiverSharks shot a dismal 59% from the free throw line in the season opener, but St. Louis’ free throw shooting iced Sunday’s victory. Evans hit 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach. He also grabbed the game’s final rebound, his tenth, to clinch the game for St. Louis and a double-double for himself.
Starting guard Justin Bocot’s game-high 30 points couldn’t stop St. Louis from ending the Flex’s 24 game winning streak.
Last season, Bloomington went 18-0 and captured a PBL Midwest Division championship, but a disagreement with the league ended their playoff run before they ever played a game. They won the PBL title in both of the two previous years.
St. Louis (2-0) will be back in action Saturday, Jan. 10 to play the Chicago Force (0-1), as they start a 3 game road trip. The Flex (0-1) and RiverSharks will meet again Jan. 15, this time in Bloomington for the finale of the road trip.
Full Stats for the game can be found at theMPBA.com.
(Photo by Mick Lite)
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