SHAWNEE, OKLA. — The Potawatomi Fire couldn’t overcome 16 three-pointers and 54% shooting from their in-state rivals and fell to the Enid Outlaws, 119-109, despite All-Star guard Deshawn Munson’s seventh triple-double of the year.
Munson (East St. Louis, Ill. / Harris-Stowe) recorded 30 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists, and three steals. Deon Lyle (Hastings, Neb. / UTSA) returned after missing a couple of games and tallied 21 points on 6 of 9 outside shooting. Anthony Allen Jr. (Kingston, Jamaica / Oklahoma State) had his tenth double-double of the year with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Mustapha Traore (Philadelphia, Pa. / Monmouth) had 15 points.
The visiting Outlaws made 16 of 31 from outside for 52% as well as 21 of 29 (72%) from the foul line as they took five of six contests from the Fire for the year. Potawatomi made 10 of 29 (34.5%) from outside but only managed 11 of 19 free throws for 61%. In what was a tie game after the first quarter, continued as a tense back and forth contest throughout the night. The Outlaws led by five at the midpoint and again by five points after three quarters. The Fire got to within one point at 102-101 with six minutes remaining before Enid pulled away. The Fire did control points in the paint (64-40), fast-break points (24-10), and held a narrow edge in rebounding (47-43).
Darin Johnson had 31 points including eight triples for the Outlaws and was one of four Enid players with 20-plus points.
Despite the loss, the Fire still stand at 14-5 on the year and remain in third place in the TBL Central Conference. Potawatomi clinched a playoff spot in their debut season with a win last weekend. The final five games over the next two and a half weeks will determine the playoff seedings and matchups. The Fire are on the road (including Sunday afternoon at Rockwall at 3 p.m.) for their next three games before returning home to finish the season. The final two regular season home games for the Fire will be in two weeks when they host Shreveport on Friday, May 27 and Beaumont on Saturday, May 28.
The Potawatomi Fire are the first professional basketball team owned by a Native American tribe (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) in Oklahoma. The Fire compete in the Central Conference of The Basketball League (TBL), a new men’s professional basketball league with 44 teams in over 20 different states across the country. The TBL season began in March and runs through June, concluding with a championship tournament. The players that make up the rosters of the TBL teams are former NCAA (Division I to III) or NAIA athletes. Many have played in the NBA or NBA’s G-League as well as professionally overseas for several years and are continuing their careers closer to home.
Story by Justin Wollard • More photos coming later