SHAWNEE, OKLA — The 2022 TBL Playoffs are here and the Potawatomi Fire are ready to begin a long postseason run in their first appearance. The third-seeded Fire (18-6) will take on the sixth-seeded Rockwall 7ers (7-16) in a TBL Playoffs first round matchup. The Fire will host the entire series in Shawnee. The first game will be Thursday night, June 2 at 7 p.m. at FireLake Arena. Game two will be Saturday, June 4 at 7 p.m. and game three (if necessary) will be Sunday, June 5 at 7 p.m.
The Fire and 7ers battled six times this season, with the Fire winning the first five of the six matchups. The Fire will look to avenge that late season loss, as the 7ers were one of only two teams to defeat the Fire this season. Rockwall is also a first-year TBL franchise.
The winner of the Fire-7ers matchup will battle the second-seed, the Shreveport Mavericks (19-5). Defending TBL champion Enid Outlaws (20-4) finished first in the Central Conference to earn the top seed and a first round bye. Second-seeded Shreveport also received a first round bye. The Mavericks defeated the Outlaws 115-108 on Saturday to secure their second seed.
The Fire tied for third place with the Dallas Skyline. The Fire initially were thought to be the fourth seed, but received the third seed based on the league tiebreaker of the percentage of points scored divided by points allowed (Fire: 2691/2468 = 109% to 7ers: 2935/2806 = 104%).
The Fire are winners of four straight and are led by TBL All-Star guard Deshawn Munson (East St. Louis, Ill. / Harris-Stowe). Munson ranks fifth in the entire TBL in points per game (25.5), and leads the league in assists per game (9.4) and steals per game (2.8). He recorded triple-doubles in nine of the Fire’s 24 games this year and is among the contenders for TBL Most Valuable Player. Center Anthony Allen Jr. (Kingston, Jamaica / Oklahoma State) was recently named to the TBL All-Central Conference Second Team and ranks among the league leaders in blocks and rebounds per game and also averages nearly 12 points per game. Other leading scorers for the Fire include Mustapha Traore (Philadelphia, Pa. / Monmouth) with 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game; Deon Lyle (Hastings, Neb. / UTSA) with 16.3 points, 4.0 rebounds per game, and 66 three-pointers made (5th-best in TBL); Tevin Foster (Lawton, Okla. / Abilene Christian) with 12.2 points per game; and Theo Johnson (Sacramento, Calif. / Liberty) at 9.8 points per game. The head coach of the Fire, Derrick Rowland, prior to joining the Fire, previously coached in the league including leading Albany to a TBL championship in 2019.
Quinn Taylor leads Rockwall with 23.3 points per game. Taylor also tops the 7ers with nine rebounds per game and adds three assists per game. Sean Gardner tallies 22 points and three rebounds and three assists per game. Sharpshooter Jacoby Ross contributes 19 points, mainly happening beyond the arc. Ross also leads Rockwall with six assists a game.
The fourth-seed Dallas Skyline (18-6) will take on the fifth-seeded Sugar Land Imperials (13-11) in the other Central Conference first round matchup, with that matchup’s winner taking on top-seeded Enid in the second round.
Each of the TBL Playoff series are a best-of-three series with the lower seed (in most instances) hosting the first game and the higher seed hosting the second and if necessary third and deciding game. The Central and Western Conferences are paired on one side of the bracket with the Eastern and Midwest Conferences paired on the other.
The games can be heard on KGFF 100.9 FM / 1450 AM with Chris Cox calling the action. His play-by-play call can also be heard on the live stream on TBLTV.tv, via a purchased subscription.
For more on the 2022 TBL Playoffs, visit thebasketballleague.net.
FIRE PLAYOFF TICKET INFORMATION
As a thank you to our loyal fans during this inaugural season, the Potawatomi Fire will honor all season ticket holders with free tickets throughout the playoffs. Sideline, baseline, and courtside ticket holders will have the same seats as they had during the regular season.
Lower and upper level reserved season ticket holders will not have reserved seats but will also receive tickets. If those fans arrive early for each playoff contest, they can sit in their same regular season seats or move to another location.
All non-season tickets for the playoffs will be $12.50 each with all seats general admission. Tickets will be available from potawatomifire.com/tickets on Tuesday, May 31 beginning at approximately 4 p.m.
Season ticket holders will receive an email from the Fire as early as Tuesday. With the Memorial Day holiday, the ticket office was closed so the ticketing process will begin on Tuesday. Season ticket holders can pick up their playoff tickets at will call on game night or they can pick up them at the FireLake Arena box office prior to the games during normal business hours.
ABOUT THE FIRE AND THE BASKETBALL LEAGUE
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 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 playoff 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.