Weekend Games Review: Fort Wayne Mad Ants vs. Erie BayHawks

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants and Erie BayHawks finished their 10-game season series this weekend. Erie won Friday's meeting 95-82, but Fort Wayne claimed the series finale on Sunday, 114-110, to win the season series 6-4.

Highlights from Friday:

Highlights from Sunday:

Both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention and currently sit fifth and sixth in the East Conference, respectively. Fort Wayne is 19-28. Next they have two games at Springfield before finishing the season at Maine on Friday. Erie hosts Springfield on Friday before also finishing the season out at Maine on Saturday, a game that will also be shown on Versus.

There's not a whole lot to take from this weekend other than the fact that the BayHawks continue to be plagued by inconsistency.

Jackie Manuel looked good, scoring 22 and 20 points, respectively, but the team missed the shooting presence of Mike Gansey.

Neither Michael Sweetney nor John Bryant had much of an impact on the two games.

Blake Ahearn thrived with 29 points in Friday's win, and Cedric Jackson starred with 28 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists in Sunday's loss. Unfortunately, both players seem more comfortable playing with the ball in their hand, which neutralizes their effectiveness when they play together in the backcourt.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the performances of the former BayHawks in Friday's win for Fort Wayne. Oliver Lafayette torched Erie for 33 points and 8 assists (with 4 turnovers). He also hit a clutch jumper over the outstretched arms of Jackie Manuel with 44 seconds left to put the Mad Ants up 3 after Cedric Jackson had cut the lead to 1.

After Jackson scored again to cut it to one, Erie nearly stole the ball. But after a scramble for the loose ball, Rod Wilmont drained a 3 with 8.3 seconds left to put Fort Wayne up 4. Wilmont, who was one of the final preseason cuts by the BayHawks along with Wilmont, scored 16 points and added 8 rebounds for the Mad Ants. After Wilmont's 3, Michael Sweetney scored a quick bucket to trim the deficit back to 2. Erie fouled Lafayette, and he responded by calmly sinking two free throws to ice the game for Fort Wayne.

Short of a playoff berth, this had to be a great feeling for Lafayette and Wilmont to finish out the season with clutch performances against the team that let them loose to start the season.

For Erie, it was another in a long line of tough/disappointing losses on the season. The BayHawks are now just 9-15 at home this season with one home game remaining. That game comes against Springfield, the team with the worst record in the D-League. However, before Erie starts chalking up a victory, they should remember that the Armor did claim one of their seven wins against the BayHawks earlier this season.


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About this blog/blogger

Blog Talk BayHawk is an unofficial Erie BayHawks blog covering the NBA D-League. It features opinions and information about the NBADL and the Erie BayHawks. Blog Talk BayHawk is written from a basketball fan’s perspective to fill In the gaps left by professional journalists’ coverage of BayHawks basketball and the Erie professional basketball scene.

Matt Hubert is a 25-year-old writer and basketball fanatic born and raised in Erie, Pa. He graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in English and a dual concentration in writing and creative writing. Matt's not wavering from his stance as a lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan, but he will cover the BayHawks' NBA affiliates in Cleveland and Toronto when it makes sense to do so throughout the year.

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