Fireballs 2-0 Sim Extends Winning Streak to 5

  • By Jron Magcale, Day 129, 2023


LOS ANGELES - Fireballs came out victorious in the last sim winning both home and away games extend winning streak to 5 and 7-3 in their last 10 games to continue pushing for a playoff spot. The win got them ahead of the Portland Lumberjacks in the Pacific Division with a 33-28 win-loss card.

Fireballs Escapes OKC with a 1-point Nail-biter
Barons - 126
Fireballs - 127

Fireballs traveled to OKC to face a determined Barons team and they were on for a wild ride. Barons jumped on a 42-38 1st quarter as the Fireballs shooting wing Reggie Coleman was thrown out of the game and was slapped with a 1 game suspension after committing a Type 2 Flagrant foul early in the 1st quarter. The 2nd quarter was also wire to wire as the Fireballs cut down the lead 70-67 going to the 2nd half. It was especially hard for the Fireballs as star PG was in foul trouble the whole game and was limited to only 27 minutes. The 3rd quarter was interesting as at one point in the 3rd the Barons was leading by 10 before the Fireballs clawed their way back ending the 3rd with only 2 -point lead 97-99. The 4th quarter was a different ball game as both teams slugged it out it seems like the Barons was in control with 2:15 left in the game and they were up by 5 controlling the pace, but the Fireballs went on and was able to take the lead 1:24 but the Barons answered quick to again snatch the lead, a 6-0 run took the lead back in the Fireballs favor capping with Kareem Teague's only field goal to 124-127. The Barons has a chance but Idris Berkley was fouled and made both free throws the Fireballs just held to the ball and escaped OKC's aggressive run. Fireballs outside shooting helped as they knocked down 18/41 while Barons was 13/32. Fireballs also won the battle of the boards as they lead the game 61-40.

With Chris LaCruz playing on limited time because of foul travel and Reggie Coleman out early, it was Do-it-all forward Devan Carroll who took over scoring 39 points sinking 7/11 from the outside and 15/23 overall, he also grabbed 11 rebounds and had 6 dimes. Despite playing only 27 minutes Chris LaCruz still recorded a double-double with 25 points and 10 assists. stepping in for LaCruz on the floor was recently acquired veteran PG Tex Ireland who has the best game as a Fireball so far recording a double-double of his own 16 points and 11 assists. Keemar Campbell also recorded a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 10 boards. Jamal Wilkinson also contributed with a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Barons was lead by Idris Berkley (30 points and 7 rebounds) and Preye Crooks (26 points), Jamar Strickland recorded a double-double for OKC with 12 points and 15 assists. Reggie Coleman's flagrant foul type 2 cost him a suspension for the next game.

"It was a difficult close game for us, they were aggressive from the start and losing Reg (Coleman) was such a blow for us, good thing our bench stepped up. Big shot by 'Reem (Teague) to give us cushion. Chris's (LaCruz) fouls weren't helping but having a veteran like Tex (Ireland) who can manage a game well helps us." Assistant Coach Alton Wilkes said after the game.

BOX SCORE: http://jblfl.com/boxscore?game=13722

Fireballs Beats Blizzards Behind LaCruz 47
Fireballs - 126
Blizzards - 118

The Fireballs takes care of business at home as they use a big 2nd half to win against the young Blizzards squad. The Blizzards was actually leading by halftime 62-57 thanks to their big 2nd quarter where they scored 37 points to the Fireballs 29 points. The 2nd half the Fireballs stepped up and took the 3rd quarter as the Fireballs scored 37 this time to the Blizzards 30 to get the lead 94-92. The Fireballs showcased their ball movement as they finished with 43 assists vs the Blizzards 33. The 4th quarter the Fireballs keeps the heat check as they outscored the Blizzards 32-26 and bag the win 126-118. The Fireballs shot well connecting 50/91 FG a good 55% from the field. Blizzards shot more with 103 shots (but connected only 48.

Fireballs relied on their ace player Chris LaCruz who bounced back after playing only 27 minutes the last game, as he scored 47 point, 11 assists and 6 rebounds on 43 minutes of play. Derrick Aririguzoh almost notched a triple double as the athletic defensive big man recorded 16 points, 15 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 blocks. Stepping in for the suspended Reggie Coleman is versatile combo forward Stoyanov Vitas who had a well-rounded game notching 14 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Devan Carroll only played 28 minutes but was effective with 16 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block. Rookie SG Kareem Teague scores 13 points off the bench as well shooting 5/8 FG and 3/6 3 FG. The Blizzards rookie duo of Donovan Mobley and Aaron Taphorn lead the team as Taphorn recorded 26 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists while DoMo scored 25 points to go with 4 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists and 2 blocks.

"We miss Reggie (Coleman) as he is serving his 1 game suspension but Stoyanov (Vitas) steps in for him and did well. Chris (LaCruz) really was aggressive this game as he was limited last game and if Chris plays like this it's not a good day for the opposition he is playing very well this season and his confidence is high. We're glad to be able to win tonight and we hope we can still continue winning games." Assistant Coach Alton Wilkes said in the post-game presser.

BOX SCORE: http://jblfl.com/boxscore?game=13739

The Fireballs will host the struggling Louisville Colonels (15-46) at home on Day 129 and then will visit division rival Las Vegas Scorpions (40-22) on Day 130 which is a backend of a back to back on that sim.