The Lansing Pharaohs kicked off their inaugural season with a road trip to Dayton on Friday, March 11th. The Pharaoh’s first game of the road trip began at 7 PM that night against the Dayton Flight, who were 0-2 heading into the game. The Pharaohs opted to use size to their advantage starting 6’ 11” PF, Sam Muldrow, and 6’ 11” C, Rozelle Nix, against the small-ball lineup of Dayton. The Pharaohs started the game slow and Dayton came out of the gate red hot resulting in a 19-point Pharaoh’s deficit at the end of the first quarter. However, the Pharaohs made a considerable comeback in the second quarter riding the hot hand of SG, Muhammed El-Amin, who made 4 three-pointers in the quarter cutting the deficit to only 2 points going into halftime. Ja’Myrin Jackson (SG) exploded for 13 points in the third quarter giving the Pharaohs as big as a 10-point lead in the third quarter. Unfortunately, the Pharaohs would not be able to hang onto the lead for long due to the outstanding play by Dayton Flight PG, Brian Warren, who put up a monstrous 42 points and was seemingly unstoppable in the fourth quarter leading to a 9-point win for the Flight, final score: 139-130. Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives to take away from the game; considering 6 Pharaohs players scored over 15 points (well-rounded team) and Muldrow (6) and Nix (4) combined for 10 blocks.
For the second game of the Pharaoh’s 2-game road trip, the team traveled to Toledo to face Toledo Glass City, who came into the game with a 2-1 record. Center Rozelle Nix was unavailable for the game due to calf soreness which resulted in Nana Kodom-Ayensu and Montrell Little stepping up to fill the center position and the Pharaohs running more of a small-ball lineup. The Pharaohs avoided a slow start in this game, keeping the game neck-and-neck up to halftime, where the Pharaohs lead 54-53. During the third quarter, the pharaohs found themselves in a similar situation as the night before, up 10 points and looking like they were in control of the game. However, another big night from an opposing guard stifled the Pharaoh’s chances of pulling off the win as PG, Chris Darrington, of Glass City put up 40 points. The game came down to the last possession as Glass City found themselves down 1 with the ball and less than 24 seconds left in the game, giving them the ability to take the last shot. After an initial stop on a driving layup, Toledo was, unfortunately, able to grab an offensive rebound and chuck up a deep two-point shot as time expired giving them a 111-110 victory. Much like the Pharaoh’s first game, there were still plenty of positives to report. Such as SG, Ja’myrin Jackson, stuffing the stat sheet for a superb 30 point, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals, and PG, Maurice Jones, controlling the Pharaoh’s offense with a steady 17 point, 7 rebounds and 7 assist game.
Despite starting the season 0-2 there is a lot of confidence in the Pharaohs locker room that this group has the pieces to be great as long as they continue to mesh/play as a team and improve when it comes to closing games.