LANSING, MI – The Lansing Pharaohs entered weekend #9 of TBL play with a 12-5 record after splitting games in a double-header against the Jamestown Jackels, the number one team in the division, the previous weekend. The Pharaohs would return home for weekend #8 to face two new foes from the Lower Midwest Division, the Lebanon Lightning (record: 12-7) and Kokomo Bobkats (record: 9-10). A weekend that was already expected to be tough became even more challenging when starting two starting guards, Latin Davis and Ja’Myrin Jackson would be unavailable for the weekend.
The weekend began with a Saturday night matchup against Lebanon where Lebanon took a 10-point lead early in the first quarter and never looked back. Lebanon led for the entire game and consistently kept a cushion of around 10 points throughout the game. Every time the Pharaohs would attempt to cut into Lebanon’s lead, they would respond with a bucket. Lebanon’s stifling defense proved to be an issue for the Pharaohs as Lansing recorded 20 turnovers and was held to under 100 points for just the fourth time this season. Lansing would trail Lebanon 43-53 at the end of the first half and end the game down 94-104. Standouts for the Pharaohs included F/C, Sam Muldrow, who had 19 points and 14 rebounds, and G, Maurice Jones, who had 12 points and 12 assists.
Sunday Afternoon’s game against the Kokomo Bobkats yielded similar results as the Pharaohs still found themselves down two starters. The game began with a competitive back and forth first quarter that ended with the Bobkats up by 3, 29-32. The Bobkats would catch fire in the second quarter while Lansing found themselves searching for offensive production and defensive stops as the Bobkats extended the lead to 22 points at the half, 54-76. However, the Pharaohs would show resilience by cutting the Bobkats lead down to 9 at the end of the third quarter thanks to SF, James Johnson’s hot hand from the three-point line, and G, Carlton Brundidge’s aggressive offensive attack, score: 88-97. The Pharaohs would continue to cut into Kokomo’s lead and even tie the game at 97 with ten minutes left to go in the fourth. From this point on the game went back and forth but Kokomo was able to make a few more clutch shots than the Pharaohs and eventually win the game 123-116. Standouts for the Pharaohs included G, Carlton Brundidge, who had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and SF, James Johnson, who had a team-high 27 points thanks to him shooting 7-11 from the three-point line also G, Maurice Jones, who had 26 points and 11 assists.
All and all the weekend was far from ideal as the Pharaohs recorded their first home loss in TBL play and also now find themselves in their second, and longest, losing streak of the season after losing three straight games. However, due to the team being down two starters this weekend any concern about this team’s ability to win games should be taken with a grain of salt. Kokomo and Lebanon are both solid teams currently fighting for playoff spots in their division so the chance the Pharaohs matchup with one of these teams in the playoffs is decently high and I believe that’d be a matchup the Pharaohs would eagerly accept at full strength.