FORT WAYNE, Ind. – February 12, 2023 – Fort Wayne and South Bay opened a back-to-back series on Sunday with a noon start. The Lakers started strong and led much of the game to take a 124-102 win.
South Bay went inside early to Jay Huff, who scored 6 of their first 8 points to give the Lakers an early cushion. With 6:12 left in the first, a Cole Swider three gave South Bay their biggest lead to that point at 17-9, but Justin Anderson back on the other end with a three for Fort Wayne. Two possessions later, a Noah Starkey putback dunk closed the gap to 17-16 in favor of the Lakers. Swider answered with back-to-back three pointers that had South Bay up 23-16 with 4:48 left in the first quarter. Behind York (7 points) and Starkey (6), Fort Wayne closed the gap again to 25-23 after one.
South Bay extended their lead at the 6:54 mark on the second quarter, pushing their lead to 41-32. Gabe York answered with a pair of three pointers that cut the Fort Wayne deficit to five, but Swider responded on the other end with a three for the Lakers to push their lead to 46-38. At the half, South Bay held a 61-46 lead.
Fort Wayne opened the second half with first four points of the second half before Swider responded with his sixth three pointer of the game for South Bay. South Bay would go up by double digits at 8:35 of the third on a Shaquille Harrison basket to make it 68-57. The South Bay lead hovered around the 10-point mark for much of the third quarter and went up 87-75 with 1:38 to play on a Nate Pierre-Louis basket, followed on the next possession with a Bryce Hamilton lead extending basket for the Lakers. After three, South Bay led Fort Wayne 93-77.
Fort Wayne used a three-point possession with 7:27 left to narrow the South Bay lead to 108-91; on the next possession, Huff went back to work and scored at the rim to end the Mad Ants momentum. With 6:32 to play, South Bay pushed their lead past 20 points for the first time on a Bryce Hamilton basket as the Lakers led 113-91.
York led Fort Wayne with 31 points (8-of-14 three pointers) while Elfrid Payton added 15 points.
South Bay was paced by Swider’s 28 points (6-of-8 three pointers) and 23 points from Hamilton.