Mad Ants swept by Raptors, release McCall & Hicks

Mad Ants

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Fort Wayne and Raptors 905 reconvened on Saturday afternoon for a matinee to wrap up their regular season opening series. Raptors 905 came away with a 114-99 win to sweep the series.
The first quarter saw the teams see saw with six lead changes and two ties. While Fort Wayne struggled more from the field, hitting just 27.3 percent of their shots, they kept things even with nine points from the foul line, including five out of Russ Smith. Meanwhile, Isaac Bonga scored 9 points and had five rebounds for Raptors 905 in the quarter.

The second quarter saw both teams heat up a bit with 10 more lead changes. Raptors 905 continued to rely on Bonga with 8 points and 8 rebounds in the quarter while Gabe York’s 8 second quarter points bolstered Fort Wayne.

Raptors 905 led 50-47 at the halftime break.

Fort Wayne tied the game at 72 late in the third on a Smith free throw before a Breein Tyree three pointer gave Raptors 905 back their small cushion with 2:10 to play. Raptors 905 would extend their lead to 77-72 but a Bennie Boatwright basket with 30.4 seconds left pushed Fort Wayne back; Boatwright added a free throw on the play as well. Raptors 905 went into the final quarter break leading 79-75.

With 8:48 left in the game, a step back three pointer from Gabe York gave Fort Wayne an 84-83 lead. The lead wouldn’t last long for Fort Wayne with Raptors 905 retaking the lead at the 8:29 mark of the quarter. Despite a pair of threes from York, Raptors 905 would push their lead to 96-90 with 5:43 to play at the free throw line on a make from Obadiah Noel. With 5:13 to play a Tyree triple extended the 905 lead to seven points. After a Tyree three pointer extended the lead to 10 points with 4:08 to play, the Mad Ants would not get within single digits again.

Bonga led Raptors 905 with 22 points and 17 rebounds, while Reggie Perry (20 points/11 rebounds) and Justin Smith (10 points/11 rebounds) added double doubles.

Fort Wayne was led by Gabe York’s 28 points led Fort Wayne while Russ Smith scored 24 and Bennie Boatwright added a 20 point, 11 rebounds double double.

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants announced Saturday they have waived forward DJ McCall.

McCall appeared in 2 games for the Mad Ants this season, joining the team for this week’s series with Raptors 905 to help fill the roster due to player shortage with multiple NBA call-ups.

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants announced Saturday that they have waived forward Stephan Hicks.

Hicks rejoined the Mad Ants on December 13 after last playing for the team in 2020. He will leave the Mad Ants to pursue another playing opportunity overseas. Hicks played in five games with the Mad Ants since joining the team in late 2021. He scored 12 points in December 21’s record setting win over Wisconsin as part of the NBA G League Winter Showcase, shooting 4-of-5 from the field with nine rebounds in his best outing of the season.

“I appreciate the Mad Ants organization and the fans for welcoming me back. I know I was only here for a short period of time but I got a chance to play with a lot of great guys. Another opportunity for me came up and I decided that was the best thing for me right now in my career,” Hicks said.

Hicks sits second all-time in games played with 224 and points with 2,895. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in three pointers made and rebounding.

“It’s no secret Steph is a major piece of our franchise’s history, and was going to play a significant role in our season this year. So when he came to me about this unexpected international opportunity, it was emotional for us both,” Mad Ants General Manager Chris Taylor said. “But, as an organization, our goal has never wavered from finding ‘better basketball situations’ for our players and this is a prime example of that. While we hate to see him leave after such a short stint this time, we wish Steph nothing but the best in his continued career, and hope the door on a return as an Ant some day is never closed. Until then, #17 will always hold a special place with our fans and team.”

The Mad Ants will continue to celebrate Hicks’ legacy with the organization during this 15th Anniversary season. A Stephan Hicks bobblehead will be given away to fans on March 25 as part of Fan Appreciation Night at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

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