Lightning to open playoffs vs. Kenosha
Lathan, Ayer, Knight lead L.A. into IBA tourney in Indiana
The Los Angeles Lightning will take on the Kenosha Ballers of Wisconsin in the Independent Basketball Association quarterfinals on Friday at the 7,000-seat Genesis Center in Gary, Ind.
The Lightning won the regular-season title in their first year in the IBA, finishing with a 12-2 record. They dominated their last two games with the Malibu Pirates, winning by 53 and 44 points.
“It feels great to win the (regular-season) title,” said former USC star Jerry Dupree, after tallying season highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds in Saturday‘s 142-98 victory. “Now it’s time to go win the playoffs and bring a championship back to L.A.”
The Lightning have featured seven NBA players in their four-year history, including Lamond Murray, Bryon Russell, Toby Bailey and Fred Vinson. They captured the 2009 International Basketball League title. The team was featured in an article this week on Yahoo! Sports.
The Lightning will play on Friday at 5 p.m. (3 p.m. PDT) and the game can be heard on the L.A. Lightning Radio Network with Eric Evelhoch and Rob Lemons calling the action. Go to the team’s web site, www.lalightning.net, and click on the “Live Game Broadcasts” link. Smart phone users can download the U-Stream App and search for LA Lightning.
Guard Trayvon Lathan leads the Lightning with a 25.8 average. He’s shooting nearly 62 percent and also averages 6.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Chris Ayer, a 6-11 forward, tosses in 21 points a game and is second in the IBA in rebounds at 12.6.
Billy Knight averages nearly 20 points and is shooting 48.5 percent on 3-pointers and 89 percent on free throws (40-45). Guard Kamran Sufi is No. 2 in the league in assists at 8.2.
Kenosha (7-8) is led by 6-5 guard Devron Bostick, the IBA’s No. 3 scorer (31.9) and No. 4 rebounder (9.6). Thomas Cobbs averages 23.2 points and 9.2 boards.
In other quarterfinals on Friday, the Gary (Ind.) Splash take on the Chicago Redline at 1 p.m. (Central time); the NY Albany Legends battle the Lansing (Mich.) Capitals at 3 p.m. and the Kankakee County (Ill.) Soldiers meet the Lake County Stars at 7 p.m.
The semifinals will be held on Saturday at 7 & 9 p.m. (Central time).