TRBL News

The Raleigh Revolt Repeat, Win 2016 TRBL Championship

May 22, 2016 - Greensboro, NC:   The 2016 Tobacco Road Championship Game featured the same two teams that faced off in the 2015 championship game, the Raleigh Revolt and the Charlotte Elite.   But this year’s game was nothing like the last.   In 2015, the Raleigh Revolt blew out the Elite in the TRBL finals by more than 30 points behind stellar efforts from point guard Brandon Hickson and power forward Daniel Jackson.  The 2016 championship was a slugfest that featured multiple lead changes and big point swings.   

The Elite controlled the game early, building a 9-point lead at halftime and looking like a team poised to avenge the prior year loss.  But it was not to be.   The Revolt came out of the half ready to play, stifling the Elite and finding their own easier buckets.   A 20-point swing in the third quarter put Raleigh up by 11 points heading into the final period.   The Revolt held the lead for most of the fourth quarter, but Charlotte made a strong run in the closing minutes.   

Raleigh held on to win 112-109 to win its second straight TRBL Championship in only the team’s second season of existence.  Perennial TRBL All Star Freddie Little was named the game’s MVP.

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TRBL Championship Game Set, Raleigh vs Charlotte in Second Straight Year

May 22, 2016 - Greensboro, NC:   For the second straight year, the TRBL championship game will be played between the Raleigh Revolt and the Charlotte Elite.   The defending champions, the Raleigh Revolt, come into the game having only lost once this season against the visiting Auburn Pro-Elite.  

That loss brought to an end a 17 game winning streak for the Revolt that started last season.

The Charlotte Elite have posted a 10-7 record coming into the championship, but just as last year, the Elite are playing their best ball at the end of the season. The Elite won a close semi-final game against Huntersville to get to the championship.   Raleigh had an easier playoff game against the Greensboro Cobras yesterday.  

Championship tip off is at 4 pm today at Bennett College in Greensboro.

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TRBL Playoffs Schedule

5/7/16:  Auburn Pro Elite 128 @ Charlotte Elite 155

TRBL Final 4 - Bennett College, Greensboro, NC

5/21/16 4 pm: Huntersville vs Charlotte (Semi-Final #1)

5/21/16 7 pm: Greensboro vs. Raleigh (Semi-Final #2)

5/22/16 4 pm:  Championship Game



TRBL Regular Season Completed

5/2/16 - Raleigh, NC:  The Tobacco Road Basketball League completed its fifth regular season of play yesterday.   Final regular season standings are as follows:

TRBL East:
1. Raleigh Revolt
2. Wilmington Sea Dawgs
3. Cary Invasion
4. Bull City Legacy
5. High Point Heat

TRBL West:
1. Huntersville HoopForLyfe
2. Charlotte Elite
3. Auburn Pro Elite
4. Greensboro Cobras
5. Lumberton Showstoppers


The TRBL playoffs begin later this week.



Greensboro Cobras 93 Cary Invasion 107

3/21/16 - Cary, NC: “Welcome to the 2016 TRBL season” was the message the Cary Invasion delivered to the Cobras’ Basketball Club [Greensboro] when the two met for their first and only time this year. It was the late-starting Cobra’s first game of the Tobacco Road Basketball League’s season, while the 107-93 win by the Invasion upped their season won-loss to 10-7.

From the floor Cary and the Cobra’s put the ball up 76 and 74 times respectively, while Cary outscored the Cobras at the line shooting 77% to their 57%. Yet both teams’ performance regarding assists, rebounding, fouls and turnovers matched almost evenly. 

For the Cobras, team high-scorer Damian Dixon totaled 21-points with five of them threes; Parris Scales and William Peay each added 16-points; Eric Mayo contributed 13-points; and Jamal Mitchell scored in doubt digits with 12-points. 

As for Cary, it was the Invasion’s lightening fast guards—JJ Barbee (19), Raheem Jalliffe (16), and Mike Smith—scoring a combined 45-points, while newest Invasion utility man Oswinn Hines contributed 16-points (8 of them from the line) in this his first game. But the game high scorer was power forward Rodney Callwood who matched his performance of a week ago, once again adding 24-points to the Invasions’ total. Rodney shot 63% from the floor and 100% at the line, and when defending with teammates Anton Currie and Charles Ward the trio acted like ‘beasts’ under the baskets, accounting for more than half of the team’s rebounds.

End of the 1st Cary led by 3; at the half Cary led by 4; end of the 3rd Cary led by 10, and at the final buzzer it was Cary 107, Cobras 93.

The next scheduled game for the Cobras (0-1) will be on the following evening when they entertain the Auburn Elite (4-3). The Cary Invasion (10-7) will be taking Easter weekend off but will return in two weeks to host the West Division leading Huntersville (7-4) at home for the teams third match-up of the season. Huntersville leads the series 2-0.


 

Legacy Hold off Huntersville’s Comeback in Heavyweight Battle

March 5, 2105 - Raleigh, NC- For the second game in a row the Bull City Legacy has pulled out impressive wins against quality TRBL teams. Saturday’s contest was billed to be the tie breaker as both teams won on their home courts. This was the 3rd and final regular season match-up for these clubs and it showed in the competitive energy at tip-off…

Right from the start of the game both teams seemed tight but Bull City jumped out to an early lead on team effort and great defense, limiting Huntersville to just 8 first quarter points to end the quarter with a 21 point lead. The second saw Huntersville regain its composure to explode for 28 points in the 2nd quarter. Leading scorers for the half were J’Mell Walters (12) and David Johnson (11) for the Legacy and Emilio Parks (10) and Jeremy Basknight (8).

Huntersville Hoop4Lfye would not allow a halftime deficit of 54-36 to deter their fight as they came out in the 3rd to push the Legacy point for point as they set up for a 4th quarter run. The fourth quarter saw the team from Huntersville make plays and stops to pull back from a 14 point deficit going into the 4th. The Hoop4Lyfe team battled back to take a one point 74-73 lead at the 7 minute mark of the final period, to make the game a fight at the end. The teams would go back and forth trading baskets until a great defensive steal by Tim Plummer (11) to put the Legacy up for good. The final minutes saw key free throws and defensive stops made to secure the win. The Legacy had a team effort, seeing 5 players in double figures; Jamario Clayton (11), Tim Plummer (11), David Johnson (13), Marqui Bunn (15) and J’Mell Walters lead all Bull City Legacy players with 17. Huntersville’s leaders were William Merion (13), Jeremy Basknight (17) and leading all scorers in the game Emilio Parks with 28.

Next up for Huntersville Hoop4Lyfe is the league’s best team, Raleigh Revolt at 7pm in Raleigh following the match-up between the Charlotte Elite and Bull City Legacy at 4pm. For more information visit trblproball.com.


 

Raleigh Remains Undefeated, Tops Wilmington 144-125

The Raleigh Revolt (8-0) finish another game in the Tobacco Road Basketball League undefeated. The Wilmington Seadawgs and The Raleigh Revolt both started the first quarter fairly even. Although the quick scoring from the Revolt offense left the Wilmington searching for answers. Mal Jones (15 pts. 9 rebounds) came out putting up nearly half of all the points with in Raleigh’s first quarter. Along with Brandon Hickson (18 pts., 12 assist, 8 rebounds) our star point, and star guard Jared Grady (43 pts., 11 assists, 5 rebounds) also gave many key points all season and assists allowing for comfortable jump on the coastal threat. The Revolt saw 10 point lead when Mal Jones went down with an apparent injury but quickly was back on his feet! The first quarter ended 24-35 favoring the Revolt! Charles Gamble (15 pts., 8 rebounds, 4 assist) and Daniel Jackson (13 pts. , 12 rebounds, 5 assists), two of Raleigh’s strongest players came in early in the second to handle the aggressive and frustrated Wilmington team. 

All it took was a few turnovers and quick offensive plays for the Wilmington Seadawgs to show why they are holding the second seed in the North Carolina dominate Semi Pro League (TRBL) At the 1 minute mark leading up to halftime the game was tied! 

Although the second half would prove to be a different story all together. The 3rd quarter was a bout between the teams on both ends of the court where Raleigh found some perimeter shots raining from Kyree Bethel (29 pts.) pushing the Revolt ahead by 6. The Wilmington Seadawgs was led by Marco Spears (34 points 5 rebounds) and Todd McLaurin with (20 points 7 assists and 4 rebounds). Although the visiting Seadawgs were offensively tough they fell short against the Revolt.

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Bull City Legacy Can’t Secure Upset Over Raleigh Revolt

January 16, 2016 Durham, NC -- After almost four weeks off, the Legacy was ready to get their season back on track. But they ran into a Raleigh team that was clicking on all cylinders. Coming into the game undefeated in league play, the team from Raleigh proved too much for the Legacy, with the home team falling 121-112 Saturday night in Tobacco Road Basketball League action.

The first quarter saw the Legacy jump out to an 8-3 before the Revolt began to flex its muscle, ending the quarter on a 29-15 run to take the lead (32-23) going into the second quarter. The second proved a little better for the Legacy, closing the gap to 4 points before halftime. The first half for the Legacy saw Jamario Clayton drop 15 points and J’Mell Walters 16 points. Raleigh saw Charles Gamble score 20 points, going 7-10 from the floor and 4-4 from the free throw line to close out the first half.

The Bull City Legacy came out of halftime determined to stay in the game but after going for just 47% in the third compared to Raleigh’s 76% for the quarter, the night would be long. The game got testy in the quarter as Bull City Legacy coach Andre McCollum received a technical foul for expressing his frustration. In the quarter Raleigh would see seven players score, led by 9 points from newly acquire Malachi Jones. Bull City would get contributions from 5 players, with Ian Gregory and Brian Streeter scoring 6 points a piece. The Raleigh Revolt would lead at the end of the third quarter up 94-77.

The fourth quarter would get exciting as the Bull City Legacy would close the gap behind 13 points from J’Mell Walters, who led all scorers in the game with 34 points, going 13 of 18 from the floor for 72% on the game. The Legacy would get down 15 points during one stretch of the fourth quarter, only to get back in the game and cut the deficit to 5 points (98-93) before the Revolt would go on a 23-19 to hold off the Bull City final push to upset the league champions.

The Revolt was lead by Charles Gamble’s 30, Brandon Hickson’s 24, Malachi Jones 22 and Daniel Jackson’s 17. The Legacy got tremendous effort from J’Mell Walters 34, Jamario Clayton’s 18, Ian Gregory’ 17 and 14 points from Brian Streeter. Raleigh improves to 5-0, while Bull City drops to 2-5 in TRBL League play. Bull City takes on High Point Heat on January 23 in Durham, NC while Raleigh will prepare to host its first home game January 31 in a rematch against the Legacy in Raleigh.


 

Charlotte Elite outpace High Point Heat 114-103 

January 16, 2016 - (Concord, NC): After several tough, early season losses the Charlotte Elite seem to be rounding into the team many thought they'd be this season. Coming off of a buzzer-beater loss last weekend, in which the Elite showed glimpses of why they're the TRBL Western Conference defending champions, the team from Charlotte came out Saturday afternoon with a vengeance. 

Even without team captain and leading scorer, Terrone Sheffey II, playing the first quarter the Elite jumped on the Heat 36-18. This was due, in large part, to one of Charlotte's best two-way players, Shaun Kirkland (27 points, 21 rebounds and 4 steals), scoring on an array of emphatic dunks, put-backs and drives to the basket. 

In the second quarter the game was much more evenly matched as both teams' floor leaders entered the game. Will Griffin (32 points, 2 assists and 5 rebounds) carried the Heat, as he's done all season, while Sheffey (20 points, 2 assists and 6 rebounds) made sure that Charlotte didn't suffer one its customary second quarter letdowns. At halftime the score was 61-42 in favor of the Charlotte Elite. 

The third period saw the Elite's two leading scorers combine for 19 of the team's 26 points, with Kirkland collecting 7 of their 12 rebounds during that quarter of play. The Heat, on the other hand, relied on a much more balanced attack, in which six different players scored. Still, Charlotte was able to extend its lead going into the fourth and final period to 23 points. 

The last quarter saw an eruption of offense by the gritty team from High Point. Led by 19 fourth quarter points from Griffin, the Heat outscored Charlotte 39-27 and twice cut the lead to nine points. However, the conference champs made enough plays down the stretch to hold off the feisty High Point squad and extend their tenuous hold on  the TRBL Western Conference Point Series, winning 114-103. The Elite were led in assists by Ryan Scott (12 points and 7 assists) on a rare off shooting day and Martin Barrett continues to show his versatility and maturation by nearly missing a double-double with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Next up for Charlotte is a rematch with their crosstown rival, the Huntersville Hoopforlyfe, next Sunday in Huntersville.

 



Wilmington Sea Dawgs hand Huntersville Hoopforlyfe their first home loss of the New Year 124 -121.

Sunday, January 10, 2016 – (Huntersville, NC): Huntersville Hoopforlyfe had their first home opener of the new year Sunday against the Wilmington Sea Dawgs at Lake Norman Charter School. Although Hoopforlyfe was on their home court, where they played strong last season, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs showed why they are the powerhouse of the East, coming into this game with a 7-1 record. The Sea Dawgs jumped on Hoopforlyfe fast by controlling the boards on both ends of the court, out rebounding Hoopforlyfe 10-5. By the end of the first period, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs were leading 35 to Huntersville Hoopforlyfe 23. 

Going into the second period, Wilmington continued to run their offense through leader Marco Spears, who played a great game, leading all scorers for the Sea Dawgs with 33 points and 10 rebounds. Hoopforlyfe made some adjustments in the second period to get themselves back into the game by feeding the ball down low to big Mark Carson who played big around the rim with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Huntersville found themselves back in the game by the end of the half down only by 5, Wilmington 61 and Huntersville 56. 

Wilmington remained hot and relentless on the boards and kept attacking Huntersville which had no answer on how to slow them down. Damieon Baker got the hot hand for the Sea Dawgs with a game total of 26 points and 8 rebounds. It looked like this game was clearly over for the powerhouse team in the West (Huntersville Hoopforlyfe) until their floor general Dijuan Harris stepped his game up by dropping 19 points, dishing out 13 assists and grabbing 7 rebounds. This cut the Sea Dawgs down by 1 at the end of the third. 

Going into the fourth, Dijuan inspired his teammates to step their game up as well as play harder and leave it all on the floor.  Keith Gabriel’s 21 points and Jamal Durham’s 17 points and 10 rebounds still wasn’t enough to stop the Wilmington Sea Dawgs for closing out this game 124 to 121; handing Huntersville Hoopforlyfe their 1st home court lost. Huntersville remains the powerhouse team of the West with a 4-2 record and will to travel to Wilmington on January 17th (Sunday) to face off the powerhouse team of the East  (8-1 Sea Dawgs) again but this time, on the Sea Dawgs home court.



 

Charlotte over Unbeaten Wilmington, 154-109

January 2, 2016 - (Concord, NC): To the outside basketball world, what happened Saturday in Tobacco Road Basketball League action seemed unfathomable. The first place, undefeated, perennial powerhouse Wilmington Sea Dawgs went up against the second year franchise Charlotte Elite who this year has seemed to find every way imaginable to lose in the closing two minutes of games. Add to that the recent wave of roster moves the Elite have made, losing five players and adding four, as well as the game time decision not to play their leading scorer and captain, Terrone Sheffey, and the oddsmakers probably would have had a field day with this game.

But that's why the games have to be played. The tone was set from the very beginning, with Charlotte's Shaun Kirkland scoring the game's first basket then immediately getting a steal. The Elite never looked back, continually pressuring the Sea Dawgs into tough shots and pushing the pace on the offensive end. By the end of the first quarter the Charlotte team was a holding a 27-10 lead.

In the second quarter, the Wilmington offense came alive by way of Marco Spears, Levi Humphrey and Addison Spruill. The Sea Dawgs scored 37 points in the period. However, the Elite also increased their output, scoring 40 points in the second quarter, capped off by one sequence in which, Ryan Scott (25 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds), playing in his first game, hit three straight 3 pointers. At halftime the score was 47-67 and it appeared that the Elite had an answer for everything the Sea Dawgs threw at them.

In the second half, the Elite came out flat initially. After watching the lead diminish to 13 points halfway through the quarter, Charlotte substituted all five of its players and ended the period on a 19-9 run. It was evident early in the fourth quarter that the superior depth of Charlotte had taken its toll on the Sea Dawgs. With players coming in in waves, Charlotte tallied a whopping 58 points in the final period en rout to a 154-109 blowout.

With 12 players contributing in the scoring column and 31 team assists, it was a total team effort in securing the victory punctuated by several highlight reel dunks from Martin Barrett (20 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks) and Kirkland, (37 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals). Wilmington was led by Spruill (28 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists). Next up for the Elite is a much anticipated crosstown rivalry versus Huntersville Hoopforlyfe on Saturday January 9th at 7PM.

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Wilmington Sea Dawgs Repel the Cary Invasion, 120-103

December 27 2015 – (Wilmington, NC): On the day when the Wilmington Sea Dawgs would honor a Sea Dawg original, Charles Ward (who now plays for the opposing team), the Dawgs would look to stay perfect and atop the standings for both the Tobacco Road Basketball League and Premier Basketball League. Standing in the way of that would be a tough Cary Invasion team who came into the game with a 6-1 record.

The Sea Dawgs jumped on the Invasion early and ended the first quarter with 29-21 lead.  They would be paced by the still hot Marco Spears, who tallied 9 points in the quarter. The second quarter would be a different story.  Tay Wright and Mike Smith of the Invasion would each score 8 points in the quarter and bring the Invasion to within 4 (53-49)  going into halftime.

We're not exactly sure what transpired during halftime but the flood gates opened in the third period as Todd McLaurin would lead a surge that would result in the Sea Dawgs outscoring the Invasion 38-25 and ultimately taking a 17 point lead going into the fourth period.  The Invasion would try and claw back into the game and come within 10 but that would be as close as they would get.  The Sea Dawgs would go on to defeat the Cary Invasion 120-103 and increase their record to 6-0, 4-0 in the PBL.

The Sea Dawgs got a huge contribution from their recently acquired power forward Elijah Rouse, who was dominant on the boards and also added 10 points. The Sea Dawgs were led in scoring by Marco Spears with 32, Todd McLaurin with 31, and Levi Humphrey chipping in 17.  The Invasion was led by Tay Wright, whose light seemed to be as green as the Invasion Colors. He would finish with 30. Other scoring standouts would be JJ Barbree with 22 points, Mike Smith and his 20 points, and Rodney Callwood with 16. 

The Cary Invasion will look to bounce back from this loss on Jan 9 as they host The Raleigh Revolt.  The Wilmington Sea Dawgs will look to continue their winning ways as they head into a back to back this weekend playing first The Charlotte Elite in Charlotte and then return home Sunday to  host the Auburn Pro Elite.



Raleigh Revolt outlasts the Charlotte Elite, 115-103

December 19, 2015 - (Concord, NC): For the second time in five weeks the two teams that met for Tobacco Road Basketball League championship last season squared off again, that being the Western champion Charlotte Elite and the TRBL champion Raleigh Revolt. As usual, it came down to the last few minutes. Also, holding to form, was the final outcome.

Raleigh made plays when it counted and Charlotte turned the ball over when they needed not to the most. The final 115-103 doesn't express how nip and tuck the game was until the final minute when foul shots would ensure the Revolt's undefeated season would continue.

The Raleigh Revolt why they are undefeated this season in the waning minutes of the final quarter, continually beating the Charlotte Elite to loose balls, offensive rebounds and making the extra passes that led to scores.

Jared Grady led seven Raleigh players who scored in double digits, netting 21 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. The Elite were led by co-captains, Terrone Sheffey (23 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists) and Jerry Hollis (14 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks). Ryan Carter also chipped in 16 points and 5 assists.Next up for the Charlotte Elite is a home game at 3 pm on January 2, 2016 versus the only other unbeaten team in the PBL Southeast, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs.

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Cary Outruns Auburn, 126-116

December 19, 2015 - (Cary, NC): The Auburn Pro Elite team made the eight-hour trek from Alabama to Kay Yow Court for their first of two scheduled games against the Cary Invasion. This was Auburn’s first game of the season, and although through the first three-quarters of the game they managed to stay even with Cary, in the fourth-quarter they simply couldn’t keep up with Cary’s horses.

One player pretty much controlled the tenor of the game, Auburn’s DeAnthony Hereford, who delivered an impressive game-high 51-points (including 7-three pointers) for his team. Other contributors included Jeremy McKay with 23-points, seven-assists and eight defensive rebounds, and Rashad Wilson adding 12-points to the Pro Elite’s total.

For Cary, however, the attack was more evenly balanced, with six players logging double-digit points: Corey Evans with 28 (4-three points, 10-free throws, two of those coming from ‘technicals’; JJ Barbee added 24; Rodney Callwood had 16; Paul Wright with 13; and Anton Currie with 10. One of the keys to the Invasion win was the team’s 40-defensive rebounds as opposed to only 26 for Auburn—Cary’s big men definitely dominated under the boards.

Of course, what would a great professional basketball game be without controversy? And this one was no exception, with game play being suspended twice in the last quarter due to a scoring disagreement, which was eventually sorted out by an excellent officiating trio and Cary floor boss Dan Pike.

Next up for Auburn (0-1) will be another road trip, this time to Wilmington (5-0) on January 3, while the Invasion (6-1) travels to Wilmington on Sunday December 27 for a year-ending afternoon (3PM) showdown before returning home for a six-game home stand.

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Wilmington Sea Dawgs edge Lumberton Showstoppers in overtime thriller, 144-143

December 19, 2015 - (Lumberton, NC): On a beautiful  Saturday night in Lumberton the Lumberton Showstoppers hosted the Wilmington Sea Dawgs and tried to stop their undefeated spree so far this season. At the start of the game the Showstoppers came out like a team that was focused on winning and pulling away early. Strong play from Jerome Carr from the beginning would give the Lumberton Showstoppers a four point lead after the first quarter. 

Coming out strong in the second quarter for the undefeated Wilmington Sea Dawgs was Marco Spears as he couldn’t be contained all night. Todd Mclaurin however was held in check  by the Lumberton Showstoppers, with Steve Williams stymying Mclaurin to just 9 for 34 from the field for the night.

On the Showstoppers end Deon Hammonds and Ricardo Samuel came alive on the scoring front to maintain the lead. Obryant Degree, the Swing 4 for the Showstoppers, checked in for the second stanza and brought a spark that put the Showstoppers on a run going into halftime. As the second quarter was over the Showstoppers would lead the Sea Dawgs by one and went into the locker room feeling confident about the outcome.

The third quarter of the game saw the up-tempo offense from both sides carry on. Dameon Baker and Levi Humphrey would take a load off of Marco Spears and elevate their games and contributions. But Steve Williams’ defense was overwhelming, making Todd Mclaurin double clutch on every shot. The Showstoppers would steadily pound and try to pull away with the offense of Deon Hammonds and Jerome Carr. Marco Spears would continue to keep the Sea Dawgs a point or two down the whole third quarter. At the end of the third quarter the Lumberton Showstoppers would lead the Sea Dawgs by two points.

At the start of the fourth quarter the fans were out of their seats, and the intensity was building as both sides were cheering their teams on. The Sea Dawgs would come out with a small run on the Showstoppers early in the fourth. But due to the four-guard lineup the Showstoppers deployed, the Sea Dawgs couldn’t stop the fast breaks. As both teams went bucket for bucket neither side knew who would pull away with this game. With a couple seconds left in the fourth the Showstoppers had a three point lead, the Sea Dawgs would foul Deon Hammonds and send him to the line. The ploy worked as he fell short on two potentially game clinching free throws. With 3.8 seconds left, Dameon Baker would get free and hit a contested three pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime with a score of 126 to 126.

As the overtime began, both teams came out fiercely, with neither team budging or letting the lead break away. But the home team got a momentum boost from the fans cheering them on, as the Showstoppers would take a small lead. It looked like the Showstoppers had the win the bag again, as with 3.8 seconds left on the clock the Showstoppers would hold a 2 point lead. The Wilmington Sea Dawgs took a timeout. Lumberton was looking for Marco Spears or Todd Mclaurin to get the ball, but the Sea Dawgs had other plans. Curtis Williams would hit a leaning three pointer at the buzzer to lead the Sea Dawgs to the victory, 144 to 143.

Top performers for the Showstoppers were Jerome Carr with 32 points, 2 steals, 5 assists, 6 rebounds; Deon Hammonds with 31 points, 4 assists, 8 rebounds; and Steve Williams with 15 points, 4 assists, 12 rebounds, 3 steals. Top performers for the Sea Dawgs were Marco Spears with 37 points and 10 rebounds and Dameon Baker with 31 points and 12 rebounds. The Lumberton Showstoppers next game will be in January in Lumberton, North Carolina against the High Point Heat. The Wilmington Sea Dawgs host the Cary Invasion in Wilmington, North Carolina December 27.

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Bull City Legacy gives fans a 118-103 Christmas gift over Huntersville Hoop4Lyfe

December 19, 2015 - (Durham, NC): The Bull City Legacy welcomed Huntersville Hoop4Lyfe to the Walltown Recreational Center for an evening Tobacco Road Basketball League matchup. 'Tis the Season for giving, and these two teams gave the crowd an outstanding performance.  Ultimately, Bull City came away with the 118-103 victory.

Huntersville guard Jeremy Basknight poured in 24 points while teammate Keith Brandon Gabriel chipped in with 16 points.  Bull City was led by point guard J'Mell Walters, whose 24 points tied for the game high.  Walters also collected 4 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. Ian Gregory had a big game for the Legacy, scoring 17 points, and pulling down 8 rebounds.  Both Evan Hymes and Jamario Clayton put in 16 points for Bull City, who improved to (2-4) on the season with the win. 

Despite the frigid temperature outside, the Legacy came out on fire to start the game, building a 31-23 first quarter lead.  Bull City would expand that lead to 62-52 by halftime.  Huntersville came out from the halftime break with a renewed focus, led by the aforementioned Basknight, who scored 10 of his 24 points in the 3rd quarter.  Huntersville would grab a 84-82 lead heading into the final period when Bull City clamped down its defense.   

The 4th quarter was a disaster for Huntersville.  J'Mell Walters made huge play after huge play - capping it off with a 3pointer from the top of the key with one second on the shot clock.   The Legacy's full court pressure resulted in a 36-19 quarter and a huge win for the home team. 

Bull City improves to 2-4 and Huntersville is 3-1.  Huntersville suits up next against their rival Charlotte Elite Jan. 9 and the Legacy are off until Jan. 16 when they face the Raleigh Revolt in Durham for a 7:30 PM tip-off.  For league game and ticket info, visit:  www.trblproball.com

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Charlotte Elite Slam High Point Heat, 125-106

December 5, 2015 - (Concord, NC):  On a beautiful December evening, just north of Charlotte, North Carolina in Concord, two familiar foes with much to play for faced off in front of a very animated crowd. The defending Tobacco Road Basketball League Western Conference Champion Charlotte Elite have been a disappointment thus far this season, dropping their first three games by margins of 5, 1 and 3 points, respectively. The High Point Heat had lost their only contest of the 2015-2016 season to the Cary Invasion by a whopping 39 points.

From the very start the host team from Charlotte showed that they were determined not to get off to one of their customary slow starts. They jumped out to an early ten point lead behind the continued stellar play of team captain Terrone Sheffey, fresh off of a 42 point performance in Wilmington, and the dominant defensive rebounding of Marcus J. Walker. But just when it looked like nothing was working for the High Point team, speedy guard Will Griffin was substituted in and immediately began dissecting the defense of the Elite. By the end of the first quarter the Charlotte team held a six point lead but seemed unsure of how to contain the explosive scoring of Griffin.

In the second quarter the defenses of both teams suffered as the pace intensified and easy baskets were in abundance. However, the Charlotte team was able to pad its lead, due in large part, to the high scoring backcourt of Sheffey and Ryan Carter (17 points). The Elite led 65-53 at the break.

In the third quarter Charlotte had no answer for Griffin (31 points), who repeatedly hit contested three-pointers over much bigger defenders. With the excitement growing in the building with each made basket, this game began to look like the previous three in which the Elite had lost after holding double digit second half leads.

Holding on to a slim 86-82 point lead heading into the final period, the host team made a bold move, substituting out their leading scorer Sheffey who already had 24 points and 5 assists up until then. Charlotte came out aggressive, defensively, in the fourth quarter. They trapped the ball and would not allow Griffin to get it

This frustrated the young High Point team, who have an almost completely revamped roster from last season. Charlotte's pressure turned into numerous turnovers by the Heat, which translated into easy transition baskets for the Elite. The always fun to watch Shaun Kirkland (21 points & 9 rebounds) and the explosive Martin Barrett both had highlight reel dunks during the run that electrified the audience and helped turn the game into rout. In the end, Queen City's basketball team won 125-106 and seem to have learned how to close out basketball games.

Next up for the Charlotte Elite are the high-scoring Cary Invasion on Saturday December 12 at Carolina Courts in Concord.


 

Raleigh Improves to 2-0 on Season with Win over Bull City

November 25, 2015 – Cary, NC: The Raleigh Revolt emerged victorious in its second TRBL title defense of the season at the Holiday Challenge hosted by the Cary Invasion. The Revolt, down a few key players in the contest, still brought just enough firepower from last season’s TRBL Championship team to get the job done against the Bull City Legacy. Raleigh edged Bull City 116-114 to improve to 2-0 on the year. Raleigh’s most experience players, Brandon Hickson, Daniel Jackson, and Charles Gamble tossed in 63 points total for the Revolt. The Legacy’s leading scorer was J’Mell Walters who played 36 minutes, scoring 25 points and shooting 47% from the field and an impressive 86% from the line. Jamario Clayton, Charles Futrell and Brian Streeter all scored over 20 points each for Bull City in the loss. The Legacy (1-4) have played all of their opponents tough this season but have had trouble closing. This was the first of three regular season meetings between Raleigh and Bull City. Raleigh next plays the Charlotte Elite (0-3) on December 19th in Concord, NC. Bull City next hosts Huntersville (2-0) on the same day.

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Bull City Falls at Home to Wilmington, 112-108

November 22, 2015 - (Durham, NC): The Bull City Legacy played gracious host to the Wilmington Sea Dawgs Saturday evening at Walltown Recreational Center in Tobacco Road Basketball League action. The Legacy graciously blew a 22 point halftime lead, en route to a devastating 112-108 loss at the hands of Wilmington.

Bull City controlled the first two quarters behind the strong play of Charles Futrell and Jamario Clayton. Clayton finished with 15 points and 5 assists while Futrell came off the bench to spark the Legacy with a team-high 29 points, and a 61-43 halftime lead.

Wilmington shaved nine points off the lead in the third quarter when the trio of Marco Spears, Levi Humphrey, and Dameion Dre Baker went to work. The Sea Dawgs out scored Bull City 35-18 in the fourth quarter to get the improbable win. Spears poured in a game-high 34 points to go along with 7 assists. Levi Humphrey also topped the 30-point mark with 31. Dameion Dre Baker chipped in with 28 points.

With the loss Bull City Drops to 1-3 on the season, while Wilmington improves to 2-0. The Legacy is back in action on November 25 at 6 PM when they travel to Cary to play the Raleigh Revolt as part of a Thanksgiving holiday doubleheader. Wilmington will host the Charlotte Elite on November 29.

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Huntersville Defeats Cary, 110-105

November 15, 2015 – (Concord, NC): As the PBL season continues Huntersville Hoopforlyfe looked to put another win in their win column against Cary Invasion, and they came out on top with a score of 110-105. Huntersville Hoopforlyfe came out scoring early in the first quarter but the Cary Invasion was not going to allow the game to get away from them. The Invasion’s Paul Wright with 26 total points came out and made four three-point baskets in the first half keeping the game tight.

But Huntersville Hoopforlyfe’s ability to rebound, their man to man defense, and the impressive play of Keith Gabriel, who led Hoopforlyfe with 28 points for the game, helped them to maintain the lead. By the end of the first half Hoopforlyfe was leading 47-40. Coming back after the half, Cary immediately came out and scored. Cary pressed Hoopforlyfe and stepped up their defense. Unnecessary turnovers by Hoopforlye hurt the Huntersville squad. Cary’s Cory Evans, with 31 total points in the game, and Paul Wright were hitting open shots and 3 pointers with ease against Huntersville.

Hoopforlyfe allowed Cary to take their first lead at the end of the third quarter with a score of 71-68.  But you can never count Hoopforlyfe out. They were able to adjust themselves offensively and defensively to take back control of the game in the fourth quarter. A 3 pointer by Dijuan Harris (14 points and 6 assists for Hoopforlyfe) brought the score to 89-82 with eight minutes left in the game. Hoopforlyfe maintained the lead, although a resilient Cary Invasion tried to get back in the game.\

Head coach Tori New and Huntersville Hoopforlyfe owner Christopher Whigam have put together an impressive team this season. They added depth at the shooting guard position, and defensive weapons like Emilio Park who had 20 total points and 7 defensive rebounds in this game and Keith Gabriel who showed that he can score inside and outside with four 3pointers in the game. Jamal Durham a veteran came off the bench and contributed 13 total points in the game.

Hoopforlyfe is a team that will have you on your feet cheering or holding your head down wondering how they allowed a team to get back into the game. But when it matters they have proven that they can make necessary adjustments, and come together as a team and finish the game. Their next challenge will be against the TRBL champions Raleigh Revolt on December 5th at 7PM at Carolina Courts Concord.


 

Huntersville HoopForLyfe slips past Charlotte Elite 123-118

November 8, 2015 — (Concord, NC): The Tobacoo Road Basketball League & Premier Basketball League Southeast Division 2015-2016 season opened in grand fashion this weekend with 3 exciting games, culminating in a heavyweight bout rematch from last year's TRBL Western Conference Championship game

This time ESPN3 was broadcasting the game, which only added to excitement surrounding this matchup. The best two teams from the west last season, Huntersville HoopForLyfe and Charlotte Elite, know each other very well as they are separated by less than 10 miles.  It was a playoff-like atmosphere as the stands at Carolina Courts in Concord, North Carolina were packed with fans from the Durham, Wilmington and the Charlotte Metro areas.

In the opening quarter it was evident that the reigning Western Conference champion, Charlotte Elite, were suffering some chemistry issues, having lost nine players from last year's team. Their shots were quick and unsure early on which played right into the hands of the team from Huntersville. Conversely, HoopForLyfe consistently got good looks at the basket from the heady play of their unquestioned leader and floor general, Dijuan Harris (20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists).

At the 3:09 mark in the first quarter HoopForLyfe had run the score up to 25-13 and it was looking like it would be a rout. However, after substituting in Jerry Hollis, Martin Barrett, and, newcomers, Ramar Cuthbertson and  Andre Cornelius, the Elite were able to go on a 12-6 run before the end of the quarter.

Going to a small lineup with Hollis (15 points and 3 rebounds) at center in the second quarter, then also substituting in first-year player, Richard Barbee (9 points and 14 rebounds), proved to be just what the team from Charlotte needed. Through defensive pressure and rebounding the Elite were able to stifle the potent offense of HoopForLyfe. After back to back three pointers by Barrett (26 points and 8 rebounds) the momentum had completely shifted in favor of Charlotte and they went into halftime ahead 62-54 after a buzzer-beater by the hot shooting, Cornelius (28 points).

The third quarter was a like the 11th round of a heavyweight fight, with each team making runs, trying to gain an advantage going into the fourth quarter. Charlotte team captain, Terrone Sheffey (18 points, 4 assists and 7 rebounds), who played a game-high 39 minutes, led by example throughout the third period scoring three field goals, grabbing 3 defensive rebounds, delivering 2 assists and playing stellar defense on multiple perimeter players from Huntersville.

In the final quarter the crosstown rivals traded baskets and the lead with almost each possession until the 6:00 minute mark when Jeremy Badenight (21 points, 3 assists and 4 rebounds) made a basket to put Huntersville ahead 97-95. But the excitement was far from over. Even after Emilio Park (21 points and 6 rebounds) scored to push H4L's lead to 11 points with 30 seconds to go, a quick three pointer by Sheffey, then a steal and a basket by Barrett made it a two possession game with 20 seconds to go.

Charlotte then had to foul to stop the clock and Dijuan Harris hit 1 of 2 foul shots for Huntersville. On the ensuing play Harris was called for a technical foul which gave the Elite the ball back after making 1 foul shot with 16 seconds left and down six points. As he'd done all night, Andre Cornelius (field goals 9 of 13; 5 of 7 from the three point line) hit a deep 3 pointer to bring Charlotte to within three points (120-117). Time, however, was not on the host team's side and after a series of foul shots the final was decided 123 Huntersville, 118 Charlotte.

These two teams meet twice more this season and if this game is any indication, it will be playoff-like intensity all over again.  The Elite next take the court Sunday, November 15th, as they take on the Raleigh Revolt at 5:00 PM at the Carolina Courts: Concord.  Huntersville's next action will be against the Cary Invasion Sunday, November 15th at 7:00 PM, also at Carolina Courts: Concord.

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Wilmington Sea Dawgs Edge Bull City Legacy 110-106

November 8, 2015 — (Concord, NC): In an epic battle of perennial Tobacco Road Basketball League powerhouses, it was the team from the Port City, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs who came away with the hotly contested victory, but not before a huge scare at the end from a resilient Bull City Legacy team.

Throughout much of the first half, Bull City led the way with a stingy defense,  stringing together runs in no small part due to their penchant for creating second chance opportunities by rebounding the ball on the offensive end. But just when it appeared the Legacy had an answer for everything Wilmington could throw at them, Marco Spears (21 points) and Stan Johnson (11 points and 3 rebounds) spearheaded a 12-3 run in the final 1:50 of the second quarter to turn things around and push the Wilmington Sea Dawgs into halftime with a 54-51 lead.

That momentum propelled the team from the Port City in the second half, as they displayed their superior depth, constantly changing their lineup throughout the third quarter. The lead ballooned to as much as 16 points, capped by Scott Walker's three pointer with :02 left before the fourth quarter.

The team from Durham continued to compete through the first 5 minutes of the final quarter but just could not seem to muster enough of a push to get the lead under 12 points. But when David Johnson (19 points, 7 rebounds) made a two pointer with 7:48 remaining it seemed to ignite the Legacy, after which they went on a 18-6 run, cutting their deficit to only two points and causing Wilmington to call a timeout with 2:30 left in the game.

In the end, missed foul shots and missed opportunities from the three point line proved costly for the Legacy, as Wilmington's Todd McLaurin (19 points, 2 assists and 5 rebounds) made foul shots down the stretch to eke out a 110-106 victory.

The Legacy next take the court Saturday, November 14th, as they take on the Lumberton Showstoppers at 7:30 PM at the Walltown Recreation Center in Durham.  The Sea Dawgs next action will be a rematch with the Legacy Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 PM also in Durham.

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USBasket.com All TRBL Awards - May 22, 2015

Co-Tournament MVP: Daniel Jackson (6'7''-F) of Raleigh R. 
Co-Tournament MVP: Brandon Hickson (6'0''-G-87) of Raleigh R. 
Player of the Year: Cory Evans of Cary Invasion 
Guard of the Year: Lamarquis Letchaw (5'10''-PG) of Charlotte E. 
Forward of the Year: Daniel Jackson (6'7''-F) of Raleigh R. 
Center of the Year: Curtis Withers (203-F-84) of Al Shurtah 
Coach of the Year: Greg Motley of Raleigh R. 

1st Team
PG: Kenard Moore (6'4''-PG-87) of High Point Heat 
G: Todd McLaurin (5'11''-G-83) of Wilmington SD 
G: Jared Grady (6'3''-G-89) of Raleigh R. 
G: Milan Prodanovic (6'1''-G-87) of Triangle RnG 
G: Nathan Watson (6'3''-G-83) of D-Elite F. 

2nd Team
G: Paul Wright (6'2''-G-85) of Cary Invasion 
PG: Shahmel Brackett (6'0''-PG-91) of Robeson Co S. 
G: Marsheree Neely (6'2''-G) of High Point Heat 
G: Zalinor Banks (6'5''-G) of Winston-Salem C. 
PG: Dijuan Harris (5'9''-PG-86) of HoopForLyfe 

Honorable Mention
Freddie Little (5'11''-PG-86) of Raleigh R. 
Anthony Welch (6'6''-G) of HoopForLyfe 
J'Mell Walters (6'0''-G-87) of Bull City L. 
Robbie Dreher (6'4''-G) of Georgia Kings 
Doneal Mack (6'5''-G-87) of HoopForLyfe 
Ian Gregory (6'7''-G/F-89) of Bull City L. 
Steven Samuels (6'5''-G-90) of D-Elite F. 
Scheraun King (6'4''-G-86) of Georgia Kings 
Bryan Calloway (6'0''-SG-89) of All American B. 
Norman Carter (6'4''-G/F-85) of Greensboro C.

 



The Raleigh Revolt Win 2015 Tobacco Road Basketball League Championship

May 17, 2015 - Charlotte, NC:   No matter the outcome of the 2015 TRBL Championship Game, a first-year team was going to earn the League’s title.    The Charlotte Elite and Raleigh Revolt both entered the TRBL scene this season with a splash, beating the traditional league powers during the regular season and making strong runs in the playoffs.  The teams had met twice prior in the regular season, with the Elite coming away with the victory in both games and appearing to have the Revolt’s number.

But the Raleigh Revolt had a couple of reasons to be optimistic heading into the Championship game. First, several key Revolt players were missing during the first two meetings.   Second, although a new team, the Revolt was comprised of a host of veteran minor league and pro players, 7 of which have been prior TRBL All Stars.  However, for the first 24 minutes of the game, none of that seemed to matter.   The Elite appeared to be the hungrier team on both the offensive and defensive ends, locking up Raleigh’s shooters while managing to get the better shots on their end.   As during the first two meetings, there were multiple lead changes throughout the first half.  The Elite led by a point after the first period, while the Revolt was able to muster a 5-point lead by the midway point.

The third period turned out to be the definitive 12 minutes of the game.   The Elite drew the first blood in the quarter, quickly bringing the contest to a tie.   But that seemed to wake a sleeping giant.  Raleigh defensive specialists Daniel Jackson (Shaw) and Brandon Hickson (St. Augustine’s) led the way with several key stops that opened up the floor for Revolt sharpshooter Freddie Little (Montavello).   Little, who started off very cold in the first half, came alive quickly, draining 4 straight 3-point shots.  Jackson added his own 3-pointer, and the lead quickly ballooned to 15 points with barely 4 minutes gone by in the period.  That’s as close as the game would get.   The Revolt went to its bench and fresh players to keep up the defensive intensity.   Those players created more turnovers and hit shots of their own, pushing the lead to 22 points by the end of the third period.  

The Elite, a very dangerous team capable of big scoring runs, was forced to take chances to claw their way back in in the fourth quarter.  But Raleigh would not be denied and took advantage of the overplay.   A gassed Charlotte team left it all on the court but couldn’t stop the onslaught.   The Revolt seemed to be more energized as the game wound down, pushing the lead to 35 points and winning the Championship 137-102.   

Perennial league All Star Revolt forward Daniel Jackson (Shaw) was named the Tournament MVP.   Revolt point guard Brandon Hickson (St. Augustine’s) was named the Championship Game MVP.  Hickson had the biggest game of the night and of his professional career, notching 32 points (85% shooting from the field), 6 assists, 6 rebounds, and 5 steals.  Charlotte All Star LeMarquis Letchaw fought hard to keep his team in the game, adding 23 points in the loss. 

Raleigh, who struggled with team chemistry through much of the season, found the right formula in time for the playoffs, beating its 3 playoff opponents by an average of nearly 30 points per game.     The Revolt win concludes the 2014-2015 TRBL season.    Planning for the League’s fifth season of play will begin this summer.

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First Year Teams to Square Off in TRBL Championship Game

May 11, 2015- TRBL League Office, Raleigh, NC:     The league expansion to 18 sanctioned teams in the off season guaranteed an increase in quantity of teams this year in the TRBL.   But, the explosve arrival of two first year teams, the Raleigh Revolt and the Charlotte Elite, proved that there was also an expansion in talent and overall quality in the league as well.  Both the Elite and Revolt advanced to the 2015 TRBL Championship Game by winning their respective conference titles over the weekend.

Raleigh had a surprising, emphatic win over the Bull City Legacy over the week-end, while the Elite edged its new arch rival Huntersville in a nail biter on Sunday.   Both teams handled the traditional league powers Cary, Bull City, Huntersville, and Wilmington throughout the season, as well as other strong newcomers in the league including the D-Elite Flyers (Auburn, Al) and Georgia Kings. 

The championship teams met twice this season, with Charlotte squeaking out close victories in both Raleigh and Concord.   Charlotte has already set the record for the most victories in a single season in the TRBL (16) with players mostly new to the TRBL.   Raleigh earned its spot in the title game behind a roster of 7 former TRBL All Stars and the league's most experienced ownership group.   Charlotte has proven its dominance all season long, while it took the Revolt two third's of the season to find its rhythm.

Both teams like to push the pace and have the depth to keep the pace up for 48 minutes.  If the first two games were any indication, TRBL fans should be in store for an exciting championship game.  The game will be played on Sunday, May 17th at 5 pm at the Ray of Hope Center in Charlotte.

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Raleigh Revolt Roll Over the Bull City Legacy, Head to TRBL Championship Game

May 9, 2015 - Raleigh, NC: The Bull City Legacy and the Raleigh Revolt both entered the TRBL East Championship Game on Saturday night hot off of strong regular season finishes and big wins in the TRBL quarter finals. Bull City beat perennial TRBL East favorite Cary last weekend, and Raleigh easily handled the Wilmington Sea Dawgs in its second round playoff game. Bull City and Raleigh split in the regular season, with each team winning big on its home court. However, this game would feature several new players for each squad and was essentially a toss up to the most discerning fan, at least until the opening tip.

That’s when Raleigh took control of the game almost immediately behind aggressive defense and the sharpshooting of guard Freddie Little. Little, almost unconscious at times, hit several of his game high nine 3-pointers early in the first period, helping the Revolt build a quick 19-point first quarter lead. Unfortunately for the Legacy, who seemingly left it all on the court the previous week in Cary, the Revolt never let up for the rest of the contest, leaving no doubt as to who the winner would be. Raleigh seemed to be quicker to every loose ball and rebound and shot much more accurately from the field. The Legacy were never in synch and couldn’t muster much of a challenge in the game. The Revolt won 113-81.

Freddie Little led all scorers with 27 points in the game. Jared Grady added 17 points for the Revolt. Brian Streeter dropped 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Bull City. Raleigh shot 50% for the game, including 15 3-pointers, while Bull City was held to just 38% shooting for the game. With the win, the Revolt (10-5) secure the TRBL East title and will play next week on the road in the TRBL Championship Game against the TRBL West Champion, yet to be determined.


 

Huntersville defeats Greensboro Cobras 110-97

Sunday May 3rd, 2015- Huntersville, NC:  In the first round of the Western Division playoffs and another rematch with Greensboro Cobra Hoopforlyfe comes out on top with a win at Lake Norman Charter School. Hoopforlyfe came out and dominated many teams in the past 3 weeks in the first half taking big leads before the half was over. But, on yesterday they came out sluggish and looked tired. Not playing to their potential. But even with them not dominating, the Greensboro Cobra did not find a way to take advantage of this.

Greensboro Cobras went 3 minutes in the first quarter scoreless. It wasn’t until the second quarter that the Cobras began to step up their scoring and Will Griffin hit a major 3 pointer with 18 seconds left in the first half to bring the Cobras within 5 of the lead. Hooprforlyfe regrouped in the second half and found their rythum defensively. Hoopforlyfe led by as much 20pts in the second half and although the Cobras attempted to make a run in the fourth quarter Hoopforlyfe was able to hold them off for the win. 

Greensboro Cobras had every opportunity to win this game, especially when Hoopforlyfe was not playing up to their potential. But the Cobras poor ball handling and their inability to play as a team cost them a chance of winning this game. And, even though Hoopforlyfe didn’t play a top notch well rounded game like they have in the past, they pulled it together enough for the win.

Greensboro Cobras was led in scoring by Will Griffin with 19 points, and Marvin Rawles with 12 points. Huntersville was led once again in scoring by Anthony Welch Jr. With 23 points, Tony Young with 20 points, and Jamal Durham with 18 points.

It’s the Battle of Two Cities again Sunday May 10th, at 3:00p.m. at Lake Norman Charter School. Huntersville will be going against Charlotte Elite once again. This will be the third meeting between these two teams, and Hoopforlyfe has beat them twice. Come out and see who will become the Western Division Champs.

 


 

Charlotte Elite Eliminate D-Elite Flyers From TRBL Playoffs

Sunday, May 3, 2015- Charlotte, NC:  Just one day removed from the Floyd Mayweather- Manny Pacquiao battle, there was another historic bout taking place. This one, however, was between two heavyweights in the Tobacco Road Basketball League ( TRBL). The D-Elite Flyers of Auburn, Alabama and the Charlotte Elite are both first-year franchises in minor league basketball but both have quickly established reputations as championship contenders with their wealth of talent, depth and experienced coaching staffs.

For Charlotte, it was to be the first ever minor league playoff game in the city's history which was evidenced by the number of fans and Queen City native basketball players who packed the stands to see the elimination game. These two teams met earlier this season in a game that the team from Charlotte narrowly won after the Flyers missed a last second shot and was referred to as an instant classic. This game looked eerily similar through the better part of the first 3 quarters but the ending was much different.

In the first meeting the D-Elite Flyers, behind the outstanding play of PG Deanthony Hereford, jumped out on the Queen City team from the very start. Hereford seemed to get to the rim at will and when he wasn't doing that he was finding his three marksman shooters, Nate Watson, Adam Okechukwu and Steven Samuels. This game they used the exact same formula early on with Hereford scoring or assisting on all but two of the Flyers' baskets to jump out to a 18-10 and stun the hometown crowd. After substituting all 5 players Charlotte seemed to gather themselves and finally put together defensive stops in succession. Cortez McCormick and Alonzo Long Jr. were instrumental in setting a physical tone to end the quarter with Charlotte trailing by only two points, 27-25.

The first part of the second quarter was as exciting as it gets with both teams trading baskets and neither being able to corral the other defensively. The Charlotte team got a huge boost from leading scorer, LaMarquis SkyBourne Letchaw (31 points and 7 assists) but quickly went down by 8 points when he substituted out. It could have been much more with the way Watson (32 points, 5 assists and 8 rebounds) and Hereford (38, 8 and 9) were lighting it up for the team from Alabama. However, recently signed, Marcus J Walker (16, 6 reb), came in and gave Charlotte some quality minutes, grabbing rebounds, blocking 2 shots, changing shots and connecting on all 7 of his field goal attempts. Still, the home team went into halftime down 71-64. 

The third quarter began with Terrone Sheffey II (15, 4 and 4) hitting a 3-pointer for the Charlotte Elite and looked as if the host team was going to start off with it's trademark 3rd quarter run that it's known for. However, after cutting the lead to four points, twice more, the Flyers seemed to find another gear with their subs and pushed the lead to 100-82 behind the 3-point shooting of Watson and Hereford. Couple that with the fact that Charlotte couldn't make a basket (they even missed 15 free throws) and it looked almost identical to the last time the teams met. And just like last time the Queen City team came roaring back. This time it was Martin Barrett (scoring 12 points in 3 minutes), Letchaw and Wiyle Petty (12 points, 14 assists and 8 rebs) filling up the stat sheet as he so often does that led the charge to bring the home team to within 6 points at the end of the 3rd quarter (112-106).

When the 4th quarter began the Ray Of Hope Center was abuzz with the excitement of what was just witnessed and the expectation of what was to come. Corey Raley-Ross (18, 2 and 4) and co-captain, Kevin Green, carried the bulk of the load, offensively, early in the period with Walker patrolling the paint on the defensive end, taking charges and intimidating shot attempts. After Green tied the game with a putback layup at 121 there was no more looking back Queen City's finest. With substitutions coming in waves and players like Kevin McDonald, Letchaw, Sheffey and Raley-Ross flying all over the place on defense, the dam finally busted open and Charlotte was up by double-digits in what seemed like the blink of an eye. The final score of 148-133 wasn't indicative of tightly contested this game was. The playoff intensity, the high-octane offenses, the physical play... this was a truly great game to behold and only fitting that the Charlotte Elite extended their season at least one more game with the win.

Next up for the first year franchise from Charlotte is a trip down the road to play the Huntersville HoopForLyfe on May 10th. These two teams know each other very well as HoopForLyfe as almost every player on both rosters hails from or currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. The winner will host the TRBL championship game the following weekend against the winner of the Raleigh Revolt/Bull City Legacy matchup.

 

 



Raleigh Finishes Regular Season Strong, Cools Down High Point Heat, 130-97

April 25, 2015 - Raleigh, NC: A lot was on the line on a rainy Saturday night in Raleigh where the Revolt took on the High Point Heat at Goode Gymnasium on the campus of Shaw University. For the Revolt, a win could mean a TRBL East championship, with some help from other TRBL teams this weekend. The Heat, a team that has struggled to find its rhythm all year, wanted a win to build some confidence. 

The Revolt, without the services of its leading defensive specialists, Brandon Hickson (St. Augustine’s) and Daniel Jackson (Shaw), were in no position to take the visitors lightly. But, the deep Raleigh squad dropped the hammer early in the game, pushing the pace and taking advantage of all offensive opportunities. The lid was on the basket early for the Heat, and the home squad jumped out to a very quick 37-12 first quarter lead. The visitors settled down in the second period and began to put some points up behind the shooting of Kenard Moore. Still, Raleigh pushed the lead out to 30 points at the midway point. 

But, if the game was over, no one told the Heat. Moore came out of the break ready to play, knocking down several 3 pointers off of Raleigh turnovers. A lead that was once 34 points was cut to 17 points near the end of the third quarter with the Heat still on the attack. However, a size deficit and fatigue took its toll in the 4th quarter on the visitors, and the Revolt took advantage. The Revolt’s Jared Grady opened it up in the fourth, knocking down several of his team-high 26 points in the period. Center Jeremy Harn (UNC-Asheville) had a season-high 14 points in the game, including a trio of thunderous dunks that excited the crowd. The Revolt stretched out the lead again, winning 130-97. Kenard Moore led all scorers with 34 points. Malaciah Jones and James Barbee each added 22 points for the Revolt.

The win secures a first round playoff bye for the Revolt (8-5) who will host a second round game on Sunday, May 3rd at 4 pm against an opponent to be determined. The Heat will play a first round playoff game in Durham against the Bull City Legacy on May 2nd.

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Robeson County Showstoppers edge Savannah Cavaliers, 114-113

April 25, 2015 - Lumberton, NC: Saturday at 6PM the Robeson County Showstoppers hosted the Savannah Cavaliers at home for their last regular season game. The Showstoppers, coming off a tough road trip to Alabama and Georgia, came out like a team on a mission. They switched things up and tried small ball one time and it worked to perfection. Coming out in the first quarter the Showstoppers' Shahmel Brackett was on a offensive tear, and the defense from the Showstoppers caused turnover after turnover. For the Cavaliers in the first Mychael Parker was carrying them on his back but it wasnt enough as the Showstoppers ended the quarter up 28-15.

Coming back out in the second quarter the Savannah Cavaliers came back ready to fight and not give in. Bryant Edwards for the Savannah team would score 13 second quarter points to help trim down the lead a little. But the Showstoppers were on a mission, executing and getting to the line. At the end of the second quarter the lead, however, was cut down some. The Showstoppers would go into the halftime break leading the Cavaliers 58-54.

After the halftime break the Showstoppers knew they had to take full force of the game and not give the away team any hope. Garrett Locklear and Kendrick Mckinnon came out in the third on a tear. Kendrick Mckinnon was raining threes, while Garrett Locklear was getting to the free throw line at will. Big man Reggie Franklin held the Cavs Mychael Parker to 4 third-quarter points. And with no other big to give Reggie relief he was relentess and played a huge part in the Showstoppers' execution. At the end of the third quarter the Showstoppers would maintain the lead 83-78.

Coming out in the fourth both teams had the mindset of winners and it was no more easy buckets. But out of the blue Mychael Parker and Akeem Howard caught fire in the fourth to give the Savannah Cavaliers a small lead. The Showstoppers took a timeout and came out of the huddle like a team that just laced up. Shahmel Brackett would control the court as shooter Kendrick Mckinnon started cashing out from everywhere on the court with 12 fourth-quarter points. With the game neck and neck and the Showstoppers down 1 Garrett Loklear shot up a 3 and missed but got his own rebound and bucket to put the Showstoppers up 1. With two seconds left the Showstoppers kept the lead with great defense. Final score of the game was Robeson County Showstoppers 114 to Savannah Cavaliers 113.

The Robeson County Showstoppers will be back in action on May 2nd as they host the first round game of the playoffs against the Wilmington Sea Dawgs. The Savannah Cavaliers will be taking on HoopForLyfe April 26 in Huntersville, North Carolina.


 

Greensboro Cobras strike rival High Point Heat, 125-120

April 19, 2015 - Greensboro, NC: The long awaited rivalry game between two regional Tobacco Road Basketball League titans took place on a rainy Sunday afternoon in Goode Gymnasium as the local crowd was prepared to see who was the best team in the triad, the visiting High Point Heat or the Greensboro Cobras.

The Cobras came in to the game winning 149-131 over the Winston-Salem Team Certified while High Point had a disappointing loss to the Charlotte Elite 119-102. Greensboro took early control of the first quarter with scoring from Norman Carter and Bryan Akingkube. After a time out the Heat got things under control as Marsharee Neely and Kenard Moore began to heat up, keeping the Heat close: 31-30 Cobras.

In the second quarter both teams battled as down to the final seconds when Shelton Carter connected on a 3-pointer to give the Cobras a 67-61 lead at halftime. The third quarter was just like the second as both teams exchanged baskets until the Cobras went on a 8-0 run to lead by as much twelve points before the Heat was able to cut into the lead. The Cobras led 95-85 at the three-quarter mark. In the fourth quarter Marsharee Neely, Antwon Person and Kenard Moore kept the Heat within striking distance but clutch free throws by Chakiris Moss sealed the deal for Greensboro as they won 125-120.

Norman Carter led Greensboro with 22 points followed by Chris Woods with 21. Antwon Person led High Point with game high 28 point followed by Marsharee Neely with 26. The Heat (1-8) will travel to Raleigh to face the Revolt on Saturday, April 25th while the Cobras (5-3) will host two upcoming games. First on April 24th against HoopforLyfe at 7:30pm and then Sunday April 26th against the Winston-Salem Team Certified at 4PM.


 

High Point Heat fall to Charlotte Elite, 119-102

April 12, 2015 - Jamestown, NC: The High Point Heat (1-6) hosted the Charlotte Elite (11-4) at the Ragsdale YMCA in Jamestown NC. The Heat, struggling all season, faced off against the Elite without the post presence of Antwan Person, Farrakhan Wells and Patrick McCullough but saw the return of Jarret Johnson to the line-up.

The Heat's struggles continued starting off slow against and aggressive Elite team led by Corey Raley-Ross. The Heat found themselves down 23 points in the first quarter and never recovered despite the aggressive play of Masharee Neely and the sharp shooting of Kenard Moore. As it has been the achilles heel of the Heat all season the defense was not present in the first half which allowed the Elite to take a commanding lead from which the Heat never recovered, losing 119-102.


 

Cary Invasion stumbles against Raleigh Revolt, 104-97

April 18, 2015 - Cary, NC: Saturday night, the Raleigh Revolt traveled to Downtown Cary for a rematch of a game played earlier in the year. But this time it was the visitors who were victorious, while the Cary Invasion took their second hit of the season losing to the Revolt 104-97.

Throughout the contest, both teams seemed equally frustrated with the way the ball was falling. The game’s lead changed back-and-forth however it wasn’t until the few remaining minutes of the game that the Revolt finally took command and finished out the game on top.

Both teams were equally paired, but it was Raleigh’s quickness in taking offensive rebounds and their field goal shooting that proved them the better team that evening. Jared Grady was by far the Revolt’s biggest threat, leading all scorers with 25 points from the field, one a three, and 5 points from the free throw line.

Other Raleigh contributors included Brandon Hickson, Daniel Jackson and Freddie Little, all former Invasion players, combining to add 45 points to the Revolt’s score. Charles Gamble added 13 more to the score, Jermaine Lee added 6 and James Barbee dropped 2 three-pointers and a couple field goals to round out the scoring.

The Invasion was out of sync and could never get settled into their style of play. All-Stars Paul ‘Tay’ Wright and Cory Evans lead Invasion scoring with 26 and 23-points respectively, with Evans making five-three-pointers. Point guard Mike Smith contributed 14-points and Rodney Callwood brought-in 10-points. The remainder of the team shot in single digits, and with the exception of shooting 74% from the line fell to under 50% shooting across the board.

Next week both teams play their last game of the regular season at home, with the Revolt (7-5) hosting the High Point Heat (1-8), and the Invasion (11-2) welcoming the Stealth (0-1) to Herb Young.

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Charlotte Elite repels High Point Heat, 146-131

Sunday, April 12, 2015 - Charlotte, NC: Kevin McDonald doesn't score very often. His value to the Charlotte Elite, however, is immeasurable. After missing the last 7 games he couldn't wait to step back onto the court with his Charlotte Elite teammates. When he last suited up with them they were 7-0 and looking nearly unbeatable. Since then The Elite have gone 5-4 without Kevin. The team from Charlotte still sits atop the Tobacco Road Basketball League with the first place with a record of 12-4 but have looked uninspired and sloppy in stretches over the last 9 games. The four losses all held a common theme: lack of defensive intensity, lack of defensive rebounding and few transition points.

That all changed on Sunday. With McDonald checking into the game in the first quarter and the Elite trailing by as much as 12, he quickly registered a block, 2 defensive rebounds, a steal and an assist to ignite the sluggish Elite. Two deflections by McDonald later and the Charlotte Elite were hitting on all cylinders, getting contributions on both sides of the ball from each team member. The hosts from Charlotte would close the quarter on a 31-8 run fueled by the infectious defense of McDonald and the high-scoring backcourt of LaMarquis Letchaw (35 points, 2 assists & 2 rebounds), Terrone Sheffey (20, 3 & 8) and Ryan Carter (17 points & 3 assists).

In the second quarter both teams traded baskets early and provided spectacular plays on offense. The fans for both teams obviously appreciated the teams efforts because they cheered so loudly that it was difficult to tell who was the home team at one point. Kenard Moore (23 points) and Marsheree Neely (19 points) repeatedly made big plays for the High Point team whenever it looked like the Elite were ready to put them away. In one sequence, Neely, while being pressured towards the sideline by two Charlotte defenders on a fast break, went behind his back between both defenders and then scored on an acrobatic layup over a third Elite defender. Plays like that, however, did not occur frequently enough as the Charlotte coaching staff went deep into their bench to wear down the team from the Furniture Capital of the World. By halftime it was obvious that the torrid pace favored the deeper team as Charlotte went into the second half looking fresh and ahead 70-58, having played all 12 of their players in the first 24 minutes.

The third quarter was all Queen City as they asserted their dominance with full-court pressure leading to open looks and easy baskets on the other end. Cortez McCormick (11 points & 7 rebounds) was a force inside, getting multiple second chance opportunities for his team by either rebounding or tapping the ball out to teammates like Wiyle Petty (12, 6 & 9) who was his normal stat-sheet-stuffing self. Co-captain, Kevin Green (14, 2, 5 & 4 steals), coming off of a 37 point effort the day before in Greensboro, showed his versatility by exhibiting his defensive game on Sunday, leading the team with 4 steals. After going up by as many as 22 points and leading by 18 going into the fourth quarter, the Elite would sit Petty and McDonald for the final 12 minutes. McDonald had already made his mark, though, scoring no points and only attempting one shot but setting the tone for his team with his defensive intensity, unselfish play and high basketball IQ. The final score was 146-131.

Next up for the Charlotte Elite is a road trip to High Point next Saturday, April 18th at 3pm for a rematch, followed by a regular season home finale on April 25th against the Wilmington Seadawgs at 6pm. With the playoffs starting in less than 3 weeks the Elite's unprecedented, magical first season in minor league basketball appears to be gaining some well-deserved attention, as they've already been featured in the Charlotte Observer and are set to be interviewed and featured by NBC-WCNC before the playoffs begin.

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Bull City Legacy pounds Robeson County Showstoppers

April 11, 2015 - Durham, NC: The Bull City Legacy played host to the Robeson County Showstoppers at Walltown Recreational Center. The Tobacco Road Basketball League playoffs are rapidly approaching, and these two teams showed playoff intensity throughout. 

Robeson County found themselves trailing 26-35 after the first quarter, but a pair of UNC-Pembroke products would bring the Showstoppers back to within three points (59-62) by halftime. Ricardo Samuel and Shamell Brackett put Robeson County on their backs the entire game. Samuel finished with a game-high 29 points -- while Brackett wasn't far behind, scoring 27 points -- but Bull City proved to be too much on this day. 

The Bull City Legacy placed eight players in double figures, led by Jamario Clayton's (Univ Hawaii Hilo) 27 points and 6 assists. Jerome Carr (Laurinburg Institute) chipped in with 21 points 4 rebounds 4 assists, while Ian Gregory (St. Thomas Univ.) scored 17 points and dished out 6assists. The star of the game was reserve guard Antonio Battle. Battle came off the bench to score a season-high 16 points, on 8 of 8 field goal attempts, helping Bull City to blow out Robeson County, 161-123. 

With the win, Bull City end their regular season at (7-4). The loss drops Robeson County to (4-10). The TRBL playoffs get started May 2nd.

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Huntersville Hoopforlyfe annihilates Greensboro Cobras 141-99

April 12, 2015 - Huntersville, NC: On the road to the playoffs Huntersville Hoopforlyfe proved once again why they are the team to beat by defeating the Greensboro Cobras at Lake Norman Charter School in Sunday Tobacco Road Basketball League action. Hoopforlyfe controlled this game from start to finish, showing what fundamental basketball play is. The Greensboro Cobras attempted to get back in the game several times, but when you have a team like Hoopforlyfe that can break the opposing teams offense down with their superb defense, and also score inside and outside the paint it makes them very difficult to defeat.

By the end of the first half Hoopforlyfe was already up 71-48. Going into the second half with a 23 point lead Hoopforlyfe continued to pound the scoreboard. The Greensboro Cobras had opportunities in the second half to try and get back in the game. But Hoopforlyfe's three-point shooters stepped up and dominated the second half. At one point in the fourth quarter Hoopforlyfe scored four three-point shots in a row.

The Greensboro Cobras were led by Norman Carter with 24 points and Chakiris Moss with 22 points. Hoopforlye was led by Donnell Mack with 24 points and Anthony Welch Jr. with 22 points. Hoopforlye epitomizes what it is to play team basketball. From the starters to the subs, Huntersville Hoopforlyfe has a complete team, and if they continue to play together as a team they can be the number one team in the TRBL.

Huntersville Hoopforlyfe are undefeated at home and are 10-4 in TRBL play. Their next home game will be Sunday April 19th against Triangle Run Gun.

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Revolt Best RunNGun in Triangle Area Battle

April 11, 2015 - Raleigh, NC: Triangle RunNGun made the short trip to Shaw University to take on the Raleigh Revolt Saturday night in downtown Raleigh. The Revolt, after a sizzling 5-1 start, lost four straight games coming into the contest, despite having late 4th quarter leads in all four games. But, for the first time since mid February, Raleigh had all five starters healthy and dressed out for action for this game.

RunNGun won the jump ball and scored the first points of the game, but after that it was all Revolt. Raleigh guard Freddy Little broke the lid off the basket early for the Revolt, knocking down open jumpers. When jumpers didn’t fall, the Revolt exploited a huge size advantage to grab rebounds for easy put backs. Raleigh led by 17 after the first period. The teams played the 2nd quarter to a draw, and Raleigh held a 63-45 advantage at the break. The game was blown open in the 3rd period after Raleigh ratcheted up the defense and continue to press their size differential. Raleigh dominated the boards, 45 to 15 on the day. Late third quarter leads blossomed to 40+ points, and the Revolt held on to win 126-89.

The Revolt shot 63% overall from the field. Triangle’s Milan Prodanovic dropped 28 points to lead all scorers in the game. Freddy Little (25 points, 8 rebounds) and Charles Gamble (22 points, 9 rebounds) led the way for the Revolt. The Revolt (6-5) next host the High Point Heat on April 25th. Triangle (3-8) next plays at Huntersville on April 19th.

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D-Elite Flyers soar past Savannah Cavaliers, 131-98

April 11, 2015 - Savannah, GA: On a pleasant Saturday evening two first year TRBL teams matched up once again. The D-Elite Flyers traveled from Auburn, AL to match up with the Savannah Cavaliers of Savannah, GA, hosting their very first home game at Windsor Forest High School in the Tobacco Road Basketball League season.

The first quarter of the game was a balanced quarter between the two teams, who stayed neck and neck in score. The tipoff was won by Savannah Cavaliers' Antonio Walker. The Cavalier's combo, Bryant Edwards and Antrjuan Albright led the Savannah squad with 18 of 29 team points in the first quarter. The D-Elite Flyers' Nathan Watson answered back with 3 consecutive three pointers, aong with DeAnthony Hereford adding eight points. The Flyers won the first quarter 31-29.

The second quarter was very similar to the first. The two teams battled hard, exchanging baskets, staying close in score. However, the Cavaliers became winded, increasing their amount of turnovers in the second quarter to five. The D-Elite Flyers stayed on the run, grabbing and going, and thus gaining the lead and winning the half 61-56.

Fatigue grew in for the Savannah Cavaliers during the second half, causing them to be out run by the Flyers. The Flyers appeared to be a step quicker, creeping away from the Cavaliers in the third quarter. Ending the third with a score of 96-75, the Alabama crew with the lead.

The Savannah Cavaliers' Antrjuan Albright led the team in the second half with a total of eleven points, but still fell short. The Flyer's Adam Okechukwu and Frank Tolbert stepped up for their team, scoring 36 of 70 team points in the second half. The fourth quarter turned into a very slow paced game for the Cavaliers. The group from Auburn continued to play with full force gaining the win over the Savannah Cavaliers with a final score of 131-98.


 

Griffin at buzzer lifts Greensboro Cobras over Charlotte Elite 122-121 in overtime

April 11, 2015 — Greensboro, NC: In the previous two games, the Greensboro Cobras have experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat by narrow margins. Today’s game against the Tobacco Road Basketball League Western Conference leader Charlotte Elite was no different as Greensboro was able to edge the Elite in overtime 122-121. The Elite could not be contained early in the first quarter as Kevin Green, Martin Barrett, and LaMarquis Lechaw set the pace for Charlotte to keep the Cobras in check 36-29 after one quarter. In the second quarter Charlotte continued to control the pace of the game as Kevin Green was unstoppable in the paint but the Cobras got a lift from JaQuarrius Perry and Chakiris Moss to cut in to the Elite’s lead 64-54 at halftime. 

The third quarter was all Greensboro as their zone defense caused Charlotte problems and Greensboro capitalized with a 30 point quarter to lead 88-84. In the fourth quarter Charlotte countered on Greensboro’s zone defense as both teams exchanged leads until a put back by Bryan Akingkube tied the game at 112. Charlotte’s Kevin Green and Wiley Petty kept Charlotte a step ahead before Norman Carter’s layup tied the game at 119. A quick basket by Martin Barrett gave the Elite a 121-119 lead in the closing seconds in overtime. Norman Carter’s penetration left Will Griffin open as he nailed a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Cobras a 122-121 win in overtime.

Norman Carter led Greensboro with 27 points followed by Luqman Tijani and Chakiris Moss both with 19. Kevin Green led all scorers with 37 points followed by LaMarquis Letchaw with 24. The Cobras (2-2) will travel to Huntersville to face HoopforLyfe at 3PM while Charlotte (11-4) will host the High Point Heat Saturday, April 18th at 6PM.


 

 

 

Charlotte Elite Shows Auburn D-Elite Flyers Why They're Elite, 115-113

April 4, 2015- Charlotte, NC: A beautiful, sunny Easter weekend began with two first year Tobacco Road Basketball League teams matching up at the Cornwell Center for the first of what will most certainly be many, memorable battles The D-Elite Flyers of Auburn, Alabama traveled a long distance to match up with Charlotte's minor league basketball team and it was evident from the start that they hadn't come just to see the Queen City squad's new facility. The Charlotte Elite were playing in only their third home game at the beautiful Cornwell Center (after having to relocate from Chargers Gymnasium in Concord due to scheduling conflicts) and early on it looked like they weren't too comfortable at home, committing 20 turnovers in the first half while only dishing out 10 assists

The first quarter was a seesaw battle, with the team from Charlotte being led early by the inside-outside combo of Cortez McCormick and LaMarquis Letchaw. They combined for 13 of the team's first 16 points. At the end of the first quarter the score was 30-29, with D-Elite Flyers holding the edge.

The second quarter was a completely different story. The Flyers turned up the defensive pressure on the Elite, nabbing six steals in the period. The team from Auburn also shot lights out from 3-point range, hitting almost 60% from behind the arc. Charlotte, meanwhile, struggled mightily, often looking frustrated and flustered by the Flyers' defensive pressure and offensive efficiency. By halftime the home team was down 18 points and looking like they'd be facing their first back to back loss of the season.

But then the defense of Charlotte showed up. The Queen City team came out in second half with a smaller, yet more athletic, lineup and it paid dividends on both ends of the floor. The team from Charlotte appeared to be a step quicker than the D-Elite Flyers and slowly chipped away at the double-digit halftime lead by making back to back defensive stops on 4 different occasions and finally rebounding the ball after getting those stops.

It didn't hurt that the Charlotte Elite starting backcourt of Terrone Sheffey II (25 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds) and Letchaw (30 points, 4 assists and 1 rebound) began asserting themselves offensively and finally began to clamp down on the dynamic point guard for the Flyers, DeAnthony Hereford (28 points, 6 & 2), who had been having his way with the Charlotte defense until that point. Still, Queen City's finest went into the final quarter down 7 points (91-84) after a putback by them was waived off at the buzzer.

At the top of the fourth, Charlotte leaned on co-captain, Kevin Green (16, 3 & 5), to lead the way with timely defensive rebounds and huge baskets to get them within 3 points, just in time for all-star guard LaMarquis Letchaw to hit a huge 3-pointer to tie the game at 102. After exchanging baskets twice, Corey Raley-Ross made a 12-footer to give the Elite their first lead of the game since the opening quarter - 108-106 - with 6:10 left.

The Alabama team was not finished, however. Steven Samuels (21, 2 & 8) scored 5 points while Hereford added a basket to go up 113-111 with 3 minutes left. Charlotte chose to put the ball in the hands of 2-time CIAA MVP and champion, Wiyle Petty (7 points, 6 assists & 7 rebounds), who made a beautiful assist to Letchaw for a tying basket.

After each team missed twice, Martin Barrett (12, 1 & 7) would hit, what would be, his second game winner of the season with 1:11 left in the game. A turnover by both teams followed 4 missed shots by the visitors and would end the game with the Charlotte Elite (11-3) narrowly escaping and reclaiming the points lead in the Tobacco Road Basketball League Points Series. Next up for the number one team in the TRBL is a tough weekend in which they travel to Greensboro on Saturday, April 11th and then come home to host the High Point Heat at the Cornwell Center on Sunday, April 12th at 6PM.


 

Huntersville Hoopforlyfe sweeps Winston Salem Team Certified, 122-106

March 29, 2015- Huntersville, NC: On the road to the playoffs Huntersville Hoopforlyfe headed to the fast lane, defeating Winston Salem Team Certified Sunday at Lake Norman Charter School in Tobacco Road Basketball League action, their second straight win.

Hoopforlyfe came out playing as if they were already playing in the playoffs, scoring inside and outside the paint and dominating defensively against Winston Salem Team Certified. Team Certified started off slow, but was able to regroup and with a three-pointer by Justin Parham to close out the second quarter 66-53.

Hoopforlyfe was able to capitalize off Team Certified missed opportunities and turnovers to score in the second half. Hoopforlye controlled the scoreboard during the half and led by as much as 20 points in the third quater. Winston Salem Team Certified attempted to get back into the game in the fourth with a three-pointer by Jayvon Spease, that bought Winston Salem Team Certified within 10 with 4:12 left in the fourth but it just wasn’t enough.

Winston Salem Team Certified was led by Zalinor Banks who had 25 points and Justin Parham who had 20 points. Anthony Welch Jr. and Jamal Durham had a phenomenal game for Hoopforlyfe. Welch led the team with 27 points and Durham had 20 points.

Hoopforlyfe dominated this game from the three-point line. Hoopforlyfe didn’t look a team that had played a tough rematch game against Charlotte Elite on Saturday, in which they swept Charlotte Elite with a win. They looked fresh and focused on the court. If they continue to play like this Huntersville Hoopforlyfe will definitely be the team to beat.

Huntersville Hoopforlyfe is now 9-4 and is leading the Western Division in the TRBL in points. Their next home game will be April 12th against Greensboro Cobras. This is another game with playoff potential that you don’t want to miss.


 

Greensboro Cobras slither past Raleigh Revolt, 128-127

March, 28 2015 — Greensboro, NC: The Greensboro Cobras came into their season home opener Saturday ready to bounce back after a tough loss to the Cary Invasion last weekend in the Tobacco Road Basketball League. The Revolt was ready to spoil the season opener and avoid a two game skid in the league. The fans came into a rocking Goode Gymnasium to see basketball at its finest and both teams didn’t let the fans down.

The Revolt came out on fire with baskets by Charles Gamble and Jared Grady to give Raleigh a 32-28 lead at the end of the first quarter. Cobras shooting guard Shelton Carter found the range from deep to keep the Cobras within striking distance. The Revolt maintained the lead most of the quarter until a three point play by Luqman Tijani gave the Cobras their first lead of the game 71-67 at halftime.

In the third quarter Greensboro took a fifteen point lead before Omar Jones scored 11 third quarter points to give Raleigh the lead 107-106. The final quarter had the fans on their feet as both teams battled down to the final seconds until Chakiris Moss scored with 23.7 seconds left to give Greensboro a one point lead.

Raleigh had the final possession to win the game but shots by Brian West and J.L. Harris fell short as the Cobras won 128-127.

Shelton Carter led Greensboro with 30 points followed by Norman Carter with 26. Raleigh’s Jared Grady lead all scorers with 40 points followed Charles Gamble with 21. The Revolt (5-5) will play on the road against the Cary Invasion on Saturday April 4th while the Cobras (1-1) will host back to back home games against Robeson Showstoppers on Saturday, April 4th and Wilmington Sea Dawgs on April 5th. Both games tip off at 3pm.


 

Huntersville HoopForLyfe defeats first-place Charlotte Elite again, 120-110

March 28, 2015- Charlotte, NC: It was evident from the from the very start that this Saturday's Tobacco Road Basketball League game would have playoff-like intensity. The two teams were loaded with local talent that were all pretty much familiar with each other and the stands were full of spectators and almost as many other Charlotte area basketball players, the importance of this game was on full display.

The Charlotte Elite (10-3) were playing their second home game at their new home, the beautiful Cornwell Center, and boasting the best record in the Western Division of the TRBL. Their neighbor about 20 minutes to the north of Charlotte, Huntersville HoopForLyfe, was coming off of a tough loss in Cary, NC last weekend and looking to complete a regular season sweep of the Elite after defeating them in Huntersville on February 28 in Huntersville.

The team from Charlotte started out hot behind stingy defense and the great shooting of Terrone Sheffey II who scored 9 of his team's first 16 points. After a Huntersville timeout the Elite led 16-5.

After substituting in Doneal Mack (26 points), Anthony Welch (22 points, 4 rebounds) and Tony Young the entire complexion of the game changed. HoopForLyfe went on an 11-0 run and assured the crowd that they would be in for a great show. With Dijuan Harris (21 points, 7 assists & 4 rebounds) running the show, the Huntersville team would take the lead and push it to 9 points before the quarter's end.

Throughout the second quarter the teams would trade baskets and highlights giving the fans exactly what they came to see. However, Huntersville had an answer for everything the Elite did, finishing the first half ahead 60-55.

That would be the theme for the entire second half. Even though Charlotte had 6 players in double figures (led by Sheffey's 22 points and 19 points apiece from Ryan Carter and co-captain Kevin Green) the 4-headed monster of D. Harris, D. Mack, Jamal Durham, and A. Welch were too much to handle, totaling 86 points between them.

Huntersville also dominated on the boards, pulling down almost twice as many rebounds as the Elite. In the end, HoopForLyfe would win the game 120-110 and move one step closer to their crosstown rival in a tight race in the West.

Next up for Huntersville is a home game Sunday against Winston Salem Certified. For the Elite they will play host to the D-Elite Flyers, another first year team that is making a name for themselves down in Alabama. That game will be played at the Cornwell Center Saturday, April 4th at 3:30PM.

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Charlotte Completes Sweep of Raleigh in Another Tight Game

March 22, 2015 - Raleigh, NC:  For the second time in 3 weeks two first-year Tobacco Road Basketball League teams met in a game that would have playoff seeding implications.  Raleigh lost a 2-point contest to the Charlotte Elite in Concord at the end of February.    This time the game would be played on the Raleigh Revolt’s home court on the campus of Shaw University.   

Raleigh started the game hot behind strong inside play by center Mal Jones throughout the first quarter.  The perimeter shooters for Raleigh heated up in the second, building a leads as large as 14 points in the quarter.   The home team held on to a 53-40 lead at halftime. 

But it was a tale of two halves.  The sluggish Elite team from the first half stayed in the locker room.   Instead, an inspired Charlotte squad came out sizzling in the third quarter, hitting open jumpers and creating turnovers and easy baskets through high pressure defense.    The Elite put up 43 points in the third quarter and regained all of the game’s momentum.  

The teams exchanged the lead 8 times in the fourth quarter, with neither team leading by more than a possession.  But this game would end much like the first.  The Elite made key baskets and got key stops in the final two minutes and held on to win again, 118-113.  LeMarquis Letchaw and Terrone Sheffey each had 24 points for the Elite.  Sheffey also pulled 11 rebounds in the game.   The Elite shot 60% for the game, including a blistering 73% in the second half overall and 78% (7 for 9) behind the arc.    Brian West led Raleigh with 25 points.

The Revolt (5-4) play next in Greensboro on March 28th against the Greensboro Cobras.   The Elite (10-2) next host Huntersville on the same day.

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Triangle Run N Gun downs Robeson County Showstoppers 129-120

March 21, 2015-Lumberton, NC: The Robeson County Showstoppers went into Saturday's home game against the Triangle Run N Gun coming off two away losses. And the Showstoppers were facing a opponent they had beaten earlier in the season.

First quarter the Run N Gun lived up to their name and came out with a will to win shooting lights out and attacking the rim constantly. Dexter Pearce and Thomas Sumpter would come up with some huge baskets. Stan Johnson was putting up points down low and playing great defense, with Demetris Driggers all over the rebounds all night. But a lot of easy buckets that didn't fall would put Robeson County down after the first quarter.

Second quarter the Run N Gun came out just as energized, led by Milan Prodanovic, who got hot, along with David Muoser, who was hitting from everywhere off the great ball movement. The Showstoppers would continue to push back with Ricardo Samuel and Kendrick Mckinnon putting up some buckets. But due to lackluster defense and to missing some key big men, the Showstoppers would find theirselves down at halftime 70-58.

Starting out the third quarter the Showstoppers came out with a new game plan, but it didnt phase the Run N Gun as it looked like nothing would stop their hot offense. Dexter Pearce for the Run N Gun was getting to the rim at will. Shahmel Brackett would come alive with some huge assists that would push the home team to a little run. But then Run N Gun's Kevin Altar got hot and he went on a tear from beyond the arc. End of the 3rd quarter the Showstoppers would find they were down by double digits with turnovers playing a key role.

Early fourth quarter the Showstoppers would come out with a early run with Demetris Driggers and Stan Johnson scoring off of pick and rolls. But the Run N Gun would execute their offense and would not be denied, finishing off the Showstoppers 129-120. In the loss the Lumberton squad had three players with a double-double: Stan Johnson leading the way with 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 steals; Demetris Driggers with 25 points, 20 rebounds, and 2 steals; and Shamel Brackett with 20 points, 12 assists, and 3 steals.

The Showstoppers next home game will be April 25th against the Savannah Cavaliers at 6PM at Bill Sapp Recreation Center. Then they will be taking on the Greensboro Cobras at 4 pm on April fourth.


 

Cary Invasion Tame Greensboro Cobras, 130-98

March 21, 2015 - Cary, NC: The Greensboro Cobras arrived at Kay Yow Court Saturday night looking ready to play. This was to be the Cobras’ first foray of the Tobacco Road Basketball League season while Cary, already with 12 contests under their belt, was intent on protecting their League-leading won-loss record.

The game was pure poetry for Cary. And although the area's college teams' NCAA games drained-off much of the Invasion faithful, Cary still gave one of their best performances of the season winning 130-98.

From the first score of the game to the final buzzer it was all Cary’s show. The Cobras’ rebounding was sluggish, and with the exception of the scoring of Shelton Carter’s 29 points (four 3-pointers and 7-free throws), and Norman Carter’s and Brian Akingkube’s 17 points each (most from the floor) the Cobras were hurting with less than 50-percent shooting efficiency.

As for Cary, the game could have easily been dubbed the "Fab Five Show". Shooting guard Paul ‘Tay’ Wright led the team with 37 points, 16 field goals with three of them ‘threes’; he was followed by mid-season transfer forward Ray McKeithan who playing his best game yet scored 20 points from the field, four of them ‘threes’. Plus, three other Invasion players shot in double digits as well. Point guard Mike Smith cut through the Cobras like a knife through butter adding 14 points to the score. Perennial League high-point scorer Corey Evans contributed 18 points. And forward Taylor Hukill rounded the scoring out with 13 points.

Other players of note for the Invasion were Anton Currie who set the pace early on with his outside shooting, while point guard Nigel Munson was able to effortlessly run the floor coast-to-coast on more than one possession. 

Next up for the Cobras (0-1) is the Raleigh Revolt (5-3), while Cary (10-1) heads to arch rival Bull City Legacy’s (6-3) home court next Saturday afternoon for their third match-up of the season.


 

Bull City Legacy bests Raleigh Revolt in barnburner, 138-124

March 14, 2015 - Durham, NC: The Bull City Legacy and the Raleigh Revolt squared off Saturday afternoon in a very entertaining Tobacco Road Basketball League match-up. Raleigh's Charles Gamble was a five-alarm blaze throughout, helping the Revolt build a 12-point advantage after one quarter. The Legacy were without several of their post players for the game, meaning the Legacy guards would have to step up in a major way.

J'Mell Walters, Jamario Clayton, and Desmond Bunn all had impressive outings for Bull City, allowing the Legacy to tie the score 63-63, heading into halftime.

Bull City had a 4-point edge after three quarters, but Raleigh's Charles Gamble would try to will the Revolt to a win. Gamble finished with a game-high 40 points while Jared Grady chipped in with 23 points, but that wasn't enough. J'Mell Walters scored 23 points and dished out 9 assists for the Legacy. Desmond Bunn poured in 27 points, Jamario Clayton went for 24 points, and Ian Gregory had a team-high 28 points with 10 rebounds and 4 assists in the 138-124 Bull City Victory.

With the win Bull City improves to 6-3 on the season, while Raleigh drops to 5-3. Raleigh will host Charlotte Elite on March, 22nd and Bull City will host arch rival Cary Invasion on March 28th.

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Charlotte Elite Soar Past Winston Salem Certified, 132-110

March 14, 2015 - Charlotte, NC: On a rainy Saturday afternoon in Charlotte, the Charlotte Elite basketball team opened a new era in Queen City hoops. The Elite (9-2) were playing their first game in their new home, the Cornwell Center, and were also coming off of a disturbing loss in Cary last week. These two factors, coupled with the news that if Charlotte won they'd be in first place overall in the Tobacco Road Basketball League Point Series, spelled bad news for the visiting Winston Salem Certified.

From the very start of the game the hosts from Charlotte controlled the game. Slightly over two minutes into the game the Elite held a 15-5 lead, with four of their five starters hitting at least one three pointer. They never looked back. The lead ballooned to as much as 28 points in the second half, led, in part, by the hot shooting of Terrone Sheffey II (24 points, 6 assists & 3 rebounds), Wiyle Petty (17, 4 & 7), co-captain Kevin Green (23 points & 4 rebounds), Ryan Camaro Carter(18, 3 & 2) and LaMarquis SkyBourne Letchaw (14, 5 & 4). Although these five players were the scoring leaders, it was Charlotte's trademark team defense (with the exception of the 2nd quarter when they gave up 34 points) that allowed the home team to cruise to a 20+ point victory.

Next up for the league-leading Elite is a road trip to the state's capitol to take on the Raleigh Revolt.

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Huntersville HoopForLyfe falls short to Cary Invasion, 93-90

March 14, 2015 - Cary, NC: Huntersville HoopForLyfe made the long trip to Kay Yow Court Saturday night and although they played one of the better comeback games in the Tobacco Road Basketball League this season, it was the Cary Invasion who ended the game with a W, 93-90.

On paper these two teams were evenly matched, each averaging 75 percent from the line and 42 percent of their field goals with Huntersville having the edge on three-pointers. This game bore out the stats.Both teams seemed to be less aggressive or accurate than in previous games during the first quarter, ending in an unusually low 21-10 Cary lead. In second quarter play Huntersville picked up their percentages but still remained behind in scoring, 43-34 Cary.

After the break Cary completed their best quarter of the game, due in no small part to a trio of threes by shooting guard Paul ‘Tay’ Wright, extending Cary’s lead by 17-points to 79-62. But Huntersville wouldn’t go away, and battled back on the shooting skills of Paul Petway, Rob Lothrop and Dijuan Harris. For Cary, power forward Rodney Callwood showed his ability from the field while point guard Michael Smith added to the lead from the line.

As the clocked ticked down in the fourth-quarter Huntersville had closed the gap coming-back to go ahead of near game-long leading Cary by 3 points. With the shot clock on Cary tied the game back-up again. But when the shot clock went off the lead changed twice with Cary barely escaping with a win, 93-90.

Interesting facts about this game were first that both teams demonstrated above average rebounding with Huntersville taking a slight edge. And second, that other than the players named above, the point-scoring throughout both teams was evenly distributed. Cary (10-1) will welcome the Greensboro Cobras to their house next weekend after a three-year hiatus, while Huntersville (7-4) will be getting ready for their second contest against Charlotte in two weeks.

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Flyers win two in a row defeating the Georgia Kings 105-95

March 7, 2015 - Notasulga, AL: On a nice evening in Notasulga, the D-Elite Flyers went head to head against a great rival, the Georgia Kings of Atlanta. As usual, from the tip this game had high energy and emotions. The Georgia Kings won the tip but were unable to capitalize on the possession. Flyers pushed the ball right back at the Kings but were unsuccessful in scoring. The Kings scored the first basket on the nextpossession then both teams until the eight minute mark couldn’t find a way to score the basketball. After the scoring drought the Flyers never trailed the rest of the game. At the end of the first quarter the score was 20-17 Flyers.

Coming out of the huddle into the second quarter the Flyers would find a rhythm on both ends of the floor. The defensive change by the Flyers changed the offense for the Kings and forced them into contested shots and led to fast break points, opening up the lead. Dante Smith was a huge factor for the Flyers in the second quarter knocking down huge threes to help the Flyers to a 33-19 second quarter and a 53-36 halftime lead.

After the half the Kings came out fighting and the Flyers were very flat. The Kings went on a huge run to cut the lead to eight points. But the Flyers responded with a few stops and scores to pull back up by 11. The Kings All-star player Robbie Dreher (32 points) led his team on another run to close the third out and cut the Flyers led to four points.

The fourth and final quarter was a battle of runs and defensive stops with high emotions and risk taking plays from both teams. Each coach used timeouts to keep their teams focused and adjusting to the games energy. The Flyers' Adam Okechukwu (game high 38 points) and DeAnthony Hereford (35 points) took over the game and became a duo that was unstoppable. The Flyers down the stretch had huge defensive stops and executed on the offensive end.

“Adam and DeAnthony showed me true character tonight and led us to a great win” stated Head coach Brittney Dowell. As the fourth came down to the final minutes the Kings never stopped attacking. They just could not get the shots to fall in their favor. The Flyers went on to win the game with a final score 105-95. The Kings were led by Robbie Dreher (32 points) and four other players in double digits. The Flyers were led by Adam Okechukwu (38 points and 14 rebounds) and DeaAnthony Hereford (35 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals).

The Flyers take on the Atlantic Dragons next Saturday the 14th and the Kings take on the Charoltte Elite in North Carolina.

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East beats West: Cary Invasion over Charlotte Elite, 119-115

March 7, 2015 - Cary, NC: It was a game that promised to be a barn-burner that didn’t disappoint when the Tobacco Road Basketball Leagu West division leading Charlotte Elite traveled to Cary to face the team with the best won-lost record in the East Division, the Invasion. From the beginning tip-off the game was a see-saw ride with Charlotte penetrating and putting-up twos while Cary answered using their three-point scoring. At the end of the first quarter the score was tied 38 all.

But Charlotte went cold in the second quarter only scoring 12 points which allowed Cary’s outside shooters Corey Evans (32 points) and ‘Tay’ Wright (22 points), to monopolize the boards and run the score to a 20 point lead, 70-50, by the half. Scoring was even for the third-quarter, with LaMarcus Letchaw (40 points) and Kevin Green (19 points) for Charlotte leading the way, and Rodney Callwood (20 points) and Charles Ward (14 points) helping keep Cary’s lead solid at 100-83.

The fourth-quarter was a complete reversal of the second-quarter with Cary, untrue to their usual fourth-quarter form, missing more baskets than they made while Charlotte seemed to score effortlessly, with Letchaw sinking his last of seven three-pointers. With less than a minute left a foul sent Charlotte to the line closing their earlier deficit and evening the score with Cary. Another quick foul, this time by Charlotte, sent Evans to the line for two, that followed by a quick steal and bucket gave Cary the last basket and the win. Final score Cary 119, Charlotte 115.

Other stand-outs for Charlotte were Wiyle Petty and Cory Raley-Ross with 14 points each, and Terrone Sheffey with 11 points; for Cary Robert Helaire with 8 points and Anton Currie with 7 points. Both teams will be at home next week with Charlotte (8-2) hosting the Georgia Kings of Atlanta (5-5) and Cary (8-1) entertaining Huntersville Hoop4Lyfe (7-3).


 

D-Elite Flyers dominate Atlantic Dragons, 127-99

February 28, 2015 - Notsaluga, AL: The D-Elite Flyers put together a complete 48 minute game, defeating the Atlantic Dragons at home with a final score of 127-109 in Saturday Tobacco Road Basketball League action. The Flyers started out strong from the tip and never really looked back. The Flyers were playing with great confidence and seemed to be a different team. After a huge loss of player Calvin Thomas to meniscus injury the Flyers seemed to be trending down but coach Brittney Dowell thought differently. "I told the team in the pre-game speech that a team is not defined by wins and loses but by their chemistry on the floor", Dowlle said . The Flyers took that challenge to heart, leading after the first quarter 29-17.

The second quarter was much closer than the first but the Flyers still won 31-29. With the Flyers executing on both ends of the floor the first half and adding defensive pressure they were able to cause nine turnovers by the Dragons which led to fast break points. The Flyers held the Dragons to 38 percent shooting in the first half. Going into halftime the Flyers led by the score of 60-46.

Coming out of the half the Flyers seemed to still be focused and determined to continue their defensive pressure and to execute on the offensive end, sharing the ball very well. Meanwhile Dragons guard Andrew Woods kept them in the game by scoring a game total 29 points. But still it was not enough for them to catch the Flyers, as the Alabama team outscored the Dragons 45-24 in the third. The Dragons would win the fourth quarter 29-22 but the Flyers defense was just too much overall on this night, adding in 10 steals for the game. Shooting guard DeAnthony Hereford grabbed a game-high five steals. 

"The final score was not a reflection of the series between the Flyers and Dragons, but maybe this was the turning point for the D-Elite Flyers," stated Dowell. It had been three points or less earlier in the series but the Flyers came out on top with a final score of 127-99 in game three.

The Flyers were led by Nate Watson with 32 points, Adam Okechukwu added 24 points, and DeAnthony Hereford topped the trio off with 27 points, 6 assists, and 5 steals, with 8 other Flyers players scoring as well with two in double figures. The Dragons were led by Reuel Moore with a game-high 36 points and Andrew Woods with 29 points. "This was by far our best game all season," added Coach Dowell. "I’m not surprised by our performance at all because this is who we are. It just took us a while to find ourselves."  

The Flyers next game is March 7th against the Georgia Kings.


 

Streaking Georgia Kings turn down High Point Heat 125-107

February 28, 2015 – Atlanta, GA: Atlanta's Georgia Kings defeated the High Point Heat on Saturday by a score of 125-107 in the Tobacco Road Basketball League. The Georgia Kings have now won three straight games to move to 5-4 and crest the .500 mark on the season.

The Georgia Kings got off to a very hot start, jumping out to a 36-15 lead in the first quarter. The hot start continued until halftime with the Kings up 67-54. The offensive explosion in the first half by the Kings carried into the third quarter where the Kings scored 40 points on the Heat. The Heat battled back and shortened the lead to 18 with a very strong fourth quarter with 33-18 total, however the Heat could not close the gap any more.

The Georgia Kings received an All-Star performance from Robbie Dreher. Dreher lead the Kings with a triple-double of 33 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. Sheraun King had another impressive scoring outburst of 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists and Tahj Wells contributed with a solid double-double of 23 points and 14 rebounds. With additional double digit scoring efforts from Dominic Shuler, Erik Thomas, and Mike Rogers, the Georgia Kings were able to offensively impress all in the stands

The High Point Heat were led by strong scoring efforts by Kenard Moore with 28 points and Krechaun Williams with 25 points. Patrick McCollough contributed with an additional 19 points.

“Our team came out extremely hot today. We have had several good practices and practice translates to the games we have been winning, “stated Georgia Kings head coach Shawn Ward. “We started 2-0, then we lost four in a row, now we have won three in a row. We have started to come together, play better defense, and use our scoring talents effectively. We are looking forward to continuing our team development and competing each night out. “

The Georgia Kings will travel to Auburn, AL on March 7, 2015 to face the D-Elite Flyers. The High Point Heat play the Robeson County Showstoppers at home March 14, 2015 in High Point, NC.


 

Palmetto Flight downed by Savannah Cavaliers, 133-119

February 28, 2015 - Inman, SC: The Palmetto Flight Team hosted the Savannah (GA) Cavaliers in Saturday Tobacco Road Basketball League action.

The Savannah Cavaliers started off the game with an 8-0 run against the Flight. But the Palmetto team began to make a run themselves late in the first quarter, scoring 17 unanswered points. They pushed that momentum into the second quarter, taking the lead into halftime. The Cavaliers were resurgent in the third quarter, however, turning things around with a tremendous effort by Antwan Albright, who finished the game with 33 points. This helped the Cavaliers regain the lead. And despite the Flight's best efforts to keep up, the Savannah group never let up, grounding the Flight 133-119.

The Cavaliers travel March 28th to Auburn, AL to take on the D-Elite Flyers.


 

Bull City Legacy bests Huntersville HoopForLyfe, 126-119

February 28, 2015 - Durham, NC: The Bull City Legacy played host to Huntersville HoopForLyfe at Walltown Recreational Center in Durham Saturday afternoon. HoopForLyfe made the 2 hour 20 minute trip to Durham, and they were ready to play ball. Taking advantage of their strength in the post, Jamal Durham led the way for the visiting team, as Huntersville held a 28-23 lead after the first quarter. 

Bull City Legacy Assistant coach Andre McCollum made several adjustments and guard Tim Plummer took over from there. The Legacy had a 40-point second quarter, and took a 63-55 lead into halftime. Not to be outdone, HoopForLyfe scored 34-third quarter points, led my Jamal Durham's 23 points. Mark Carson chipped in with 20 points and 6 rebounds, as HoopForLyfe led 89-88 after three quarters. 

Bull City had another 40-point outburst in the fourth quarter to preserve the 8-point victory. Legacy guard Tim Plummer finished just two assist shy of a triple double. Plummer's stat line was as follows: 26 points, 16 rebounds, and 8 assists. Ian Gregory had a strong game as well with, 27 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Jamario Clayton poured in 23 points, while J'Mell Walters had a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists. With the win, Bull City improves to 5-2 in the TRBL, while HoopForLyfe falls to 6-2. These two teams will face each other again March 8th, in Huntersville, NC at 3pm.


 

Charlotte Elite Edge Raleigh Revolt, 111-109

Saturday, February 28, 2015 - Concord, NC: Saturday, in Chargers Gymnasium, in Concord, North Carolina, two of the top teams in the Tobacco Road Basketball League matched up in a game that more than lived up to its billing. The Charlotte Elite (8-1) were looking to get back to their winning ways after suffering a sobering loss to their crosstown rival, Huntersville HoopForLyfe. The Raleigh Revolt (5-1) came to town boasting an impressive five game winning streak and jumped out to an early 7-1 lead. As has plagued the team from Charlotte all season long, turnovers and stagnant offense early in the game kept them playing from behind for most of the 1st period. However, after substituting in the three newest members of the team (Martin Barrett, Cortez McCormick and Wiyle Petty) along with veteran, Ryan Carter, the Charlotte Elite got their offense going by getting to the foul line and hitting three timely 3-pointers. At the end of the first quarter the team from Raleigh held a 22-20 lead.

Throughout the second quarter both teams went deep into their benches, perhaps preparing for what looked like a game that would go down to the very last possession. Raleigh kept the lead, going up by as many as seven points, until the Charlotte Elite's leading scorer (and the league-leader in assists) Lamarquis Letchaw checked into the game to give his team an emotional boost as well as some much needed scoring. Still, at the half, the Elite were down 49-45, but it was evident that the pace of the game had begun to favor their style of play.

Both teams traded blows early in the third quarter, exchanging the lead eight times. The Revolt had a major size advantage but the frontcourt of the Charlotte team battled them rebound for rebound throughout the first half of the quarter. With the game tied at 70 midway through the 3rd quarter the Elite went with their 5 guard lineup, which looked like it would play right into the hands of the huge Raleigh team. Instead, it ignited the Elite's transition offense and full-court pressure defense and sent them onto an 14-2 run to close the quarter.

With nine minutes left in the game the Charlotte Elite led by as much as 15 points and seemed to have an answer for everything the Revolt tried. However, the team from Raleigh was not finished. They went on a 13-0 run by stopping the Elite on six straight possessions and converting on the offensive end. After a timeout by the Elite the excitement in the building seemed to be at an all-time. A huge 3-pointer by Martin Barrett stopped the momentum of Raleigh. Five straight points and a steal by Terrone Sheffey appeared to have thwarted the comeback attempt of the visiting team. But, as was the case all game, another run was to be made by the opposition

The team from Raleigh went on a 14-9 run to get the game within three points in a furious series that was filled with steals, dunks and clutch shots. After a foul shot by Charlotte Elite team co-captain, Kevin Green, the Elite held a 109-105 lead with 23 seconds remaining. A huge 25-foot 3-pointer by Jared Grady pulled the Raleigh Revolt to within one but they would be forced to foul the Elite to prevent time from running out. Lamarquis Letchaw made one of two free throws but then stole the ball from Raleigh's leading scorer, Daniel Jackson (26 points), with four seconds remaining. Letchaw hit one of two free throws again putting the Elite ahead 111-108. Charlotte elected to foul Brian West with three seconds left instead of allowing him an opportunity to tie the game with a 3-pointer. After West made one free throw he intentionally missed the second but the Elite were able to tap the rebound out as time expired to seal the win, 111-109.


 

The Georgia Kings stuff the Atlantic Dragons, 96-89 

February 21, 2015 – Atlanta, GA: Atlanta's Georgia Kings (4-4) defeated the Atlantic Dragons (1-2) of Stockbridge, GA Saturday by a score of 96-89 in the Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL). The win over the Dragons starts a two-game winning streak for the Georgia Kings.

The Georgia Kings were led by spectacular performances from Sheraun King and an all-around effort by TRBL All-Star Robbie Dreher. Sheraun King had 28 points on 69% FG shooting with 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Robbie Dreher had 14 points on 50% FG shooting with 11 rebounds and 8 assists. TRBL All-Star Dominic Shuler contributed with 16 points. Tahj Wells assisted with 15 points. The Georgia Kings jump started to an early lead of 26-22 after the first quarter and a 55-45 halftime lead over the Dragons. The second half continued to be a hard fought game and showed an improved defensive commitment by the Kings. With additional scoring of 44 points by the Dragons and 41 points by the Kings, the game slowed down considerably and teams battled until the end.

The Atlantic Dragons were steady throughout, however the second quarter was extremely key in their falling behind by 10 at halftime. The Dragons were led by an amazing scoring performance by Steven Samuels with 32 points and 5 rebounds.
Georgia Kings Head Coach Shawn Ward after the game stated “As a team a goal of ours was to improve our defensive performances from game to game. Whenever we allow more than 101 points, we lose, and we’re not necessarily able to win games. We held the talented Dragons to 89 points and that showed our commitment to the defensive side of the game. Sheraun King played amazing for us tonight. He’s a scorer and can score on anyone. We are continuing to build and grow as a team and it’s very positive.”

The Georgia Kings (4-4) will play again at home in Atlanta, GA on February 28, 2015 against the High Point Heat (0-4) of High Point, NC.

 


 

Woes for Winston-Salem Team Certified: loses to All-American Ballers, 106-105

February 21, 2015 - Winston-Salem, NC: Winston-Salem Team Certified hosted the All-American Ballers of Fayetteville, trying to snap the host's four game losing streak. But the way things are going for the Camel City crew that did not happen, losing in the final seconds with the final score 106-105 in favor of the All-American Ballers, in Saturday Tobacco Road Basketball League action.

In a game where the All-American Ballers were down the entire game, this game ended up coming down to the wire with Jamal McNeil hitting a 3 pointer to put Winston Salem up one with 50 seconds left on the clock. Ronnie Crates came right back with a layup to put the All-American Ballers back up by one. Down to the last 30 seconds Winston-Salem had plenty of chances but could not capitalize. With five chances directly in front of the rim, Winston-Salem just could not tip the ball back in as time expired. Wintson-Salem Team Certified took some hope from this that they are beginning to bring things together, as a team only place to go is up from this point this team.

Team Certified's next game is March 7th against the Robeson County Showstoppers in Winston-Salem.

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Robeson County Showstoppers Edge Triangle Run N Gun 130-125 in 2OT

February 21, 2015 - Lumberton, NC: Two teams took evenly matched to a new level, as the Triangle Run N Gun took the Robeson County Showstoppers to two overtimes before falling to the Lumberton team 130 to 125 in Saturday Tobacco Road Basketball League action.

The game started out pretty much as expected with an up and down pace. The Showstoppers switched things up a little this game bringing 5 in 5 out at times to try and wear down the Run N Gun. But the technique didn't work. Run N Gun would break out to an early lead, spurred by Ian Hathaway in the first half. Garrett Locklear came off the bench for Robeson County and brought a spark to the Showstoppers, pulling in 10 first half points. The Triangle Run N Gun would end the first quarter with a ten point lead.

Coming out in the second quarter, the game would get more intense and the offense on both ends was flowing. The Showstoppers would chip into the lead, getting production from everyone with great ball movement. Free throws played a big part in keeping the Showstoppers down. Run N Gun was getting threes to fall back to back. Thomas Sumpter for the Triangle team was on a scoring mission and would not be denied. The Showstoppers would continue to pound the ball down low getting good production from Demetris Driggers and Reggie Franklin to get the lead back. At the end of the second quarter the Triangle Run N Gun would be trailing the Robeson County Showstoppers by just 1.

At the start of the the third quarter, the fans were out of their seats, rooting hard for the home team. The Run N Gun came out in attack mode, with Ian Hathaway and Thomas Sumpter leading the way. On the other end the Showstoppers ball movement started to get real crisp with Shahmel Brackett and Garrett Locklear dishing out assists left and right. Kendrick Mckinnon for the Showstoppers knocked down a huge majority of those assists from behind the arc. The defense stepped up on both ends and no team could get an advantage or break away. At the end of the third quarter the Triangle Run N Gun would lead the Showstoppers 77 to 71.

Coming out into the 4th quarter, the Showstoppers would go back to getting the ball down low and got some huge buckets. But on the other end the Run N Gun was still scoring at will with the great ball movement. The lead was going back and forth between the two teams, with some hard fouls and big shots. Shahmel Brackett started penetrating and drawing defenders his way to open up the court for Kendrick Mckinnon who was raining threes at will, hitting 8 threes in total, 5 in the fourth quarter.

With all that the Triangle Run N Gun would have the ball with 20 seconds left and score to take the lead by 2. The Showstoppers took a timeout with one second left, and Ricardo Samuel made a great cut to the basket for the layup to bring it to overtime with a score of 102 to 102 at the end of regulation. The gym was live and the fans on the edge of their seats, supporting the home team Robeson County Showstoppers.

In the first overtime, it was again a back and forth game with neither team giving in. The pace was hectic and even though it was overtime the Run N Gun were still coming full speed. But the Showstoppers kept the game at their pace and got into the half court offense. The game would come down to the wire. But the score stayed notched heading into the second overtime, 112 to 112.

With the second overtime the Showstoppers came out on a mission and wanted to close things out. The chemistry of Shahmel Brackett and Kendrick Mckinnon was at an all time high. But Run N Gun's Thomas Sumpter and Ian Hathaway would try to keep the Run N Gun in it. The offensive production from the Showstoppers and the rebounding from Demetris Driggers and Reggie Franklin would finally pay off, with the Showstoppers finishing off the Triangle Run N Gun 130 to 125.

Top Performers for the Triangle Run N Gun were Ian Hathaway with 33 points, 2 assists and 5 rebounds and Thomas Sumpter with 40 points 3 assists and 6 rebounds. The Showstoppers top performers were Shahmel Brackett with 24 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds and Kendrick Mckinnon with 27 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Also Demetris Driggers had 23 points, 4 assists, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks. Garrett Locklear chipped in 20 points and 7 assists.

The Showstoppers next game will be at Winston Salem Team Certified on March 7th at 5PM. The Triangle Run N Gun are back at March 28th against the High Point Heat.

 


 

D-Elite Flyers sneak by the Atlantic Dragons 112-109

February 15, 2015-Notasulaga, AL: The D-Elite Flyers (3-4) found a way to defeat the Atlantic Dragons (1-1) at home Sunday with a final score of 112-109 in Tobacco Road Basketball League play. The Flyers started out strong from the tip taking an 8-2 lead and causing the Dragons to call an early time-out. The Flyers were playing with great confidence, having all but one player back from injury along with their new addition 6’7 Daniel Sullen. The first quarter was a back and forth quarter with each team capitalizing on the others mistakes. At the end of the first the Dragons led 24-20.

The second quarter was another back and forth battle and a three-point shooting contest. The Flyers Nate Watson and Gabriel McGhee combined for 4 threes in the second quarter but the Dragons, Steven Samuels and Joc Murrell answered right back with 5 of their own. The fans were witnessing a shoot exhibition they had never seen before and getting all they paid for and more. Going into the half the Dragons held onto a 5 point lead, with Samuels dropping a first half 21 points for the Dragons and Watson leading the Flyers with 12 points.

Coming out of the half the Flyers turned up their defensive pressure and forced the Dragons into three straight turnovers and capitalizing on the offensive end. The Dragons were forced to call a quick time to regroup and adjust to the pressure of the Flyers. After settling down, the third quarter was once again a nail biter. The Flyers battled end the third with a tied ball game, 78-78.

As the teams came out on the floor for the final round in the fourth quarter, both teams knew this game was going to be decided by defense intensity and execution on the offensive end. Throughout the entire quarter neither team led by more than three points. The Flyers dominated on the offensive glass led by Adam Okechukwu (7) and Nate Watson (6). The two TRBL All-Stars were determined to get their team a home win after falling short the previous week by three to the Atlantic Dragons.

Samuels (44 points, a game high) and Murrell (32 points) didn’t want to go away quietly, leading their team till the last buzzer when Samuels' 3/4 court shot rimmed out. The Flyers came out on top lead by Okechukwu with 26 points, 11 rebounds and Nate Watson with 25 points, 5 assist, 3 steals and 9 rebounds along with 9 of the 11 flyers players cashing in on the offensive end and 5 players finishing with double digits. 

Coach Dowell stated "This was a great team win and I am proud of my players for answering all the Dragons scoring runs and finding a way to win the game on the ropes. It felt good tonight to get a much needed win. The Atlantic Dragons have a great basketball team and I believe they will be a strong contender in the playoffs. Samuels may be one of the best all-around players I have seen play the game.” 

The Dragons next game is against the Georgia Kings (3-4) on February 21st at 7PM and the Flyers take on the Dragons (1-1) at home on February 22 at 5PM for round three of a great series.


 

Down Goes the Undefeated: Huntersville Hoopforlyfe Defeats Charlotte Elite 115-102.

February 15th, 2015- Huntersville, NC: In one of the most anticipated games of the Tobacco Road Basketball League season, Huntersville Hoopforlyfe handed the Charlotte Elite their first loss of the season at Lake Norman Charter School. The game was anything short of spectacular. Huntersville Hoopforlyfe came out strong early in the first quarter with scoring inside and outside of the paint. Huntersville Hoopforlyfe playing very good man to man defense with great rebounding by Mark Carson with 11 and Tony Young 10 to lead Hoopforlyfe with great board control. Charlotte Elite on the other hand was not playing like an undefeated team. They struggled to score baskets and had a hard time playing against Hoopforlyfe defense. By the end of the first half Hoopforlye was leading 64-45.

But the second half was nothing but exciting. Just when you thought Hoopforlye had this game won Charlotte Elite battled back. Hoopforlyfe started off the half unfocused and look like they were not together, Charlotte Elite took advantage of this and with great 3 point shooting from LaMarquis Letchaw with 2:31 left in the 3rd Charlotte Elite had cut the lead down to tie the game up 85-85. But Hoopforlyfe was able to regain their focus and was able to step up and pull together as a team to close this game out in the 4th and never look back.

This game was one for the ages and was a very big win for Hoopforlyfe. These two teams showed why they are #1 and #2 in the western division. Charlotte Elite was led by LaMarquis Letchaw with 39 points, Ryan Carter with 18 points and Cory Raley-Ross with 18 points. Hoopforlyfe was led by an impressive Nate Fraizer with 18 points, Jay Jay Alexander with 18 points, Jamal Durham with 18 points, and Anthony Welch Jr. with 16 points.  

Hoopforlyfe travels to Durham to face the Bull City Legacy on Saturday Feb 28th at 3:00pm. And Hoopforlyfe's Next home game will be March 8th.


 

Huntersville HoopForLyfe Stops the Robeson County Showstoppers, 120 - 97.

February 7, 2015 - Lumberton, NC: Saturday at the Bill Sapp Recreation Center, the Robeson County Showstoppers faced a opponent that they took a loss to earlier in the season, thinking this game was a must win. But sometimes even when you must win, you don't, as the visiting HoopForLyfe squad from Huntersville emerged victorious, 120-97 in Tobacco Road Basketball League action. 

The first quarter would be a high paced show. Both teams were scoring at will. Demetris Driggers came out relentlessly for the Lumberton team with fresh energy and was hard to be denied. Team HoopForLyfe however would maintain the lead the whole quarter by sharing the ball, getting players open, and hitting jump shots at will. Defense and getting back played a big role in this as HoopForLyfe would get a lot of fastbreaks and score off easy turnovers.

At the start of the second quarter the Showstoppers had a run that brought the lead down to 4 points. But a couple of bad shots and turnovers would allow Team HoopForLyfe to regain control of the game and continue the run to the break. At the end of the second quarter the Showstoppers went into the locker room by 12.

Coming out to start the third quarter the Showstoppers thought they had the defense that would slow HoopForLyfe down. But it didnt last the pace was up and down all night long and the Showstoppers couldnt match the fastbreak that night. Rebounding and getting back in transition played a big part in this victory for Team HoopForLyfe.

In the fourth quarter Team HoopForLyfe would not back down as the Showstoppers tried to knock down the 20 point deficit. But Team HoopForLyfe would maintain control and go bucket for bucket with the Showstoppers to keep the lead up to 23. The final score of the game was Team HoopForLyfe 120 and the Robeson County Showstoppers 97.

Showstoppers top scorers were Shahmel Brackett with 27 points, Kendrick Mckinnon with 16 points, and Demetris Driggers with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Top scorers for TeamHoopForLyfe were Tony Young with 25 points and 10 rebounds and Jamal Durham with 22 points, with Anthony Welch contributing with 17 points.

The Robeson County Showstoppers will be back in action February 21st at Bill Sapp Recreation Center at 6:00 PM. And Team HoopForLyfe will be back at it on February 15th at home against the Charlotte Elite.


 

Charlotte Elite Beat Back All American Ballers, 121-112

February 7, 2015 - Concord, NC: Saturday at Chargers Gymnasium, the Tobacco Road Basketball League's lone unbeaten team faced off against a spirited opponent in the All American Ballers out of Fayetteville, NC. The All American Ballers were short handed, with only six players, but were game to brawl with the Charlotte Elite (7-0) and they did just that from the very beginning, even though both teams were missing their dominant post players: Lew Sims for Charlotte and Kenneth Haywood. Jr. for the Ballers.

The Charlotte Elite came out extremely lethargic, missing four out of their first five shots and turning the ball over three quick times. After going down 9-2, first-time TRBL All-Star and league leader in assists Lamarquis Letchaw, along with Terrone Sheffey and Quadarious Fewell, put together an 11-4 run of their own to help the Elite to tie the game at 13. The rest of the first quarter was a see-saw battle, ending with the team from Charlotte being down going into the second quarter (27-24) for the first time this season.

In the second quarter the Elite got a nice jolt of energy from the defense, unselfish play from co-captain Ash Hollar, and 9 quick points from Charlotte's other co-captain - and All-star - Kevin Green. By halftime the Charlotte Elite were winning 57-54. Throughout the second half the Elite fans stands stood up to cheer their team on as it was evident that the team was in for a dogfight!

In the third quarter the two teams went basket for basket and really put on a show; charges were taken; loose balls were dove for; and tough, contested shots were continually made. The period ended tied at 89 points.

Entering the 4th quarter the superior depth of the Charlotte group finally began to take it's toll on the away team. Charlotte started the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run, repeatedly beating the weary Fayetteville team to rebounds on both ends and getting second chance points. The All American Ballers would never get closer than 7 points after that, ultimately losing 121-112.

The Charlotte Elite on Sunday February 15th next take on the Huntersville HoopForLyfe (5-2), who are right behind them in the Western Division and located only ten minutes away from Chargers Gymnasium. 


 

Bull City Legacy Run Past Triangle Run N' Gun, 143-115

February 7, 2015 - Durham, NC: Head Coach Marvin "Rat" Reed and the Bull City Legacy played host to Triangle Run N' Gun Saturday at Walltown Recreational Center in Durham. Reed was coaching first Tobacco Road Basketball League game as the head man for the Legacy. And his team gave him a great welcoming gift.  

Triangle Run N' Gun came out on fire, led by guards Milan Prodanovic and Ian Hathaway. The duo's early play gave the Run N' Gun a 23-22 lead after one quarter. Prodanovic finished the game with 25 points and 9 assists, while Hathaway chipped in with 23 points. The Legacy would own the second quarter, but it was another "Ian" who provided the spark.  

Bull City outscored the Run N' Gun 47-20 in the second quarter to turn a 1-point deficit into a 26-point halftime lead.

Legacy forward Ian Gregory (St. Thomas Univ.) made 14 of his 17 field goal attempts, including 5-7 from 3-point range, to finish with a game- high 35 points, in the 143-115 Bull City Victory.  

Legacy guard Tim Plummer also had a great game, finishing 3 assists shy of a triple-double. Plummer scored 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists. Jamario Clayton poured in 25 points for Bull City, which improves to (4-2) on the season. Next up for the Legacy is a home game versus Huntersville HoopForLyfe, February 28th. Triangle Run N' Gun falls to (1-7). They'll hit the road February 21st against the Robeson County Showstoppers.


 

Winston Salem Team Certified Downed by Huntersville HoopForLyfe, 127-110

January 31, 2015 - Winston Salem, NC: Saturday in Tobacco Road Basketball League action, Winston Salem Team Certified welcomed Huntersville HoopForLyfe in their hometown for the Camel city squad's second home game, hoping to pick up a much wanted home win.

The game started out close, just like all of Winston Salem’s other games. But towards the end of the second quarter, just like every other game, Team Certified took a break on defense and Huntersville started to run away with the lead.

Team Certified's Zalinor Banks did what he could by scoring 31 points. And Dominique Williams posted a double double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. But with the lapse on defense it wouldn’t matter much.

With HoopForLyfe shooting 52% from three-point range, the Huntersville team was just too much for Team Certified guards to keep up with. Jerry Alexander led the way with 22 points, shooting 5 of 9 from the three-point arc and with no one else missing from three-point land Team Certified didn’t have much of a chance.

Team Certified is back at it on Saturday February 7th at 4:00 PM, taking on the Raleigh Revolt at the Winston Lake YMCA. Huntersville HoopForLyfe travels to Robeson County Saturday to take on the the Showstoppers at the Bill Sapp Center, in Lumberton.

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Triangle Run 'N' Gun slips past the Georgia Kings, 104-102

January 30, 2015 – Atlanta, GA: The Triangle Run 'N’ Gun of Durham, NC defeated the Georgia Kings of Atlanta, GA on Friday by a score of 104-102 in the Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL).

The Triangle Run 'N’ Gun, 1-5 in the TRBL, were led by a four-headed monster of offensive power. TRBL All-Stars Milan Podanovic and David Muoser led the way. Podanovic had 30 points and 5 rebounds on 60% FG shooting. Mouser had 25 points on 67% FG shooting. With assistance from Dexter Pearce (22 points) and Thomas Sumter (20 points), the Run N’ Gun were able to pull out a close game and score steadily in the fourth quarter to notch their first win of the TRBL season.

While the game was close throughout, the Run N’ Gun were able to come back from giving up 47 first quarter points by dominating the second quarter (18-9) and the fourth quarter (26-19).

The Georgia Kings, now 2-4 in the TRBL, were led by shooting performances from TRBL All-Star Robbie Dreher and 21 points and 6 rebounds with assistance from Taj Wells with 18 points and 7 rebounds. A first quarter outburst of 47 points could not be sustained as the Kings only scored 55 points the remaining three quarters of the contest.

Coach Shawn Ward stated “We started off blazing hot. We scored early and often. Unfortunately the all-star power of the Run N’ Gun were able to score, catch up, and perform steadily. Podanovic is a very good player. Next time we play them we will need to focus on maintaining consistency on offense and defense throughout the four quarters of the contest”.

The Triangle Run 'N’ Gun (1-5) will play again at home in Durham, NC on February 7, 2015 against the Bull City Legacy (3-2). The Georgia Kings (2-4) will play the D-Elite Flyers (2-2) of Auburn, GA on February 7, 2015 in Atlanta, GA.


 

Charlotte Elite Exhaust Robeson County Showstoppers, 159-109

January 31, 2015 - Concord, NC: The Charlotte Elite came into their Tobacco Road Basketball League home game against the Robeson County Showstoppers boasting the league's only undefeated record and looking to avoid a letdown against a feisty RobCo team. The game started off very competitively, with both teams exchanging baskets at a frenetic pace until Lew Sims, playing in his first game in the TRBL, subbed in and led the team on a 9-3 run to end the quarter.

The Elite never looked back after that, continuing their blistering scoring pace while stifling the Showstoppers with man-to-man defense and superior depth. The Elite frequently substituted players and wore down the team from Lumberton scoring 81 points in the first half. Lew Sims led Charlotte in scoring in his debut with 28 points. Lamarquis Letchaw, league leader in assists, continued to play at an all-star level scoring 22 points and dishing out 10 assists in 23 minutes of play.

By the end of the game the Charlotte Elite had pushed the lead to 50 points behind a well-rounded effort in which 9 players scored in double figures. Next up for the Charlotte Elite is a home game Saturday February 7 at 3:00PM against the All-American Ballers of Fayetteville, NC. The Elite will be looking to improve their record to 7-0 against a gritty Ballers team in their first ever match-up.


  

McLaurin Nets 44 for Dawgs, but Raleigh Too Much for Wilmington

January 31, 2015 - Raleigh, NC: The largest home crowd of the Raleigh Revolt’s inaugural season welcomed the Wilmington Sea Dawgs on Saturday night on the campus of Shaw University. The Sea Dawgs (9-3) entered the game with most points earned to date in the 2014-2015 TRBL Point Series, but the Revolt were eager to show that they were legitimate contenders for a TRBL title.  

Several hundred fans were on their feet early cheering on the home squad. The Revolt jumped out to a very quick double-digit lead behind a blistering 21 points in the first 15 minutes of the game by former TRBL All Star Freddie Little (32 points.) The game would never get any closer. An undermanned Wilmington team struggled to keep pace with hot early outside shooting by a Revolt team that collectively drained 16 3-pointers. Sharp shooting and a 52-24 rebounding advantage kept the game out of reach all night for the Sea Dawgs.

Raleigh built leads of nearly 40 points by the end of the third quarter, however Todd McLaurin (44 points) got hot late and cut the deficit. The Revolt held on to win 146-115, moving up in the TRBL Point Series standings. Daniel Jackson (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Jared Grady (32 points, 10 rebounds) each posted double-doubles for Raleigh.

The Revolt (4-1) have won 4 straight games and next play at Winston-Salem on February 7th.

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Wilmington Sea Dawgs roll over Huntersville HoopForLyfe, 106-98

January 24, 2015 - Wilmington, NC: The Wilmington Sea Dawgs keep on rolling, riding a seven game winning streak into Saturday's game hosting Huntersville HoopForLyfe at the Wilmington YMCA in Tobacco Road Basketball League action. HoopForLyfe brought in a 3-1 record. The Sea Dawgs would play this one without their leading scorer Todd McLaurin but would get huge contributions from multiple players.

The Sea Dawgs led HoopForLyfe 26-21 at the end of the first quarter. HoopForLyfe would storm back in the second quarter and eventually take the lead. However, they ended up trailing the Sea Dawgs 44-42 at halftime. For the final two quarters the two teams would go basket for basket without either team gaining a huge advantage.

Coming down the stretch the Sea Dawgs would turn to Levi Humphrey to close the game. He would score nine consecutive points in the period and the Sea Dawgs would end up winning the game 106-98.

The Sea Dawgs were led by Marco Spears's 30 points and 6 rebounds. Other contributions: Levi Humphrey with 23 points and 12 rebounds, C.J. Melvin logged 21 points with 11 rebounds, Dray Baker contributed 18 points and 8 rebounds. C.C. Williams had 7 points, 8 rebouinds, and 4 assists. HoopForLyfe was led by Anthony Welch with 27 points and 9 rebounds. JayJay Alexander added 14 points. Farad Morales had 14 points. Tony Young logged 13 points with 13 rebounds. And Jon Hart chipped in 10 points.

The Sea Dawgs look to take the their talents to Raleigh this Saturday as they face the Raleigh Revolt. The game will take place 6:00PM at Shaw University.


 

Wilmington Sea Dawgs square off Triangle RunNGun, 115-93

January 17, 2015 - Wilmington, NC: In the winter cold, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs stayed hot. Riding a 6 game winning streak, the Dawgs looked to continue their winning ways against the visiting Triangle RunNGun Saturday in Tobacco Road Basketball League action at the Wilmington YMCA. The Triangle squad was looking to scratch the winning column after going 0-4 prior to Saturday's action.

RunNGun would come out the first quarter with a vengeance. Milan Prodanovic would score 16 points in the quarter and help Triangle lead the Sea Dawgs 27-26. But the Sea Dawgs would clamp down defensively and outscore Triangle 22-18 and take a 48-45 halftime lead.

The Sea Dawgs would jump on the Triangle RunNGun early in the third quarter and take a commanding lead and sustain the lead throughout the rest of the game, eventually defeating Triangle 115-93 for their seventh consecutive win and 8-2 record overall.

The Sea Dawgs were led by a huge outing from Levi Humphrey who had 20 points and 21 rebounds. Todd McLaurin chipped in 20 points and 8 rebounds. Dameion Baker had 19 points with 9 rebounds. Marco Spears notched 16 points. The Triangle RunNGun was led by Milan Prodanovic's 32 points. Thomas Sumpter had 21 points. Dexter Pearce scored 20 points.

The Sea Dawgs host Huntersville HoopForLyfe (2-1) Saturday January 24, 2015 at 4:00pm at the Wilmington YMCA.

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Charlotte Elite Defeat Georgia Kings, 120-114

January 17, 2015 – Atlanta, GA: The Charlotte (NC) Elite (4-0) went down to Georgia looking for a game to steal and they did, defeating Atlanta’s Georgia Kings on Saturday by a score of 120-114 in the Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL). The Charlotte Elite, 4-0 in the TRBL, were led by Curtis Withers with 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists and Corey Raley-Ross’ 26 points. The Charlotte Elite’s explosive offense led to 120 points as the Georgia Kings were unable to stop the visitors, making it extremely tough for the Kings to come back.

The score was only separated by one point at the half. However the Elite created breathing room by scoring 37 points in the third quarter and continued to hit clutch shots to keep the Kings trailing throughout the remainder of the game. The Georgia Kings, now 2-2 in the TRBL, were led by shooting performances from Eulus Stephens (20 points) and 18 points from each from Luscious Winston and Robbie Dreher.

Coach Shawn Ward stated “Tough loss for us, but an earned win by the Charlotte Elite. We committed a lot of turnovers and our transition defense was slow. We have to maintain a concentrated effort on defense throughout the game to beat teams. Can’t wait for our next game and our team will be ready." The Charlotte Elite will play again at home in Charlotte, NC on January 24, 2015 against the Triangle Run ‘N Gun (0-4). The Georgia Kings will travel to play the D-Elite Flyers (0-2) on January 24, 2015 in Auburn, AL.

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Cary Invasion pay back Raleigh Stealth, 123-104

January 17, 2015 – Cary, NC: The Cary Invasion welcomed Raleigh’s Stealth All-Stars to Kay Yow Court for what Cary hoped would not be a repeat of last season’s only home loss. The Stealth came to play, but from the opening basket until the final buzzer the Invasion maintained a consistent control of the game. However, Cary stayed only a handful of points in the lead throughout the game until the Stealth went cold mid-fourth quarter, giving the Invasion the win, 123-104.

For the Stealth, Lance Beckwith hit 8 three-pointers amassing 26 points in the game. Jordan Vandenburg followed up with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while former Invasion players Chris Poole and Will Roach added 16 and 15 points respectively to the Stealth’s total.

Top TRBL scorer’s Corey Evans and Paul Wright set the tone for the Invasion’s dominance, with game high-scorer Wright delivering 29 points, 4 assists, and 7 rebounds. Evans added 18 points to the mix while shooting 100% from the line. Forwards Robert Helaire and Mike Smith each contributed 15 points, while shooting guard Taylor Hukill added 14 points. Center Reheem Oshodi and power forward Rodney Callwood rounded out the scoring delivering 10 points each.

The 7-1 Invasion will be taking the next few weeks off before they begin their Western Division run against the as-of-now unbeaten 4-0 Charlotte Elite at home on Saturday March 7th. However, you can catch the Invasion before that on February 7th, as they play their third Annual exhibition game vs the Cary Police Department to benefit the great work of Dorcas Ministries.

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Cary Invasion runs away from Triangle RunNGun, 137-112

January 10, 2015 – Cary, NC: The mood was festive at the Herb Young Center Saturday night when Triangle RunNGun came to play their first game against the Cary Invasion in Saturday Tobacco Road Basketball League action. It was Reedy Creek Middle School Night and the bleachers were filled equally with young fans as well as ones a bit older, including the school’s 6-0 basketball team, which was recognized for their accomplishment at halftime.

The game itself left little surprise for the Invasion faithful; from the first game score to the final score the Invasion stayed firmly in control. Top producers for the feisty Run ‘n’ Gun: Ian Hathaway, with 31-points, and Milan Prodanovic, with 25-points, were aided in their attempt to unseat the Invasion’s winning streak by Dexter Pearce (15-points), Sam Selig (13-points), and Jack Wise (11-points) but to no avail.

The Invasion’s top guns—Corey Evans (30-points), Nigel Munson (27-points) and Rodney Callwood (19-points)—were simply too much for the Triangle team to overcome. At the half the Invasion led RunNGun 63-59, and by game’s end the four-point halftime lead had been extended to 25-points, giving the Invasion a solid win 137-112. Other standouts for the Invasion included Paul ‘Tay’ Wright (14-points), Charles ‘Skywalker’ Ward (11-points) and ‘Big Mike’ Devere (10-points).

Next up for the 6-1 Invasion at the Herb Young Center is the Stealth All-Stars of Raleigh, the only team to beat the Invasion at home last year; while the 0-3 RunNGun travel to the Wilmington YMCA to play the 7-2 SeaDawgs. Both games are scheduled for 7PM tipoffs Saturday January 17th.

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Charlotte Elite stifle High Point Heat, 121-111

January 10, 2015 - Concord, NC: The Charlotte Elite stifled the high scoring Heat 121-111 in Saturday Tobacco Road Basketball League action at Cox Mill High School The Elite used their trademark defense and some major offensive firepower of their own to combat the prolific High Point team in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated.

Right from the jump ball, the Charlotte Elite set the pace for the game, building a lead by getting transition baskets and offensive rebounds in the first half that carried through the remaining quarters. Even when they went to their second string and the offensive output was limited, their hallmark defense carried them and helped to maintain a double digit lead for the majority of the game.

Co-captain Kevin Green, as well as Jerry Hollis and Curtis Withers who made his debut, led the way and proved this is not just a guard's game. Terrone Sheffey, Co-captain Ryan Carter and Lamarquis Letchaw provided a slew of exciting plays in the backcourt that kept the crowd happy.

Next week, the Elite attempt to remain unbeaten in their inaugural season as they travel to Atlanta the Benjamin E. Mays Sports Complex to take on the Georgia Kings.

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Showstoppers take down the All-American Ballers, 126-112 

January 10, 2015 – Lumberton, NC: The Robeson County Showstoppers, coming off two tough losses, came out strong to start the New Year off at home against the All-American Ballers in Saturday night Tobacco Road Basketball action at the Bill Sapp Center. The gym was packed and the crowd was hoping for a win from the hometown Showstoppers. And in the first quarter the Showstoppers showed they wanted to oblige. Shahmel Brackett brought in 14 first quarter points. The Ballers were caught off guard by the Showstoppers fast pace game and the intense defense, leading the Robeson County group to a 35-18 lead after the first quarter.

The Showstoppers came out with the same offensive mindset at the beginning of the second quarter, with Garrett Locklear and Kendrick Whittington pulling in the majority of the points. But the Ballers refused to back down, getting the ball to Stan Johnson to record 10 second quarter points. But the Showstoppers were relentess and kept attacking the Ballers all night with great ball movement and chemistry. At the end of the second half, the Showstoppers headed to the locker room with a 69-48 lead at halftime.

The building was electric afor the start of the third quarter, as the Ballers come out with a chip on their shoulders and brought their offense to a different level. Costly turnovers caused the Showstoppers to allow the Ballers to gain a little momentum and chip away on the lead with Stan Johnson and Steve Williams leading them. But the Showstoppers kept pounding and went to a big lineup and got great production from Demetris Driggers and Kendrick Mckinnon in the third. At the end of the third quarter the Showstoppers would go up 96-81 on the All American Ballers.

Coming out in the fourth quarter the Showstoppers wanted to break away from the Ballers. But the Fayettevill squad wouldnt go down without a fight. While Shahmel Brackett and Demetris Driggers were scoring at will, Ballers Xavier Bethea and Antwan Mcgregor caught fire. But the home support was just too much to keep the Showstoppers down. Robeson County would come back and take control of the game to finish off the All-American Ballers 126-112.

Top performers for the Showstoppers were Shahmel Brackett with 27 points, Demetris Driggers with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Kendrick Whittington with 17 points. The top performers for the All-American Ballers were Stan Johnson with 27 pts and Antwan Mcgregor with 27 points. With this win the Showstoppers improve their record to 2-4 and will be hitting the road to face the Charlotte Elite in Charlotte, NC on January 31st, 2015. The All-American Ballers record goes to 0-6 on the year.

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Charlotte Elite defeat Winston-Salem Team Certified 89-80

January 3, 2015 - Charlotte, NC:

In their first ever home game, the Charlotte Elite (2-0) defeated the Winston Salem Team Certified by nine points, 89-80. After jumping to a 12 point lead just before halftime, the Elite never looked back, maintaining a double-digit lead for the majority of the game. Team Certified went on a brief run during the fourth quarter, but co-captain Ryan Carter and the Charlotte Elite stifled the comeback to lead 74-64 with 5:44 remaining in the fourth quarter.

"We came out aggressive early, jumping on them…” said Coach Slayton after the game, “Every time they mount[ed] a run they [were] thwarted by our defensive pressure, as well as the stellar play of our current leading scorer, co-captain Kevin Green. Corey Raley-Ross, making his debut, and Ryan Carter also had superb performances.”

The Charlotte Elite take on the High Point Heat in their next game Saturday, January 10 at Cox Mill High School at 3pm.


 

Huntersville Hoopforlyfe rolls past the High Point Heat, 120 - 116

January 4, 2015 - Huntersville, NC: Great defense and exceptional rebounding in the fourth quarter helped Huntersville Hoopforlyfe get past a resilient High Point Heat squad Sunday 120-116 in an exhilarating Tobacco Road Basketball League game at Lake Norman Charter School.

Huntersville Hoopforlyfe was down by as much as 12 in the first half but came out strong in the second half taking the lead early on. However the High Point Heat was able to bring the game to within one point with 33 seconds left in the fourth quarter. However, Hoopforlyfe was able to hang on for the win.

Hoopforlyfe’s Anthony Wells was pivotal in this win. He led the team with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. The High Point Heat was led by Kenard Moore who had 44 points and dominated from 3 point range with 13 three pointers.

Huntersville Hoopforlyfe are now 2-1 in the Tobacco Road Basketball League and will be back in action on Sunday January 18th at Lake Norman Charter School against a tough All American Ballers team. The High Point Heat are on the road January 10th, taking on the Charlotte Elite.

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Cary Invasion squeak past All American Ballers, 104-103

January 3, 2015 - Cary, NC: Although the crowd was smaller, the Invasion came up big, much to the dismay of the visitors from Fayetteville, edging the All American Ballers 104-103 in Saturday night Tobacco Road Basketball League action at the Herbert C. Young Community Center.

Throughout the game Cary was fully in command of the score—twice pulling ahead to nearly a 20 point lead. That is until only a minute and change was left in the third quarter when the Ballers pulled ahead.

From that point on the lead changed numerous times providing the Cary faithful with an edge-of-their-seats experience right up to the final seconds of the game

Cary assumed the winless Ballers would be easy fodder for the Invasion’s style of high-intensity play. But the scrappy visitors didn’t go down without a fight, and could have had their first “W” had it not been for the Ballers’ coach drawing a technical in the last minute of play.

As a result Paul ‘Tay’ Wright went to the line and brought Cary to within one point of the lead, which then led to a steal and a fast goal in the last 2-seconds to give Cary the win, 104-103. Outstanding play by Taylor Hukill, Rodney Callwood and League high-scorers Wright and Corey Evans sealed the Invasion’s victory.

Both team’s next games are Saturday the 10th with the Ballers (0-5) visiting the Robeson County Showstoppers (1-4) in Lumberton, while the Invasion (5-1) host Durham’s Run ‘N’ Gun (0-2).

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Sea Dawgs Dethrone the Kings, 103 – 97

January 3, 2015 – Wilmington, NC:  One team was undefeated and the other team was riding a 5 game winning streak and holding the top ranking in the Tobacco Road Basketball League. The two teams would not disappoint. And when the smoke cleared, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs had crowned the Georgia Kings 103-97 in Saturday TRBL action at the Wilmington YMCA.

The game would go pretty much as expected with both teams matching up well against each other. At the end of the first quarter the Georgia Kings would hold a 6 point advantage over the Sea Dawgs 26-20.

In the second quarter the teams would once again continue to cancel each other out going basket for basket and each scoring 30 points for the quarter, giving the Kings a 56-50 edge going into halftime.

The third quarter would prove to be one of prophetic proportions. The Kings went on an run and took a commanding 13 point lead. The Sea Dawgs called timeout with 6:16 left in the quarter down 72-59. What happened next could not be scripted any better. Veterans Big Mike Gibbs and James Rhodes led the Sea Dawgs out of the timeout to completely shut down the Kings for the rest of the quarter with a 15-0 run and a 74-72 lead

From that point they never looked back. They would go on to outscore the Kings 29-25 and thus win the game 103-107.

Contributions in this win came from everybody. Todd McLaurin scored 37 points. CC Williams had a career game scoring 14 points, 6 assist, and 10 rebounds. Chris Hargrove was also huge scoring 11 points and 9 rebounds. The brilliance of Coach Matt Joyner choosing to go with the veterans Mike Gibbs and James Rhodes paid huge dividends as they anchored the paint for that stretch run.

The Georgia Kings were led by Dominic Shuler, with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Mike Rogers had 18 points with 10 boards, Scheran King scored 18 points 8 with rebounds. Lucious Winston had 17 points and 16 assists. And Dakin Braddick chipped in 10 points and 12 rebounds

The Sea Dawgs will be back in action on January 17th at 7:00pm as they take on Triangle Run N Gun at the Wilmington Family YMCA. The Kings travel to Auburn to face the D-Elite Flyers on January 24th.

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Bull City Legacy Ices the High Point Heat, 127-114

January 3, 2015 – Durham, NC: The Bull City Legacy welcomed the High Point Heat to Walltown Recreational Center for a mid-afternoon Saturday match up in the Tobacco Road Basketball league. The Legacy got off to a great start, but let an eight point lead slip away, and found themselves trailing after the first quarter. High Point was on fire from behind the arc, connecting on five 3-pointers in the first quarter, to take a 35-32 lead.

There was a scary moment in the second quarter: Legacy guard J'mell Walters took a hard fall after a layup and suffered a mild concussion. The Legacy used Walters injury as a rallying cry. Bull City started to "heat" up - no pun intended - and out scored High Point by 17 points in the second quarter, to lead 71-57 at the half. 

Raymond McKeithen pumped in 23 points and pulled down six rebounds, while Tim Plummer recorded a double double, 15 points 10 rebounds, and Bull City had seven players score in double figures. The result, a 127-114 Legacy victory.  

High Point connected on sixteen 3-pointers, led by Jarrett Johnson, who had a game-high 25 points. Eugene Vassallo chipped in with 21 points, and Kennard Moore drained five 3-pointers to finish with 19 points for the Heat.  

With the win Bull City improves to 3-2 in the Tobacco Road Basketball League. Bull City Returns to action February 7th at 4:00 PM, hosting Triangle RunNGun at the Walltown Recreational Center. The High Point Heat travel Sunday, January 4th to Huntersville to take on HoopForLyfe at 3:00 PM at Lake Norman Charter.

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Raleigh Jumps Out Early, Outruns Flyers 136-111

January 3, 2015 - Raleigh, NC: Two first-year TRBL teams squared off on a rainy Saturday night at Spaulding Gymnasium on the campus of Shaw University. The D-Elite Flyers (Auburn, AL) made the long trek to play their second league game of the year. The Revolt, who had yet to lose at home this season, aimed to keep their home streak alive. As most TRBL games, this one started at a frenetic pace. The Raleigh guards pushed the pace throughout the opening minutes and were responsible for most the team’s scoring. The Revolt’s Freddie Little (Montavello) started the game on fire from behind the arc, showing why he has been a perennial minor league All Star. Little put up 23 points in the first half. Not to be outdone by his backcourt partner, Raleigh point guard Brian West (Elizabeth City) put up his first half points through dribble penetration. The Flyers had little to answer, and the Revolt exploded to a 71-35 lead at the half.

The home team purposefully pushed the ball into its big men to start the second half. Forward Malachai Jones (Baltimore) scored the first 6 points of the second half, extending Raleigh’s lead even further. Revolt forward Daniel Jackson (Shaw) also got into the game grabbing rebounds and scoring inside. By the end of the third, Raleigh built a commanding 105-60 lead. 

But, the Flyers did not quit. The visitors put on a scoring exhibition in the fourth quarter, led by forward Adam Okechukwu's game high 30 points. The Flyers scored a staggering 51 points in the final period, cutting the Revolt lead to as few as 20 points. The early hole was just too deep though, and Raleigh held on to win 136-111. Brian West led the Revolt with 29 points, followed by Freddie Little with 28 points. The Revolt shot 59% for the game, including 14 3-pointers. 

The Revolt (3-1) next host the Wilmington Sea Dawgs (7-2) on January 31st. The Flyers (0-2) next host the Atlantic Dragons (Stockbridge, GA) on January 10th.

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Sea Dawgs Pay Back Showstoppers, 139-117

December 27, 2014 - Wilmington, NC:  The Wilmington Sea Dawgs avenged an early season loss to the Robeson County Showstoppers by defeating them 139-117 at the YMCA Arena in Saturday night Tobacco Road Basketball League action. This would turn out to be an instant classic.

The hype was built up for this game and neither team disappointed, even With the Showstoppers missing a couple of key guys. The Sea Dawgs thought that they were going to be without their franchise player Todd McLaurin, but were surprised with a late gift as he made a last minute entrance into the arena.

Without Todd McLaurin in the first quarter the Sea Dawgs would use a balanced attack to lead the Showstoppers 26-25 at the end of the first quarter. The Showstoppers would look early and often to their go to guy, Demettris Driggers, who would really be the story of this game. He had a monster first quarter with 11 points.

Then in the second quarter as the Sea Dawgs fell behind by 7 they would turn to "the Franchise" Todd McLaurin, who would have a monster quarter himself, registering 11 for the frame. Even with the 14 points Driggers added in the second quarter the Showstoppers found themselves down 65-58 at halftime.

Coming out for the second half the Sea Dawgs would get some breathing room as they distanced themselves by outscoring the Showstoppers 35-26 in the third quarter behind McLaurin's 10 and B.J. Donnell's 9 points.

Then the final period would be much to the fans delight as the shorthanded Showstoppers started to slow down and the fully staffed Sea Dawgs kept bringing fresh legs. Those fresh legs kept resulting in highlights for the Sea Dawg crowd's enjoyment. C.J. Melvin was on the end of 2 alley oop passes from Todd McLaurin. James "Swoal" Rhodes threw down two monster breakaway dunks. And Big Mike Gibbs nearly forfeited the game by trying to tear the rim down with his thunderous dunk.

The Sea Dawgs would go on to win the game 139-117. Todd McLaurin would lead the Sea Dawgs with 23. Levi Humphrey had 20, Marco Spears 18, C.J. Melvin 15, B.J. Donnell 14, C.C. Williams 11, and Tyrell Horton 11. Demettris Driggers of the Showstoppers scored an eye-popping league-leading 48 points. Other honorable mentions for the Showstoppers included Garrett Locklear with 24, Kendrick McKinnon with 23, and Frank Smith 12.

The Sea Dawgs, currently on a five game winning streak with an overall record of 6-2 and the lead in the TRBL standings, will be back at home to take on Atlanta's finest, the Georgia Kings, with a 2-0 record Saturday January 3 at 4:00pm at the YMCA in Wilmington.

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Invasion & Showstoppers combine for over 300 points in Cary win, 165-139

December 20, 2014 – Cary, NC: Fast, exciting, and fun is a hallmark of Tobacco Road Basketball League games, but on Saturday night, the Cary Invasion and the Robeson County Showstoppers kicked it up a notch, averaging 6.33 points a minute in Cary's 165-139 win at the Herbert C. Young Community Center.

From the visiting Showstoppers, four players — Demettris Driggers, Shamell Brackett, Jarvis Williams and Kendrick McKinnon — accounted for the majority of their 139-points, while the Invasion’s 165-points production was more balanced, with significant points recorded by Taylor Hukill (19, 4-of-4 3-pointers), ‘Tay’ Wright (21), Robert Helaire (19), Charles ‘Skywalker’ Ward (16) and Nigel Munson (10). The lead scorer for the Invasion was Corey Evans with 47 points recorded, the majority of them from his fast penetration put-ups inside the arc. The flow of the game was even during the first 12 minutes of play with the lead changing most every shot put up and scored, and ending with the Showstoppers edging the Invasion by four-points, 35-31 But fortunes began to change for Cary during the second period of play when the Invasion and Evans came alive to lead at the half 75-52. 

During the third quarter the Showstoppers made a run to even the game by staying neck-and neck with Invasion scoring, but were hard pressed to shorten the 26-point lead of the Invasion. At the end of 3rd quarter it was 118-92 Cary. The game ended with Robeson County increasing their quarter point production but it was not enough to catch the Invasion, with the final score telling the tale, Cary 165-139. Cary was short their usual defensive manpower due to some of the players visiting family during the holiday. However, as noted by a fan after the game, "There may have been no defense, but the Invasion gave the crowd what they came to see." The Invasion (4-1) host the All-American Ballers (0-4) on January 3rd at 7PM at the Young Community Center.


 

Georgia Kings Stifle D-Elite Flyers Down The Stretch For Second Win, 110-100

December 20, 2014 – Atlanta, GA: In what was a hotly contested first half game, the Georgia Kings were able to gut out a tough win against the visiting D-Elite Flyers from Auburn, GA for their second win of the Tobacco Road Basketball League season, 110-100 at the Benjamin E. Mays Sports Complex The Georgia Kings scored 54 first half points, and shared the ball well as evidenced by six players scoring in double figures. Overall the team shot 56% from the field to go along with 46% from deep. The Georgia Kings were led by Sheraun King’s 23 points and 4 rebounds on 8-11 FGs and by Eulus Stephens 22 points on 8-14 FGs.

The team built a lead that reached twenty three in the third quarter after they showed a renewed defensive focus. The Flyers demonstrated that they were a team with a lot of heart, focus, and most importantly the ability score by shrinking the lead to as close as eight points. The Kings would not be denied, and made key baskets during the 4th quarter stretch to ensure victory didn’t escape them.

"Our Kings’ players showed the true grit and heart to finish with a win against the Flyers," stated Co-Owner Ray McKenzie. "Sheraun King and Eulus Stephens played determined basketball tonight. The Flyers are an extremely tough team and have a lot of talent. The TRBL is displaying exceptional talent in the league." McKenzie added "The Kings are now 2-0 and looking forward to additional wins this season.”  The D-Elite Flyers were led by Frank Tolbert’s 25 points and 12 rebounds and Nathan Watson’s 24 points and 5 rebounds. The Georgia Kings next game will be January 3, 2015 at 4:00 PM against the Wilmington Sea Dawgs at the Wilmington, NC YMCA. The D-Elite Flyers next game will be January 3, 2014 at 6:00 PM against the Raleigh Revolt at Spaulding Gymnasium on the campus of Shaw University in Raleigh, NC.


 

Sea Dawgs pummel Team Certified - Winston Salem 111 - 73

December 20, 2014 - Wilmington NC: Team Certified of Winston Salem came to Wilmington to try and cool down the hot Dawgs, but found themselves eaten up by the Port City Squad, 111-73, in Saturday night Tobacco Road Basketball League action. The Sea Dawgs were led by Todd McLaurin's 21 points. Marco Spears tossed in 20. Levi Humphrey added 18. And Craig "C.J." Melvin had 12. Team Certified was led by Chris Young with 19, Dominique Williams and Jamal McNeil with 11 each, and Jayvon Spease with 10. 

Riding a three game winning streak, the first quarter wouldn't be a pretty one by Sea Dawg standards. The Dawgs only managed to score 14 points in the period. Sloppy play and just missing shots seemed to the theme for the whole quarter. For as bad as they played they only found themselves down by only 2 with Team Certified ahead 16-14. 

Once again the Sea Dawgs would turn to Mr. Reliable, Todd McLaurin. He would score 12 in the second quarter and help give the Sea Dawgs a 38-28 point halftime lead.

And when they came out in the third period, the flood gates blew open. The Dawgs outscored Team Certified 42- 18 and would cruise to the 111-73 victory 

The Sea Dawgs are looking to avenge an early season loss to the Robeson County Showstoppers Saturday the 27th at 7:00 at the Wilmington YMCA. This one has definitely been on the minds of the players. According to Coach Matthew Johnson, "A statement will be made".

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Bull City Legacy Easily Handle All American Ballers, 133-100

December 20, 2014 - Durham, NC: Bull City Legacy center Deshawn McLean had a game-high 21 points and 5 rebounds in a 133-100 win over the All American Ballers at Walltown Recreational center on Saturday in Tobacco Road Basketball League action. 

The Bull City Legacy jumped out to a quick 13-1 lead and never looked backed. Seven Legacy players scored in double figures: 18 points from Jerome Carr, Raymond McKeithen snagged 17 points and 4 rebounds, Bryan Streeter had 16 points, Brandon Hobbs scored 15 points, James Wooten tallied 12 points, and Tim Plummer had 10 points.  

Kenneth Haywood tied the game-high with 21 points for the All American Ballers. Bull City built a 60-40 halftime lead, and led by as many as thirty seven points in the fourth quarter. With the win the Legacy even their record at 2-2. Bull City will host the High Point Heat on January 3rd at Walltown Recreational Center.

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Wilmington Scores 46 in the Fourth, Takes the Ballers 122-105

December 14, 2014 - Wilmington, NC: Hot off of two wins in a row, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs hosted the All American Ballers in Wilmington on Sunday afternoon. The Dawgs came out sluggish playing sloppy basketball and turning the ball over but still managed to keep the game close. The Ballers led after one quarter 24-22. Two players began to assert themselves in the second. Wilmington’s Todd McLaurin scored 8, and the Ballers’ Bryan Calloway dropped in 12 in the period. The Ballers maintained a 54-51 lead going into halftime. The third quarter was played even with the Ballers leading 79-76 Ballers going into the fourth. 

Then the onslaught began. Todd McLaurin would explode for 15 points, and Wilmington’s Chris Hargrove caught fire as well, connecting on 4 three-point shots and scoring 14 in the quarter. The Sea Dawgs would out score the Ballers 46-26 in the final frame to take the win 122-105. The Sea Dawgs will be home again this Saturday at 7:00 pm to face Winston-Salem Team Certified.

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Down 20 in the Fourth, Cary Roars Back for the Win

December 13, 2014 - Cary, NC: Struggling to bounce back after their defeat at home last weekend, the Cary Invasion welcomed the High Point Heat to Kay Yow Court for what they hoped would be a ‘quick run and done’ game. However, it was anything but…

From the game’s first basket the Heat controlled the boards and the score for most of three-and-a-half quarters. The Invasion did fight back to even the score and did at a couple times throughout the game manage to gain a lead. At the end of one, the Invasion was up by three; end of two, the Heat was up by 10; end of three, the Heat remained ahead by 9; and in the fourth-quarter, at the media timeout, the Heat were looking to seal the Invasion’s fate owning a 20-point lead. Up to that point the Heat’s Jarrod Johnson (24-pts), Rames Phillips (22-pts, 7-of-9 3-pointers) and Damarius Sonko (16-pts) were giving the Invasion a headache as it seemed the hot Heat trio couldn’t miss.

But then, fortunes changed. New Invasion point guard and game high-scorer Nigel Munson (30-pts) along with veteran guards Paul Wright (29-pts, 4-3’s and 13-assts) and Mike Smith (17-pts) began hitting everything they put up. And with added strength, both blocking and shooting, coming from power forwards Anton Curry and Charles Ward the Invasion overcame the 20-point deficit and with less than 4-seconds left on the clock were within one point of a tie. Then a rebound, a quick-thinking pass to forward Taylor Hukill (10-pts) who made his only three-pointer of the game when it was needed most. With the buzzer, the Invasion had returned to their winning ways… but just barely: 116-114.

Cary (3-1) next plays at home against the Robeson County Showstoppers on December 20th. The High Point Heat next plays the Bull City Legacy in Durham on January 3rd.

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Charlotte Elite brings down Robeson County Showstoppers 117-110

December 13th, 2014 – Lumberton, NC: After the Showstoppers got their last home win against the Wilmington Sea Dawgs, they came out eager to protect home court once again. But the Charlotte Elite had different plans, taking down the Showstoppers 117-110 in Saturday night Tobacco Road Basketball League action. Shahmel Brackett of Robeson County led all scorers with 29 points, while Ricardo Samuel had 17. Kevin Green paced the Elite with 26 points, while Jerry Hollis added 20.

In the first quarter, the Showstoppers' Brackett came out on a mission, knocking down huge threes and scoring relentlessly. However for the Charlotte Elite, Hollis was getting he wanted down low, and led the Elite on a run in the late first quarter, pushing a the lead to 32–22.

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Showstoppers came out with urgency to get back into the game. Kendrick Whittington scored under the basket and grabbed rebound after rebound. Demetris Driggers and Ricardo Samuel came alive too and helped bring the lead down. But Kevin Green and Ryan Carter would hold the Elite together with some huge buckets during the quarter. At the end of the second quarter the Showstoppers had cut it down to a 54–52 advantage for the Elite, enough for a big standing ovation for the Showstoppers as they headed to the locker room.

The crowd expected an energy burst from the home team to start the third quarter, but it was the Charlotte Elite that came out pumped. The Charlotte squad got to the free throw line consistently, and Kevin Green brought it again with 10 third quarter points. The Showstoppers were also getting to the free throw line but struggled from there all night making only 11 out of 27 from the charity stripe. Kendrick Mckinnon made two big threes for the Showstoppers, but the Elite outworked the Robeson County squad in the third, leading 83–69.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Ricardo Samuel would not give in, making big buckets and steals to rally the Showstoppers back. The Elite answered with some huge buckets of their own from Terrone Sheffey that helped maintain the lead. Then out the blue Garrett Locklear caught on fire, hitting three huge threes and making a strong drive to the rack for the and-1 to bring the Showstoppers to within 6 points. But with 30 seconds left on the clock, the Elite took the game at the free throw line.

The Robeson County Showstoppers will be back at it against the Cary Invasion next Saturday December 20th at 7pm, at the Herb Young Center in Cary, North Carolina, and the Charlotte Elite will be hosting High Point Heat January 10th.

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Raleigh Starts Strong, Beats Bull City 108-91

December 14, 2014 - Raleigh, NC: The Raleigh Revolt stepped onto the court Sunday night in Raleigh with what looked to be a significant disadvantage against last season’s TRBL semi-finalist Bull City Legacy squad.  Not only did the Legacy boast a significant size advantage, but the Revolt were without the services of two of its leading inside scorers, Daniel Jackson (Shaw University) and Charles Gamble (Barton College).  Complicating matters further, Revolt Head Coach Greg Motley was absent due to a family emergency.  Despite the losses, the Revolt players and assistant coaches showed up in impressive fashion. 

From the tip the home squad seemed to be quicker to ball and applied enough defensive pressure to clog the passing lanes and frustrate the Legacy big men.   The Revolt dominated the opening quarter capitalizing on a series of early Bull City turnovers and missed shots.  Raleigh exploded to a 29-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.  Bull City chipped into the lead by halftime, but still trailed by 15 points at the break.  The Revolt came out hot in the third period and extended the lead to as many as 25 points, but the visitors made a solid run of their own late in the third period and through the early part of the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 11 points with just 6 minutes left.  But, the Revolt ratcheted the intensity back up in the final minutes and held on to win 108-91. The Revolt’s Jared Grady (Indianapolis) led all scorers with 24 points.  Raymond McKeithan dropped in 23 points for the Legacy.  The Revolt hit 12 3-pointers in the game and held a 44-30 rebounding advantage despite a size disadvantage.  

Raleigh (2-1) next plays at home against the D-Elite Flyers (Auburn, AL) on January3rd.  Bull City  (1-2) next hosts the All American Ballers on December 20th.

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Sea Dawgs Run Down Run N Gun, 107-85

December 7, 2014, Wilmington, NC - The question was "How would the Sea Dawgs respond after defeating the high powered Cary Invasion?" And the answer was a 107-85 drubbing of the Triangle Run N Gun in Sunday Tobacco Road Basketball League action at the Wilmington YMCA.

The Port City squad took the court With a renewed confidence, taking it to the fundamentally sound Triangle Run and Gun right from the tip. Triangle started running their offense to a T, as point guard Milan Prodanovic paced the Run and Gun with 10 first quarter points. However, the Dawgs would hold on to a slim 3 point lead of 26-23 after one.

Then for the second quarter it was more of Prodanovic getting hot, hitting 4 threes. But the Sea Dawgs guards kept the Dawgs afloat with Todd McLaurin and CC Williams both scoring 8 each. Wilmington increased their lead at half time to 52-42.

And then the dam burst. The Sea Dawgs would open up a commanding lead in the third stanza and eventually rest their starters for a majority of the fourth quarter, a welcome development given it was the second game of a back to back.

Once again the Sea Dawgs were led by their all star Todd McLaurin, scoring 20 points. B.J. Donnell added? 16, Marco Spears 14, and CC Williams 12. The Run N Gun was led by Milan Prodanovic's ?29. Ian Hathaway had 15, Jack Wise chipped in? 14, and Thomas Sumpter had? 10. The Sea Dawgs will be back at home next Sunday to take on the All American Ballers at 6:00PM.

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Wilmington Sea Dawgs upset Cary Invasion, 118-114

December 6, 2014, Cary, NC: Every 'dawg' has his day, and Saturday night ended up belonging to the Wilmington Sea Dawgs, defeating perennial TRBL power the Cary Invasion 118-114 in Saturday night Tobacco Road Basketball League action. Todd McLaurin led the Port City squad with 35 points, while B.J. Donnell had 22 and Chris Hargrove added 18. The Invasion was led by Cory Evans with 28 points while Paul Wright added 23.

After one quarter the Invasion led the Sea Dawgs 23-22. The teams went basket for basket with neither being able to gain an advantage. Cary slowly expanded the lead to 54-47 at the halfway mark. Early in the third quarter the Invasion held a 61-54 lead. However timely baskets by B.J. Donnell and Chris Hargrove of the Sea Dawgs beat back the Cary squad just when the Invasion thought they were going to run away with the game. By the end of the third quarter the Sea Dawgs had whittled the lead down to 84-79 Cary.

Levi Humphrey’s highlight block on a dunk attempt in the fourth quarter set off a momentum swing in favor of the Sea Dawgs that they used to push out to a 99-95 led with five minutes left to go in the game. Try as they might, the Invasion got no closer. Wilmington won with a total effort from each and every player that suited up.

The Sea Dawgs (2-2) return home Sunday to take on Durham’s Triangle Run N Gun at 6:00PM at the Wilmington YMCA. The Invasion (2-1) will next host the High Point Heat on December 13th at the Herbert C. Young Community Center at 7:00PM.

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Raleigh Explodes in the Third, Beats the All American Ballers 111-93

December 6, 2014 - Raleigh, NC: A rainy Saturday night in downtown Raleigh set the stage for the Raleigh Revolt’s inaugural home game. The All American Ballers from Fayetteville came ready to play at CC Spaulding Gymnasium on the campus of Shaw University.  

The Ballers set a rapid pace early, forcing the home team to play a smaller line up through much of the first half. Quick hands from the Ballers created Revolt turnovers, but Raleigh responded by getting to the bucket and either converting or getting fouled. Raleigh was able to open a 13-point lead by the midpoint of the second quarter, but the Ballers nearly got it all back by halftime. Raleigh led at the break 46-44. 

The third quarter would prove to be a decisive one. The Ballers came out quickly in the second half on a 7-0 run to take a 5-point lead. But the run seemed to waken a sleeping giant in the home squad. The Revolt went on a 34 to 11 run of their own in the third quarter, sparked by aggressive defense and crisp passing, as well as the play of Charles Gamble (Barton College) who finished with 20 points. The fourth quarter was played largely as a draw, and the Revolt held on to win 111-93. The Ballers’ Antwain McGregor led all scorers with 32 points. The Revolt’s Jared Grady also dropped in 20 points.

The Raleigh Revolt (1-1) play next at home on December 14, 2014 against the Bull City Legacy. The All American Ballers (0-2) next play at Wilmington also on December 14th.

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Showstoppers Stop Sea Dawgs, 102-94

November 29, 2014, Lumberton, NC: With a huge crowd at the Bill Sapp Center for their home debut, the Robeson County Showstoppers worked past the Wilmington Sea Dawgs 102-94 in Saturday Tobacco Road basketball league action. Demetris Driggers of Robeson County led all scorers with 27 points, while Ricardo Samuel contributed 21.  Chris Hargrove had 21 for the Sea Dawgs while Todd McLaurin chipped in 18 for the visitors. In the first quarter, the Showstoppers came out on fire, feeding off the crowd support. Demetris Driggers' offense was hard to handle all night for the Sea Dawgs. Kendrick "the Manimal" Whittington was flying high on the glass, collecting 15 rebounds for the game. At the end of the first quarter score the Showstoppers let the Port City team 28-19.

Robeson County rode the wave of crowd energy into the second quarter. But Todd McLaurin of Wilmington got hot and led the Sea Dawgs on a strong run to take the lead. Ricardo Samuel responded at the other end with buckets of his own, as well as dishing assists, including to Shahmel Brackett, who knocked down some huge jumpshots. Wilmington had a slight lead at the start of the third quarter. However, Kendrick Whittington came out strong off the bench with a couple of highlight dunks to bring Robeson County back. The game went back and forth, with Chris Hargrove of the Sea Dawgs coming up with some huge buckets and getting to the free throw line. The Showstoppers ended the third stanza up on the visitors, 77-76

At the start of the forth quarter, the Robeson County fans were out of their seats. Wilmington's Dameion Baker fought gamely to get the visitors the lead. But Samuel and Driggers put the finishing touches on the contest. Driggers controlled the paint, scoring at will, while Samuel stepped up and hit some huge free throws that sealed the game for the Showstoppers, 102-94.  Robeson County owner Garrett Locklear said it was a "great way start a home opener, with a win."  Robeson County evens their record at 1-1, while Wilmington falls to 1-2 on the year.  The Showstoppers are back in action at the Bill Sapp Center on December 13th at 6:00PM, facing off against the Charlotte Elite.  The Sea Dawgs travel to Cary to face the Invasion on December 6th at 7:00PM at the Herbert Young Center.

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Cary Outlasts the Raleigh Revolt, 104-99

November 22, 2014 - Cary, NC: On paper, the game looked to be every bit as good as it was. Three former Invasion players and five former TRBL All Stars suited up for the upstart Raleigh Revolt against the league powerhouse Cary Invasion, the same team that has lost only twice in Cary in its last 5 seasons. Through a whistle-heavy three quarters, neither team could muster a lead of more than a couple of baskets. Cary utilized dribble penetration from its lightning-fast back court to score its points. The Revolt put its strong post and swing players to work to keep pace.

Former Invasion player and Shaw University standout Daniel Jackson had a monster game, leading all scorers with 30 points and 15 rebounds for the Revolt, but the effort just came up short. The pivotal point in the game occurred late in the fourth quarter. Leading 95-90 with the ball with just 4 minutes left, the Revolt looked on the way to closing out the game. Another former Invasion player and TRBL All Star Freddie Little barely missed an open three-point shot that would have put the Revolt up by 8 points. Instead, the Invasion grabbed the rebound and went the length of the court for a quick score. A few quick turnovers by the Revolt put Cary in the driver’s seat. The home team went on a 14-4 run to close out the game, capped off by an intentional foul in the closing seconds of the game. Cary wins 104-99. Guard Paul Wright (Mountain State) led the Invasion with 20 points.

Raleigh (0-1) hosts the All American Ballers (Fayetteville) on December 6th at 6 pm on the campus of Shaw University. Cary (2-0) next hosts the Wilmington Sea Dawgs (1-1) on the same day at 7 pm at the Herb Young Center.

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PBL and TRBL Ink Affiliation Agreement

November 21, 2014 - Raleigh, NC: The TRBL and PBL have inked a new affiliation agreement that will give players a chance to showcase their talents and move up or down in a professional farm system to continue their goal of reaching the next level of professional basketball.

"We look forward to this new relationship with the PBL. We believe it will create great opportunities for both TRBL and PBL players. The more we can work with leagues like the PBL that are doing things the right way, the better it is for our players, owners, and fans,” said Pete Gratale, TRBL founding member.

The Premier Basketball League (thePBL.com) is set to kick off their season in less than a month with the first game starting on December 6th at 1:00pm when the defending champion Rochester RazorSharks host the Carolina Pee Dee Vipers.

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Huntersville Defeats the Showstoppers in Home Opener

November 16, 2014 - Huntersville, NC: Huntersville HoopForLyfe notched its first win of the season Sunday beating the Robeson County Showstoppers 108-97. The home team came out strong, but the Showstoppers matched them basket-for-basket throughout the first quarter. The Showstoppers, led By Ricardo Samuel’s 19 points and Kendrick Whittington’s 22 points, put the visitors on top 59-57 at the end of the first half.

Huntersville took control in the second half, building a 81-75 lead by the end of the third quarter. It was a lead the home team would hold throughout the remainder of the game. Big games from Jamal Durham (22 points) and Jay Alexander (19 points) were instrumental in the victory. 

Other standouts for the Showstoppers were Demetris Driggers (15 points) and Kendrick McKinnon (12 points). Other contributors for Huntersville included Tony Young (16 points), Torrel Priest (15 points), and Kenyatta Reed (15 points).

Huntersville plays next on December 13th in Atlanta against the Georgia Kings. The Showstoppers next host the Wilmington Sea Dawgs on November 29th.

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Bull City Over Wilmington in Tight Contest

November 15, 2014 - Durham, NC:  The Wilmington Sea Dawgs suffered their first loss Saturday as Bull City Legacy of Durham defeated the Sea Dawgs 124-109 in Saturday Tobacco Road Basketball League Action.

Raymond McKeithan would prove to be the story of this game. Scoring 32 points both from the inside and outside - including five three pointers - he pretty much had his way in this game.

The Sea Dawgs came out with an early first quarter lead but by the second quarter the Legacy had stretched out their lead to ten points. From there the two teams would go basket for basket. However, the Legacy would eventually win the game 124-109. Both squads now stand at 1-1 on the season.

Other standouts for Bull City were Nelson Kirksey, who had 17 points, and Ian Gregory, who had 12. Wilmington was led by Levi Humphrey with 29, Todd McLaurin with 26, and Dre Baker with 13.

The Sea Dawgs next game will be against the Robeson County Showstoppers at the Bill Sapp Center in Lumberton November 29 at 6:00pm. The Legacy will travel to Raleigh December 14th to take on the Revolt at 6:00PM at Spaulding Gymnasium on the campus of Shaw University.

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UNC-TV Coverage of the TRBL - 11/13/14


 



"New Look" Sea Dawgs Edge the All American Ballers, 110-109

November 9, 2014 - Wilmington, NC: The Wilmington Sea Dawgs edged the All American Ballers of Fayetteville, 110-109 in an exciting game. The game came down to the last possession. The All American Ballers had one last chance with 7 seconds to score, but a key turnover would seal the game for the Sea Dawgs. The Dawgs were led by Todd McLaurin who tallied in 37 points. Chris Hargrove also had a monster game with 24 points, and Levi Humphrey had 19. The All American Ballers were led by Bryan Calloway who had 38 points. Stan Johnson added 19, and Steve Williams chipped in with 13.

The game was even from start to finish. The Sea Dawgs led 26 - 25 after one quarter. By halftime, the the Sea Dawgs led by a slim margin at 49-45. The third quarter was the Todd McLaurin and Bryan Calloway show. Both scored 10 points in the 3rd period. Coming down the stretch a technical foul on Antwain McGregor would be pivotal giving the Sea Dawgs the lead for good.

The Sea Dawgs (1-0) travel to Durham Saturday November 15th to face the Bull City Legacy at 4:00PM at the Walltown Recreation Center. The Dawgs will be back in Wilmington Sunday December 7 at 6:30pm at the Wilmington YMCA. The Ballers next hit the hardwood against the Raleigh Revolt on Saturday, December 6th at 6:00 PM at Spaulding Gymnasium on the campus of Shaw University.



Cary Invasion survives overtime thriller with the Bull City Legacy 131-129

Saturday November 8th - Cary, NC: Two familiar foes took to the court Saturday evening; the Cary Invasion played host to the Bull City Legacy on opening night in the TRBL (Tobacco Road Basketball League). If this game was any indication of the upcoming season, then we as fans are in for a treat. 

Raymond Mckeithan made his Bull City Legacy debut, scoring 26 points, including 5 of 10 shooting from 3 point range. This one was a back and forth affair, that saw multiple lead changes. Three of Legacy G/F Ian Gregory's team-high 29 points came in the final seconds of regulation, sending the game into overtime tied at 114.  

In the overtime period, former Legacy, and current Invasion guard Cory Evans went to work. Evans scored 10 of his game-high 40 points, including the game winning tip in with 3 seconds remaing, helping Cary sqeek out a 131-129 victory. With the win, Cary starts the season 1-0, while Bull City is 0-1.  

The Legacy will next hit the court Saturday Nov. 15th versus the Wilmington SeaDawgs. This will be the Legacy's Veterans Day game. Free admission for all veterans with ID. Tip off is set for 4pm est at Walltown Recreation Center in Durham.

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The Georgia Kings Join the Tobacco Road Basketball League for the 2014-2015 Season

October 27, 2014 - Raleigh, NC: The Tobacco Road Basketball League has announced that the Georgia Kings of Atlanta, Georgia will join for the 2014-2015 season. The Kings are led by former Clemson stand out and NBA player, Sharone Wright. 

"We're excited to have Sharone and his team on board," commented Patrick Dupree, TRBL Co-Founder. "He brings both big league experience to the TRBL as well as experience in managing and developing teams in the minor leagues."

“We founded the Georgia Kings in Atlanta, Georgia to make sure we field a winning franchise and provide a safe, fun, and great experience to the Atlanta community while giving back to the people in the metropolitan area,” stated Sharone Wright, President and General Manager. “Our primary goal is to develop our franchise and win games in the TRBL. But an equally important goal is to make an impact in the Atlanta, Georgia community by working with schools, universities, outreach programs, and local businesses.”

The Georgia Kings will play their inaugural season at the Benjamin E. Mays Sports Complex in southwest Atlanta, Georgia at 3450 Benjamin E Mays Drive, SW Atlanta, Georgia.

About the TRBL: The Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL) is an independent basketball minor league with teams operating in Carolinas and the Southeast US. The TRBL showcases some of the finest minor league basketball talent in the country and promotes a "business first" model in minor league sports. The league will begin its fourth season of play in November 2014. For more information, please write info@trblproball.com.

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The D-Elite Flyers of Auburn Join the Tobacco Road Basketball League for the 2014-2015 Season

October 27, 2014 - Raleigh, NC: The Tobacco Road Basketball League has announced that the D-Elite Flyers of Auburn, Alabama will join for the 2014-2015 season. The D-Elite Flyers are owned by Brittney Dowell, Ernest Harris, and Everett Thomas. The Flyers are the first ever men's semi-pro team in Auburn Alabama and will be coached by Dowell. Dowell's experience includes women's minor league basketball team ownership for two years. Dowell's women's team also holds a record of 31-1 going into their 3rd season. Dowell also assists Thomas with the development of youth programs such as RokStarz Elite, a non-profit organization in East Alabama.

"Our organization is honored to be a part of the TRBL," Dowell said.  "And our goal with the league is to assist in further growth across states. We understand that we are coming into a league full of talented players, coaches, and owners. But our goal is set high and we are here to contend for a championship title in our first season."

Dowell added "My players are some of the top players in the country and my staff is one of the best in the country. The Flyers are not just basketball players; we are role models in our community. We are excited for the 2014-2015 season to be able to give back to our community and fans here in Auburn Alabama. I have prepared my players for the upcoming season and our motto is 'We practice hard. We play harder. We win together!'" Dowell concluded. For more information, visit «website» or write info@trblproball.com.

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Questions and Answers With the Founders of the Tobacco Road Basketball League

October 16, 2014 - Raleigh, NC:  With all of the changes that have occurred in the last couple months in the Tobacco Road Basketball League, we thought it was a good time to sit down with the founders of the league, Patrick Dupree, Pete Gratale, and Mark Janas, to discuss where the league has been, where it is now, and where they see it going in the future.

Q: The league has three seasons under its belt now. Would you say it was successful?

A: Most definitely. We created the TRBL at a time when minor league basketball, in the Carolinas and probably across the country, was in its most chaotic state. Several of us went through a string of "directional" leagues....intergalactic, east, west, etc.... that offered little in terms of stability and management. It wasn't sustainable and not worth staying in the business if we couldn't create something better. We hit most of our target metrics in our first 3 seasons that other leagues didn't and couldn't. But, it hasn't always been easy. Mistakes were made, and opportunities were missed. We could have done much better, but then again, we could have fallen into the ranks of many other leagues too. Overall, we're satisfied, but we still want to get better.

Q: Of course, nothing goes completely without a hiccup. Looking back, what would you have done differently?

A: As they say, the experiences we all have had, good and bad, make us who we are. We've learned a lot in our first three seasons as the TRBL and in the decades of collective time our founders have in this industry. In general, if we were to change anything, it would have been to put more focus and emphasis on the fact that a league should be treated just as any other business, and teams should be considered business partners in the truest sense. In any business, if your partners aren't on the same page or share the same goals you're going to fail in the long run or at minimum become stagnant. It takes more than playing games with talented players to be in the professional minor league basketball business. There are plenty of places to just go play games.

Q: Even though you see the first three years as a success, you've made a lot of changes in this most recent offseason. What precipitated them?

A: These have been brewing for a couple of seasons. While getting our games played was critically important, playing games for the sake of simply playing them was not enough. We needed more emphasis on game-time standards, attendance, and league-level sponsorships if we were to progress and grow as a league. Everything we have done this year has been designed to help get us there.

Q: Regarding your new teams, you have added more in this season than in any other past season. Do you expect growing pains because of that?

A: It's definitely something we have to keep an eye on, but we have a few things working in our favor that should make it easier than in past years. For one thing, we have been consistent with new and returning teams in promoting one mission and vision. We are retaining 9 sanctioned teams from last year as well. And, two of these new teams are being brought by TRBL charter members. Three others have played either sanctioned games or exhibition games in prior seasons in the TRBL. So, we have some new names, but a lot of experience coming in. Our few, true "newbies" have a pretty strong support system to bank on, and with a footprint that creates an average travel time of less than a one hour drive, it is very manageable. Most importantly, our new flex schedule allows more time between games to prepare and market. Teams can play the number of games they want and play them at a time that is best for business. That makes all the difference in the world when the end goal is to produce and play games that fans want to see and sponsors want to back.

Q: The games don't happen without players. What does the TRBL plan to do to keep it attractive for players?

A: It is our position that you if you are going to take care of players, you first have to take care of business in ways we have already discussed. That means putting players in more professional environments with more strict standards regarding everything from medical coverage, consistency in stat tabulation, and referee competency. Those are all points of emphasis this year that will add more credibility to league that will create more looks for our players. Our partnership with the AthleticLab is also an important part of what we are trying to do for players. All TRBL players now have access to sports training and performance analysis services used by elite and professional athletes throughout the region. These services have been used by U.S and other Olympic teams and by professional athletes from the MLS, NFL, MLB, and PGA. We have also added a dedicated PR director to help us in all aspects of player and league promotion. Most importantly, with consistent vision and increased standards, we are better able to pursue partnerships with other leagues and organizations that will create more direct looks for our players. We will be sharing more details about these partnerships this Fall.

Q: We've looked at the past and the present. What do you see for the future of the TRBL?

You can expect a continued pursuit of outside partnerships with other groups and leagues that are doing things the right way. There has been too much division in the industry, usually by those with vested interest to keep it that way for reasons they would have to explain. Growth strategy will be a bit different than in prior years. In the past we may have tried to recruit teams and turn them into organizations. That wasn't a bad strategy in getting started, but moving forward we will focus more on finding organizations in markets that make sense that we can leverage to help establish teams. We will also continue to push game time standards and focus on the business side of minor league basketball. That isn't done at the expense of the players, In fact, it's just the opposite. As stated earlier, if you don't take care of business, you can't take care of the players.


 

TRBL Releases Initial 2014-2015 Schedule

September 15, 2014 - Raleigh, NC:  The Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL) has released its initial 2014-2015 Point Series schedule.  The league will start play in November 2014 with a “flex schedule” that allows games to be scheduled against other TRBL-sanctioned opponents anytime from November 1, 2014 to the end of April 2015.  

All teams will qualify for the TRBL playoffs that will take place in May 2015 if they are in good standing and have played at least 10 sanctioned games during the season. Teams will be seeded in the playoffs according to points earned during the regular season. Teams may play as many sanctioned games as they can schedule, and additional sanctioned games may be added with 60 days notice to the League. 

Please visit www.trblproball.com for the schedule-to-date and schedule additions in the coming weeks.




TRBL Welcomes the Charlotte Elite

August 21, 2014-Raleigh, NC: The Tobacco Road Basketball League has announced that the Charlotte Elite will play in the 2014-2015 TRBL Point Series. The Elite are brought to the league by S. Jamal Slayton, entrepreneur and lifelong lover of the game of basketball. Although he is the owner of the Charlotte Elite basketball team, the passion he has for the game is never more evident than when he is on the sideline coaching them.

Recently, Slayton and the Elite have competed in various A-level rec leagues, the Anthony Morrow Pro-Am and tournaments all over the Carolinas. The Charlotte Elite will be working closely with Joy Christian Fellowship Church and other area businesses, doing outreach work in the community, as well as serving the youth by hosting basketball clinics and mentoring.

“We are excited about entering the TRBL and competing against some of the best basketball players in the Carolinas,” Slayton said. “Also, we are committed to making a difference in our neighborhoods by working with community leaders to assist, encourage and educate the youth, as well as the disadvantaged. We are truly looking forward to building relationships and providing family entertainment that the city can rally around in the near future!” The Charlotte Elite will play as a travel team for the 2014-2015 TRBL Point Series. For more information, please visit www.trblproball.com or elite.trblproball.com.

About the TRBL: The Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL) is an independent basketball minor league with teams operating in Carolinas and the Southeast US. The TRBL showcases some of the finest minor league basketball talent in the country and promotes a “business first” model in minor league sports. The league will begin its fourth season of play in November 2014. For more information, please write info@trblproball.com.


 

TRBL Welcomes the High Point Heat

July 30, 2014-Raleigh, NC: The Tobacco Road Basketball League has announced that the High Point Heat will play in the 2014-2015 TRBL Point Series. The High Point Heat played several games last season in the league as a "TRBL sanctioned team" and is excited to become a full member.

"The High Point Heat is committed to bringing positive energy to the community while serving as a platform to enhance the lives of young men through the game of basketball," said Cornell Holland, owner of the Heat.

The team was approved by the TRBL Board earlier this month. For more information, please visit www.trblproball.com or heat.trblproball.com.

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TRBL Welcomes the Robeson County Showstoppers

July 25, 2014-Raleigh, NC: The Tobacco Road Basketball League has announced that the Robeson County Showstoppers will play in the 2014-2015 TRBL Point Series. The Showstoppers are brought to the league by Lumberton, NC businessmen and area basketball standout Garrett Locklear who played at Riverside Christian Academy (where he won two state championships and was a two-time MVP) and previously in the TRBL with the Wilmington Sea Dawgs.

“Here in Robeson County we have a lot of talent that needs exposure,” Locklear said. He called Robeson County “a community that needs some fun,” and added “We plan on bringing all the help and entertainment we can bring. Coming into the TRBL, a very competitive and well run league, is amazing. My guys can't wait to suit up and hit the floor this year.”   

The team will play home games at the Bill Sapp Center in Lumberton and will start exhibition games this summer. For more information, please visit www.trblproball.com or showstoppers.trblproball.com.


 

TRBL Welcomes Patrick Dupree and the All American Ballers

July 11, 2014-Raleigh, NC: The Tobacco Road Basketball League has announced that the All American Ballers from Fayetteville, NC and surrounding areas will play in the 2014-2015 TRBL Point Series. The Ballers are led and owned by TRBL charter member and veteran minor league owner Patrick Dupree. Formal TRBL board approval for the team is expected this month. For more information, please visit www.trblproball.com.

About the TRBL: The Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL) is an independent basketball minor league with teams operating in Carolinas and the Southeast US. The TRBL showcases some of the finest minor league basketball talent in the country and promotes a “business first” model in minor league sports. The league will begin its fourth season of play in November 2014. For more information, please write info@trblproball.com.


 

TRBL Welcomes the Revolt

July 11, 2014-Raleigh, NC: The Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL) is pleased to welcome the Revolt to its line up for the 2014-2015 TRBL Point Series. The Revolt are brought to the TRBL by former Wilmington Sea Dawgs and Cary Invasion owner Mark Janas. Janas is also a founding member of the TRBL. The Revolt will be coached by Greg Motley who has coaching ties in the area and has prior experience in minor league basketball.

“This market works well on the TRBL footprint, and the basketball hunger is there. We know we’re walking into a league full of talent, but our goal is to complete and win a championship in year one. Most importantly, we plan to engage the people in the local community and make them proud of their new pro sports team,” comments Janas. Formal TRBL board approval of the team is expected later this month. For more information, please visit revolt.trblproball.com.

About the TRBL: The Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL) is an independent basketball minor league with teams operating in Carolinas and the Southeast US. The TRBL showcases some of the finest minor league basketball talent in the country and promotes a “business first” model in minor league sports. The league will begin its fourth season of play in November 2014. For more information, please write info@trblproball.com.


 

TRBL Adds New Sponsorship Program Director

July 9, 2014-Raleigh, NC: The Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL) is pleased to announce the addition of Scott Higginbotham as its new Sponsorship Program Director. Higginbotham has previously worked directly with TRBL teams including the Wilmington Sea Dawgs and the Cary Invasion, but in his new role Higginbotham will lead and manage the league's sponsorship programs starting with the new 2014-2015 TRBL Point Series. Higginbotham is a former military officer and pilot and brings to the TRBL a wealth of experience in sports-related sales and management.

About the TRBL: The Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL) is an independent basketball minor league with teams operating in Carolinas and the Southeast US. The TRBL showcases some of the finest minor league basketball talent in the country and promotes a “business first” model in minor league sports. The league will begin its fourth season of play in November 2014.


 

Macleem Sports Wear Named Official Uniform Provider of TRBL

July 7, 2014 - Raleigh, NC: The Tobacco Road Basketball League has announced that Macleem Sports Wear has been named as the “Official Uniform Provider of the TRBL.”  Macleem has designed uniforms and apparel for individual TRBL teams over the last several seasons but will now have a formal arrangement with the TRBL directly.  Most significantly, the new relationship will include design standards to support league-level sponsorship efforts, per TRBL representatives.

“Macleem provides some of the highest quality and most breathable uniforms in the industry, and their design team is outstanding.  We get compliments about our uniforms everywhere we go,” says Umar Muhammad, General Manager of the Bull City Legacy.

About Macleem Sports Wear:  Macleem Sports Wear was created for those athletes who live and breathe basketball every day of their lives. These are the players who are the first in the gym and the last to leave, the athletes who leave it all on the court. Macleem is for the players who would rather be known for their on-court game than their off-court talk, and for the fans who respect a player’s game over their fame.

For more information, visit www.macleem.com or www.trblproball.com


 

TRBL Welcomes James Taylor as PR Director

July 1, 2014 - Raleigh, NC:    The Tobacco Road Basketball League is pleased to welcome James Taylor as its new PR Director.  In his new role, Taylor will be responsible for managing all league communications and press releases, as well as the League’s on-line and social media presence. He will also serve as a media consultant to TRBL teams. 

Taylor came to the Carolinas in 1999.  Prior to that, he worked for fourteen years in Ohio broadcasting, much of that in the Cleveland, Ohio sports market, where he at times covered the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers as well as the Browns and Indians as a producer for sports talk station WKNR in Cleveland.  He was also creative services director of WCIT and WLSR radio in Lima, Ohio.  Taylor is a graduate of the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in English.  Mostly recently, James has worked with the longstanding minor league basketball organization, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs.

For more information, please visit www.trblproball.com or write jtaylor@trblproball.com.


 

TRBL Partners with Athletic Lab

June 27, 2014 - Raleigh, NC: The Tobacco Road Basketball League is pleased to welcome Athletic Lab (www.athleticlab.com) as “The Official Training Partner of the TRBL.” As part of the partnership that will start this summer, the Athletic Lab will offer weekly training sessions to TRBL players on active team rosters. 

In addition to training, Athletic Lab will provide other services such as jump testing and body fat analysis to interested players. Sessions will also be opened to visiting players in the area for TRBL sanctioned games.

AL

“I’m excited to partner with the TRBL. We’ve enjoyed working with several players on an individualized basis already. The players in this league are hard working, fantastic athletes who love the game and are trying to make the jump to the next level. We’re excited to provide our training experience and expertise working with professional athletes to the entire league,” comments Mike Young, PhD, Director of Sports Performance, Athletic Lab Sport Performance Training Center.

For more information, please write info@trblproball.com or info@athleticlab.com.

About the Athletic Lab:  Located in the heart of “Tobacco Road,” Athletic Lab is the premier sport science research and athletic development facility located in North Carolina led by renowned coach and sport scientist Dr. Mike Young. We provide sport specific training for athletes as well as CrossFit training for adults looking to get in the best shape of their life. Athletic Lab works with athletes from middle school to the elite professional using science-based, field-proven sport performance training methods. Our services have been used by the U.S., Chinese and South African Olympic teams as well as professional athletes from the MLS, NFL, MLB and PGA. The goal of Athletic Lab is to help individuals and teams maximize their performance through sound, logical, and evidence-based training. We strive to offer the highest possible quality in a wide-range of services to meet every performance enhancement need.


 

TRBL Implements Changes for 2014-2015 Season

June 23, 2014-Raleigh, NC: In the midst of TRBL championship week and on the heels of its third complete regular season, TRBL representatives have announced a series of changes for the upcoming 2014-2015 season designed to maximize attendance, improve quality and consistency at all venues, and make the league attractive to more sponsors. Cary Invasion owner Doc Thorne comments, “As the TRBL realigns and moves into this business-oriented model of professional league play, I see the advantage as limitless by demonstrating consistency to fans, sponsors and owners alike. Greater opportunities will be evident in establishing a stronger League brand which allows for more flexible game scheduling, expansion into larger markets and a more exciting level of play.” 

Among the most significant changes, the league will start play in November 2014 with a “flex schedule” that allows games to be scheduled against other TRBL-sanctioned opponents anytime from November 1, 2014 to the end of April 2015. All teams will qualify for the TRBL playoffs that will take place in May 2015 if they are in good standing and have played at least 10 sanctioned games during the season. Teams will be seeded in the playoffs according to points earned during the regular season. Teams may play as many games as they like.

“What we have learned over the course of our first 3 seasons is that you have give teams the ability to host and schedule games when it makes sense for them. Being forced to play too many games in a short period or to take too many dates that coincide with Spring or Summer holidays discourages attendance and does little to impress sponsors. We already have the basketball talent in the league, but now we want to put more emphasis on game time productions, attendance, and sponsorships,” says TRBL Founder Mark Janas.

Several teams and new sponsors have already been secured for the 2014-2015 season, and new team applications are currently under review and being accepted from qualified businesses and teams. Janas says that he expects the league line up to change based on the new rules and protocols and that the revised 2014-2015 line up will be announced in September.  “We don’t want to be perceived any longer simply as a summer league that starts after the conclusion of other leagues. We want to be a destination league that has much more to offer to regional sponsors,” says Bull City Legacy General Manager Umar Muhammed.   For more information, write info@trblproball.com.