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Jacksonville Giants calm the Windy City and win back-to-back ABA Championship - Apr 2, 2017


POSTED BY:
GIANNI PASCUCCI
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Maurice
Mickens
(courtesy www.jacksonvillegiants.com) The #2 seed Jacksonville Giants faced the #6 seed Windy City Groove this evening in Baltimore, Maryland for the American Basketball Association (ABA) Championship. It was also a rematch of the 2016 ABA Championship, which was claimed by the Giants.
Led by the Finals MVP, Maurice Mickens (6'0''-G-86, college: Le Moyne-Owen)' 31 points, the Giants wIn back-to-back championships for the second time in just seven years, defeating Chicago's Windy City Groove 120 -102.
Much like 2016, the two teams battled back and forth for much of the game. In the first quarter it was the Groove that opened an eight point lead only to see the Giants battle back and tie the game at the end of the period, 33-33.
In the second quarter the Groove again led most of the quarter and by as many as six until the Giants tied it with less than two minutes remaining. Mickens, Bernard Nugent (6'0''-PG-91, college: Clayton St.) and Jermaine Bell (7'0''-C-84, college: Indian Hills CC) led the way on offense and a stingy defense that only gave up 22 points in the quarter sparked the offense on numerous fast break baskets. Giants' Robert Hornsby (6'5''-F-82, college: Troy, agency: Pro Sports) finished the half with a pair of free throws and a three point shot that sent the defending champions into the locker room with a 60-55 lead, and a lead that they would never relinquish.
The third quarter opened with the teams trading baskets until the Giants went on a run that pushed their lead to 72-60 with 8:00 left in the quarter. The Giants took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter, 91-81.
In the final period, The Groove cut the Giants lead to five but the Giants scored three straight baskets and pushed the lead to 11 with 8:30 to play on a thunderous slam dunk by Elijah Smith (6'8''-F-89, college: N.Georgia) on an off-the-backboard assist by Mickens on a fast break. The lead was pushed to 17 with just 3:20 remaining on a couple of Nugent drives and a Bell tip-in, 112-95.
The Giants finished the second half strong with a complete team effort that included "a great low post presence on offense and defense by Bell, Calvin Warner (6'7''-F-80, college: Jacksonville) and Elijah Smith in the low post, and our defensive MVP of the Finals (Nugent)," said team owner Ron Sholes after the game. "Defense wins championships, and I'm extremely proud of how we battled all three games," added Sholes.
A balanced Giants scoring attack included 15 points each by Larry Dumas, Bell, Smith and Hornsby, and 14 by Nugent.
After the Giants weathered the storm the first two games of the Finals, winning both games but just two points each, "the team was clicking on all cylinders tonight," said Giants' Head Coach Jerry Williams . "We played Giants basketball and this was a total team effort. I'm just proud of how we came out and dominated the game down the stretch. Windy City is a tough team so it's a well deserved championship victory," added Williams.
After the Giants celebrate their fourth ABA Title in Baltimore this evening, the team will drive back to Jacksonville on Monday and arrive home late in the evening.
  




Joe Newman
Enforcers hold slim lead in ABA Power Rankings - 4 days ago
The American Basketball Association (ABA) today released its Power Rankings for the week ending Sunday, February 18th and the Kentucky Enforcers maintained the #1 ranking by the slightest margin over the Jacksonville Giants. "It looks like the #1 spot will be decided in the final two weeks of the season,"stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman . "And it will depend upon the strength of opponents that Kentucky and Jacksonville play. It is that close. Of course, this is very important because the...   [read more]
ABA Scores - Weekend ending Sunday, Feb 18 - 4 days ago
Philadelphia Cannons over Pottstown Flames, 130-128 Jacksonville Giants over Orlando Waves, 127-94 Stan County SuperKats over Oakland Bayhawks, 134-131 California Seakings over Team Trouble, 125-115 OT Binghamton Bulldogs over Elmira Eagles, 116-108 Kentucky Enforcers over Team Network, 125-100 ATC Cardinals over Pottstown Flames, 136-132 Chicago Knights over Illinois Bulldogs, 133-111 DMV Warriors over Philadelphia Cannons, 124-105 Georgia Gwizzlies over Atlanta Storm, 86-84 Jersey Expre...   [read more]

Denard
Williams
Georgia Gwizzlies ABA All-Star nominees - 7 days ago
The Georgia Gwizzlies are pleased to announce it's team nominees for the ABA 2018 All-Star Game in April. Denard Williams (6'6''-F-93, college: Ft.Valley St.) vertical jump 44 inches, 20 PPG 12 RPG 3 BPG Joshua Davenport (6'5''-F-94, college: Winthrop) 22 PPG 11 RBG 10 APG ALTERNATIVES 7/0 Ralph Wilson 6/8 Johhny Jackson a 2017 Nominee 6/2 TJ Sams 6/5 Rod Perkins 6/3 Justin Croom Embry Malone GM/Head Coach   [read more]


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