January 31, 2016
LIMA, Ohio – The Pontiac 66ers outscored the Lima Express 28-16 in the pivotal fourth quarter en route to a 107-100 victory Sunday in Midwest Professional Basketball Association play. The win snapped a three game skid for the 66ers (4-3) and ended a similar winning streak for the Express (3-3).
The Express opened up a small lead in the first quarter, only to see Pontiac end the opening stanza up by two at 26-24. The second quarter was nearly as tight, as the visitors outscored the hosts 31-27 to take a 57-51 lead into halftime.
Lima chipped away at the Pontiac lead, and finally drew even at 62 on a three-pointer by Cordaryl Ballard with 8:13 left in the third quarter. The 66ers would not give up the lead until the 2:59 mark of the third, when a Kyle Meyer tip-in gave the Express their first lead of the game since the first quarter, at 76-75. Lima finished the third quarter on top 84-79.
The Express pushed the lead to seven at 86-79 to open the fourth, but Pontiac steadily drew closer and eventually tied the game at 86 with 9:40 to play. Lima then looked to be taking control when DeVaughn Taylor-Buntyn sank two free throws at the 8:05 mark to give his team a 91-86 lead. However, the 66ers answered with a 6-1 burst to tie the game at 92.
Then, with 4:09 to play, a Garrett Jefferson basket gave Pontiac a 96-94 lead, and they would not trail again as Alfonzo Houston scored on three straight possessions to put the 66ers up 102-94 with 2:31 to play.
Lima got to within five with less than a minute to play, but Marcus Hammonds drained two free throws with :14.5 remaining to ice the game.
Alfonzo Houston hit 14-of-24 shots to lead Pontiac with 31 points. Four others (Kyle Anderson 17, Garrett Jefferson 13, D'Mitri Riggs 13, Marcus Hammonds added 11) scored in double figures for the visitors.
Cordaryl Ballard paced Lima with 33 points, including 13-of-15 shooting at the free-throw line. Kyle Meyer scored 32 points, while Johnny Elliott finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Lima shot 36 of 76 (47 percent) from the field and 19 of 25 (76 percent) at the free-throw line. But the Express managed just 3-of-16 shooting (19 percent) from beyond the arc. Pontiac was 24 of 46 from the field (52 percent), 10-of-15 (67 percent) from the free-throw line and 7 of 20 (35 percent) from three-point range. Lima outrebounded Pontiac 56-39, including a 16-4 advantage on the offensive glass.
Photo courtesy Dean Brown