FORT WAYNE, Ind. After a wire-to-wire game Thursday midday, Fort Wayne and Motor City concluded their two-game series Friday night with the Cruise coming out on top, 113-111.
Motor City came out speeding in the third meeting between the two teams this season. Luka Garza posed a big problem across the floor, going 6-of-6 in the first quarter to score 13 points. Garza even stepped out and knocked down a big three pointer in the first, to help Motor City lead 40-30 at the first break. Jordan Bell kept Fort Wayne in the fight in the post, hitting 4-of-5 himself to lead Fort Wayne with eight points early.
A Cheick Diallo slam with eight minutes left in the second quarter extended Motor City’s lead to 48-34. Gabe York’s three-point shooting was a big weapon in the second quarter, but each time he hit, Motor City seemed to surge back. The Cruise led 69-57 at halftime, following a 15-point quarter from their bench. Fort Wayne had four double digit scorers in the first half, led by Darius Adams’ 16 points, but the punch was just bigger from the Cruise and Garza, who added six more points in the quarter but left late in the half with an injury.
The Mad Ants fought back in the third quarter, quickly cutting the Motor City to three, culminating with an Adams three pointer with 7:59 to play in the quarter off a Gabe York assist to make it 72-69 in the Cruise’s favor. With 5:46 left in the quarter, a York transition three after a Jordan Bell block of Garza tied the game at 76. The next Mad Ants possession, with 5:27 on the clock, a York layup gave Fort Wayne their first lead of the night at 78-76. The teams exchanged the lead for much of the rest of the quarter, with Motor City holding the advantage after three, 90-88.
The fourth quarter again started in Motor City’s favor, building up a five-point lead as the teams exchanged baskets. With 7:09 to play, Fort Wayne regained the lead (99-98) on a basket from Bell. A Deividas Sirvydis three with 5:30 to play pushed Motor City back up 105-101 and Derrick Walton Jr. added to the lead the next Cruise possession. Fort Wayne got as close as two points at 110-108 and 113-111, but would be unable to pull back even.
Motor City was led by Garza’s 21 points as they had seven guys finish in double figures with Walton adding 16 and Diallo posting a 15 point, 10 rebound double double. Adams’ 28 points and York’s 27 led Fort Wayne while Bell posted a 17 point, 10 rebound double double.