Showtime couldn’t slow down the Champs.
Southwest Virginia-based Showtime suffered a 96-59 loss to the Fort Wayne Champs on Friday afternoon in the first round of “The Basketball Tournament” at Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington, Kentucky.
Showtime fell behind 23-15 after one quarter and 48-30 at halftime and never recovered in being eliminated from the event.
“We knew the team we played today was going to be a tough opponent,” said Showtime coach Travis Viers, a Council High School graduate. “Fort Wayne is an alumni team of mostly guys who have played for the Mad Ants, the [Indiana] Pacers [G-League] team. We started out OK and played competitively in the first quarter.”
Former University of Georgia star Travis Leslie had 20 points for Fort Wayne, which shot 51 percent from the field. Leslie currently plays for Élan Béarnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez, a professional team in France.
A former Georgia Bulldog led the way for Showtime as well as Charles Mann Jr. finished with 16 points and four rebounds. Akeem Richmond (East Carolina) added 12 points and five rebounds in the loss.
“I thought Mann played well for us early on. The big difference was they all had so much chemistry, while we lacked matching that,” Viers said. “It really just got out of hand in the fourth quarter after we cut it to 16.”
Showtime committed 18 turnovers and got outrebounded by a 39-33 margin. The team was making its sixth straight appearance in the winner-take-all, single-elimination tourney.
D2 stunned Bluegrass Boys, 77-62, in the Lexington regional. The team is comprised solely of former NCAA Division II standouts and former Science Hill High School star Omar Wattad is an assistant coach of the squad.
Adam Sollazzo (East Tennessee State University) had four points and two rebounds for Tampa 20/20 in its 79-76 setback to Team CP3 in a first-round game in the Greensboro, North Carolina, regional.
Courtney Pigram (ETSU) contributed two points and three assists for Carmen’s Crew in an 88-71 triumph over Illinois BC in the Columbus, Ohio, regional.