The Sioux Falls Skyforce (4-6) continued their Christmas night tradition at the Sioux Falls Arena on Sunday night as they took on the Springfield Armor (6-4). The Force was without the newest member of the Boston Celtics Greg Steimsma as it has left the team without a true center. Billy McShepard has stepped into the role of being the “big man” as he is 6’10”.
The Skyforce were looking to try and figure out a way to get back onto the winning track on Sunday night. In their last two games, they were able to split, earning a win 100-96 over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and then falling to the Canton Charge 104-95 the next night. While it has been an up and down season for the Skyforce, the team is continuing to fight throughout every game and trying to find ways to win.
The first half proved to be a slow start for the Force as Springfield took a 14 point lead in the first quarter. Sioux Falls came back behind the play of both Charles Garcia and Anthony Mason, Jr. who each scored 6 points in the first quarter. Adding help on defense were Mason, McShepard and Dominique Coleman with two boards each.
The Force then caught on fire in the second quarter as they went on a 15-1 run to end the half with a huge amount of momentum. Casey Mitchell helped to lead Sioux Falls on the run, scoring 9 of his 13 first half points in the second quarter. The fast break was also helpful for Sioux Falls as they had six of their 28 points off the break.
The third quarter started out much the same way as the second ended with the Skyforce continuing an up tempo style of play. Mason got a double-double through three quarters, tallying 20 points and 11 rebounds. Also coming up big for the Force was Mitchell who through the third had scored 20 points.
Springfield was able to claw its way back into the game and sent the game into overtime tied at 89 at the end of regulation. It was back and forth throughout the extra 3 minutes, but the Skyforce were able to hold off the late charge by the Armor to get the victory 103-99 over the Armor.
After the game, coach Mo McHone talked about the way his team played: “I was extremely happy because I think that is one of the better teams that we will play all season. They are one of the best shooting teams in the league.”
Four different players scored in double digits including Mason who ended the game with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Mason talked about how he felt the team came together despite losing Steimsma: “Charles is now our big man and I think that we will continue to get better working around him.”
Joining Mason with a double-double were Charles Garcia with 22 points and 12 boards as well as Dominique Coleman who had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
The Skyforce return to action as they take to the road on Tuesday night against the Iowa Energy. The road trip continues as they will travel up to Bismark, ND to take on the Dakota Wizards in a double header on Friday and Saturday nights. All games home and away can be heard on AM 1140 KSOO and watched on the NBA’s Futurecast which can be found on the Skyforce’s website. The team returns home on Friday January 6th and Saturday January 7th as they take on the Iowa Energy.