FORT WAYNE – Five times this season, the Mad Ants play home-and-home series. They have been excellent in the first two home-and-home series – they swept Canton on Dec. 21 and 22 and Iowa on Jan. 18 and 19 – and they will get another test beginning tonight.
Fort Wayne plays at Canton and then Saturday will face the Charge at Memorial Coliseum.
Add the rigors of travel and lack of recuperation time to the closeness in the standings – Canton (16-9) has a one-game lead on Fort Wayne (15-10) for first place in the D-League East Division – and it’s clearly a big weekend for the Mad Ants.
Every team has to go through a couple of those (home-and-home series) with the scheduling. It’s tough, Fort Wayne coach Conner Henry said. To find a way to win, it’s an impressive thing with this team and they continue to do it.
After this weekend, the Mad Ants will have home-and-home series with Delaware on March 14 and 16 and Maine on March 31 and April 3, but those include off days between the games.
The Mad Ants have won nine of their last 12 games, though they lost their last outing, 115-104, at Maine on Saturday.
Over their last 10 games, they’ve had scoring from a lot of sources. Ron Howard has averaged 22.7 points, though he missed one game with an Achilles injury, while Trey McKinney-Jones has averaged 19.2, Tony Mitchell has averaged 16.2 and Sadiel Rojas has averaged 15.
We have a lot of good pieces, guard Kyle Randall said. We have players that can step up. We have players that can do that. We have players who have heart and come out and get it done every game.
The Mad Ants are 2-1 this season against Canton, which has been led in the season series by Kevin Jones’ 15.7 points per game. Former Mad Ants player Olek Czyz had 15 in the Charge’s 120-99 victory at Canton on Jan. 22.
Howard has averaged 21.7 points, and McKinney-Jones has 17.3, against the Charge this season.
Notes: Saturday will be Faith & Family Night at the Coliseum. After the game, there will be a concert by Sevenglory. Those who donate a nonperishable food item before the game to the Associated Churches Neighborhood Food Network get $2 off tickets at the box office.