by Thomas Leturgey
Steel City Yellow Jackets Co-Captain Tone Reddic, Sr. is playing like he didn’t miss most of the first-half of the season due to nagging injuries. The guard led Ace Pippens’ squad with 37 points Saturday Night as the team made a strong statement at home. The team bested the Central Jersey Sharks 150-108.
Reddic, on the strength of 14 two-pointers, only scored one in the first-quarter. Coming off the pine, the team leader just got stronger as the game wore on.
Kenny Holmes had an uncharacteristically low output. The MVP candidate has averaged 40 points off the bench, but collected only 23 against the sharks. All of Holmes’ jump shots were from behind the three-point line.
Tim and James Jackson, both under the weather for last week’s game in West Virginia, returned to the club and each scored 17 points in the victory.
The Yellow Jackets were never in serious danger at home. Jersey won the opening tip and they took a momentary lead when Christian Artcher hit the first shot of the evening. The Jackets were ahead 13-9 at the first media time out of the night, and the defending ABA champions had a cushy 35-21 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Co-Captain Gilmore Cummings, who also missed a good deal of the current season due to injury, started to hit three-pointers, beginning in the second quarter. Claude Scott, Jr. played one of his most significant games of his early season. Like the captains, Scott had been sidelined by injury. Saturday he started and had a presence under the boards.
Starting center Artis Cleveland is still healing from a foot injury and didn’t make the game.
The Yellow Jackets added 34 points in the second quarter, and the Sharks were slowed with 18. At the half it was Yellow Jackets 69, Sharks 39.
The home club came out stronger in the second half. Reddic and the Jackson twins led the scoring in the third 12-minute session. They needed it, as the Sharks–especially Hassan Reid–came to play in the third and slightly trimmed the lead. The Yellow Jackets were ahead 108-73.
In the final quarter, Reddic went on a bit of a scoring spree, adding 14 of the team’s 42 points. Cummings added 8 of his own.
In addition to Reddic, Holmes and Jackson twins outputs, Cummings added 15, Scott 13, Amaru Caldwell nine, Ryan Montoya and Dominick McClung each with 7 and Vashawn Howard 5.
Hassan Reid had 37 for the Sharks, Derryn Whyte had 20, Ralph Ayala 19, Chimodi Eboh 15 and Christrian Artcher 12.
The Number 5 ranked Yellow Jackets improve to 9-1 and hope to move up the ABA ladder if one of the teams above them falter.
Next up, the team travels to Paramus, New Jersey next Saturday night to take on the Knights and then return home on January 28.