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Professional basketball

Sternmen split in first two regular-season court contests

Midcoast falls to Rochester Razorsharks to open season, beats Buffalo Blaze
By Zack Miller | May 31, 2021

It was a long drive to start the initial season for the Midcoast Sternmen, as the professional basketball team drove more than eight hours to the west to face two opponents from the Empire State.

The Sternmen opened the regular season against the Rochester Razorsharks, a contest that was a down-to-the-wire affair, but despite 37 points from Midcoast's Carter Skaggs, saw the hosts prevail 102-99 on Saturday, May 29, while the Sternmen bounced back less than 24 hours later against the Buffalo Blaze with a 93-77 road victory on Sunday, May 30.

To watch livestream of games against Rochester click here, and Buffalo click here.

The win over Buffalo marked the Midcoast program's first victory in franchise history, as Midcoast returns for its first home game on Saturday, June 5 at 7 p.m. against the New York Generals at Point Lookout in Northport.

The following is a recap of the contests from May 29-30:

Razorsharks 102, Sternment 99

At Rochester, N.Y. May 29, the Sternmen went toe-to-toe with the Razorsharks to open their inaugural season, but were edged in a tight contest.

Midcoast led 26-19 after one quarter, 50-49 at halftime and 77-76 after three quarters.

Carter Skaggs led the Sternmen, and all scorers, with 37 points, while Joey Puddister added 18; Trevon Butler, 15; Jonathan Smith, 11; Jaylen Leroy, 10; Isaiah Winston-Brooks, four; Thomas Enerva, three; and Chucks Obunse, two.

Skaggs drained seven treys, while Butler and Puddister hit one.

Rodney Houkins led Rochester with 35 points, as Josue Celestin added 21; Mike Liabo, 19; Devonn Gavin, 10; Tayvon Chambers, eight; Jordan Fragale, six; an unknown player, two; and Da'Shawn Blocher, one.

Midcoast made 15 free throws, while the Razorsharks netted 13.

"It was a great first test and the guys battled hard after a long eight-and-a-half hour bus ride," said Brad Galley, Sternmen president and chief executive officer. "Skaggs shot the ball very well and had a huge night offensively, but after that the scoring was fairly balanced. Coach [Jim] Graffam said it just came down to a couple of possessions and we needed to rebound and defend a little better."

Sternmen 93, Blaze 77

At Buffalo N.Y. May 30, the Sternmen earned their first victory as the squad's lockdown defense held Buffalo to 11 fourth-quarter points.

Midcoast led 24-16 after one quarter, 52-46 at halftime and trailed 66-65 at the end of three quarters.

Every player for Midcoast made a basket, as Carter Skaggs led the squad with 23 points, while Trevon Butler tallied 18; Joey Puddister, 11; Chucks Obunse, nine; Jonathan Smith, eight; Thomas Enerva and Isaiah Brathwaite, seven; Isaiah Winston-Brooks, four; Mike Akanji, three; and Jaylen Leroy, two.

Skaggs netted five three-pointers, while Puddister made one for the visitors.

Buffalo also saw every player score, led by Jabari Hibbert with 16 points, as Jeru Molsen added 14; Cam Lewis, 12; Mo Benson, 11; Preston Lemon and Tahiaj Lewis, six; Steve White, five; Schwartz Precil, Mike Turner and Prince Knight, two; and Waden Richardson, one.

Hibbert netted two treys for the Blaze, while Lemon, White and Benson hit one.

Midcoast was 14-of-20 (70 percent) from the foul line, while Buffalo finished 22-of-34 (64 percent).

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