The Mob moved two steps closer to achieving a perfect regular season, walking over the Lava (47-32) and Gryphons (62-32) on Thursday evening. The Mob started slowly in the session, facing a 21-18 first-half deficit against the Lava, but outscored the opposition 91-43 in the final six quarters of the night. As has been the case for the Mob most of the season, Darius Clark (Blue Springs, Mo.) spearheaded the offensive attack and Gage Smith (Elizabeth, Colo.) shut the door on defense. In the two wins, Clark collected 48 points, while Smith amassed 12 points, 22 stops and 17 loose ball recoveries. The Mob, who have already secured the No. 1 seed in the playoffs and a bye into the semifinals, will try to close the deal on a 16-0 regular season Saturday.
Game 1 – Mob 47, Lava 32
The Lava showed early on Thursday night that they would not be intimidated by the undefeated Mob, jumping out to a 21-18 halftime lead. But a scoring spree by Darius Clark (Blue Springs, Mo.) and a runaway second half lifted the Mob to a 47-32 victory, their 13th without a loss this season. Clark scored 23 of the Mob’s first 26 points and finished with a game-high 26 points. The Mob outscored the Lava 29-11 in the second half to put the game away. Mob stopper Gage Smith (Elizabeth, Colo.) was an impenetrable force under the Lava hoop, swatting away nine shots, recovering 11 loose balls and forcing several shot clock violations. Lava stopper Faysal Shafaat (Orlando, Fla.) went block-for-block with Smith, rejecting 10 shots. The Lava, who covered Circa Sports’ 18.5-point spread, dropped to 2-6, putting their playoff hopes in serious jeopardy.
Game 2 – Gryphons 76, Ozone 66
The Gryphons and Ozone entered Thursday’s middle game with identical 2-6 records and played like they were fighting for their playoff lives – which they were. There were 14 lead changes in the game but that ended in the fourth quarter, when the Gryphons outscored the Ozone by 14 points for a crucial 76-66 victory. The Gryph’s KyShawn Jones (Danville, Va.) exploded for 36 points while Justin Holmes (Roseville, Calif.) added 25. Holmes was once again unstoppable on offensive Face Offs, converting all four of his attempts. He’s now an astounding 14-for-14 for the season. The Ozone built a 36-32 halftime advantage behind a dazzling aerial display from Bryan Bell-Anderson (Sarasota, Fla.), whose 18 points in the first two quarters were more than he had in any full game entering the evening. Bell-Anderson was 10-for-11 on rim attacks in the contest, good for a team-high 30 points.
Main Event – Mob 62, Gryphons 32
The Mob left nothing to chance in the Main Event against Gryphons, surging to a 21-9 first-quarter lead before cruising to a 62-32 victory. The Mob moved to 14-0, with half of those wins coming by a margin of 30 or more points. The Gryphons are now 3-7 this season, including an 0-3 record against the Mob. The Gryphs had no answer for Darius Clark, who threw down an array of dunks for a game-most 22 points. Gage Smith was credited with 13 stops, while also contributing 12 points. KyShawn Jones and Adam Stanford (Fontana, Calif.) paced the Gryphons with 12 points apiece.
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