The Mob were dazzling in their first four wins of the young season. Thursday night they were resilient. Facing their two most competitive games of the year, and missing star Darius Clark for much of the night, the Mob improved to 6-0 by defeating the Ozone, 49-36, and Gryphons, 44-31.
The SlamBall season resumes on Friday at 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN+.
Game 1 – Gryphons 47, Lava 45
The Gryphons and Lava did not play like two winless teams in Thursday’s opener, a game that was not decided until the final seconds. Behind a game-high 20 points from KyShawn Jones (Danville, Va.), the Gryphons escaped with a 47-45 victory, improving to 1-2. The Lava dropped to 0-3 with the three losses coming by 10 combined points. Nathaniel Harris (Hammond, Ind.) drilled a pair of four-pointers in the final 2:05 to get the Lava within striking distance. Harris’ bomb with 35 seconds left cut the Gryphons’ lead to 47-45, but that was as close as the Lava would get. Harris finished with 16 points while teammate Faysal Shafaat (Orlando, Fla.) recorded a game-high eight stops. Lava star Bryce Moragne (Tampa, Fla.) exited with an injury at 1:30 of the second quarter and briefly returned midway through the third quarter.
Game 2 – Mob 49, Ozone 36
The Mob were not their typical dominant selves for much of the second game on Thursday night but still had enough firepower to dispatch the Ozone, 49-36, and improve to 5-0. The Ozone trailed by just six points in the closing seconds of the third quarter but Mob stopper Gage Smith (Elizabeth, Colo.) sprinted coast to coast for a resounding slam dunk at the buzzer to put his squad up 38-29 and they never looked back. All six Mob players who played scored with Cam Horton (Jacksonville, Ala.) leading the way with 11 points. As usual, Smith was everywhere, notching three points, six stops, seven loose ball recoveries and three steals. The Ozone, who fell to 1-3, were paced by Marcus Gray (Jeffersonville, Ind.), who dropped in eight points.
Main Event – Mob 44, Gryphons 31
The seemingly invincible Mob looked vulnerable in the early stages of the Main Event, digging a 15-0 hole to start the game. Despite missing leading scorer Darius Clark (Blue Springs, Mo.), who was injured in the previous game, the Mob fought back for a 44-31 victory, their sixth straight to open the season. The Mob outscored the Gryphons, 44-19, in the final three stanzas. Cam Hollins (Avon, Ind.) evened the score at 20 on an alley-oop slam and the Mob took their first lead on a dunk the following possession. Hollins had a game-high 18 points, becoming the fourth different Mob player to lead the squad in scoring in a game this year. Gage Smith continued his MVP-caliber campaign, contributing six points, 11 stops and 10 LBRs. Justin Holmes (Roseville, Calif.) spearheaded the Gryphons’ gutsy effort with a team-most 11 points.
“Tonight shows how much of a brotherhood that we have and how much of a family that we are,” said Hollins. “It just shows how much of a heart we have. We’re not doing this for individual reasons. We’re doing it for us as a Mob family. It’s about all of us. We came together and we made it make sense. We are spreading the wealth, and spreading the love.”