POOLE TIES REBOUNDING RECORD IN BIG WIN
The Bellingham Slam cruised to another big win, their fifth straight, 130-83 against the Japan Tornadoes in an International Basketball League contest at Jake Maberry Gymnasium at Lynden High School on Friday evening.
The highlight of the night didn't come under the middle stages of the fourth quarter, when center Blake Poole picked up his 23rd rebound of the game, tying the Slam's single-game record originally set in 2008 by Tyler Amaya, now the team's assistant coach.
Like the last meeting between the two teams last weekend, the Slam raced out to an early lead and never looked back. The Slam led 25-12 after the first seven minutes before taking a 34-19 lead into the second quarter.
A 14-2 run late in the second quarter propelled the Slam to a 34-point cushion at halftime, at 73-39.
The third quarter was the most competitive for the Tornadoes, as they were only outscored by four in the frame as Bellingham led 97-59.
The Slam built their advantage to 40 with their first bucket of the fourth quarter before a small Tornadoes run decreased the lead to 33, at 107-74. But it was all Slam after that, with the margin exceeding 40 once again by the middle of the period.
Guard Jacob Stevenson led the Slam with 23 points, while forward Chas Kok, who started for the first time in his return to his old high school gym, finished with 21.
Guards Hikaru Sasaki and Marcus Bradford shared the Tornadoes' scoring lead with 20 points each.
The Slam return to their usual home court at Whatcom Pavilion on Sunday as they face the Lone Star Strikers based out of Houston, Texas. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.
SLAM ENJOY RECORD-SETTING NIGHT VS. JAPAN
The Slam made quick work of the Japan Tornadoes, 161-78, in an International Basketball League contest at Whatcom Pavilion on Friday evening.
The game set team records for fewest points allowed and also for greatest margin of victory at 83 points.
The outcome of the game was revealed within the first three minutes as the Slam completely outmatched the Tornadoes and scored the first 11 points of the game. Bellingham went on to take a 40-22 lead at the first quarter break.
The dominance continued throughout the second quarter, with the Slam extending their lead to 78-44 at halftime.
The second half was more of the same, with Bellingham continuing to pour in buckets, maxing out their third quarter advantage at 62 points and at 83 points after Chas Kok hit a three-pointer with 27 seconds left.
Kok enjoyed his finest performance of his two-season Slam career, leading all scorers with 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting from the floor and six three-pointers. Blake Poole finished with another double-double of 24 points and 16 rebounds. Every Slam player figured in the scoring, and all but two scored in double figures.
Hikaru Saskaki led the Tornadoes with 30 points, while Takato Hara added 22.
The Slam stay at home for their next two games, with a rematch against Japan looming on Friday, May 17. That game will be played at Lynden High School with a 7 p.m. Scheduled tip-off.
STEVENSON/WILKINS COMBINE FOR 55 TO BEAT SALEM
The Slam shook off a slow start as they went on to rout the Salem Sabres, 143-104, in an IBL game on the campus of Chemeketa Community College Saturday evening.
Salem came out of the gate on fire in their franchise's first IBL game, racing out to a 17-7 lead by the first media timeout. The Slam responded by battling back to take a 31-29 lead into the second quarter. A late 13-2 run helped Bellingham extend their lead to 17, at 67-50, at halftime.
The Sabres didn't have an answer for the Slam in the second half, as the rout was on by the middle stages of the third quarter, when Bellingham used a 13-0 scoring spurt to build their lead to 94-75 with three minutes left in the period.
Despite the big lead, Bellingham's defense refused to rest in the fourth quarter, as they held Salem to 19 points while their offensive barrage continued.
Guard Jacob Stevenson led seven Slam players in double figures with 28 points. Rookie guard Rico Wilkins enjoyed his best night of his young pro career with 27 points on 7-for-13 shooting from three-point game.
For Salem, forward Corey Largent took high scorer honors with 23 points.
The Slam return to Bellingham to face the Japan Tornadoes on Friday, May 10. A 7 p.m. tip-off is scheduled at Whatcom Pavilion.
$5 FRIDAYS ARE BACK FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS
The Slam is re-introducing the team's $5 Friday ticket promotion for area college students!
Through this promotion, college students can purchase single game tickets to any Friday home game for just $5, a savings of $3 off of the regular student price.
There are a total of five Friday home games for the Slam this season, starting with the team's season opener on Friday, April 19!
This special ticket offer is only available for walk-up sales at the venue box office. A valid college or university ID is required to receive the discount.