“Recharged” SB Mavericks host Mobile Bay, Baytown for Veterans Appreciation Weekend

By Kirk Copeland
(318) 525-8853 cell

Wednesday, January 21st

(Shreveport, LA.) – After a week off, the top-ranked Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks return to the court this weekend, January 24-25, to face a pair of familiar opponents as they gear up for the January 31 rematch with #2-ranked Jacksonville.

The defending ABA champion Mavs host the #17-ranked Mobile Bay Tornados Saturday at 7 p.m. at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, then welcome the Baytown Bandits to town on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. The Mavericks (16-0) defeated Mobile Bay 118-87 on November 16 in Mobile, Alabama, then dispatched Baytown 128-60 on December 30 in Baytown.

As added incentive for fans to come out, the Mavericks will have Veterans Appreciation Weekend for both games. All active and former Armed Forces personnel receive free admission to each game with a valid military ID.

“We’ve had a nice week off,” said Mavericks head coach Steve Tucker, who is just eight victories away from an unprecedented 200 wins in his ABA career. “We got some rest and I feel like we recharged a little bit, which is a key for us with the toughest part of our schedule ahead of us over the next couple of months. We’re really refreshed and ready for the challenge.”

According to Tornados owner Charlie McCants, Mobile Bay (5-3) has improved considerably from the team that took the court against Shreveport-Bossier back in November. Led by head coach Alfred Perkins, the Tornados feature top scorer Erick Thrash, a 5’11” shooting guard who gets by on quickness and smarts.

“We’re still a smaller team,” said McCants, “but we have a lot of quick, speedy players that know how to get to the basket. I wish we had more size, but we make the most of what we have, and we’ve gotten back on track after some early-season struggles. We’re starting to gel in several areas, and we’re looking forward to the challenge of playing the league’s best team.”

The Bandits (8-3) are a young team with a home base close to Houston, the hometown of several Mavs’ players, including swingman P.J. Couisnard. Baytown’s youth was an issue in the December contest with Shreveport-Bossier, as the Bandits were forced into 35 turnovers by the veteran defending champs.

This weekend’s contests should serve as a tune-up for the rematch with Jacksonville on January 31 at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. The Giants (15-1) bounced back from their 113-96 loss to the Mavs on December 13 at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, winning 10 straight to set up the third #1 vs. #2 matchup Shreveport-Bossier has been involved in this season.

“This will be the biggest challenge in my seven years with the Mavericks,” said Tucker. “Jacksonville has regrouped and gotten back on the winning track, and Coach (Kevin) Waters always gets the best out of his players. Hopefully we can get it done.”

Waters was reserved but optimistic about his team’s chances in the rematch of last season’s ABA Championship Finals, which the Mavericks won 2-0 at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.

“We’ve had some good leadership and solid defense (since the last contest against Shreveport-Bossier),” said Waters. “We’ve had some roster moves the past couple of weeks and we hope to have the team in playoff form for the rematch.”

The Mavericks currently hold a professional basketball record 76-game winning streak, as well as an 80-game home winning streak dating back to 2011 when the team was based in Winnie, Texas. Since moving to Shreveport-Bossier in 2013, the Mavericks are 50-0 and have a flawless 41-0 record at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.

Tickets for 2014-15 Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks games are on sale now at or at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum box office, which can be reached at (318) 631-4930.

The Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks and KSLA News 12 have partnered to give you the latest Mavs news and fun giveaways right on your smartphone. All you have to do is text “Mavericks” to 81212 to get involved

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