Make that 2-for-2 for the Albany Patroons.
For the second time in two games at the same number of sites, the Patroons took care of business against New York-state rivals, the Rochester Razorsharks, with a 117-99 home win at the Washington Avenue Armory on Saturday night.
Albany (2-0) won in Rochester in last week’s New Year’s Eve tilt that tipped off the inaugural season for the North American Premier Basketball (NAPB) league.
“We came out as hungry and prepared for this game as we did last Sunday,” Albany head coach Derrick Rowland said. “Our players have come together nicely as a unit, playing as a team and helping each other throughout the practice sessions and, obviously the games.”
Albany was led by Torren Jones (29 points), Lloyd Johnson (23 points), Deandre Thomas (17 points) and Smush Parker (15 points).
“The team won because they prepared well, they worked together, and they were confident,” Rowland said. “Going forward the team needs to continue their intensity, their desire, and their work ethic.”
For Rochester (0-2), they were sparked by the play of John Ivy (24 points) and Nick Waddell (18 points, 14 rebounds).
“They were again the superior and tougher team tonight,” Rochester head coach Chris Iversen said. “We had our chances, but didn’t respond the way winners are supposed to. We acted like someone stole our lunch money and we were scared to go get it back.”
“We have to get better because tonight proved that we are not good enough yet.”
Vancouver 90, YAKIMA 84
With a chance to also take their first two games of the NAPB season, the Yakima Sunkings fell behind big early and never could dig out of the hole, falling 90-84 at home against the visiting Vancouver Knights.
The teams split a 2-game set over the weekend, with Yakima taking the opening contest Friday night.
The Knights had four, double-figure scorers led by Darius Paul (19 points, six rebounds), Devon Alexander (18 points, seven rebounds) and Vance Cooksey (15 points).
“The difference between tonight and last night was our intensity and we made shots tonight,” Vancouver head coach Jesse Carlin said. “We were able to finish around the basket, something we weren’t able to do on Friday. We did a good job for three quarters handling pressure. In the fourth quarter we got sloppy. They did a good job not giving up and coming back.
“Hats off to our guys after a long road trip out here and being able to take care of business. Yakima is a good ball club and we will be seeing them in the future.”
Leading the way for the hosts were Tyler Thornton (19 points, six assists) and Stephen Battle.
Vancouver (1-1) led 47-38 at halftime and then blew the game open with a 25-15 run in the third quarter to go up 19 heading into the final period.
The host Sunkings (1-1) rallied with a huge, 31-point quarter, but it wasn’t enough to secure a sweep.
Vancouver shot 45.3 percent from the field to Yakima’s 39.4 percent to overcome 27 turnovers.
The Knights outrebounded Yakima 51-42.
“I like the effort we showed to get back into the game, but was disappointed in our lack of energy,” Yakima head coach Paul Woolpert said. “We need to be consistent for all 48 minutes. The season is 32 games and I am confident we will get better. Now, we have a four-game road trip before returning home for a six-game homestand. We will be ready.”
-Alan Dale, NAPB Media Relations