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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, July 21, 2018 10:00 pm

Champs advance to 2nd round of TBT

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne Champs, a team made up of mostly former Mad Ants players, advanced to the second round of The Basketball Tournament with a 93-82 victory over The Region tonight.

Stephan Hicks had 29 points and 13 rebounds in the back-and-forth game in Columbus, Ohio, as the Champs took a step closer to getting the $2-million winner-take-all prize in the tournament in which they made it to the semifinals in 2015.

Trey McKinney Jones, who spent some time last season with the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, added 26 points as the Champs squandered a 12-point first-half lead, fell behind in the third quarter and came back to win.

Hicks made 8 of 16 shots. McKinney Jones converted 7 of 14. Between the two, they were 6 of 13 from beyond the arc.

The Champs got 10 points from Corey Henderson, and his team shot 49.1 percent from the field. The Region, a team based in Northwest Indiana and Chicago, shot 39.3 percent from the field.

The Region was led by Royce Parran’s 25 points.

DeAndre Thomas, a former Indiana University player who spent some brief time with the Mad Ants, had five points and four rebounds for The Region.

The Champs, a sixth seed, play again at 6 p.m. today vs. either third-seeded Hilton Magic Legends, made up of Iowa State alumni, or 14th-seeded Illinois BC.

jcohn@jg.net