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The Journal Gazette

Friday, July 27, 2018 10:00 pm

Fort Wayne Champs lose to Team Fredette

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne Champs dominated the first quarter Friday night, but then it fell apart in a 104-91 loss to Team Fredette in The Basketball Tournament in Atlanta.

Jimmer Fredette, who was scoreless in the first quarter, finished with 41 points to lead Team Fredette into the final eight.

The Champs, who had six former Mad Ants players, were paced by Julian Mavunga’s 23 points against his former team.

The Champs failed to nab the $2-million winner-take-all-prize in their fourth appearance in TBT. They made the 2015 semifinals.

A Stephan Hicks breakaway dunk gave the Champs a 15-6 lead and they made 9 of their first 12 shots en route to a 25-12 advantage. That grew to a 15-point lead, but it quickly dissipated. Fredette had 16 points in the second quarter and his team led 55-53 at halftime.

Team Fredette, a No. 2 seed, kept pouring it on in the second half; Jeff Ledbetter’s 3-pointer made it 76-68 with 2:01 remaining in the third quarter. Ledbetter totaled 17 points.

Trey McKinney Jones had 18 for Fort Wayne. Hicks had 15.

The sixth-seeded Champs’ Travis Leslie finished third in the TBT’s Slam Dunk Contest, in which the winner, Marcus Lewis, pocketed $40,000.

After that, Fredette converted 13 of 21 field goals, 6 of 11 from 3-point range and 9 of 10 free throws.

The Eberlein Drive, managed by Fort Wayne-native Matt Mitchell, plays today.