Stephan Hicks became the Mad Ants’ all-time leader in rebounds.
That was the good news.
The bad news is the Mad Ants lost 103-100 Friday to the Maine Red Claws in front of 2,417 fans at Portland, Maine, dropping Fort Wayne to 0-3 for only the second time in franchise history.
Naz Mitrou-Long led Fort Wayne with 28 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Walt Lemon Jr. had 18 points and seven rebounds.
And Ike Nwamu had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists for Fort Wayne, which next plays 7 p.m. Monday at Memorial Coliseum against the College Park Skyhawks.
Hicks, who totaled 11 points and 13 rebounds, surpassed Ron Howard as the franchise leader in rebounds. Hicks now has 996, four more than Howard.
Maine (2-0) was paced by Yante Maten’s 22 points and 10 rebounds. Tremont Waters added 17 points and seven assists.
The Red Claws out-rebounded the Mad Ants 58-50, paced by Tacko Fall’s 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The Mad Ants were down 10 with 8:07 left, when Maine’s Jaysean Paige made a jump shot for an 84-74 lead. But Fort Wayne clawed to within 2, at 95-93, when Mitrou-Long made a floater with 2:07 left.
The rally didn’t last though.
Maine’s Waters made a fadeaway shot and drew a foul, completing a 3-point play for a 98-93 lead, and a Justin Bibbs free throw made it 99-94.
Fort Wayne got back within 2 when Lemon converted a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left, cutting it to 100-98. But time wasn’t on Fort Wayne’s side; Waters made two free throws to keep it out of reach.
Notes: Former Indiana University player Romeo Langford was scoreless over 7 minutes for Maine. He was 0 for 2 from the field before leaving with an apparent ankle injury. … Fort Wayne was also 0-3 in 2014-15, but they went on to the finals.