ADVERTISEMENT

December 22, 2012

Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Maine’s Xavier Silas drives in for a layup at the end of the first half during the Red Claws’ 109-99 win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at the Portland Expo on Friday night. Silas finished with 19 points for Maine, which improved to 7-3.

Wright on, Red Claws win

By Kevin Thomas
kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Fort Wayne guard Walker Russell stands 6-foot-1. So when he drove for a layup against 7-foot center Fab Melo, Russell used his speed to fly around Melo.

But as Russell released the ball, 6-8 Chris Wright soared in and swatted it away.

Wright explodes from point A to point D, skipping B and C. He zips by defenders for crowd-pleasing dunks, and launches into the stands for determined rebounds.

Wright notched a double-double Friday night, tallying 22 points and 15 rebounds (plus four steals and two blocks), helping the Maine Red Claws to a 109-99 victory over Fort Wayne at the Portland Expo.

"Chris Wright is tremendously athletic, tremendously explosive," Maine Coach Mike Taylor said. "He's really a good team guy, and he's a fighter.

"Tonight, people saw that when he's got it going, he's finishing those dunks and making those steals, doing so many things on both ends of the floor to help your team win."

Wright's was not the only double-double celebration. Point guard Shelvin Mack continued his streak of impressive games, recording 27 points and 12 assists.

Mack hit three 3-pointers, while driving often to the basket. Scoreless in the first quarter (with Maine down 30-20), Mack took over, scoring 12 points in the second quarter.

"After the first quarter, I felt we needed a wake-up call," Mack said. "As a point guard, you have to understand the game. It was time for me to get aggressive."

Maine (7-3) also received assistance from Xavier Silas (19 points) and Micah Downs (10 points). Melo had eight points and six rebounds in 22 minutes of play.

Fort Wayne (3-9) is now 0-4 against Maine this year. The Mad Ants were led by guard Ron Howard's 30 points.

Maine trailed most of the first half, until Silas' driving lay-up at the buzzer gave the Red Claws a 51-50 halftime lead.

Maine tightened its defense and got it's offense going.

"It took a while for our team to get a rhythm," Taylor said. "To have Shelvin stabilize things during that stretch was tremendous."

Off the bench, forwards DaJuan Summers (nine points, two blocks) and Chris Ayer (eight points and three blocks) contributed on both ends.

NOTES: Guard/forward Kris Joseph was recalled by the Boston Celtics Friday for their game at the Garden. Boston is short-handed and Joseph is likely staying with the team through next week. The announced attendance was 2,043. The Claws play tonight at 7 at the Expo, against the Erie BayHawks. The Knicks had sent Amare Stoudemire, Chris Copeland and James White to Erie on Tuesday but it was only for practice. They were recalled to New York on Thursday. Former Red Claws guard Morris Almond played his third game for Iowa Friday. He is averaging 15 points. Maine had the rights to Almond, who played parts of two seasons with the Red Claws, but traded them to Iowa 10 days ago for a second-round draft pick in 2013. Fort Wayne and Maine get a five-week break from each other, next meeting on Jan. 31.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH



Maine’s Fab Melo extends for a shot against Fort Wayne on Friday night at the Portland Expo. Melo had eight points and six rebounds.

John Ewing

Maine’s Shelvin Mack drives down the lane against Fort Wayne’s JaJuan Johnson, left, and Dairese Gary. Mack had 27 points and 12 assists as Maine improved to 4-0 against Fort Wayne this season.



Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


  • Back to Sports

News
Politics
Business
Opinion
Life & Culture
People

© 2014 The Portland Press Herald - All Rights Reserved.
MaineToday Media
One City Center, 5th floor, Portland, ME 04101-5009
(207) 791-6650
contact@pressherald.com