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Skyhawks had alternative basketballs for fans to buy. Photo: @CPSKYHAWKS
Skyhawks had alternative basketballs for fans to buy. Photo: @CPSKYHAWKS

The College Park Skyhawks secured their third straight victory by defeating the G League Ignite in a commanding 100-81 win in front of a sellout crowd at the Gateway Center Arena. The Skyhawks, having a fantastic season so far, have won four straight games at home and are fifth in the Eastern Conference with nine games left to play.

The Skyhawks were led by Chris Silva, who had a game-high tying 22 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and a career-high four steals. Silva's impressive performance marked his second straight 20-point game and his 11th time scoring 20 or more points this season.

Skyhawks faced the Las Vegas Ignite at home during their sold out Kid's Day! Photo: @CPSKYHAWKS
Skyhawks faced the Las Vegas Ignite at home during their sold out Kid's Day! Photo: @CPSKYHAWKS

The Skyhawks' defense was also remarkable, forcing 21 Ignite turnovers, marking the second straight and third games out of the last four where they forced 20 or more turnovers.

Jordan Bowden continued his hot streak, netting 18 points, including five 3-pointers. Since joining the Skyhawks on February 12, Bowden has been shooting at an impressive .600% from beyond the arc. Rob Baker and AJ Griffin led the Skyhawks bench, outscoring the Ignite's bench 43-21.

After trailing by seven points in the first quarter, College Park took control of the game in the second quarter, ending the quarter with a 26-15 advantage behind a 15-2 run, with Miles Norris netting seven of those 15 points. The Ignite tried to come back in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to as little as five with 7:51 to go, behind a stretch of eight points from Michael Frazier II. However, College Park closed the game behind 12 fourth-quarter points from Silva, keeping a double-digit lead for the final 6:32.

The Ignite was led by Matas Buzelis, who poured in 15 points while collecting team-highs of 11 rebounds, seven assists, and four blocks in 37 minutes.

The Skyhawks' next game is against the first-place Delaware Blue Coats on March 5 at 7 pm, followed by a home back-to-back with the second-place Osceola Magic on March 8 at 7 pm and March 9 at 6:30 pm. Fans can visit to secure seats and cheer on the team as they push toward the playoffs.

This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a journalist on the MTMV Sports platform. She is a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, pet mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow her writings as she dives into the latest sports news! You can find her on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.

Paul celebrating with the Puerto Rican crowd.
Jake Paul Celebrating his victory with the Puerto Rican Crowd.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Jake "El Gallo" Paul proved once again that he is more than just a YouTube sensation, as he demolished Ryan "The Rhino" Bourland in the first round of their cruiserweight bout on Saturday night.

Paul, a resident of Puerto Rico, came to the ring in a chicken-themed robe and feathered shorts, but performed like a bird of prey. He fought like a seasoned veteran, despite having only 9 pro fights under his belt upon entering the ring. He predicted a second-round stoppage, but he did it even faster, overwhelming Bourland with punches before the referee waved it off.

The fight was the co-main event of a card that was supposed to feature Amanda "The Real Deal" Serrano, the Puerto Rican native and seven-division world champion, in a bout against Nina Meinke. However, the main event was scrapped at the last minute due to Serrano suffering a severe eye injury leaving her with an exposed cornea.

Serrano, tearfully addressed the crowd and apologized for not being able to compete. She said, “I came to fight and put on a show for all you guys. I will come back, and I will retire here (Puerto Rico).”

Serrano's injury was so bad that she could hardly see out of her eye, but she still wanted to go ahead with the fight. That showed her heart as a fighter, and her dedication to the sport. At 35 years of age and 49 pro bouts, the end is near for this decorated trailblazer. Fight fans must cherish her while we have the opportunity, because we don't know how long we will have this privilege.

The card, which was held at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, was meant to celebrate the island's rich history in boxing, and to showcase its rising stars. Paul, who has adopted Puerto Rico as his second home, had the honor and responsibility of carrying this card.  He said he wants to be a champion and is looking to fight real boxers. When asked by Ariel Helwani about crossover bouts, Paul said if a big money fight comes along he’ll take it. However he is focused on climbing the ranks to obtain a world title.

One crossover bout he is not only interested in but is campaigning for is a match versus Canelo Alvarez. In the lead up to and immediately after his bout with Bourland he called out the Mexican Superstar. Knowing Canelo is winding down he hopes to cash in with a super fight like Mayweather/McGregor.

Paul improved his record to 9-1, with 6 knockouts, while Bourland fell to 17-3 , also with 6 knockouts. Serrano, who holds the IBF, WBO, WBA and IBO featherweight titles, remains at 46-2-1, with 30 knockouts.

Glads in their Blueland Thrasher fits! Photo: @Stevenburroughsphoto
Glads in their Blueland Thrasher fits! Photo: @Stevenburroughsphoto

Thrasher night is by far one of the Atlanta Gladiators' most anticipated games of the season was against the best team in the conference, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Although the Swamp Rabbits are no strangers to the Gladiators, it still makes for great hockey when the Glad fans fill the arena in their baby blue Thrasher attire, filling the arena with energy that the team would need. 

The Gladiators entered their Thrasher theme night game last in the East, with 56 games played and a record of 18-35. Meanwhile, the Swamp Rabbits have played 54 games and sit at 36-16 on the season. Although there is still some hockey to be played before the postseason, this game and its capacity might be the Gladiator's most considerable game period for the season, as they will likely not be making the postseason. 

Thrasher is back for one night only! Photo: @atlgladiators
Thrasher is back for one night only! Photo: @atlgladiators

The Gladiators started off very poised and robust in tonight's game, just as they did with their season, but as time went along, the Rabbits were really able to show why they were the leaders of the pack. In the first period, the Swamp Rabbits set an easy goal, which they held for the rest of the period. Gladiators could not add any points to the board, but they put up a fight, literally, to keep the Rabbits' net clear. Towards the end of the first period, the defense was promising as the Rabbits had some goal attempts that failed. 

Moving into the second period, things began to get a little sluggish for the Gladiators or Thrashers as the crowd repeatedly called out. They allowed Greenville to score 2 unanswered goals, one on the power play. They heightened the intensity, leading to two back-to-back fights and the power play goal. One would think that if the Gladiators put as much intensity into getting the puck to their side of the ice, rather than wrestling with the Swamp Rabbits, they would at least have a goal on the board. Nevertheless, the Gladiators usually play a complete game, which was expected in the third period as the Swamp Rabbits were coming into the period up 3-0.  

Intensity brewed as the third period started, and the crowd was behind the team. Things looked to be going smoothly until the Swamp Rabbits scored again with 18:10 remaining in the game. Thus putting the Glads behind by 4. Unless a miracle was to happen for the Glads, this game was not one they would be winning tonight. The team tried its best to amp up the offense, and they spent a lot of time at the net trying to get at least one goal, but the Rabbits’ defense was holding firm.

The Swamp Rabbits are known for their fierce defense, and they did not disappoint in tonight’s game. As the period drew to an end, the crowd grew antsy as they just wanted their team to get a goal. Reaching a goal would have been the icing for a sold-out game for the first time this season, with 9,248 fans in attendance at the Gas South Arena.

However, it was simply too much to hope for, as the Gladiators could not get any points on the board. The Gladiators move on to tomorrow night, hoping to avoid a redo of tonight in their Faith and Family-themed day. If the Gladiators want to salvage any pieces left of their season, they will start to win some more games and give these fans a proper hockey game experience.

This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a journalist on the MTMV Sports platform. She is a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, pet mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow her writings as she dives into the latest sports news! You can find her on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.

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