Enforcers Take First Loss, Bounce Back; Reach Holiday Break at 8-1
COVINGTON, KY - December 23, 2016 - Last weekend’s pair of games, the final two in the 2016 calendar year, saw some good news and some bad news for the Kentucky Enforcers.
The bad news, the Enforcers suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the Chicago Steam Saturday night, 106-101. The Enforcers struggled with the aggressive style of the Steam defense, committing 22 turnovers on their way to their second lowest offensive output of the season, 101 points on 41.7% shooting from the floor. Da’Markco Foster led the way for the Enforcers with 23 points, and added seven assists. Jeff Robinson (19 pts, 17 reb) and Eric Hicks (10 pts, 13 reb) each posted double doubles.
Now the good news. The character of the team would be tested as the Kentucky Enforcers would have to respond after suffering their first loss Saturday night with another difficult task in the Steel City Yellow Jackets, Sunday afternoon. The Enforcers responded with a 109-92 win. The Enforcers came out Sunday with a much greater intensity on defense, and shot 49.5% from the field on offense. Eric Hicks led the Enforcers with 24 points and 12 rebounds. The Enforcers got double digit rebounds from three different players in one game for the fourth time this season.
“No one likes to lose. I'm the worst, I hate it,” said Da’Markco Foster. “But honestly, I think the loss was a good thing for us going into the break because we know we're not untouchable. We are going into the tougher part of our schedule, and I think it gives us a sense of urgency going forward. We know we'll have to bring it every night.” Foster added, “I think it really showed how tough the guys are to come out the next night and play the way we did against a tough Steel City team. I thought the guys on the bench stepped up, especially after Aaron (Miller) went down. I thought that showed that this team has a lot of heart.”
Rebounding has been a major factor in the 8-1 start for the Kentucky Enforcers. The Enforcers have outrebounded nearly every opponent with an average of 54.1 rebounds per game, including 62.67 rpg in their last three games. Their rebounding prowess is thanks, in large part, to having three players who rank in the top ten in the ABA in rebounds per game among players who have played more than one game. Former Xavier University center Jeff Robinson (6’11”) is second in the league with 13.14 rpg, forward Ray Chambers (6’8”) ranks sixth in the league at 11.2 rpg, and former University of Cincinnati forward Eric Hicks (6’7”) ranks seventh with 10.67 rpg. The post players rebound well, as expected, but the Enforcers also receive major contributions on the boards from the guard position, with starting guards Aaron Miller and Da’Markco Foster each averaging more than five rebounds per game.
“I believe rebounding has played a huge part in our wins, because it's something that we’ve been doing as a team,” said Foster. “We haven't just been relying on the bigs to do all the dirty work.”
The Enforcers will be off for the next two weeks during the holidays, returning January 7th for a game in Milwaukee, versus the Wisconsin Rimrattlers. The Enforcers return home to Cincinnati Christian University January 21st to face the Fayetteville Flight at 7:00 pm. The full schedule is available at www.kentuckyenforcers.com/schedule