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Enid’s Chance Comanche hangs on the rim after a dunk during the first quarter of the Enid Outlaws semi-final playoff game against the San Diego Guardians on Friday, July 16, 2021 at the Stride Bank Center. (Tarik Masri / Enid News & Eagle)

In their first game without point guard Lindy Waters III, the Enid Outlaws showed no signs of slowing down in their first non-conference game of the season, a 115-78 win over the San Diego Guardians at the Stride Bank Center.

Enid came into the semi-final series with the league’s best record (26-3) and the title of Central Conference Champions. They haven’t had a chance to see how they’ve stacked up to teams outside of the eight other Central Conference teams, but on Friday, they made a compelling case for being the front-runner for The Basketball League Championship.

The game was tied with just under two minutes left in the first half, before the Outlaws went on an 8-0 run to take a 54-46 lead going into the break.

Enid dominated defensively in the second half, holding the Guardians to just 36 points while scoring 38 in the fourth quarter alone. Charlie Marquardt took over the game coming out of halftime, scoring 21 of his 25 points in the final two quarters. He also added three steals, including two that came off inbounds passes that resulted in easy points.

He finished with six threes on 12 attempts after going 1-4 in the first half. The TBL’s leading scorer, Chance Comanche had 29 points and 18 rebounds. The Outlaws outrebounded San Diego 27-14 in the first half, but the Guardians were knocking down 45% of their attempts from the field.

Devin Harris notched a double-double as well with 20 points on 9 of 15 shooting, seven rebounds and 12 assists. Of his 12 assists, 10 came in the second half.

The team was given the difficult task of playing in the semi-finals without one of their top playmakers in Lindy Waters III Waters, a former Oklahoma State Cowboy, signed with Palmer Alma Mediterranea Palma, a team located in Palma, Spain.

The Enid guards still looked solid despite Waters absence. Harris joined the Outlaws shortly after Waters suffered an ankle injury that forced him to miss two weeks. The Outlaws seemed to get a new life after Harris took over the ball-handling duties, and continued to get better after Waters returned.

Only three Guardians finished in double figures in the game. Nigel Jones led the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Dejuan Owens had 21 points on three of eight shooting from deep. Terrence Cole added another 11 points on five of nine shooting.

Enid shot 40% from behind the arc in the game (11-27), while the Guardians shot 30% (8-26). The Outlaws scored 60 of their 115 points in the paint, while allowing 28 by San Diego.

The Outlaws will try to close out the series on Sunday, July 18, 2021 at the Stride Bank Center at 7:30 p.m.

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Masri is sports editor for the Enid News & Eagle.

Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Tarik? Send an email to tmasri@enidnews.com.

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