Mad Ants retire Ron Howard’s jersey, top Westchester Knicks

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – It was a big night for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (22-15) as they extended their winning streak to three games against the Westchester Knicks (16-22). The game was played in front of an announced sold-out crowd of 5,114.

It was Ron Howard Night at the Coliseum on Friday night, as “Mr. Mad Ant” was honored during a halftime ceremony where his #19 jersey was retired in front of the Mad Ants’ second sold-out crowd of the year. He is the first Fort Wayne player to have his jersey hung in the rafters.

The new look Mad Ants came out firing on all cylinders to start the game. Led by Jarred Uthoff’s hot start, Fort Wayne got out to a 21-11 lead midway through the first period. Westchester answered quickly with a run of their own led by Travis Trice II.

Uthoff scored 10 points in the quarter, as the Mad Ants held a 34-31 lead at the end of the first. Tyler Hansbrough made his Fort Wayne debut early in the game; coming off the bench to score five points in the opening period.

Fort Wayne began to pull away in the middle of the second quarter. A 3-pointer from Trey McKinney-Jones put the Mad Ants ahead 60-42 with four minutes to go in the second quarter. A last second jumper from Westchester’s Courtney Fells had the Knicks going into the locker room trailing 64-51.

Uthoff had a double-double in the half consisting of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Jordan Loyd was second in scoring for Fort Wayne with 11 points. The Knicks were led in scoring by Trice II with 12 points. Jaylen Bond was not far behind with 11 points coming off the bench.

The Mad Ants kept their distance during the third quarter. Fort Wayne increased its lead to 19, giving the Mad Ants an 89-70 lead going into the final quarter. Westchester had work to do heading into the fourth.

Westchester cut the deficit to seven with six minutes left courtesy of an 11-2 run. Fort Wayne showed a killer instinct, ending the game with an 8-3 run. Fort Wayne won its third game in a row 106-94.

Uthoff stuffed the stat sheet with 23 points, 20 rebounds, and 4 assists. Stephan Hicks was second in scoring adding 18 points with 8 rebounds. Loyd finished with 17 points, 9 assists, and 8 boards; McKinney-Jones talled 14 points and 8 rebounds.

The Knicks had six players score in double-digits. Keith Wright led with a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds. Trice II, Fells, and Damien Ingles scored 14 points each. Doron Lamb contributed 13 points to the cause, and Bond finished with 11.

Fort Wayne will look to continue their winning ways when they travel to Canton. They play the Charge tomorrow night at 7 p.m.