On June 2nd, the Tampa Bay Rebels hosted the Florida Flight from Orlando at the Freedom High School gymnasium in Tampa. Prior to tipoff, Lizy Barnes, a drum major in the Freedom High School marching band, performed the national anthem on her saxophone in front of the home crowd. The Rebels also welcomed Rick Bell and Lynden James to the bench alongside Coach Rojas as the newest members of the coaching staff. Bell and James will both serve as Assistant Coaches for the Rebels.The Rebels, coming off an extended break with no games having been scheduled over Memorial Day weekend, were back on the court against a Flight squad that came off a solid victory against the Palm Beach Titans. The game was played at a high pace from the tip, with the Flight being propelled in the early going by guard Gregory Remy, who contributed 9 points, while also benefitting from a solid job on the offensive boards by Peter Joyner, who would finish the game with 12 points.
The Rebels had a small lineup at the beginning of the third quarter with Will McIntyre, Jerel Young, Aubrey West, Jonathan Brown, and Shun Watson applying pressure on the Flight guards and creating turnovers. The Rebels were able to convert those turnovers into layups that put the game out of reach as and ended with a 119-85 win for the hometown Rebels. With the win, the Rebels move to 3-1 on the season and maintain their position at the top of the Florida Basketball Association standings.
Tim Ware was the highest scoring Rebel with 29 points, Matt Kendrick produced another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and backup point guard Jerel Young had a team record 9 steals in the game. Coach Rojas commented at the end of the game, “We added a new offensive set to our game plan that we wanted to use against the Flight. We made some improvements to our spacing and ball movement, but we are still a work in progress.”
The Rebels will play their next game on June 9th when they travel to play the Heartland Prowl.