Aftershocks fall in TBT quarterfinals to Florida TNT


Courtesy of Ben Solomon / TBT

Aftershocks guard Tyrus McGee attmepts a three-pointer during their game against Florida TNT in Dayton, Ohio on July 31.

The Aftershocks’ run in The Basketball Tournament came to a close on Saturday, when they fell to Florida TNT in the quarterfinals, 92-63, at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. 

The Wichita State alumni had a successful second year in TBT despite the loss on Saturday, including a regional championship and three thrilling victories. 

“You don’t see a lot of teams who are new, they don’t win this many games this quickly,” Aftershocks head coach Zach Bush said. “It’s typically more veteran teams that win in this so for us to be in the second year and get this far, there’s a whole lot of teams that’d have loved to win their regional and it was just so fun to play in Wichita and in front of our fans.”

After an 11-day break, the Aftershocks found themselves trailing early on in the first half, with Florida TNT connecting on their first five shot attempts. Florida TNT sustained that momentum for the remainder of the first half, taking a 49-34 lead into the locker room.

“It was just one of those days where it felt like no ball seemed to roll your way, every time it’s tipped it’s off of you,” Bush said. “I thought we came out flat, it’s hard with these early games. At times we played great defense and they just made tough shots. Just wasn’t our day.”

The Aftershocks were unable to muster a comeback in the second half or find any consistency throughout the game. They finished the game shooting 32% from the field and 32% on three-pointers. Tyrus McGee was the lone Aftershock to finish in double figures with 18 points. 

After leading the charge in the Wichita Regional, Conner Frankamp struggled with his shot. Frankamp finished the game with nine points and four assists but went 0-9 on three-pointers. 

“It was pretty deflating honestly,” Frankamp said. “We would make a run and then they would just hit three threes in a row and the run was over. We came out flat and missed some shots and some easy buckets inside, then they got out in transition. It was just one of those days for all of us.”

The two-week layoff didn’t phase Florida TNT, a team made of overseas professionals from Florida, offensively as they shot 61% from the field and 50% from three . TBT veteran Dominique Jones was one of three players to score in double figures, tallying 18 points along with five rebounds and four assists. 

“We’re not here to compete,” Florida TNT coach Irene Rainey said. “We’re here to dominate. No one wanted to pick us to come out of that Wichita region. We’re playing with a chip on our shoulder.”

In the past 2-3 weeks, the Aftershocks have used the TBT as an opportunity to return WSU alumni back to the city in hopes of making it feel more like a reunion. 

“It’s been really fun,” Frankamp said. “I think we’ve all connected and became really close, I think these last 2-3 weeks have really brought us together. We had a great time in Wichita, we had a great time here. Hopefully we can get all these guys back for next year and try to make another run again.”

Florida TNT is now two wins away from the $1 million prize, with their win over the Aftershocks. They started as the No. 5 seed in the Wichita Region but quickly emerged as one of the top contenders for this year’s tournament.

Kenny Boynton – who finished with 16 points and eight rebounds – said their performance hasn’t surprised them to this point.

“I think for whatever reason, we’re underrated,” Kenny Boynton said. “Once we put this team together, all of us being from Florida, we knew what we had. I think somehow, somehow we feel underrated and I don’t know why. It’s going as planned for us.”