Here's what Mad Ants coach Duane Ticknor had to say after his team clinched its first playoff berth tonight in Sioux Falls, S.D.
"It's a big step forward, obviously, for our organization, and we're very proud of what we've done," he told Steve Warden in a phone interview.
"We've got our sights set on a much higher prize than this. This is the first step. We're very happy with getting there. I know it means a lot, not just to the owners and Fort Wayne, but also to the fans who have been so loyal through the tough times. We're happy for them."
The 125-112 victory over Sioux Falls came after Tony Mitchell scored 49 points, a franchise and personal record, and also the highest point total in the D-League this season.
"It wasn't a selfish 49," Ticknor said. "He was making great passes off double teams. It was fun to be part of."
The Mad Ants play Saturday at Tulsa and find out Sunday who their first-round opponent will be. The Mad Ants are in fifth place, but the division winners select their opponents.
Ticknor said he expects Game 1 to be Wednesday or Thursday.
"We want to keep the momentum going. We're not changing anything we do; we're just going to keep doing what we do," he said. "It's been working for us for the last six weeks, so why change?"