Summerside S. - St.John M.R. 118-99 Despite a few nervous moments in the fourth quarter, the Summerside Storm opened the 2012-13 regular-season with a 19-point victory on Friday night. Gregory Plummer scored 26 points to lead the Storm past the Saint John Mill Rats 118-99. The 2,119 fans at Eastlink Arena that treated to an impressive pre-game show, including fireworks. It was a great opening night for us, said Storm head coach Joe Salerno . I do think we could have played better than we did. We looked pretty sloppy at times, but for us not playing completely up to our potential, we still played well. There were some nervous moments for the Storm, who struggled closing out games a year ago. The Storm, who built a 19-point lead (51-32) in the second quarter, saw the Mill Rats close to within seven points on two occasions once in the third quarter (73-66) and again early in the fourth quarter (57-50). But the Storm closed out the game with a 31-19 run. I certainly had flashbacks in my head when they cut it to seven (in the fourth quarter), said Salerno. We talked a lot this pre-season about closing games out, and we just had to dig in defensively and make sure they were one and done, rebound the ball and we did that. We had a pretty good final six, seven minutes to close the game out. The Storm led 26-22 after the first quarter, and Plummer hit back-to-back three-point shots to give the Storm a 32-22 advantage. The Storm took a 55-42 advantage into halftime, and was in front 84-75 after three quarters. Avery Smith (6'4''-G-86, agency: Veracity Sports, LLC, college: Wisc.-Milwaukee) (19), Antonio Ballard (6'4''-G/F, college: Miami, OH) (12), Al Stewart (11), Louis Birdsong (10) and Issa Konare (10) were the Storms other leading scorers. Credit Summerside, said Mill Rats head coach David Cooper . They are a great team, well coached, very disciplined, they executed very well and are very aggressive. They went after the basketball, they got a lot of offensive rebounds, a lot of loose basketballs and when you shoot 40-per-cent from three (-point range), its tough. Jerice Crouch (6'0''-G-84, college: Chattanooga), with a game-high 27 points, and Anthony Anderson (5'11''-G-81, college: Massachusetts) (5'11''-G-81, college: Massachusetts), who sank 24, were Saint Johns top scorers. The Mill Rats started the game on fire as they jumped out to early 10-4 and 16-9 leads. They came out like we thought they would come out, very solid, said Plummer, who played part of last season with Saint John. They are a team with a lot of experience, they came out hitting shots, getting good looks and getting each other open. We just turned up the defence. Both Salerno and Plummer said a key for the Storm was how the team adjusted defensively. When we really defend we can be very tough, said Salerno. We are very deep and we have guys who can guard multiple positions. Early in the game we were giving them multiple looks off offensive rebounds, but once we started rebounding, pressuring and taking them out of their half-court game, it was a turning point for us. The Storms next game is on Friday at 7 p.m., when Saint John visits Summerside once again. Courtesy of Journalpioneer.com
Moncton M. - Montreal J. 99-83 The Moncton Miracles beat the Montreal Jazz in their Home Opener, 99-83. The Miracles came out strong in their first regular season game and had a quick 22-12 lead over the Jazz in the first quarter. Montreal battled their way back into it and by the time the buzzer went they had shortened the spread to 24-21 in favor of Moncton. The next two quarters continued to be close until the Miracles took control in the fourth quarter. They out scored Montreal 31-21 to help them finish the game with a strong lead. Tyrone Levett (6'5''-F-80, college: Alabama St.) led the way for the Miracles with 28 points. Devin Sweetney (6'6''-G/F-87, agency: Pro One Sports, college: St.Francis, PA) followed with 20 points. Manix Auriantal (6'2''-G-80, college: NYIT) was the top scorer for the Jazz with 17 points. Sani Ibrahim (6'10''-C-82, college: Gulf Coast CC) was right behind him with 15 points and 9 rebounds. The Miracles play their Home Opener against the Quebec Kebs on Sunday, November 4th, 2012 at the Moncton Coliseum. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
Windsor Exp. - Oshawa P. 83-84 Down 16 after three quarters of play, the Windsor Express huddled in search of inspiration. In the midst of the bodies, the voice of an unseen player offered up these words: 'We can't play any worse,' was the phrase he opted to bellow at his teammates, not exactly the sort of thing they teach during a Dale Carnegie course. You know what? It almost worked. An improbable Windsor rally fell one point short, as the Oshawa Power hung on for an 84-83 decision in Saturday's National Basketball League game at the WFCU Centre. If this weekend was the litmus test for pro basketball in Windsor, what we learned through the first two games of the new-born Express is that while there is still much work to be done to refine the product - both on and off the court - there also appears to be potential to make something happen here. There wasn't the 3,000 in the stadium that took advantage of Friday's opening-night free-ticket offer. Still, there was a solid gathering of about 500, nowhere near a capacity crowd, but enough of an indication to display there is an appetite for this product. 'We're at home, we're getting a lot of support from our fans and if we would have played even a couple more minutes of the game, I know we would have won it,' Express forward Greg Surmacz (6'8''-F-86, agency: Interperformances) said. 'It's a solid weekend. We got the split and we're headed in the right track.' Though for much of Saturday's game, it must be noted, the Express was derailed. You need bricks to build a foundation, and Windsor threw up enough of them through the first three quarters to get that construction underway. The Express shot a dismal .275 from the floor in the first half (14-of-51) and was an even more erratic .167 (three-for-18) from three-point range. 'There's the game right there,' Surmacz said. Playing their second contest in as many nights, the young Express, many of them new to pro ball, found it difficult to get their engine started. 'We came out a little tired in the first half,' Surmacz said. 'We were a little bit fatigued.' Oshawa, playing its season opener, pounced on the opportunity to grab a 69-53 advantage through three quarters of play. 'Oshawa was scrappy,' Surmacz said. 'It was their first game of the season, so they had a lot of energy and they took advantage of us.' 'We've got to come out there and battle from the first quarter.' For Surmacz, the last thing he ever thought he'd end up doing while playing for the Windsor Lancers would be returning to the city to play professionally. 'I'm thankful for that every day,' Surmacz said. Even though basketball was invented by James Naismith, a Canadian, no one will ever dare suggest that it is our game. Basketball is not part of the fabric of Canadian culture, but to suggest there isn't a strong basketball community within Windsor would be foolhardy. 'We're all here because we love the game,' said Express guard Mike Helms (6'1''-PG-82, college: Oakland), who played college ball in the Detroit suburbs at Oakland University. Surmacz learned enough about the city during his time at the university to recognize what will be required for the Express to win over Windsor. 'If we can show we're a hard-working team and win some games, I think it will catch on,' Surmacz said. 'The community will back us up.' There's work to be done, and let's face it, a struggle ahead before the Express are ingrained into the city's sporting landscape. But as Surmacz correctly noted, they are off to a good start. Courtesy of: windsorstar.com
St.John M.R. - Montreal J. 100-75 he Saint John Mill Rats, presented by Rogers, won their Season Home Opener in convincing fashion on Saturday night against the Montreal Jazz, 100-75 in front of 2,279 fans at Harbour Station. The Mill Rats scrambled a bit with the Montreal Jazz 6 minutes into play, but were able to pull ahead by the end of the first, leading 24-20 over the Jazz. Blazing through second quarter, the Mill Rats went on a run pulling ahead to close the half leading by 22 points, 54-32. The Mill Rats outscored the Jazz by over half in the second, 30 points to 12. Keeping the momentum into the third, leading scorer of the game from the Mill Rats, Anthony Anderson, stole the ball and drove to the basket giving the Mill Rats 2. Two minutes later, an alley oop from Anderson to Jerice Crouch, held the Mill Rats with their 24 point spread. Halfway through the third, Mill Rats PJ Young also netted some baskets for the team from the line and from the paint, leading the team with 8 rebounds. The Mill Rats closed the third with a 27 point lead, 77-50. The fourth quarter the teams were basket for basket but the Mill Rats kept their lead ending their home opener with a final score of 100-75. This was positive win for the Mill Rats coming off a loss in Summerside from the previous evening. Head Coach David Cooper was proud of the guys, saying, "They played hard tonight and they played well. The past couple of weeks, we focused on execution, on offence and on limiting second chance opportunities on defence." Leading scorers for Mill Rats were Anthony Anderson with 24, Antonio Burks with 14 and PJ Young with 13. Anderson also led the team in assists with 12, while Jerice Crouch had 10. For the Jazz, Sani Ibrahim and Manix Auriantal each contributed 14 points, while David Yul Michel added 11. Ibrahim led the game with rebounds giving the Jazz 11 during the game. The Mini Millies had their debut and were a huge hit. The organization also raised money for the Empty Stocking Fund initiative. They will be selling raffle tickets on a price on the 22nd at their next home game. During the televised Empty Stocking Fund, the Mill Rats will announce the total funds raised! Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
Windsor Exp. - Halifax R. 111-105 The Windsor Express invited a lot of people to their coming out party and they didn't disappoint Friday night at the WFCU Centre. Opting to give away tickets to their franchise opener in the National Basketball League of Canada, the Express enticed a crowd of more than 3,000 to see them play the Halifax Rainmen. The Express played a tough, entertaining style and held on at the finish for a 111-105 victory. The Windsor Express invited a lot of people to their coming out party and they didn't disappoint Friday night at the WFCU Centre. Opting to give away tickets to their franchise opener in the National Basketball League of Canada, the Express enticed a crowd of more than 3,000 to see them play the Halifax Rainmen. The Express played a tough, entertaining style and held on at the finish for a 111-105 victory. Music thumped through the main bowl and players lingered on the court to shake hands with spectators after the game. Not everything went perfect on opening night but organizational chaos took a back seat to some decent basketball once the whistle blew. "I've played in some great atmospheres but this has to be the best," former Windsor Lancer Greg Surmacz said. "It was electric out there. I got goose bumps on my arms from the crowd at the end." Surmacz made six of eight free throw attempts in the fourth quarter, including a pair to ice the victory with 16 seconds to play. He also came crashing down on Halifax guard Darren Duncan (5'11''-PG-88, college: Merrimack) to ensure he couldn't get a shot off in the final minutes of play. "I try to go out and set the tempo," Surmacz said. "It was hard foul but it was a clean foul and we went on a 6-0 run after it." Both teams lived up to the league's reputation for offering a pace that's fast and furious. Windsor point guard Mike Helms kicked off the festivities with some long threes in the first half and Eddie Smith of the Rainmen lit up the city's new court with 22 of his 27 points in the second half. "I think we gave the crowd what they wanted," said Windsor's Isaac Kuon, who goes down as jamming home the first dunk in franchise history and finished with six points and a couple of steals. "It was entertaining and it was exciting. For us, this was our championship game. We wanted people to come out and see us and we want them to come back." Train whistles blared through the speaker system during pre-game and the crowd was ramped up by a steady stream of sideshows including gymnasts, stiltmen , the team's dance troupe and an overall-wearing conductor for a mascot. "I'm really happy to get our first win," Windsor coach Bill Jones said. "The guys played well. We showed folks we're going to be professional and we're going to be a team with a tough personality." Helms led Windsor with 25 points. Anthony Johnson (6'7''-F-89, agency: Elite Talent Exchange, college: Azusa Pacific) added 20 points, Surmacz finished with 16 and Raymond Kraemer (6'4''-G-87, college: Nevada) scored 17 off the bench. Courtesy of: The Windsor Star
London L. - Halifax R. 107-89 The London Lightning might have been missing a lot of pieces from last year's championship team but they didn't miss a beat. The Lightning opened defence of their National Basketball League of Canada title with a 107-89 win over the Halifax Rainmen. 'It was good,' said returning player DeAnthony Bowden (6'1''-PG-80, college: Creighton). 'It was nice seeing some nice faces out there and it well for the first game. We need to play better defence but it was good out there. Bowden led the Lighting with 19 points followed by Morgan Lewis (6'4''-F-87, college: Findlay, OH) with 16, Tim Ellis with 15 and De'Andre Thomas with 13. Darren Duncan had 18 for the Rainmen. The Lightning handed out championship rings before the game, including one to Eddie Smith who is now a member of the Rainmen. They raised their championship banner and got quite a welcome back from the 3,456 in attendance. It is beginning to feel like this team has been established for years and if they can continue to keep winning, the crowds will continue to grow. There were nerves as expected for the Lightning. The crowd was curious and anticipating not knowing exactly what to expect. 'It was emotional getting the rings and raising a banner. It took us a while to get going,' Bowden said. The Lightning took almost four and a half minutes to score their first points. They a slam by DeAnthony Bowden and a quick second one by Morgan Lewis settled them away and the Lightning looked like the Lightning of old. 'We were good but we can get better,' said coach Micheal Ray Richardson. 'We have to rebound a little better but we good.' It might not have been Gabe Freeman doing the damage but the new guys were able to do plenty of damage on their own. It was only the first game of the season but returnees Ellis, Bowden and Rod Buford remain key players on this team. And once the parts that have come to London to replace those that have left started to purr along, the machine looked in midseason form. The Lightning wanted to get younger and quicker this year and early impressions are that's exactly what they did. 'Look, I'm not worried about Morgan or Mims. They know how to play,' Richardson said. 'We'll see how the younger players do. That's what I want to see.' It's going to take some time for everyone to really get to know each other but they made a good start against a Rainmen team that lost its opener to expansion Windsor and did a lot of remodeling in the off-season. The two players who made an immediate impression offensively were Lewis and point-guard Adrian Moss. Lewis can do it all at both ends of the floor. Moss is going to take a great deal of pressure if Bowden so Bowden will be fresher later in the season. Moss plays much bigger than five foot, nine inches. He goes inside and manages to find the open man and he's like a hairshirt on whoever he's guarding. While other newcomers like Elvin Mims and Jeremy Williams didn't have a great night offensively they are a big upgrade offensively. Mims, a veteran pro player, is a shot-blocker and rebounder and has the knack for being around the ball. He's recently come off knee surgery but when he's completely healthy, he's going to do a great deal for this team. The longer Mims played in the game, the better his shooting eye. The Lightning's next game at home is Thursday against the Oshawa Power. Courtesy of: lfpress.com
New Ownership Group Takes Over Saint John Mill Rats - 1 day ago
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The Saint John Mill Rats have a new ownership group and fans will have a chance to take part in choosing a new name for the team. The ownership group is made up of local residents and is headed by Scott VanWart, Mike Cormier and Paul Vaughan. Vaughan says "there's nothing but up side" to keeping provincial basketball here in Saint John when you consider how much of an impact is has on the community. He says financial issues led to the league taking the team and putting it up on the market [read more]
The Saint John Mill Rats have a new ownership group and fans will have a chance to take part in choosing a new name for the team. The ownership group is made up of local residents and is headed by Scott VanWart, Mike Cormier and Paul Vaughan. Vaughan says "there's nothing but up side" to keeping provincial basketball here in Saint John when you consider how much of an impact is has on the community. He says financial issues led to the league taking the team and putting it up on the market. Vaughan says with the new company and all the legalities associated with the transition, it means the team name will change with fans submitting their ideas on what the new team name should be. He says they have a new head coach in mind and they'll be making an announcement very soon. Courtesy of: country94.ca
London Lightning tabs Kendall Williams, ex San German - 3 days ago
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London Lightning (NBL Canada) inked 25-year old American guard Kendall Williams (193-84kg-91, college: N.Mexico). He played in the summer at Atleticos de San German in Puerto Rican BSN league. In 7 games he averaged just 2.9ppg and 2.1apg. Part of last season Williams spent at Nuernberg Falcons BC in ProA where in three games he had 5.0ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.3apg and 1.3spg. He also spent pre-season at Chorale de Roanne (ProA) in French league that year. Williams has tried to make it to the NBA a... [read more]
London Lightning (NBL Canada) inked 25-year old American guard Kendall Williams (193-84kg-91, college: N.Mexico). He played in the summer at Atleticos de San German in Puerto Rican BSN league. In 7 games he averaged just 2.9ppg and 2.1apg. Part of last season Williams spent at Nuernberg Falcons BC in ProA where in three games he had 5.0ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.3apg and 1.3spg. He also spent pre-season at Chorale de Roanne (ProA) in French league that year. Williams has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League in 2014. Among other achievements his college team won MWC Tournament for three years in a row (between 2012 and 2014). Williams received also All-MWC 1st Team award in 2013 and 2014. He has played also professionally in Italy (VL Pesaro and Jesi). Williams attended University of New Mexico until 2014 and it will be his third season in pro basketball. His game is described as:
A true hard worker with great attitude, he's very quick, defends well and can play multiple positions, from 1 to 3. But he isn't a true PG, not at all.
Halifax Hurricanes appoint new head coach - 3 days ago
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The Halifax Hurricanes Kevin Keathley will join the team as the head coach and general manager for the upcoming season. Keathley joins the team from the Bowling Green Bandits of the American Basketball Association, where he led the team to a 11-2 record last season. 'I couldn't be more excited to be given the opportunity to lead one of the cornerstone franchises of NBL Canada,' said Keathley in a news release. 'We will build a championship quality team on and off the court.' Keathley is k... [read more]
The Halifax Hurricanes Kevin Keathley will join the team as the head coach and general manager for the upcoming season. Keathley joins the team from the Bowling Green Bandits of the American Basketball Association, where he led the team to a 11-2 record last season. 'I couldn't be more excited to be given the opportunity to lead one of the cornerstone franchises of NBL Canada,' said Keathley in a news release. 'We will build a championship quality team on and off the court.' Keathley is known for his fast paced, up-tempo philosophy. His Bandits averaged 127 points in 13 regular season games last year. 'He's a coach who understands what's needed to build a competitive team and to be part of the community,' said Don Mills, chair of the Hurricanes board of directors. Keathley has never had a losing season in his 15-year coaching career, but will have big shoes to fill in Halifax. 'It's going to be an exciting season as we look to defend the title against some of the best coaches and players in professional basketball,' said Keathley. Former General manager Andre Levingston led Halifax franchises to back-to-back National Basketball League of Canada finals appearances. While former head coach Hugo Lopez won the NBL of Canada's coach of the year award last season and led the team to a league championship in its inaugural year. The team tried to negotiate a new contract with Lopez, but the two parties couldn't come to terms on an agreement. Keathley has previous experience coaching in Canada. He was behind the bench of the now-defunct Ottawa Skyhawks in 2013, but was fired after just seven games. He was named as one of the top-10 Coaches in the United States not in the NBA back in 2009. Courtesy of: thechronicleherald.ca
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