Halifax R. - St.John M.R. 103-96 A LITTLE CONFIDENCE can go a long way. Taking advantage of a recent increase in playing time, Tyler Richards (6'2''-G-86) scored 11 points and had a pair of big hoops in the fourth quarter as the Halifax Rainmen downed the Saint John Mill Rats 103-96 on Saturday night at the Metro Centre. In front of 2,086 fans, the Halifax native nailed three of five attempts from beyond the three-point arc in 21 minutes of action. He played 20 minutes and netted eight points in Friday's win over Oshawa. 'He gave me confidence as soon as he came,' Richards said of head coach Rob Spon, who took over on the bench on Nov. 21. 'He told me that he feels that I belong in this league, he's confident in me and that I just have to believe in myself.' Richards, a former star at St. Francis Xavier University, returned to organized basketball this fall after an absence of more than three years. He'd played only 17 minutes in parts of four games over the first five weeks of the season. But with starter Brandon Robinson struggling for the second night in a row, Spon called on the 26-year-old guard to provide some long-range offence. When Saint John went on a 16-6 run to start the fourth and deployed a zone defence that was giving Halifax fits, the coach summoned Richards to help quell the rally. He responded by burying a triple and a deuce on consecutive possessions as the Rainmen restored an 11-point lead. 'I'm real happy that I'm getting the chance to get out here - it's been a long time,' Richards said. 'It's a big confidence booster, for him to have enough confidence in me to put me out there in a situation like that.' Joey Haywood made six of eight shots from the floor to top the Rainmen with 18 points. Improving to 7-5, Halifax moved to within a half-game of the first-place Moncton Miracles (8-5) in the Atlantic Division of the National Basketball League of Canada. Melvin Goins (5'11''-G-87, college: Tennessee), who joined the team on Nov. 26 when Darren Duncan (5'11''-PG-88, college: Merrimack) was dealt to Windsor, netted 16 points and Hillary Haley (6'6''-G-88, college: Md-E Shore) added 15. Antoine Tisby (6'8''-F/C-83, college: S.Carolina), Josiah Turner and Quinnel Brown all posted double-doubles, with Tisby scoring 14 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Turner had 13 points and 10 boards and Brown 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Jerice Crouch (6'0''-G-84, college: Chattanooga) dropped 27 and Anthony Anderson (5'11''-G-81, college: Massachusetts) 25 for the Mill Rats (4-7), whose last lead was at 10-9 about halfway through the first quarter. Saint John entered the game leading the league in three-pointers per contest while the Rainmen sported the NBL's worst defence against the trey. But they limited the Mill Rats to four triples over the first 3 quarters, containing the visitors until they drained three in the late going in a desperate bid to cut into a comfortable Halifax cushion. 'We knew that they have great guards so we wanted to try to run them off the line, make them put it on the bounce, just try to make it tough for them,' Goins said. The point guard said the Rainmen's defensive play was strong until the fourth, when they were outscored 39-28. 'I felt like our effort could have been better,' he said. 'We had a good defensive stretch throughout the game but they had a good run in the fourth quarter. Good ball teams, you can't allow those runs and we just gotta buckle down and play 48 minutes of solid defence. Halifax led 24-16 after the first quarter, 46-36 at the half and 75-57 at the end of the third period. Courtesy of: thechronicleherald.ca
Moncton M. - Windsor Exp. 96-104 The little things got it done for Windsor as they surprised the first place Moncton Miracles 104-96. Windsor earned a win and a loss in their short trip to the east coast, boosting their record to 4-7 on the NBL season. Moncton falls to 8-6. Windsor turned the ball over only 10 times and did not allow a second-chance point to the Miracles the entire contest. Two nights after being outscored 52-28 by Summerside's bench, the Express benefited from 43 bench points, compared to Moncton's 34. On the score sheet, Mike Helms (6'1''-PG-82, college: Oakland) had a season high 29 points in the win, the sixth time this season he's eclipsed the 20 point mark. The Express were without Greg Surmacz, but got a boost off the bench from Stefan Bonneau (5'10''-PG, college: C.W. Post)'s team high 8 rebounds, while Kevin Loiselle chipped in with seven boards. Darren Duncan dropped 20 for the victorious Express, extending his 20+ point streak to four games. He also dished out eight assists. Windsor gets another shot at the Miracles on Friday, December 14th, when they return to the WFCU Centre for their first home game in 25 days. The Express also host the Montreal Jazz on Saturday, December 15th, which features "Girls Night Out" and dance camp. Both games tip off at 7:00pm. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
London Lightning face new rival as NBL Canada announces an expansion franchise in Waterloo Region - 13 days ago
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A potential rival for the London Lightning will hit the court during the sixth season of the National Basketball League of Canada this winter. The NBL Canada announced its newest expansion franchise would be in the Waterloo Region, which includes Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and its surrounding townships, as the NBL Board of Governors voted unanimously last week to accept the application of the new ownership group. The NBL Canada was founded in 2011 and is Canada's only professional dom... [read more]
A potential rival for the London Lightning will hit the court during the sixth season of the National Basketball League of Canada this winter. The NBL Canada announced its newest expansion franchise would be in the Waterloo Region, which includes Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and its surrounding townships, as the NBL Board of Governors voted unanimously last week to accept the application of the new ownership group. The NBL Canada was founded in 2011 and is Canada's only professional domestic basketball league. The Waterloo Region team will be the fifth team in the Central Division, with London the natural rival. 'The Knights and Rangers have sold out every game for the last 20 years, there is no reason to believe the Lightning (versus the new team) won't do the same,' said NBL Canada commissioner Dave Magley . Rounding out the conference are teams in Windsor, Orangeville and Niagara. There are also five teams in the Atlantic Division in Saint John, P.E.I, Halifax and a team pending in Cape Breton. London Lightning owner Vito Frijia said the expansion team is important for the league and sees them as being 'a really successful franchise.' 'From London's and the league's perspective, KW is a great market for basketball and all of sports. It's centrally located to existing franchises . . . the ownership group is well financed, they have a good community and a lot of integrity,' he said. 'All the right ingredients are in place to make it a fantastic franchise.' One of the majority shareholders Cameron Ball, vice-president of Ball Construction, said he and his partners were approached a few months ago by the YMCA who thought Ball Construction would be a good fit to bring the team to the community. He said after they were introduced to Magley Ball and partners, Ball Construction president Jason Ball and Frank Schneider, CFO, went to a London Lightening game and were inspired to bring the same atmosphere to Waterloo. 'We were so impressed with the calibre of basketball and the fan experience, it looked like a good family atmosphere and an experience we think would be great for our region as well,' said Cameron Ball. The ownership group also includes minority shareholders Brian Foster and Jeff Berg, owners of Innofost Canada and Leon Martin, an entrepreneur from Elmira, Ont. Basketball in Canada is booming, with the likes of Toronto Raptors' Cory Joseph, former first-round draft pick Andrew Wiggins and Pan Am bronze-medallist Kia Nurse finding success and making headlines. But perhaps the most influential story line for the budding basketball market is that of Kitchener-native Jamal Murray, who was just drafted seventh overall in the NBA draft after a successful rookie season at the University of Kentucky. 'The junior programs in KW are really big and competitive. Jamal was just drafted and he is a great young man. All of that is consistent with where we are going with the league,' said Magley. 'Basketball is on another level right now, it's the greatest participation sport in Canada, more so than hockey.' The league said that with the recent success and growth in popularity of Canadian basketball, the timing is perfect for the league to capture the wave of fan support for the sport. 'I have always said basketball is poetry in motion,' said Frijia, who said the success of the Lightning has poached some Londoners from making the trek to Toronto for Raptors games. 'It is a fantastic game to present to fans because they are a lot closer to the action.' Because of all the aforementioned reasons, Ball said he believes the franchise will draw a large fan base and that they will work towards building a championship calibre team. 'We hope to field a competitive team and try to emulate the experience we saw in London, we will compete on floor, have a great family experience for the games and we hope to win a championship as soon as possible,' he said. 'Our region is a big sports minded region, we have tremendous support for the Rangers . . . and there is a lot of interest in basketball.' Magley said all the pieces to building the team are lining up nicely, starting with a naming contest going on right now where fans can suggest names for the new team, the winners will receive two free season tickets. Next, Magely said they hope to have a head coach named in August along with a Canadian only draft to start signing players. Currently there a multiple venue options, with the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium being a natural front runner as the home of the Rangers, but Magley said the venue has yet to be made official. Courtesy of: lfpress.com
Express submit six-man protected list for 2016-17 NBL of Canada season - 17 days ago
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League scoring leader Brandon Robinson was one of six players the Windsor Express placed on the team's NBL of Canada protected list on Thursday. The list gives the Express exclusive negotiation rights to those players up until a month before the season and the ability to match any offer a player receives after that. Along with Robinson, who averaged 21.3 points per game, the Express protected forward Chris Commons, who was seventh in league scoring with an average of 18 [read more]
League scoring leader Brandon Robinson was one of six players the Windsor Express placed on the team's NBL of Canada protected list on Thursday. The list gives the Express exclusive negotiation rights to those players up until a month before the season and the ability to match any offer a player receives after that. Along with Robinson, who averaged 21.3 points per game, the Express protected forward Chris Commons, who was seventh in league scoring with an average of 18.3 points per game, guard Tony Bennett, forward Maurice Bolden and Canadian forward Shaquille Keith and Canadian centre Rudolphe Joly. 'Commons and Robinson are arguably in the top 10 that ever played in the league,' Express head coach and vice-president of basketball operations Bill Jones said Thursday. 'Bennett brings experience and we have younger players with Bolden, Keith and Joly. 'If those six did come back, you've got a good base and you can build around them.' The 31-year-old Bennett said he didn't need to be placed on a protected list to ensure he would return to Windsor next season. 'Definitely an honour to be on the protected list, but I feel like it's a waste of a protection because I ain't going nowhere and Bill and Dartis (Willis, the Express president and CEO) know that,' Bennett said. 'I've told them that the last two years, but they're hard-headed.' After watching Kevin Durant bolt from Oklahoma City to Golden State and Dwayne Wade from Miami to Chicago, Jones is taking no chances. 'You have to protect yourself,' Jones said. 'You hear and understand (what Bennett said), but end of day it is a business and he was one of our best six players.' Jones also plans to keep in touch with a couple of former players. Quinnel Brown, who played in Uruguay, and DeAndre Thomas, who missed last year with a knee injury, who will help, along with Robinson, at the team's youth camps. Spots are still available for the three camps, which are open to players age eight to 15, and will be held July 11-15, July 18-22 and Aug. 8-12. 'It's an opportunity for our coaching staff and some of our players to come back and give back to the community,' Jones said. 'Canadian basketball is starting to flourish and a lot of young kids at that age really like the sport.' Two members of his coaching staff will attend the camp with bigger roles as Scott Newman and Aaron McDonald have been promoted to associate coach. Meanwhile, Tony Jones, who finished the season as associate head coach and served as head coach while Bill Jones sat out a 20-game suspension, will not return to the team. The former NCAA assistant coach is pursuing other opportunities. Newman is currently running the club's entry in the Global Basketball Summer League in Las Vegas. Jones will attend combines in Indiana, Flint, Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee and Atlanta looking for players to get the Express back on top of the league after the club saw its two-year title run end this year. 'The league is getting better, so you have to get better players,' Jones said. 'We have to have hungry players that understand the culture of the Windsor Express.' Courtesy of: windsorstar.com
Finals MVP: Justin Johnson (6'2''-G-88) of Halifax H.; Player of the Year: Logan Stutz (6'9''-F-88) of Niagara RL; Guard of the Year: Justin Johnson (6'2''-G-88) of Halifax H.; Forward of the Year: Stephen Maxwell (6'7''-F-93) of London L.; Center of the Year: Nick Evans (6'11''-C-88) of London L.; Rookie of the Year: Stephen Maxwell (6'7''-F-93) of London L.; Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Stover (6'10''-C-90) of St.John M.R.; Domestic Player of the Year: [read more]
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