Moncton M. - St.John M.R. 116-105 The Moncton Miracles, presented by Rogers, beat the Saint John Mill Rats with a final score of 116-105. The Miracles now sit with a 12-15 record. Mill Rats Sheray Thomas started the game off going hard to the net, making the basket and drawing the foul giving his team a 0-3 lead. Saint John would have an early 2-8 lead, which Moncton would continue to pick away at until Devin Sweetney (6'6''-G/F-87, agency: Pro One Sports, college: St.Francis, PA) tied the game up at the 7-minute mark, 8-8. The first quarter with Saint John going on a 4-11 run handing them a 18-23 lead. The Mill Rats came out shooting well in the second quarter and had strengthened their lead to 25-33 4 minutes in. Miracles Isaac Butts would score 4 consecutive baskets for the team getting them back in the game 33-38. The first half would end with Mill Rats Anthony Anderson (5'11''-G-81, college: Massachusetts) scoring 11 points giving his team a 48-65 lead. The Miracles came out shooting the lights out in the third quarter. Moncton would go from trailing by 17 points at the half to outscoring Saint John 36-12 in the following 12 minutes and take a 84-77 lead. The second half push gave the team what they needed to finish the game on top. Devin Sweetney led the way for the Miracles with 36 points and 8 rebounds. Darrell Wonge (6'7''-F-86, agency: Veracity Sports, LLC, college: Winston Salem) followed with 23 points and 8 rebounds while Isaac Butts dropped 20 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Anthony Anderson was the top scorer for the Mill Rats with 28 points. Jerice Crouch (6'0''-G-84, college: Chattanooga) continued the scoring with 27 points and Steve DeLuca with 14 points. The Miracles Sylvania Watkins was handed a technical foul and Micah Brand was ejected from the game with 2 technical fouls. Mill Rats Antonio Burks and Sheray Thomas were fouled out of the game as well as Head Coach David Cooper being handed a technical. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
London L. - Oshawa P. 115-109 DeAnthony Bowden (6'1''-PG-80, college: Creighton) didn't start for the fourth game in succession but when he made it to the floor, he made his appearance felt. Bowden came off the bench in the second quarter, scoring all his nine points in that quarter, adding three assists, three steals and a block, allowing the London Lightning to open up a lead they never gave up on the way to a 116-109 win over the Oshawa Power in National Basketball League of Canada play Saturday in front of 3,373 fans at The Gardens. Bowden has started at guard for the London Lightning since Day 1 of the franchise but the last three games, coming off a groin injury Adrian Moss has started in Bowden's place. The game was back-and-forth through the first quarter but Bowden came in and gave the Lightning a spark helping them build a 12-point halftime lead that the Bolts never relinquished. No doubt that Bowden would like to start. 'But I'm good with it,' he said. 'I'll do whatever I can to help the team so I'm good with it.' Moss finished with 17 points hitting numerous key free throws at the end of the game when the Lightning almost let a big lead slip away. He added nine assists. 'We lost our focus and looked at the score a little bit,' Bowden said. The Power and Lightning have developed a disliking for each other and every time they play each other, the intensity seems to pick up. Saturday was the sixth meeting between the two teams with London winning five of the games. The one loss to the Power though came at the Gardens and it really bothered the Lightning. Despite having beaten the Power in Oshawa since, the Lightning were looking for some revenge for that home loss. The intensity was obvious from the start. In the first half the Lightning managed to gradually stretch it out to a nice lead but they weren't able to really open it up. For the Power, yet again they chose to live and die from three-point range. They only hit four-of-16 in the first half and finished seven-of-24 for 29 percent. Lightning coach Micheal Ray Richardson was asked whether the change in the starting lineup was permanent. 'We'll see how things go,' he said. 'Right now we haven't lost since he's started.' Elvin Mims (6'5''-F-79, college: S.Mississippi) led the Lightning in scoring with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Rodney Buford (6'5''-G-77, college: Creighton) also had 17 points while Jermaine Blackburn (6'7''-G/F-83, college: Boise St.) and Jeremy Williams had 13 each. Jushay Rockett (6'6''-F-84, college: Alaska-Fairb.) had 25 for Oshawa with Bo Harris and Nick Okorie (6'1''-PG-88, college: Texas Tech) hitting for 20 each. Courtesy of: lfpress.com
London L. - Windsor Exp. 101-96 It was wacky, weird and in the end - if you're a London Lightning fan - wonderful. It was another entertaining outing and another win for the Lightning. This time the Lightning hung on, needing every bit of veteran wiles to beat the Windsor Express 101-96 in front of 2,191 fans at Budweiser Gardens Sunday. It was their second win of the weekend. On Saturday, they defeated the Oshawa Power 115-109 in front of 3,337. The Lightning record is 22-2, but the longer into the season they go, the more competitive the games become. The Express have handed the Lightning one of their two losses and it happened at home. They weren't far away from scooting out of town with another win. In their first win, the Express almost blew a 26-point lead in the final 15 minutes. This time it was the Lightning that almost coughed up the game. Up by 10 in the fourth quarter, the Lightning watched the Express come back to take a one-point lead with five minutes left. From that point on, it was edge-of-your-seat stuff - quite different from some of the early games this season. 'That was good for us,' said Lightning coach Micheal Ray Richardson. 'We needed to play that kind of game, instead of winning by 20. It will do us good.' Only if your heart can take it. The list of lead changes and key plays is too long to itemize. Suffice to say the list of Lightning veterans who came through when the team was threatening to gag up the win is long: Tim Ellis (6'4''-G-81, college: Kansas St.) and Marvin Phillips on defence, Ellis and Jermaine Blackburn's scoring and key free-throw shooting and DeAnthony Bowden doing just about everything that needed doing were key down the stretch. Blackburn led the Lightning with 22 points and adding five assists. He hit four key throws at the end of the game. Ellis had 18 points and eight rebounds. Phillips had 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals, almost all of them in the final four minutes. Bowden had 12 points and four assists while Elvin Mims came up with yet another double-double on 10 points and 11 rebounds. Stefan Bonneau (5'10''-PG, college: C.W. Post) had 19 for the Express, with Isaac Kuon (6'4''-F/G-87) hitting for 15. When the Lightning brought in Phillips, they wanted a rebounder who can score. Sunday's was a game in which Phillips showed why he's here. 'I'm a hard-nosed player. I play hard,' he said. 'Regardless of whether they need me to rebound, play defence. I do the dirty work.' He did a lot of that and his steals changed the game. It was crazy, though. The final 30 seconds had more action and weird stuff happen than you'd usually see in a game. It started with two Blackburn free throws that gave the Lightning a 97-92 lead with less than a minute to go in the game. Windsor's Mike Helms then hit a three from somewhere near Byron to cut the lead to 97-95. Mims turned the ball over on a backcourt violation and Windsor was looking for a chance at the win with 21 seconds left. Helms held the ball just inside midcourt, waiting for the last shot with Ellis hanging over him. The referee hit Helms with a five-second call, stunning everybody. "It's part of the rules of the game," said Express coach Bill Jones. "My only (gripe) is that he didn't give us a count. That's what we are expecting in a situation like that. If he's going to call that in a situation like that, he's got to give us a count." The Express then fouled Blackburn again and he made both shots to make it 99-95 with eight seconds left and that should have been the game. Guess again. On the Express inbound, Bowden was assessed a rather strange deliberate foul. No time came off the clock, but Helms made only one of two. Still, the Express had possession with one more chance to tie it. Kevin Loiselle's three-point try was blocked by Blackburn and that was the game. Blackburn loved being in a situation where the game rested on his shoulders as he stood at the line. "I'll take it every time," he said. "I stepped up and accepted the challenge and my teammates have great confidence in me and I have great confidence in myself. We believe in ourselves and just get the job done." Even if at times getting it done scares the living bejesus out Lightning fans. Courtesy of: lfpress.com
London Lightning face new rival as NBL Canada announces an expansion franchise in Waterloo Region - 12 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 - 16 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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