London L. - Montreal J. 138-125 The London Lightning might have beat the short staffed Montreal Jazz 138-125 on Sunday (Jan. 20) at Budweiser Gardens, but add a few more players to the away team's bench and there might have been a different score. With just seven players dressed compared to the 12 suited up for the Lightning, the Jazz trailed London by 24 points headed into the fourth quarter, but almost made a game of it when they managed to come within eight. Call it a small Jazz team, that had little room to tinker with, getting into a rhythm or the Lightning forgetting to play defence, but the matchup shouldn't have been as close as it was between polar opposite teams in the National Basketball League of Canada's ranking. The 125 points given up by London is the most an opponent has put on the scoreboard in the team's two short years. On the other end, the mass baskets is the second-highest put up by a Montreal team that averages 91.61 points a game - a league worst. 'I felt like we should have finished a lot stronger,' said Lightning forward Jeremy Williams (6'7''-SF-87, college: UTEP), who tied Tim Ellis (6'4''-G-81, college: Kansas St.) with a team-high 23 points in the game. 'We got sort of lackadaisical around the fourth quarter, so we could have finished a lot stronger.' Despite the highlight reel dunks from players like Williams or Marvin Phillips, the game probably won't leave a lasting impression on Lightning fans that won't see their team return to Budweiser Gardens until Feb. 10. Of the 15 games remaining in the season, London will be hitting the road for 11 of them. The Lightning have been a nightmare for opposing teams looking to get an edge on the league's top squad by playing them in their home gym. London's only two losses came at Budweiser Gardens, while they've been flawless away with a 9-0 record. 'On the road we have to go into a different mindset, it's like us against the world,' Williams said. The Lightning's visiting victories are a bit of an anomaly compared to the rest of the league. At home, every team in the league except for Montreal has a winning record and even the lowly Jazz's only two victories of the year came at the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau. Other than London, only the Windsor Express and Summerside Storm are over the .500 mark for winning away games and both those teams squeak by at 7-6. Excluding the Lightning, the combined home record of all teams in the NBL-C is 54-30 (64 percent victories), while the road games have a nasty tally of 29-60 (33 percent). London isn't doing anything different on the road. They score a little less, but they don't allow as many baskets, which translates to about the same scoring margin. 'We're going to each game with a game plan and we're executing it,' said Lightning veteran forward Rodney Buford (6'5''-G-77, college: Creighton). 'A lot of these teams are out for themselves and they want stats and numbers, we're trying to win a championship. We all got the same goal. You have to take that attitude at home and on the road.' It's always sweet to beat another team in their gym, maybe even more so in London where the fans yell alongside Lightning head coach Michael Ray Richardson when they think the refs made a bad call and cheer with the players when the team pulls off a nice basket. The fanfare isn't the same across the league though, so it might be sweeter for the Lightning to beat some of the out of conference teams where the fans are most like home. Six of London's 11 final road games are against Eastern Conference teams, where the Halifax Rainmen boast a league leading 2,412 average attendance every home game to the division's least packed gym of 1,626 per game at the Moncton Coliseum of the Miracles. London averages 2,337 every time out at Budweiser Gardens, while the rest of the Central Conference greatly lags behind with Windsor getting 721 people, Montreal seeing 487 and the Oshawa Power needing a big boost with just 440 fans. 'We practice in front of no one, so what's the difference?' Buford said. 'As long as we can come in and stay focused, we don't care who's in the stands (during road games).' According to coach Richardson, shooting guard Morgan Lewis is expected to be taken off the injured reserved list Monday (Jan. 21) after sitting out for more than a month with a knee injury. With Lewis' return the Lightning will have too many players on the roster and someone will have to be pushed off. 'D'Andre Thomas, he's out,' Richardson said, about the Lightning's biggest man on the squad standing in at 6-foot-8. 'It's a guards league and we need another guard. 'We're probably just going to send (Thomas) home.' London will travel to Prince Edward Island to take on Summerside on Thursday (Jan. 24), then travel to New Brunswick to play Moncton on Friday (Jan. 25) and wrap up the week in Windsor on Sunday (Jan. 27). Courtesy of: londoncommunitynews.com
Moncton M. - Oshawa P. 102-95 The Moncton Miracles, presented by Rogers, beat the Oshawa Power with a final score of 102-95 The Miracles now sit with a 14-15 record. The first basket of the game came almost 2 minutes in when Power's Nick Okorie (6'1''-PG-88, college: Texas Tech) was sent to the foul line giving his team a 0-2 beginning. Miracles Isaac Butts would get fouled on the lay-up and go to the line to make it a 3-point play. This play would shorten the spread to leave his team down 10-11. The lead would get tossed back and forth between the two teams for the rest of the first quarter. Miracles Kamar Burke would hit a baseline 3 with just under 3 minutes on the clock to put his team up 20-19. The first quarter ended with the Power edging the Miracles 23-27. Oshawa would go on a run at the beginning of the second quarter and increase their lead to 29-38 with Okorie's 3 with 8:26 on the clock. Miracles Darrell Wonge (6'7''-F-86, agency: Veracity Sports, LLC, college: Winston Salem) would get 2 points in the paint to shorten the Power's lead to 34-40. The first half would end with the Oshawa Power holding on to a 45-50 lead. Miracles would start the third quarter on a 7-0 run to put them back in the lead, 52-50. Herman Favors (5'9''-G-84, college: Georgia St.) would hit a buzzer beater 3 with under 5 minutes left to play to help his team increase their lead to 64-58. Devin Sweetney (6'6''-G/F-87, agency: Pro One Sports, college: St.Francis, PA) would cash in on a 3-point play to give the Miracles their biggest lead of the game, 69-60. Moncton would continue to lead for the fourth quarter with Oshawa trying to close the gap but was unable. The Miracles are now on a 3 game winning streak going into their game tomorrow against the Rainmen. Herman Favors led the way for the Miracles with 22 points. Devin Sweetney followed with 20 points and Isaac Butts with 18. Nick Okorie was the force for the Power with 25 points. Jushay Rockett (6'6''-F-84, college: Alaska-Fairb.) was next with 21 points. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
Summerside S. - Oshawa P. 114-117 An inability to put together a solid 48 minutes cost the Summerside Storm an important win in the National Basketball League of Canada on Sunday afternoon. The Oshawa Power, who were playing their third game in less than 72 hours, overcame a 20-point deficit at halftime en route to an exciting 117-114 win. 'We got complacent, we stopped defending and I think it was our best half of the year and our worst half of the year in the same game,' said Storm head coach Joe Salerno. 'We jumped out to a real comfortable lead, and we lost an edge. 'I think halftime was the worst thing that could have happened to us right there. All we talked about was we have to match our intensity from the first half, this is the best team that has come into our building yet, so we have to finish the game. We obviously didn't go out and do that.' The loss snapped the Storm's six-game winning streak, and dropped their Atlantic Division-leading record to 15-10. Before 1,834 fans at Eastlink Arena on Sunday afternoon, the Storm led 25-24 after one quarter, and then outscored the Power 40-21 in the second period to take a 65-45 lead into the break. 'Everybody on our team is fighters, and we don't like to lose at the end of the day,' said the Power's Nick Okorie, who scored 30 of his game-high 32 points in the second half. 'We came in at halftime and talked that this is not acceptable, and we are a lot better than this. 'We know we can score, and knew it was possible to come back from a 20-point deficit with the firepower we have on offence. We knew we had to lock in on defence.' Jushay Rockett (21), William (Bo) Harris (20), Papa Oppong (15) and Mark Gomillia (14) were the other leading scorers for the Power (15-11), who outscored the Storm 43-24 in the third quarter to make it a one-point game, 89-88, going into the final 12 minutes. Antonio Ballard (6'4''-G/F, college: Miami, OH), who scored 16 of his team-high 28 points in the first half, hauled in 12 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season. Brandon Robinson (6'6''-F-89, college: Clayton St.) (20), who figured prominently in the Storm's final two offensive possessions, Omari Johnson (17) and Greg Plummer (15) were the Storm's other top point-getters. Overall, the Power outrebounded the Storm 60-45. It was only the fourth time this season the Storm has been outrebounded. 'They beat us by 15 rebounds,' said Salerno. 'I think we've outrebounded our opponents in 21 of (our first) 24 games this season. 'They were hungrier than us, which says a lot about them, considering this was their third game in three days. If I would have ever thought we would have had that type of performance in the second half up 20, I would have thought I was crazy. It just wasn't a good enough effort, and we need to learn from it.' However, a wild finish to the game kept fans on the edge of their seats. With the Power up 116-111, Johnson drained a three-pointer in the final minute to make it a two-point game, 116-114. The Storm got the ball back and had an opportunity to tie the game, but Robinson rang about an eight-footer off the back of the basket with 12 seconds left in game. Okorie then hit one of two free throws to give Oshawa a 117-114 lead. The Storm charged up the court and Robinson's attempted pass to the corner for a potential game-tying three-pointer was knocked down by the Power. It was then game over. 'They came out and hit a couple of early shots right out of the gate (to start the second half),' said Salerno. 'If you give that team confidence, they will bite you. They are a very quick, athletic team. 'Nick Okorie just caught fire in the second half. It didn't matter if there was a hand in front of his face or not. I'm extremely disappointed in the effort we had in the second half. 'It didn't seem to matter who we went with or what we tried to do. We gave up too many easy buckets in transition, which gave that team an awful lot of confidence in the half-court game and they started knocking down shots.' The Storm faces another tough test on Thursday night, when the league-leading London Lightning (23-2) of the Central Division visits Eastlink Arena for a 7 p.m. start. It will be the first meeting of the regular season between the two division leaders. Courtesy of: journalpioneer.com
Halifax R. - Moncton M. 98-107 FOR THE FIRST 24 minutes, Cedric Moodie (6'2''-G-78, college: Indianapolis)'s Metro Centre debut unfolded like a Hollywood script. Then the third quarter arrived and the movie turned into a horror show. The Moncton Miracles bludgeoned the Halifax Rainmen 34-15 in a decisive third period Sunday afternoon, erasing a 17-point halftime deficit on their way to a 107-98 victory in front of 3,213 perplexed fans. 'It's a tough loss, especially at home,' said Moodie, the 34-year-old shooting guard signed earlier this month to prop up Halifax's anemic three-point attack. 'I didn't wanna lose like this my first game at home. I feel like we let our fans down. I mean, it happens, but it shouldn't have happened like that.' It was Moncton's fifth victory in six tries - and fifth in a row - against Halifax, enabling the Miracles (15-15) to reclaim sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division of the National Basketball League of Canada. Halifax (12-14) dipped into third place. Activated just prior to the Rainmen's three-game road swing that ended Friday night in Windsor, Moodie warmed up by dropping 11 triples on that 2-1 trip. On Sunday, he quickly endeared himself to the Metro Centre faithful with his smooth outside touch. His fifth trey of the second quarter, with about three minutes to go, gave Halifax a whopping 55-34 lead. The Rainmen were up 61-44 at the intermission and seemed well on their way to extracting the giant thorn from their side that had been the Miracles for the first half of the season. But Devin Sweetney, the league's top scorer, sank a dozen points in the third quarter and the Miracles stopped the Rainmen dead in their tracks. Halifax went 6-for-25 from the field as Moncton charged out to a 78-76 advantage. Rainmen coach Rob Spon, who had warned his players to be wary of a Moncton push, tried to stop the bleeding early. After Darrell Wonge hit a deuce and Kamar Burke buried a triple to start the third, an irate Spon quickly called a timeout. Antoine Tisby answered with a bucket but it was the only one Halifax would manage in the first four minutes during a 14-2 Moncton run. Sweetney's trey with 5:13 left completed a 26-7 surge that gave the Miracles the lead at 70-68 for the first time since midway through the first quarter. 'Coach said that they're one of the best third-quarter teams in the league,' Moodie said. 'We just didn't adjust to that. We came out kind of lackadaisical. Defence was just terrible. I mean, my defence personally was terrible.' The Rainmen never regained the lead in the fourth, though they tied the score three times, the last time on a pair of Melvin Goins free throws with 2:10 remaining. But Isaac Butts restored Moncton's lead on a putback, then Quinnel Brown and Tisby missed shots on Halifax's next possession. Oliver McNally completed a three-point play with 1:02 left to give the Miracles a five-point bulge and the visitors wrapped it up with four straight from the charity stripe. The Rainmen used a late 13-2 run to take a 26-18 lead after one quarter. Riding the hot hand of Moodie, they extended their cushion in the second, scoring their first four hoops from behind the arc and hitting seven of their first nine tries from downtown. But Moncton stemmed the tide in the second half. 'That third quarter, we didn't get stops, they got hot, they made their run and we never could sustain it,' said forward Hillary Haley (6'6''-G-88, college: Md-E Shore), who topped Halifax with 18 points and went 3-for-3 in three-point tries. 'We let a 17-point lead slip away because we just got comfortable, stopped being physical, stopped defending, stopped rebounding the ball.' Moodie finished with 17 points while Brown netted 14 and Goins 12. Halifax hit a season-high 12 three-pointers but was only 2-for-12 from that range in the second half. Wonge led the Miracles with a game-high 23 points. Butts and Herman Favors had 18 each. Courtesy of: thechronicleherald.ca
Windsor Beats Niagara in Thriller 93-92 - 6 hours ago
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For the second time in two games the Windsor Express played the Niagara River Lions at home. Windsor had not seen game action in almost a week. Their last game was a heart breaking loss to these same Niagara River Lions, snapping Windsor's four game win streak. Coming into the game, Niagara had only seven wins, four of which came against the Express. Before the game it was announced the team had parted ways with former Windsor Lancer Alex Campbell. The week off showed out of the gates, as... [read more]
For the second time in two games the Windsor Express played the Niagara River Lions at home. Windsor had not seen game action in almost a week. Their last game was a heart breaking loss to these same Niagara River Lions, snapping Windsor's four game win streak. Coming into the game, Niagara had only seven wins, four of which came against the Express. Before the game it was announced the team had parted ways with former Windsor Lancer Alex Campbell. The week off showed out of the gates, as Niagara went on a 12-4 run to begin the first quarter. Windsor had to use the three ball to get back into the game. Clinton Springer provided a spark off the bench and contributed five points in the first quarter. Darren Duncan (6'0''-PG-88, college: Merrimack) played the majority of the point guard minutes early, leading a 20-3 Windsor run early. Windsor allowed only one three, allowing them to maintain a 44-34 lead. Their leading scorer was Nick Evans who contributed eight points on 4-8 shooting in a team effort heavy first half. Juan Pattillo (6'7''-F-88, college: W.Kentucky) began heating up in the second half. Going against former Express forward and current River Lions star Chris Commons, Pattillo began finding success in the pick-and-roll game. There was a steady diet of three pointers throughout the second half. Darren Duncan went on his first scoring rampage of the season, nailing four shots from beyond the arch in the half. He would finish with a team high 20 points. With under one minutes to play, Windsor led by only one point. Kirk Williams (6'7''-PF-81, college: Bridgeport) Jr drove the lane and went up with the right hand, sinking the layup and taking the lead away from Windsor. Express forward Nick Evans answered back with an inside bucket of his own, giving Windsor the 93-92 lead. This gave Niagara enough time for one final possession to win it. Richard Amardi (6'9''-F-90, college: Oregon) of the River Lions came up short on his final three point attempt of the game, sealing the victory for Windsor. For the first time this season Windsor defeated Niagara, 93-92. Darren Duncan was the player of the game, falling four rebounds short of a double-double. The star point guard had 20 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Juan Pattillo also scored 20 points to go along with his 9 rebounds. Niagara's leading scorer was Carl Hall (6'8''-F-89, college: Wichita St., agency: HMS), who put up a game high 21 points and 11 rebounds. Windsor's next game will be on the road in Orangeville on March 4th. The next home game for the Express will be against the league-leading London Lightning when they come to the WFCU Centre on Wednesday March 8th for a 7:00 pm start time. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
George Blakeney (ex CAB Madeira) signs at KW Titans - 5 days ago
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NBL Canada newcomer Kitchener-Waterloo Titans (NBL Canada) landed 26-year old American power forward George Blakeney (206-116kg-91, college: UNC Pembroke). He played most recently at CAB Madeira in Portuguese LPB league. In 16 games he averaged 9.4ppg and 7.4rpg last season. The previous (2015) summer Blakeney played at Regatas in Peruvian league where in three Liga Sudamericana games he had 15.0ppg and 7.0rpg in 2015 season. Among other achievements he won Peruvian LNB championship title... [read more]
NBL Canada newcomer Kitchener-Waterloo Titans (NBL Canada) landed 26-year old American power forward George Blakeney (206-116kg-91, college: UNC Pembroke). He played most recently at CAB Madeira in Portuguese LPB league. In 16 games he averaged 9.4ppg and 7.4rpg last season. The previous (2015) summer Blakeney played at Regatas in Peruvian league where in three Liga Sudamericana games he had 15.0ppg and 7.0rpg in 2015 season. Among other achievements he won Peruvian LNB championship title in 2015. Blakeney received also All-PeachBelt 1st Team award back in 2013 at his college time. Blakeney has played also professionally in Argentina (Weber Bahia). He attended University of North Carolina at Pembroke until 2013 and it will be his fourth season in pro basketball.
Kitchener-Waterloo Titans (NBL Canada) released 26-year old American forward Jamell Harris (206-91kg-91, college: E.Michigan). In 15 NBL Canada games he had 6.7ppg, 5.5rpg and 1.5bpg this season. Harris also played earlier that season for Froya Basket in Norwegian BLNO where in 10 NBL Canada games he recorded very impressive stats: 18.8ppg, 10.7rpg, 1.6apg and 2.2bpg. His team won MAC West Division Regular Season in 2012. Harris is quite experienced player. He has played on four different... [read more]
Kitchener-Waterloo Titans (NBL Canada) released 26-year old American forward Jamell Harris (206-91kg-91, college: E.Michigan). In 15 NBL Canada games he had 6.7ppg, 5.5rpg and 1.5bpg this season. Harris also played earlier that season for Froya Basket in Norwegian BLNO where in 10 NBL Canada games he recorded very impressive stats: 18.8ppg, 10.7rpg, 1.6apg and 2.2bpg. His team won MAC West Division Regular Season in 2012. Harris is quite experienced player. He has played on four different continents (Europe, Asia, Latin America and of course North America). Harris has played previously professionally in Chile (Deportivo Valdivia), Iraq (Al Kahraba), Mexico (Tijuana Zonkeys) and Saudi Arabia (Al Wehda). He attended Eastern Michigan University until 2013 and it is his fourth season as a professional player.
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