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A winning start for the Storm - Nov 3, 2012


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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 (6'3''-G-83, college: Eckerd) 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 (5'10''-PG-83, college: Drake) (11), Louis Birdsong (6'6''-F-88, college: George Mason) (10) and Issa Konare (6'8''-F-80, agency: Warren Sports International, college: High Point) (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), 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   




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