Un­able to fin­ish

Storm couldn’t hold lead late against Hur­ri­canes

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

The Is­land Storm coughed up a 12-point lead in the fourth quar­ter Thurs­day in los­ing 115-112 to the Hal­i­fax Hur­ri­canes at the East­link Cen­tre.

The short-staffed Storm had a chance to tie it with 3.2 sec­onds left, but point guard Mal­colm Grant could not hit the des­per­a­tion shot.

“With so lit­tle time left, you just have to try and get it up there,” said Grant, not­ing he was try­ing to draw a foul. “We’re a pos­i­tive unit, we’re stay­ing to­gether and we have to learn from it.”

The Hur­ri­canes im­proved to 3-1. The loss dropped the Storm to 1-2 early in the Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League of Canada sea­son, but 0-2 at home.

“It’s tough, two losses at home back-to-back,” Grant said. “We want to give th­ese fans some­thing to cheer for and we slipped up on this one.”

The Storm held quar­ter leads of 27-22, 52-49 and 88-76. They were up eight points with three min­utes to play, but could not hold the lead.

“It’s a tough way to lose,” head coach Joe Salerno said. “We led the whole game (but) we didn’t ex­e­cute down the stretch.”

The Storm was with­out two of its pri­mary ball han­dlers on Thurs­day. Point guard Gary Gib­son has been out since early in train­ing camp with an an­kle in­jury and combo guard Rashad Whack was placed on the in­jured re­serve and will not be el­i­gi­ble to play un­til Sun­day.

Mike Martin led the Storm with 23 points while Brent Jen­nings had 18 and Grant 17. Nick Evans added 12 while Billy Rush and Kenny Otieno each chipped in 11. Brian Ad­di­son had eight re­bounds to lead the Storm while Grant added 10 as­sists.

Justin John­son had 27 points, in­clud­ing 4-for-5 from three­p­oint ter­ri­tory, and 10 as­sists to pace the Hur­ri­canes. Mike Glover added 24 points and Shane Gib­son 22.

The Storm trav­els to Saint John, N.B., to­day to play the Mill Rats (3-0) at 7 p.m. It is pos­si­ble Gib­son makes his de­but there. The Storm is in Monc­ton Sun­day to play the Mir­a­cles (0-4) at 2 p.m.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Is­land Storm small for­ward Billy Rush, right drives to the bas­ket as Hal­i­fax Hur­ri­canes for­ward Billy Shite tries to block the shot Thurs­day at the East­link Cen­tre.

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