Down to the wire

Storm knocks off Ex­press in back-and-forth con­test

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON MAL­LOY THE GUARDIAN

For­mer Is­land Storm for­ward Bran­don Robin­son hit six three­p­oint­ers Fri­day but missed one to tie the game in the dy­ing sec­onds as his Wind­sor Ex­press dropped a 107-102 de­ci­sion to his for­mer team.

“I got a good look at it. It just didn’t go down. I’ve hit those shots be­fore,” said Robin­son, who scored 27 in his re­turn to the Is­land. “We were just on the short end of things tonight.”

Storm coach Joe Salerno had a great look at Robin­son’s fi­nal shot. He thought it was long out of his hand but has seen Robin­son hit enough clutch shots not to doubt him.

“It was cer­tainly scary . . . watch­ing Bran­don let that go,” he said.

Storm point guard Gary Gib­son was fouled off the re­bound of Robin­son’s miss and iced the game at the free-throw line.

It was Gib­son who had made the big de­fen­sive play mo­ments ear­lier. He stole an in­bounds pass and Nick Evans got the ball in­side to Brian Ad­di­son to put the Storm up three.

“I’m glad I caught the ball. I was right there and was able to lay it back up,” Ad­di­son said.

Ad­di­son was a beast on the boards all night. He recorded 13 re­bounds, seven of them on the of­fen­sive end, which be­came put-back buck­ets as he went for a team-high 24 points.

“I go into games with the mind­set that ev­ery re­bound is a dol­lar,” Ad­di­son said. “I’m try­ing to be a mil­lion­aire at the end of the game. The more re­bounds, the more money.”

The Storm im­proved to 4-5 on the sea­son while the Ex­press is 4-4.

Evans had 21 points for the Storm while Rashad Whack chipped in 13 and Terry Thomas 12. Whack also had eight as­sists.

Chris Com­mons had 31 points and 13 re­bounds to lead the Ex­press. Robin­son had 10 boards and for­mer Storm point guard Adrian Moss added seven as­sists.

The Storm jumped out to an early 24-9 lead, but the Ex­press rolled off 15 straight to tie the con­test be­fore the end of the quar­ter.

“It just shows we have heart,” Robin­son said. “We never give up. We go out and play and com­pete ev­ery night. . . We just can’t get down like that on the road and ex­ert a lot of en­ergy try­ing to bring our­selves back.”

The Storm held quar­ter leads of 28-26, 56-52 and 80-76.

The game re­mained tight through­out with each team tak­ing a shot at hold­ing the lead but un­able to land the knock­out punch.

“Trad­ing bas­kets is OK, but you can’t let them go on runs,” Evans said.

The cen­tre got caught on a switch out­side with the much quicker Robin­son with about a minute to play. The two were team­mates for two sea­sons with the Storm.

Evans said he told Robin­son to give him his best shot. Robin­son obliged and nailed a trey.

“That’s what he’s been do­ing in this league for a long time,” Evans said.

The at­mos­phere was great with 1,650 peo­ple in­side the Eastlink Cen­tre and two of the league’s tra­di­tional pow­ers go­ing down to the buzzer.

For­mer Storm point guard Sammy Zeglin­ski had a great seat. Tonight, he and his Ni­a­gara River Lions (2-5) look to slow down the Storm at 7 p.m.

“They look very good, re­ally ath­letic, they can all score and they re­ally de­fend well,” he said, “so we’re go­ing to have our work cut out for us.”

BRIAN MCINNIS/THE GUARDIAN

Is­land Storm guard Rashad Whack, right, trips as he goes af­ter the ball while be­ing guarded by Wind­sor Ex­press for­ward Bran­don Robin­son Fri­day dur­ing Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League of Canada ac­tion at the Eastlink Cen­tre.

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