Filling the basket
Nationally ranked Panthers, Storm play tonight in Charlottetown
The nationally ranked UPEI Panthers men’s basketball team meets second-place Dalhousie tonight at 8 p.m. on campus.
The Panthers have loads of offence as Tyler Scott leads the conference in scoring at 26 points per game while Brad States is third with a tick below 20 each outing.
Dut Dut, Lorenzo Parker and a rapidly developing Milorad (Mickey) Sedlarevic provide the Panthers with talented depth that coach Tim Kendrick never had before.
Slick point guard Zach Usherwood is a great addition while Jake Kendrick and an impressive Amin Suleman, my favourite, will be looking for minutes in the backcourt where playing time now becomes a minor problem. It’s an issue often associated with a first-place club but one Kendrick doesn’t mind having.
In other basketball action tonight, the highly entertaining Island Storm meets the firstplace Halifax Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre.
The Jan. 15 game was a thriller as ex-Storm standouts Brandon Robinson (28 points) and Adrian Moss (10) helped Windsor to a late lead, but the Storm rallied for the exciting win.
Brian Addison was a standout for the locals, as he bagged 30 points in the 107- 102 win, while fan-favourite Nick Evans sank 24. Nova Scotia native Terry Thomas looked great, as did Rashad Whack with 14 each. The Storm is 4-6 on the season while Halifax is 7-3.
The Charlottetown Islanders play the Acadie-Bathurst Titan Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre in an important Quebec Major Junior Hockey League tilt.
The local club dumped Saint John 5-4 in overtime Thursday night and goaltender Mason McDonald was very sharp, as the Islanders were outshot 49-25. Our club has enough scoring to make this second half interesting. The Islanders entered play Friday 12th overall (43 points) and only six points back of No. 10 Victoriaville, which would mean a much-more favourable playoff matchup. It can happen.
The Super Bowl is just a few weeks away and I heard recently from a couple of local ex-gridiron standouts. At the racetrack the other morning, Shane Dowling was asking me why all the fuss about concussions.
Shane said, “Gary Kennedy and I hit more guys head-on when we played for those tough Ed Hilton-coached Atlantic conference Panthers in 1978-79 and nothing happened to us.”
That’s an interesting take on the matter.
In local harness racing, the second last card of the season goes today at 12:30 p.m. at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Red-hot driver Corey MacPherson is winning races in bunches and today he has Best Risque from Post 6 in the open mares and Idealic Life from the same post in the $2,100 co-feature for open pacers.
It looks like Corey is being handicapped but great to see he’s fully recovered after some health issues.
Jason Ryan has moved from New York to Ontario and has five or six in to go this weekend at Flamboro. Trainer James (Friday) Dean is still in Ontario, as USA border boys are getting strict, no Green card, results in not being able to work in the USA. I am told Friday will be approved shortly to train in Florida.
At Woodbine tonight, one of the top Atlantic Sires Stakes three-year-olds from last season, Proven Desire, races in the $20,000 class for James MacDonald.
At Yonkers tonight, Jimmy Takter’s Not Afraid is the favourite in the $32,000 open trot.
At the Meadowlands, the top class goes for $16,000, surprising since the handle is usually in excess of $3 million.
UPEI Panthers guard Tyler Scott led the country in scoring at 29.6 points per game before Friday’s action.