Storm back on winning track

Stephen Brun
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Cayole bounces back with big game

SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Storm is back on the winning track.

Julian Allen, 24, of the Summerside Storm drives to the net on a waiting Boubacar Coly, 34, of the Moncton Miracles in Friday night National Basketball League (NBL) of Canada action at EastLink Arena.

The Storm ensured the Moncton Miracles remained winless so far in the inaugural National Basketball League of Canada season, with a 119-101 victory before 1,936 fans at Summerside’s EastLink Arena on Friday night.

The home team was coming off back-to-back losses, including a poor shooting performance against the Saint John Mill Rats on Thursday night.

But whatever head coach Joe Salerno said to his team after that loss worked.

“We talked about a lot of things last night (Thursday),” Salerno said. “We forced some stuff and played a little bit of selfish basketball (against Saint John).

“It was a real point of emphasis to get everyone involved and off to a good, quick start in this game. That’s what we were able to do.”

Summerside, which improved to 4-2 (won-lost) on the season, quickly jumped out to a 33-16 lead thanks to Chris Cayole’s 17 points in the first quarter.

Cayole, who shot 0-for-10 from the field Thursday, went on to sink a game-high 27 points, shooting 11-for-19 from the field. 

“I asked Chris before the game, ‘Are you actually going to make a shot tonight?’” said Salerno. “He came out with a real hot start. That’s just something about Chris – to have an off-night last night going 0-for-10, then having 17 in the first quarter – he’s a special player, he’s a versatile player.”

The Storm took a 58-42 lead into halftime.

The tandem of Tristan Martin and Jazzmarr Ferguson led the way for Moncton with 12 points each at the half.

Made comeback

The Miracles made a comeback in the third quarter, taking the lead 75-74 at one point.

Summerside didn’t panic, however, and was up again 81-77 going into the fourth.

“Moncton actually has the highest three-point shooting percentage in the league, so we knew they were going to make a run,” Salerno said. “Obviously I didn’t like the run they made, but it showed us we had a little heart, hanging in there and battling back.”

The Miracles shot 6-for-13 from beyond the three-point line for the night, and the Storm shot 8-for-20.

With two players still on the injured reserve, Salerno said both his starters and bench stepped up Friday night.

“Al Stewart had a tremendous game tonight (Friday), logging a  lot of minutes because Eric Gilchrese is out, Dwight Brewington stepped up and played pretty well,” he said. “Everyone contributed. . . and we needed that win to get our confidence back to where it should be.”

Stewart finished three assists shy of a triple-double, with 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

Moncton dropped to 0-5 on the season, but Salerno said the Miracles have proven they can compete in the league.

“Moncton’s a good team and they’re due to win a ball game sometime this year,” he said. “They’re going to win a lot of games this year.”

Organizations: National Basketball League of Canada

Geographic location: Moncton, Saint John

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