Storm back on winning track

Stephen Brun
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Summerside - The Summerside Storm is back on the winning track.

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: Summerside, Moncton, Saint John

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