Mill Rats pull away from Storm in third quarter

Staff ~ The Journal Pioneer
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S'side hosts Quebec tonight

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- A rough start to the second half proved costly for the Summerside Storm on Wednesday night.

 

The Saint John Mill Rats outscored the visiting Storm by 17 points, 34-17, in the third quarter to quickly turn a five-point halftime lead, 60-55, into a comfortable 94-72 cushion going into the final period. The Mill Rats went on to win the National Basketball League of Canada contest 118-97.

"We had a terrible third quarter, one I would like to have back," said Storm head coach Joe Salerno. "We are still learning to put a complete game together -- something we need to do if we are going to be a playoff team.

"My hat is off to Saint John. They executed well and shot the lights out. They are a good ball club."

The loss drops the Storm's record to 5-4 (won-lost). Summerside continues a stretch of three games in three nights back home at EastLink Arena against the Quebec Kebs (6-4) tonight. The battle for second place will begin at 7 p.m.

The league-leading London Lightning (7-2) then visit on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Quick start

Before 1,865 fans at Harbour Station, the Storm jumped out to a 15-6 lead, and ended the first quarter in front 23-19. But the Mill Rats outscored Summerside 33-24 in the second quarter, and never looked back.

"We had a terrible third quarter, one I would like to have back. We are still learning to put a complete game together -- something we need to do if we are going to be a playoff team. My hat is off to Saint John. They executed well and shot the lights out. They are a good ball club." Storm head coach Joe Salerno

Antonio Burks sank a game-high 25 points to lead the Mill Rats (5-4), who moved into a third-place tie with the Storm. Anthony Anderson also had a big game with 23 points, including a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half.

Al Stewart (16) and Mike Williams (15) were the Storm's top scorers.

"We ran into a very hot shooting team tonight (Wednesday)," said Salerno. "Any time a team shoots 60 per cent from the floor, they are going to be tough to beat.

"That's no excuse for our play in the second half though. We need to be a lot tougher on the defensive end than we were tonight."

Halftime

The Storm is planning a special halftime show involving Prince Edward Island minor basketball programs during this week's home games.

Tonight, the Summerside Sting mini boys will be playing, and the Charlottetown Tigers' girls will play a mini game during Friday's intermission.

Organizations: National Basketball League of Canada, London Lightning, Harbour Station

Geographic location: Quebec, Saint John, Prince Edward Island Charlottetown

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