Team loses third game in as many nights Friday
SUMMERSIDE — The Summerside Storm suffered a tough loss Friday night, losing 115-105 to the London Lightning at EastLink Arena.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
The London Lightning’s Shawn Daniels, left, guards the Summerside Storm’s Jared Carter closely during Friday night’s National Basketball League of Canada contest at EastLink Arena. Also moving in on Carter are London players Gabe Freeman, 25, and Eddie Smith, 20. London won the game 115-105.
It was the third loss in three consecutive nights for the Storm (5-6), but the team showed they belong in the National Basketball League of Canada.
The Storm gave the league-leading Lightning (8-2) all they could handle.
“It’s tough when you end (a busy stretch) with the best team in the league,” said Storm head coach Joe Salerno. “It’s disappointing to lose three (games in three nights).
“I am not entirely disappointed in how we played. The guys played hard. They left everything they had out there, and I think London had to go to the free-throw line 20 times in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a tough one to take. We competed tonight and we had a six- or seven-minute stretch again that really hurt us.
“That's a good team. It’s very hard to play at the highest level for 48 full minutes, but man you’ve got to play 45, 46 minutes to win in this league.”
For more than three quarters, the Storm was in control before an announced crowd of 1,608 fans.
The Storm jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and turned back every challenge the Lightning brought at them.
Led by forward Chris Cayole, who was the game’s high scorer with 25 points, and Eric Gilchrese’s 22, the Storm ended the first quarter in front 28-18.
The Storm continued their assault in the second quarter, grabbing a 62-48 lead at halftime.
London made a brief run at the start of the third to pull to within seven points, but Cayole, Gilchrese, centre Jared Carter and Julian Allan built the Storm lead up to 13 points with 3:10 left in the quarter.
But then play was delayed for about 15 minutes over some confusion at the scorer’s table over the number of fouls each team had accumulated and the Storm quickly lost momentum.
The fourth quarter was disastrous for the Storm.
Turn over after turn over gave the Lightning several fast-break opportunities, and it didn’t miss. London’s Eddie Smith led the comeback with 23 points while DeAnthony Bowden added 20.
London took over the lead 83-81 with just under 10 minutes left to play, and built up a 10-point margin as the clock wound down.
Although frustrated, Salerno saw some good things in the loss.
"I think it shows again that this team can compete with anyone in this league," Salerno said. "I'm a firm believer in that, and I believe in our guys.
“We just get into these stretches. It was early in the fourth quarter and it was turnover after turnover, and it cost us the ball game.
"We were consistently turning the ball over and making errant passes. I thought our rebounding effort was outstanding for three quarters tonight, we beat them 66-42 on the glass. But there was that spurt the early in the fourth where we stopped rebounding the basketball, and they had a lot of breakouts.
"Turnovers lost that game for us."