Storm right back in playoff hunt

Jason Simmonds
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After back-to-back road wins

QUEBEC CITY – The Summerside Storm is right back in the hunt for a playoff spot in the National Basketball League of Canada.

Louie McCroskey scored 18 points for the Summerside Storm in a 100-92 win at Quebec on Wednesday afternoon.

The visiting Storm defeated the Quebec Kebs 100-92 on Wednesday afternoon for their second win in a row after losing seven straight.

Both of the Storm’s recent wins have come on the road, including a 101-100 win in Oshawa on Dec. 22.

“It was a really big win for us,” said Storm head coach Joe Salerno in a phone interview. “Quebec is a tough team, they are one of the top two or three teams in the league.

“For us to come in here on their home floor and get a win, it’s big for us confidence-wise and our morale.”

The Storm improved to 7-10 (won-lost) while the Kebs fell to 13-7.

 

Top scorers

At the Université de Laval, Mike Williams led the Storm with 19 points, Louie McCroskey added 18 and Julian Allen chipped in with 14 coming off the bench. Troy Jackson (12), Stephen McDowell (10), Al Stewart (9) and Xavier Hansbro (9) were the other top scorers for the Storm, who led 56-48 at halftime.

“We almost had seven guys in double figures,” said Salerno. “It was a total team effort.”

Hansbro was a key contributor in the win, noted Salerno.

“It was a really big win for us. Quebec is a tough team, they are one of the top two or three teams in the league. For us to come in here on their home floor and get a win, it’s big for us confidence-wise and our morale.” Storm head coach Joe Salerno

“They call him the X Factor, but I thought Xavier Hansbro really was the X Factor today (Wednesday),” added Salerno. “He didn’t shoot the ball well (4-for-14 in field-goal attempts), but he came up with some huge rebounds late.

“He had 12 boards (including seven defensive rebounds), and was a really huge part of this win.”

Ralphy Holmes poured in a game-high 25 points for the Kebs, who received 22 points from Royce Parran and 20 from Jermaine Blackburn.

 

New Year’s Eve game

The Storm will host the Saint Mill Rats (8-8) in an important New Year’s Eve game on Saturday at EastLink Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.

The Storm is chasing the Mill Rats for the fourth and final playoff spot. If the Mill Rats lose to first-place London (12-4) on Thursday and the Storm is victorious Saturday, the teams will be tied.

“In Oshawa, we all said we dug ourselves a hole and our playoff push has to start right now,” said Salerno.

 

jpsports@journalpioneer.com

Geographic location: Oshawa, Quebec, Troy London

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