A rosy look at Storm

Bob Gray
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Plummer, Smith two players to keep an eye on

Three wins, no losses.

Now where have we heard that before?

Hmmm. Let me just think for a while as we take a rosy look at the Summerside Storm.

The Storm has a perfect 3-0 (won-lost) record to open the National Basketball League (NBL) of Canada season, after an ‘almost demolition’ of the Moncton Miracles on Saturday night in the Hub City, 103-94.

It was an ‘almost’ demolition because the Storm were destroying the Miracles by 18 with nine minutes to play, before watching (almost literally) the Miracles storm back (pun intended) to within five with 50 seconds to go, before free throws by Al Stewart and Avery Smith restored order.

In the Accolades Department, the Storm’s silky smooth Greg Plummer was named NBL of Canada player of the week for his efforts. He dropped 27 on the Saint John Mill Rats Friday night, and followed it up the next night with 14 against the Miracles.

Plummer is a pure shooter who makes things happen all over the court when he gets his hands on the ball, racking up plenty of assists as well as points.

When he and small forward Chris Cayole start lighting it up from outside at the same time, the Storm make beautiful basketball – the kind that has fans stomping and screaming, as has begun to happen regularly in Credit Union Place.

Now, about that question at the top of the column . . . where have we heard “three-and-oh” before?

Let’s keep thinking about that as we trundle on.

The Moncton club tried to get physical with the Storm during Saturday’s game, but Summerside would have none of it. The Storm has a lot of size this year, but even more impressive (at least to this observer), they seem to have plenty of spunk to go with it.

Captain of the Storm Spunk Patrol would seem to be 6’5” Antonio Ballard, who leads the team in rebounding, and is third in the league in offensive rebounds.

Offensive rebounding is almost purely an effort statistic, and young players would do well to clamp their eyes on No. 5 so they can see what a professional work ethic looks like on the basketball court.

Off to Ontario

The Storm head to the wilds of Ontario this weekend, with a back-breaking ‘three games in three days’ set in Windsor and Oshawa. Someone in the NBL of Canada scheduling office must have heard a spurious rumour that the Storm said some bad things about them, because the weekend travel schedule is a doozy.

They play at Windsor on Friday night, in Oshawa on Saturday night and then have the five-hour bus ride back to Windsor early Sunday morning, so they can get up bleary-eyed and play the Express again in a 2 p.m. game.

One Summerside win out of this mess would be fine, two would be a great result and three would be superhuman.

Oh yes, that burning question: ‘Three and Oh.”

Where have I heard you before?

Got it! I know we are not supposed to ever talk about last year’s team, but the Storm were 3-0 out of the gate last season, also. Not sayin’, but just sayin’.

Bob Gray is a freelance journalist with a long history of P.E.I. basketball reporting. He welcomes comments at bgray@pei.sympatico.ca, and can be followed on Twitter @bgray5.

Organizations: National Basketball League, Accolades Department, Credit Union Place.Now

Geographic location: Canada, Hub City, Windsor Oshawa Moncton Ontario

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