Big weekend for Storm

Jason Simmonds
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Host two games at Eastlink Arena

SUMMERSIDE – It’s a big weekend for the Summerside Storm.

Louis Birdsong Jr., 34, of the Summerside Storm gets his hand on the ball as the Moncton Miracles’ Darrell Wonge, 14, drives to the basket. The action took place during Tuesday night’s National Basketball League of Canada game at the Moncton Coliseum.

The Storm, who has lost five of their last six games, will host a pair of contests in the National Basketball League of Canada at Eastlink Arena, where the Storm is a perfect 3-0 (won-lost) this season.

“We shouldn’t really lose at home, especially with the support we get from the Summerside community,” said Storm power forward Louis Birdsong Jr. “We definitely don’t want to let the fans down, and we definitely want to keep that (home) streak alive. That (home record) could be the difference being in first place and last.”

First up for the Storm is the expansion Windsor Express on Friday at 7 p.m., and the Moncton Miracles will make their second visit of the season to Summerside in a rare Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

“Those two games at home should be very good games,” predicted Birdsong.

The Storm enters weekend action at 5-5 while the expansion Express took a 2-5 mark into Thursday’s road match against the Atlantic Division-leading Miracles, who took a 7-4 mark into the game.

It will be the third meeting of the season between Storm and Express. The teams split a pair of games in Ontario, with the Storm taking the opener 86-74 on Nov. 16 while the Express rebounded to win the second encounter, which was the Storm’s third game in less than 72 hours, 97-93 on Nov. 18.

“We match up pretty well against them (Express),” said Birdsong. They have a new point guard now in Darren Duncan. That may be a new look for them because the point guard they had before was shoot first.”

“We shouldn’t really lose at home, especially with the support we get from the Summerside community. We definitely don’t want to let the fans down, and we definitely want to keep that (home) streak alive. That (home record) could be the difference being in first place and last.” Storm power forward Louis Birdsong Jr.

Fifth meeting

It may seem hard to believe, but Sunday will mark the fifth meeting of the regular season between the Storm and Miracles. The teams have split the first four meetings. The Storm won 103-94 in Moncton on Nov. 10 and 94-87 in Summerside on Nov. 23. The Miracles posted victories of 97-86 in Moncton on Nov. 22 and 102-83 on Tuesday night.

“They (Miracles) are playing with a lot more confidence than the first game we played them in the pre-season,” said Birdsong. “They are playing with their heads up right now. We have to make sure we stay focused and bring our A-game.”

Busy stretch

Tuesday’s 19-point loss in Moncton concluded a stretch that had the Storm playing seven of eight games on the road. Now with that behind them, the Storm will play their next four games at home, which will allow for some much-needed quality practice time over the next two weeks.

“We haven’t been able to have a couple of days of full good practices to get our minds back right since we started the road schedule,” said Storm point guard and captain Al Stewart. “This road schedule we’ve had has been tough.”

After Sunday’s game, the Storm hosts Windsor again on Friday, Dec. 7, and then does not play again until Friday, Dec. 14, when the Saint John Mill Rats visit.

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

Organizations: National Basketball League of Canada, Windsor Express

Geographic location: Summerside, Moncton, Ontario

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