The Summerside Storm suffered a heartbreaking setback to the Halifax Rainmen at Credit Union Place in a National Basketball League of Canada Wednesday matinee.
The Storm led its opponents for the first half before slowly falling behind, unable to recover its lead.
The team did rally to narrow its persistent 10-point gap with less than one minute left on the clock but it wasn't enough, The Rainmen pulled aheadagain.
The final score was 113-118 for The Rainmen.
Greg Plummer scored 34 points to lead The Storm, whose record now stands at 9-9 for the season.
Head Coach Joe Salerno didn’t mince words when discussing the team’s loss, he said he’d take the heat on this one.
“I thought we were complacent. We didn’t come out. We didn't come out and defend like we should,” said Salerno.
”I just don't think we were ready to go. I’ll take the blame for it,” he said.
Getting off to a head start against The Rainmen also probably wasn’t for the best, he added.
“We weren’t ready to go from the jump, and I think the worst thing that could have happened was we jumped out to a quick lead. I think we might have overlooked these guys a little bit.”
“The defence we have been playing for the majority of the season certainly wasn’t there tonight. We just played with a lack of urgency and Halifax played well. They certainly deserve this win. The way they played — I thought they deserved to win the game tonight.”
The Storm had been coming off a pair of victories on Halifax home turf and the team had been hopeful about Wednesday’s game.
That makes losing such an important game all the more disappointing, said Salerno.
“We can’t take any game for granted. Every game in this division is a dogfight, it has been all season, and will continue to be all season,” he said.
Salerno also said that he’s looking forward for a chance to rebound on Friday when the The Storm takes on Moncton for ahome game at 7 p.m. The Montreal Jazz visits for a New Year’s Eve match at 7 p.m.
Winning those games will require the team to refocus itself, said Salerno, but he believes the guys have it in them.
“We need to refocus … and get back to the things that we do well. I thought we got away from that a little bit tonight.”