Missed opportunity

Jason Simmonds
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Storm blows 20-point halftime lead in loss to Oshawa

SUMMERSIDE – An inability to put together a solid 48 minutes cost the Summerside Storm an important win in the National Basketball League of Canada on Sunday afternoon.

Brandon Robinson of the Summerside Storm manages to bank the ball in off the glass from this awkward angle during first-half action of Sunday afternoon’s National Basketball League of Canada game against the Oshawa Power.

The Oshawa Power, who were playing their third game in less than 72 hours, overcame a 20-point deficit at halftime en route to an exciting 117-114 win.

“We got complacent, we stopped defending and I think it was our best half of the year and our worst half of the year in the same game,” said Storm head coach Joe Salerno. “We jumped out to a real comfortable lead, and we lost an edge.

“I think halftime was the worst thing that could have happened to us right there. All we talked about was we have to match our intensity from the first half, this is the best team that has come into our building  yet, so we have to finish the game. We obviously didn’t go out and do that.”

The loss snapped the Storm’s six-game winning streak, and dropped their Atlantic Division-leading record to 15-10.

Before 1,834 fans at Eastlink Arena on Sunday afternoon, the Storm led 25-24 after one quarter, and then outscored the Power 40-21 in the second period to take a 65-45 lead into the break.

“Everybody on our team is fighters, and we don’t like to lose at the end of the day,” said the Power’s Nick Okorie, who scored 30 of his game-high 32 points in the second half. “We came in at halftime and talked that this is not acceptable, and we are a lot better than this.

“We know we can score, and knew it was possible to come back from a 20-point deficit with the firepower we have on offence. We knew we had to lock in on defence.”

Jushay Rockett (21), William (Bo) Harris (20), Papa Oppong (15) and Mark Gomillia (14) were the other leading scorers for the Power (15-11), who outscored the Storm 43-24 in the third quarter to make it a one-point game, 89-88, going into the final 12 minutes.

Antonio Ballard, who scored 16 of his team-high 28 points in the first half, hauled in 12 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season. Brandon Robinson (20), who figured prominently in the Storm’s final two offensive possessions, Omari Johnson (17) and Greg Plummer (15) were the Storm’s other top point-getters.

Overall, the Power outrebounded the Storm 60-45. It was only the fourth time this season the Storm has been outrebounded.

“They beat us by 15 rebounds,” said Salerno. “I think we’ve outrebounded our opponents in 21 of (our first) 24 games this season.

“They were hungrier than us, which says a lot about them, considering this was their third game in three days. If I would have ever thought we would have had that type of performance in the second half up 20, I would have thought I was crazy. It just wasn’t a good enough effort, and we need to learn from it.”

 

Exciting finish

However, a wild finish to the game kept fans on the edge of their seats.

With the Power up 116-111, Johnson drained a three-pointer in the final minute to make it a two-point game, 116-114. The Storm got the ball back and had an opportunity to tie the game, but Robinson rang about an eight-footer off the back of the basket with 12 seconds left in game.

“We got complacent, we stopped defending and I think it was our best half of the year and our worst half of the year in the same game. We jumped out to a real comfortable lead, and we lost an edge. I think halftime was the worst thing that could have happened to us right there. All we talked about was we have to match our intensity from the first half, this is the best team that has come into our building yet, so we have to finish the game. We obviously didn’t go out and do that.” Storm head coach Joe Salerno

Okorie then hit one of two free throws to give Oshawa a 117-114 lead. The Storm charged up the court and Robinson’s attempted pass to the corner for a potential game-tying three-pointer was knocked down by the Power. It was then game over.

“They came out and hit a couple of early shots right out of the gate (to start the second half),” said Salerno. “If you give that team confidence, they will bite you. They are a very quick, athletic team.

“Nick Okorie just caught fire in the second half. It didn’t matter if there was a hand in front of his face or not. I’m extremely disappointed in the effort we had in the second half.

“It didn’t seem to matter who we went with or what we tried to do. We gave up too many easy buckets in transition, which gave that team an awful lot of confidence in the half-court game and they started knocking down shots.”

The Storm faces another tough test on Thursday night, when the league-leading London Lightning (23-2) of the Central Division visits Eastlink Arena for a 7 p.m. start. It will be the first meeting of the regular season between the two division leaders.

 

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

 

Notebook

 

Notes from the Summerside

Storm-Oshawa Power game:

 

The Storm’s home record is now 8-4 (won-lost).

 

This was the Storm’s first loss in 2013.

 

The Storm is now 7-4 in games decided by 10 points or less.

 

The Storm fell to 13-2 when leading after three quarters.

 

The 40 points the Storm scored in the second quarter was the second-highest in franchise history behind the 42 they scored in the third quarter of their first-ever game against the Quebec Kebs on Nov.  3, 2011. The Storm won that game 120-105.

 

The 65 points the Storm scored in the first half is the second-most in franchise history. The Storm had 71 points at the half in a 119-104 win at Moncton on Jan. 5, 2012.

 

The 43 points giving up by the Storm in the third quarter tied for the second-most all-time behind the 44 points scored by the London Lighting in the fourth quarter of 116-110 loss on Feb. 9, 2012.

 

The 36 three-pointers attempted by the Storm was the third-highest ever in team history. The most was 40 at Quebec on Jan. 15, 2012, and 38 against Montreal on Jan. 18, 2012.

 

Greg Plummer became the second Storm player ever to go a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. He joins Eric Gilchrese (Feb. 9, 2012) versus London.

 

Compiled by Harvey Mazerolle

 

Organizations: Power Corporation

Geographic location: Oshawa

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Recent comments

  • i like f bombs
    January 22, 2013 - 00:22

    The 36 three-pointers attempted by the Storm was the third-highest ever in team history. ^ that right there, a few less of those mixed in with sure 2 pointers and we coulda taken this one, avery smith turnovers killed us too, F BOMB!

  • Another Season Ticket Holder
    January 21, 2013 - 20:11

    I just want to note that I do not agree with swearing in front of children as I said in my last post. People should be aware of their surroundings before they open their mouth (with that said - bad words do slip out sometimes.) All I was and am saying is booing and heckling is not a horrible thing for fans to do and it is not bad for the team to get the fans into the game. It's just a little jeering and I think the away teams expect it. It takes a really talented player to tune out the crowd and make those shots. That is why they are pros. And are you sure there is no booing or taunting done by crowds in baseball, hockey, football or soccer (pretty sure riots usually breakout in pro soccer and people get pounded to a pulp quite often in hockey - so in comparison a little booing is not so bad.) There is still plenty of sportsmanship aside from the booing... like I said previously, when players get hurt you see people on both teams making sure they are OK, the shaking hands at the end of the game despite the jeering, you see players from each team joking with each other all the time on the court. It's all part of the game.

  • Other season ticket holder
    January 21, 2013 - 19:38

    Right is perspective. Every sport is a stretch; every popular sport that draws large crowds to arenas may be more applicable. I would point out that there are studies showing the effect that booing has not only on the home team but of course on the visitors. Applause revs the home team up and jeers slow the visitors down...that's the way it is in professional sports where crowds gather. To take that away from our home team would be to put them at a disadvantage in my opinion. Also I do have small children that I bring to the games. I am not saying swearing is "right" I am saying it is not a surprise to hear it in public gatherings of diversity where emotions run high.

  • trevor
    January 21, 2013 - 15:50

    give me a break Season holder if you havent been at an away game you do not have the right to run down the storm team an fans........

  • Season Ticket Holder
    January 21, 2013 - 13:48

    Because booing is done in every sport (which it is not) does that make it right? It is poor sportmanship! I have played competitive sports for over 30 years and sportsmanship is a very important part of any game/sport! Is emotions running high an excuse to be cursing in front of children expecially? Don't think so, and I am sure there are lots of parents who would agree!

  • Another season ticket holder
    January 21, 2013 - 12:12

    I agree about the F-bombs around children, but taunting the other team is to be expected. This happens to the Storm players when they play away games and I am sure they do not cry about it, because they know it is part of the game. Booing the other team or teasing them is something that happens in almost every other sport. There is nothing wrong with the fans getting behind their team and trying to help from the sidelines when possible as long as it is not hurting anyone and booing the other team is quite harmless. What happens at the Storm games is quite tame compared to other sports. As for sportsmanship - I also think it is unfair to say our players are displaying poor sportsmanship. All they are doing is getting the crowd involved. Furthermore,every time an opponent gets hurt you always see the Storm players going over to make sure they are OK. I think, this is a family friendly event. My three-year-old loves the games and has had a great time at other events the Storm put on in the community. I have heard some swearing at the games, but not much and let's be honest - no matter where you take your children there is a chance they will hear inappropriate language.

  • Other season ticket holder
    January 21, 2013 - 10:45

    The home team gets praise the visiting team gets put down...that's the way it is in every sport I can think of that draws any sort of crowd. It is not poor sportsmanship it is home court advantage. The F-bombs could definitely be done without but I must admit that I would expect it at an event with such a large and diverse crowd with emotions running high.

  • Season Ticket Holder
    January 21, 2013 - 05:01

    I think it is showing poor sportmanship when our team is booing the other team when their names are being announced and expecting the crowd to do the same! The Storm is also being advertised as "family friendly" entertainment, well we could all do with a few less F bombs, especially for the children in the crowd!