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UPDATE: Island Storm pulls out comeback victory over rival Magic

Franklin Session lays in two of his 20 points Tuesday during the Island Storm's Boxing Day matinee against the Moncton Magic.
Franklin Session lays in two of his 20 points Tuesday during the Island Storm's Boxing Day matinee against the Moncton Magic. - Jason Malloy

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Franklin Session’s quick reaction helped the Island Storm pull out a comeback victory on Tuesday, but he was deflecting the credit to a teammate after the game.

The guard grabbed a rebound from a missed three-pointer by Moncton Magic guard Terry Thomas with 14 seconds to play and was fouled by Brent Jennings, sending Session to the line looking to increase his team’s lead to three.

He sunk the first one, but missed the second.

He chased down the rebound and was fouled with six seconds left on the clock. He drained them both during the second trip to give the home side a four-point lead as the Storm held on for a 120-117 victory.

“I had to laugh at it because missing that (free throw) and then getting the rebound, that doesn’t happen often – at all,” Session said. “I only got that rebound because (Storm forward) Marcus Bell went so hard to the glass that his guy went with him.”

It ended a back-and-forth game that saw the lead change 16 times between the division rivals, playing for the fifth time during the first six weeks of the season.

Both teams complained during the game for fouls called while on defence and not called when they had the ball.

The Storm led 26-22 after the first quarter, but trailed 51-46 at the half.

Storm head coach Tim Kendrick said his team didn’t play with the energy it needed during a stretch of the second quarter.

At the half, he told his players that good teams find a way to respond when down.

“I said we’re going to see a bit today how good we are. We got to gut one out and we have to do it right now,” he said was his message.

Jennings hit a jumper with five seconds to play in the third quarter to give the Magic an 84-76 lead, but Storm point guard Andre Stringer’s half-court shot at the buzzer dropped, and the deficit was down to five.

Kendrick reminded his team of the halftime discussion and another phrase he repeats regularly.

“It only matters once who leads in a basketball game, and that’s at the end, so just keep playing,” he said.

Stringer went for 12 points in the final 12 minutes, Session had 11 and Tyler Scott 10, including a pair of deep threes.

“They have guys that can knock down shots. Tyler Scott was huge tonight down the stretch,” Magic head coach Joe Salerno said. “There’s only so much you can do. Force a guy to take a 27-foot, contested three; if they knock them down, then hats off to them.”

With 26 seconds remaining in the game, the Magic had the ball, trailing by one point. They drew up a play, got the ball inbounded and made a pass to Corey Allmond, who was 8-for-12 from behind the arc.

He let the shot go and missed, but Jeremy Williams grabbed the rebound and the ball came back out to Thomas, who let a shot go and missed.

Session grabbed the board and went to the line to seal the win by nailing three of four free throws in the final nine seconds.

Salerno said the team had a chance to have a shot to take the lead with a second or two remaining but took an early shot and then got a second chance.

“Granted Terry was wide open, I can’t fault him for taking it, but we just didn't execute down the stretch,” Salerno said.

Kendrick said his team willed itself to a win.

“I think the basketball gods, when you’re working hard and you’re pushing, sometimes you get rewarded. And I think today we got rewarded,” Kendrick said.

Highlight reel

A look at Tuesday’s Island Storm-Moncton Magic National Basketball League of Canada game at the Eastlink Centre:

Score by the quarters

Magic    22    29    33    33     —    117

Storm    26     20    33    41    —    120

Top scorers

Magic – Corey Allmond 34, Anthony Anderson 24, Terry Thomas 16, Brent Jennings 14 and Jeremy Williams 10.

Storm – Du’Vaughn Maxwell 28, Andre Stringer 26, Franklin Session 20, Tyler Scott 19 and Chris Johnson 10.

Rebound leaders

Magic – Terry Thomas 10 and Denzell Taylor 10.

Storm – Franklin Session 12, Marcus Bell 9 and Du’Vaughn Maxwell 9.

Assist leaders

Magic – Al Stewart 8 and Anthony Anderson 8.

Storm – Torrence Dyck Jr. 6.

Blocks

Magic – 0.

Storm – Du’Vaughn Maxwell 5.

Shooting percentages

Field goals

Magic – 45.3 (43-for-95).

Storm – 45.6 (41-for-90).

Three-point shooting

Magic – 39.5 (15-for-38).

Storm – 36.4 (12-for-33).

Free-throw shooting

Magic – 94.1 (16-for-17).

Storm – 68.4 (26-for-38).

Attendance – 2,014.

50/50 – $984.50

Season series – 4-1 Storm, including 3-0 at the Eastlink Centre.

 

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