CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The smiles have returned to the faces of Island Storm players.
Guys are feeling a bit better about themselves and their team after snapping a 10-game losing streak and stringing a pair of wins together.
“(During) a 10-game losing streak, it’s hard to smile,” second-year Storm guard Tyler Scott admitted before Tuesday’s practice at Colonel Gray High School. “Nobody likes losing games. Especially going on a 10-game losing streak, it’s rough to try to find the positives.”
It can be depressing, especially when some of the games during the slide were there for the taking. The losses included a pair of one-point defeats and four more losses within nine points.
“It just shows you, two or three stops throughout the game means a lot,” Scott said.
As losses pile up in sports, sometimes athletes take it upon themselves to try to do too much to try to help stop the skid.
“A lot of times they are thinking about it in a very good way, ‘What can I do’? But it doesn't come out that way,” head coach Tim Kendrick said. “It comes out with (players) trying to do too much.”
It might result in forcing shots or getting frustrated after making a bad play.
It even happened to Scott.
After missing a couple of shots during a recent game, the upbeat young shooter came back to the bench and smacked a chair in an uncharacteristic fashion.
“That’s just me wanting to win and contribute to my team. It’s not anything selfish. It’s not anything negative.”
The Halifax native struggled early in the season. He averaged 2.7 points per game during the losing streak, including four games where the high-scoring former UPEI Panthers guard didn't register a point.
“It’s rough, especially being a scorer,” Scott admitted. “(But) having a guy on my team like Russell Byrd just telling me to stay with it (helped).”
He broke out with 11 points in Friday’s win on 4-for-8 shooting and then went 6-for-9 Sunday, including 3-for-4 from downtown, en route to a 15-point performance.
“We’re just trying find a way to maintain and keep that positivity” and build off of it, Scott said.
The Storm has had a chance to exhale, if only slightly, after the losing streak, but the team knows it is not out of the woods by any means.
“It can go south in a hurry, and you can get it back, but it can go again,” Kendrick said. “We showed, as a group, that we can beat everybody, but we have to make sure we play at a certain level.”
The team showed some positive plays during video sessions this week. It has reinforced things the team has been preaching this season. Getting a chance to revisit them and show the outcome, when executed properly, will help the team moving forward, Kendrick said.
The Storm can climb out of last place with a win tonight.
The Storm (4-11) hosts the Saint John Riptide (5-12) at 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.
Kendrick said they want to take it a game at a time but not lose sight that there is a team they can pass with a win tonight.
“I think the guys are excited and will be ready to go,” he said.
Need to know
A look at the Island Storm heading into tonight’s home game.
Winning ways – The Storm snapped its 10-game losing streak Friday against Moncton and then made it a winning streak by defeating Halifax on Sunday.
Guard Tyler Scott said: “That just shows the will of this team to get up and to fight and to compete every day.”
Head coach Tim Kendrick said: “Anybody that’s been in sport (knows when) you get a couple of wins, your swagger is a little better.”
Statistically speaking – Regular season top five statistics for the Island Storm after 15 games.
Points Per Game
Sampson Carter, 24.1; Russell Byrd, 19.3; Kareem Canty, 15.6; Guillaume Boucard, 15.5; Alex Campbell, 11.5.
Guillaume Boucard, 56.3; Dominic Shuler, 49.2; Tyree White, 48.5; Robbie Robinson, 45; Russell Byrd, 42.9.
Guillaume Boucard, 40; Kareem Canty, 36.4; Alex Campbell, 34.9; Russell Byrd, 34.8; Robbie Robinson, 31.6.
Tyler Scott, 88.2; Russell Byrd, 85.5; Kareem Canty, 84.2; Sampson Carter, 82.6; Guillaume Boucard, 78.6.
Rebounds Per Game
Sampson Carter, 8.7; Alex Campbell, 8.3; Russell Byrd, 7.7; Tyree White, 5.9; Dominic Shuler, 5.3.
Assists Per Game
Kareem Canty, 6.2; Russell Byrd, 3.7; Alex Campbell, 3.6; Guillaume Boucard, 3.5; Tyree White, 2.9.