CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – It shouldn’t have come down to one shot, but it did and the Island Storm bore the brunt of the miss in a 112-110 loss to the Cape Breton Highlanders Thursday in Charlottetown.
Down 111-110, Storm guard Franklin Session had the ball just outside the Highlanders three-point line with under 10 seconds left in the National Basketball League of Canada game.
But his trey attempt was hampered by a stout Cape Breton defence and the off-balance shot went wide with six seconds left.
Kemy Osse fouled Cape Breton’s Tydran Beaty on the rebound. Beaty sunk one of two free throws, the Storm couldn’t muster a shot on its last possession and Cape Breton escaped with the win and gave the Storm its fifth straight loss.
“I did have a good look, but I hesitated because I thought they were going to double. It was good defence on their part and a bad shot on my part,” said Session, who scored a game-high 31 points. “We broke down defensively. When we’re not getting stops, we’re not really good on offence. On to the next one, can’t do anything about this one.”
Cape Breton (11-15) moved into the fourth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. The Storm sits fifth now with a 10-16 mark, but the teams play four more times this season. The season series is tied 2-2.
Du’Vaughn Maxwell gave the Storm one of three leads in the game with the first bucket of the contest. It didn’t get another lead until 3:28 left in the second quarter.
Cape Breton hit clutch shot after clutch shot just as the Storm looked ready to overtake the lead.
And it kept the Storm at bay until late in the fourth when a 7-2 run gave it a 107-104 edge. But, again, clutch shots and solid free-throw shooting, as the game wound down, made the difference as Cape Breton closed out things with a 5-0 mini-run.
“We lost what got us the lead. We were moving the ball, but we (slowed down) and we got stagnant on offence and let the Storm get out in transition,” said Bruce Massey Jr., who finished with 16 points and six rebounds. “(But we) contained Franklin and hit our free throws down the stretch. This could be a springboard win. It could get us going.”
Maxwell ended up with 21 points, nine boards and a game-high seven assists, while Jarion Henry chipped in 14 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Beaty led Cape Breton with 23 points and grabbed a game-high 16 boards, Chris Braswell had 22 points and Rick Bodiford went for 18 points.
The Storm host the Saint John Riptide (13-10) Monday for an Islander Day matinee at 2 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.
Need to know
A look at Thursday's National Basketball League of Canada game at the Eastlink Centre.
Cape Breton 112
Island Storm 110
Top Three Scorers
Cape Breton – Tydran Beaty 23, Chris Braswell 22, Rick Bodiford 18.
Island Storm – Franklin Session 31, Du’Vaughn Maxwell 21, Jarion Henry 14.
Top Three Rebounders
Cape Breton – Tydran Beaty 16, Chris Braswell 8, Shane Osayande 7.
Island Storm – Jarion Henry 11, Du’Vaughn Maxwell 9, Franklin Session 6.
Cape Breton – Rick Bodiford, 4-of-7.
Island Storm – Franklin Session, 5-of-11.
Cape Breton – Antonio Biglow, 6.
Island Storm – Du’Vaughn Maxwell, 7.
Cape Breton – Tydran Beaty, 9-of-10.
Island Storm – Franklin Session, 6-of-9.
Next Up – The Storm (10-16) hosts Saint John (13-10) on Monday for an Islander Day matinee at 2 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.