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UPDATE: Storm drops opener to Highlanders

Island Storm guard Jarrell Tate penetrates and passes to teammate Tyler Scott while being defended by Cape Breton Highlanders O'Louis McCullough Saturday during the teams' first game of the National Basketball League of Canada regular season.
Island Storm guard Jarrell Tate penetrates and passes to teammate Tyler Scott while being defended by Cape Breton Highlanders O'Louis McCullough Saturday during the teams first game of the National Basketball League of Canada regular season. - Jason Malloy

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – One game, one team record for Sampson Carter.

The six-foot-eight forward had 34 points to set an Island Storm record for points in a debut Saturday in a 122-109 loss to the Cape Breton Highlanders at the Eastlink Centre.

Greg Plummer held the previous record of 26 from 2012.

“It’s surprising. Honestly, I don't even know how many points I had. I am just trying to play basketball and just trying to get the win,” Carter said after signing autographs for the fans with his teammates. “Unfortunately, we came up short tonight, but it’s a quick turnaround so we’re just trying to move past it as fast as we can and get ready for Saint John tomorrow.”

The Storm host the Riptide at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Eastlink Centre.

The Storm started well Saturday and held a 27-24 lead after the first quarter and 57-54 advantage at the half.

“We had a lousy third quarter,” Storm head coach Tim Kendrick said. “And we weren’t able to recover. . . You give a team momentum, you give a team confidence. They hit shots in the fourth, they had to hit, to keep us at bay. We didn't play the way, I think, we’re capable of, especially in the second half.”

Chris Johnston of the Cape Breton Highlanders drives into the paint where he is met by Island Storm teammates Kyle Arseneault, left, and Brad States Saturday at the Eastlink Centre. Johnson played last season for the Storm.
Chris Johnston of the Cape Breton Highlanders drives into the paint where he is met by Island Storm teammates Kyle Arseneault, left, and Brad States Saturday at the Eastlink Centre. Johnson played last season for the Storm.

The Highlanders took a 90-87 lead to the fourth en route to the first win of the season.

Jamal Reynolds had 32 points off the bench for the Highlanders while Bruce Massey had 24 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, five steals and a block. Ta’Quan Zimmerman had 21 points while former Storm guard Chris Johnson had 18 points and Kenny Jones chipped in 17.

Russell Byrd had 25 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 4-for-5 from downtown, before fouling out. Alex Campbell had 10 points and 11 rebounds while Jarrell Tate has 12 points off the bench.

The game was plagued by fouls which zapped any flow to the contest. The Storm was whistled for 32 while the Highlanders had 30.

Byrd fouled out, Brad States and Campbell each had five and Carter four for the Storm. Johnson, Kenny Jones and O’Louis McCullough all had five for Cape Breton.

Both head coaches were called for a technical during the contest.

Carter said it is a tough game to play with all the whistles.

“It’s hard for me to stay in rhythm with all the fouls being called and a lot of fouls didn't go our way tonight,” he said.

Carter said it was a hard, physical game.

“I’ve got blood all over my jersey, my shorts,” he said. “That's a pretty tough team, so hats off to them. They played real physical tonight.”

The Storm didn't help itself with 25 turnovers.

“I thought we played hard, but just maybe didn't play very well at times,” Kendrick said.

The announced attendance was 1,164. The game was originally scheduled for Friday but was postponed due to the inclement weather.

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