First One Gets Away From Express

Horace Wormely was named Windsor's player of the game on 17 November 2018 when the Express hosted the Sudbury Five to start the 2018-19 NBL Canada season. Wormely and the Express dropped the match 126-123 as Sudbury recorded their first ever franchise victory.Photo by John Skinner.

Horace Wormely was named Windsor’s player of the game on 17 November 2018 when the Express hosted the Sudbury Five to start the 2018-19 NBL Canada season. Wormely and the Express dropped the match 126-123 as Sudbury recorded their first ever franchise victory.
Photo by John Skinner.

(WINDSOR, ON) – It was a homecoming of sorts Saturday evening when the Windsor Express hosted the NBL Canada expansion Sudbury Five to kick off the 2018-19 basketball season. The visitors featured no fewer than three former Express players who were returning to the southern confines of WFCU Arena.

Head Coach and General Manager of Sudbury Logan Stutz and guards Braylon Rayson and Antoine Chandler helped the Nickle to stay with the Express for most of the first half. The Five led Windsor by as much as 6 points before the home side found their footing and knocked down three treys, led by Ryan Anderson and Richard Amardi. The Express then staged a clinic by going to the rim for three slams by Juan Pattillo and Brian Addison.

By halftime Windsor had overcome the deficit and extended their lead over Sudbury to 69-49.

“We didn’t do enough,” said Express Head Coach Bill Jones, however, after the game. “We played a 24 minute game, but the basketball I know is a 48 minute game. We still have a lot of work to do.”

Richard Amardi throws down a two-handed slam against the Sudbury Five in Windsor on 17 November 2018. Sudbury came back fom a 20-point halftime deficit to win 126-123 for their first franchise victory.Photo by John Skinner.

Brian Addison throws down a two-handed slam against the Sudbury Five in Windsor on 17 November 2018. Sudbury came back fom a 20-point halftime deficit to win 126-123 for their first franchise victory.
Photo by John Skinner.

In the 2nd half Sudbury took the play to Windsor despite Amardi opening the 3rd frame with a Jordanesque one-handed stuff. The Five whittled the margin down to 96-88 by the end of the 12 minutes. A minute into the 4th Sudbury trailed by just three.

The two teams battled through the final quarter and were knotted at 104 with 7 minutes remaining. With the crowd urging them on, Windsor again created some room via the long ball. Thirty seconds later they clung to a 7-point buffer, 111-104.

Reggie Hamilton made it 114-107, much to the approval of the home town fans, but the Nickle put back a 2nd chance bucket to stay on pace. As the clock moved under 4 minutes, Sudbury hit for three followed by a pair of points to take a 4-point lead. Time out was called by Jones.

“You gotta go back to the drawing board. You gotta watch it on tape and see those things, the mental mistakes we made on defense,” said Jones. “Our defense was very poor today.”

Richard Amardi goes high to put away two points for Windsor during 1st half action against the Sudbury Five. The visitors edged out a victory, 126-123, in front of 2,000 Windsor fans.Photo by John Skinner.

Richard Amardi goes high to put away two points for Windsor during 1st half action against the Sudbury Five. The visitors edged out a victory, 126-123, in front of 2,000 Windsor fans.
Photo by John Skinner.

Sudbury worked the score to 124-122 with 30 seconds left to tick off and the ball deep in Windsor’s zone. As the horn sounded the Five had their first franchise win, 126-123.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my guys. We fought through tonight,” said Stutz.

The Express will hit the court again this Wednesday when they welcome the St John’s Edge to Windsor. Tipoff is at 7pm.

Windsor's Juan Pattillo is boxed out by a Sudbury player during 1st quarter NBLC action on 17 November 2018. Sudbury recorded their first franchise win, 126-123 for rookie head coach Logan Stutz.Photo by John Skinner.

Windsor’s Juan Pattillo is boxed out by a Sudbury player during 1st quarter NBLC action on 17 November 2018. Sudbury recorded their first franchise win, 126-123 for rookie head coach Logan Stutz.
Photo by John Skinner.

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Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata