(WINDSOR, ON) – The Express tipped off against the Sudbury Five last night for the third time this year with Windsor still seeking their first win of the season. The last time these two teams met in Windsor the Express dropped a 20-point halftime lead en route to a 126-123 Sudbury win.
The hometown crowd was quieted early on when the Nickle ran to a 6-0 run to start the match, but spearheaded by Anthony Ottley Jr, starting his first game, the Express got the fans back into the game with their own 17-4 run. Back on an even keel, the pace was considerably increased.
Jaylen Bland, the game maker from the first meeting, put a stop to the Windsor dominance with a pair of triples to get the Five back on track. The Express carried the lead into the 2nd Quarter, 26-22.
Windsor quickly expanded their margin to 10 points but head coach Bill Jones called a time out after Sudbury just as quickly closed the gap to a single bucket with 7:38 to play. Whatever he told his charges worked as Windsor added nine as Horace Wormely set up Ryan Anderson for a triple and contributed his own drive to the rim on an end-to-end excursion.
A hard defense by the Express helped to preserve a halftime lead of 54-43.
The 3rd quarter has proven to be Windsor’s nemesis in the past. Sudbury made great gains against the Express during the 3rd period in game one. Last night, however, Windsor fought through the quarter and met each of Sudbury’s offensive pushes with one of their own. The home side added 4 points to their lead, going into the final 12 minutes holding a 79-64 surplus.
Four minutes into the final frame saw Windsor in front by 20 points and Sudbury head coach Logan Stutz gathered his team for a confab. The Nickle chipped away at the Windsor lead, the mining helped considerably by a trey by former Express point guard Braylon Rayson from the parking lot. Wormely replied with his own longball to re-establish a 16-point margin.
Wormely’s follow up jumper pushed the Express over the 100-point mark as the clock edged past 2:00. To quiet the Sudbury momentum, Jones called a timeout to give his defenders a chance to catch their breath. The League’s leading penalty shooter, Reggie Hamilton, was sent in by Jones to take advantage of the expected fouls.
A Hamilton dagger and an Anderson steal sealed the deal for Windsor’s first win, 103-91.
Windsor will embark on a 3-game road trip, including two against the Five and a visit to London, before returning home to host the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans on November 15.