Express Drop A Close One

By Ian Shalapata

(WINDSOR, ON) – The boys from the “Shwa” came to Windsor and handed the Express their first loss of the season, 84-83, Saturday night. Coming off a hard fought victory on Friday, the Express looked a little tired compared to the Oshawa Power, who were playing their first game of the season.

Windsor lead most of the first quarter but fell behind and had to play catch-up the rest of the game. Down by 6 at the midway point, the Express trailed by as much as 16 in the second half, before drawing oh so close at the end.

There is obvious work still ahead for the Express. Shooting is the key area as the team is dropping only .402 from the floor, including a dismal .273 from three point range. Mike Helms leads the team with 40 points in the young season, but he only hit 3 of 11 long balls, opting for the low percentage shot more often than not.

Helms wasn’t alone, though, as a number of players were less than accurate with their shooting. Forward Anthony Johnson shot .400 (6/15) from the floor and didn’t attempt any 3 pointers, Ray Kraemer was 1 for 6 from the perimeter without any inside shooting, and the team as a whole was 5 for 30 (.167) from outside.

Coach Bill Jones had this to say. “”They started playing. It took them 36 minutes to start playing and it took the coach time to find the right combination.”

“I was disappointed because I hate to lose,” he continued. “Our goal was to win the fourth quarter.”

Defensively, the team had a couple of bright spots. The fact that the Express held Oshawa under 90 points displays the teams dedication to stopping the drive. Also, forward stepped up his defensive play chipping in with 10 d-bounds to lead the team.

The Express honoured the passing of long-time local basketball enthusiast and founder Tony Piccinato, who died 21 October. The Air Cadets’ Lancaster Squadron provided a colour guard and an honour guard during a wreath laying ceremony prior to the national anthem.

Windsor now travels to Oshawa for a rematch against the Power on the 10th, and then returns home to host the Summerside Storm on the 16th. Tickets are on sale starting at $18. Get on board.

Express centre, Wayne Portalatin (30) stays with Amari Daanish (33) in the key, while Stane’s Bufford arrives to help. Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Oshawa’s Bo Harris looks to make a play against Windsor forward Anthony Johnson. Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Victor Morris is closely guarded by Oshawa Power defender Nick Okorie as Greg Surmacz and Ray Kraemer look on. Photo by Ian Shalapata.

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About the Author

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
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