(WINDSOR, ON) – Since opening night on November 1 last year, the Windsor Express have proved themselves to be one of the best teams in the NBL. Last night in front of 3,470 very loud fans, the Express left no doubt about it as they ended the season crowned league champions with a 121-106 win over the pesky Island Storm.
The captain, Darren Duncan, lent evidence to why he should have been chosen to represent the Express at the upcoming All Star game as he scored a rare triple-double. Duncan threw up 13 points, on 50% shooting from the floor. He also contributed 16 helpers in an unselfish display of teamwork. To complete the triple-double, Duncan pulled down 11 boards, nine defensive, proving himself to be just as important in his own zone.
Not to be outdone, final series MVP, Stefan Bonneau, led all scorers with 32 points in 38 minutes on the floor. The All-Star also grabbed six rebounds, made three dishes, and picked two pockets to help Windsor achieve their first title.
The Express had five players shooting in double digits including DeAndre Thomas who muscled his way to a double-double. Thomas scored 19 points, hauled in 11 rebounds, and even had a late game rumble down the floor as he assumed point guard duties on one rush. Chris Commons and Quinnel Brown dropped in 20 and 19 points, respectively.
Windsor dominated play from the opening tipoff as they started the game with a seven-point run, and never relinquished the lead. However, Windsor couldn’t just coast to the victory. The home team finished up by eight at the end of 12 minutes, and extended the lead to 23 by the half. Windsor entered the final quarter leading by 31 points, and soon extended that to 34, but while the end was evident, the Island Storm never gave up.
Led by Nick Okorie and Doug McKinney, the Storm pulled close to Windsor, especially after a wholesale change of personnel with two minutes left to play. However, while the Storm never ran out of gas, they simply ran out of time, finishing 15 points behind.
Most of the Express will now enjoy a well-earned rest. However, for Bonneau, Commons, Kevin Loiselle, and head coach Bill Jones there is one game left, on Sunday in Charlottetown, PEI. The quartet will represent the Express in the NBL All-Star game before finally getting to the off-season.
For more images from Game 7 of the NBL Championship visit the Windsor Square on Facebook.