By Matt Dumouchelle
(WINDSOR, ON) – It was a memorable beginning and a nervous finish, but the Windsor Express earned their first win of the new season, 103-97 over the Brampton A’s. The night started with a ring ceremony and banner raising to the rafters of the WFCU Centre, honouring the 2013-14 Central Conference Championship and NBL Championship.
The game started out slow for both teams, with time running off nearly two minutes before the first basket, a three pointer in the corner from Windsor’s Karl Finley.
Windsor led throughout the first quarter, posting a 31-27 advantage and never trailed from that point on. It was 51-43 at halftime in the Express’ favour, but Brampton would not go away, cutting a 76-64 lead after three to only four points in the fourth quarter. That’s the closest they could get.
For the second straight game, Quinnel Brown led Windsor in scoring, this time with 19 points. Tony Bennett and Chris Commons finished with 17 each. Commons added 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the year.
Windsor’s scoring was spread out with seven players finishing in double figures. Brampton’s Richard Amardi had a game high 23, to go with 10 rebounds. Flenard Whitfield grabbed 10 boards as well.
“At the end of the day we are a work in progress,” Windsor Express head coach Bill Jones said, “We played well in spurts and played poorly in spurts, but held it together and got our first win with this group.”
Jones admits the team is a bit behind in the development stage, but expects by the end of the month they will be operating at the expected level.
“I like our core. It’s a good group with guys like Kevin Loiselle, DeAndre Thomas, Quinnel Brown and Chris Commons,” explained Jones. “We are working Tony Bennett in and he is what we expected him to be. He’ll take tough shots for us and is a leader on the floor.”
The Express will next play on Thursday when they host a rematch of the 2014 NBL Finals against the visiting Island Storm. Game time is 7:00 pm.