Express Roll Over Rainmen

Express basketball Brown

The Most Valuable Player in the NBLC, Quinnel Brown, led the Windsor attack against Halifax with 30 points, including two dropped in over top of Nigel Spikes. A 119-112 win by the Express forced a deciding Game 7 in the NBLC Finals.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Header-image-Shalapata-2By Ian Shalapata

(WINDSOR, ON) – Finding themselves down by 12 points at the half, and on the verge of elimination from the Road to Repeat, the Windsor Express found it within themselves to force a game 7 in the 2014-15 NBLC Finals by defeating the Halifax Rainmen 119-112, in front of 2,000 fans at the WFCU Arena.

By forging another come-from-behind victory, Windsor has taken the series to a final and deciding game to be held Thursday night.

Express basketball Bennett

Josep Clarós (left) and Clifford Clinkscales (in blue) had a lot to yell about as Windsor guard Tony Bennett scored 22 points and 7 assists against the Rainmen.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The Express took control of the match from the opening tipoff, determined to play a physical inside game. By the end of the first frame, Windsor had staked out a hard-fought 4-point lead, 32-28. The visitors regained their footing, however, and took the play back to Windsor’s end, hitting mostly from outside to overtake the Express and finish the half leading 63-51.

Windsor chipped away at the Halifax lead, including a 10-point run in the 3rd quarter to eventually tie the Rainmen at 85 with just 12 short minutes left to play. Windsor went on a tear in the beginning of the 4th to ease in front by 7 points. The teams traded 16 points each, over the final 6 minutes, to close out the game with a Windsor win.

Express basketball Commons

Chris Commons was in his sweet zone on this scoring attempt. The Express forward rarely missing from close range and last night was no exception.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

“We are believers. That’s our motto,” said Windsor’s head coach, Bill Jones. “In the second half we put in a group that gave us some energy and from there the crowd took over. This is what we’ve been working for, playing at home, and our crowd was great tonight.”

Windsor received double digit scoring from five players including starting forward, and NBLC MVP, Quinnel Brown, who dropped an even 30 points in the victory; 16 of the points coming from the penalty stripe.

Chicago-based guard Tony Bennett put up 22 points for the Express as he took the ball to the basket as well as dishing to teammates 7 times.

Express basketball Ellis

Coming off the bench for Windsor, Jamarcus Ellis played a strong game, nearly registering a double-double in just over 16 minutes.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Matching Bennett’s output was the lately consistent Kirk Williams Jr. The forward’s 22 points were garnered on 73% shooting and backed up with 8 rebounds.

Chris Commons put up 20 points on limited floor time and Jamarcus Ellis shot 67% for 12 points and cleared the glass for 9 rebounds off the bench.

Express basketball Gibson

Windsorite Gary Gibson is playing in his first year with the home-town Express. Gibson logged 22 minutes in a strong supporting roe in Game 6.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The season now comes down to a single game Thursday evening at 7:00 pm. In a winner-take-all contest, the NBLC Champion will be crowned after the match. If you’re going to see only one game this year, this would be it.

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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