Windsor Basketball Preps For Playoffs

Former Express guard Shaquille Kieth (13) tries to get past Windsor centre DeAndre Thomas on 17 February 2017.Photo by John Skinner.

Former Express guard Shaquille Kieth (13) tries to get past Windsor centre DeAndre Thomas on 17 February 2017.
Photo by John Skinner.

(WINDSOR, ON) – Playing host to the University of Windsor men’s and women’s basketball teams, during their 4th annual Clash at the Colosseum, the NBL’s Windsor Express capped a complete night of victory for the Windsor basketball community with 93-90 set back of the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans.

The Clash triple header, that ironically saw all three teams win by a margin of 3 points, took place on February 8. before an appreciated crowd of a 3,000 fans.

In the earlier a pair of games that evening, the women Lancers narrowly defeated the Laurier Golden Hawks 68-65, and the (9-8) Lancer men toppled their (8-10) counterparts 89-86, to also retain first place in the OUA West Division.

Enchanment took the stage during half time at the Clash at the Collosseum IV on 8 February 2017. The Grammy-nominated R&B group will return to Windsor for a full concert 8 April 2017, at the Walkerville Theatre.<br /> Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Enchanment took the stage during half time at the Clash at the Collosseum IV on 8 February 2017. The Grammy-nominated R&B group will return to Windsor for a full concert 8 April 2017, at the Walkerville Theatre.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The all-ages crowd was not only treated to three thrilling games of round ball, they were also blessed with world class entertainment by Enchantment during the half-time show of the Express. The post-Motown performance was presented by the Express in partnership with Spectrum Entertainment Promotions and D-Lockdown Productions.

The five soulful Grammy-nominated R&B singers, will return to Windsor for a full concert April 8, at the Walkerville Theatre.

Juan Pattillo throws caution to the wind and takes on two Niagara defenders at the top of the key on 19 February 2017.Photo by John Skinner.

Juan Pattillo throws caution to the wind and takes on two Niagara defenders at the top of the key on 19 February 2017.
Photo by John Skinner.

Since their outings at Casino Windsor, the (15-4) Lancer women’s team also prevailed against the Waterloo Warriors in Waterloo 76-49, but fell to the powerful (16-2) McMaster Marauders 73-74 back in the St Denis Centre.

Their last outing was against the (8-12) Brock Badgers at home last Saturday; an 86-49 victory.

Whereas the men faltered late on the road in Waterloo for a 69-84 loss, they pulled off a 91-87 overtime victory against the Marauders. In their last pre-playoff match, the Lancer men dropped a 91-69 decision to the Badgers.

DeAndre Thomas (2) looks for an outlet as Cape Brenton's Chadrack Lufile (5) takes the lane away on 17 February 2017.Photo by John Skinner.

DeAndre Thomas (2) looks for an outlet as Cape Brenton’s Chadrack Lufile (5) takes the lane away on 17 February 2017.
Photo by John Skinner.

Revamped Express Roster Surging

Beginning with 93-90 victory of the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans., at their 4th annual Clash at the Colosseum on February 8, the Windsor Express have finally established the momentum that they have desired and re-built their club roster to acquire.

The Express notched their 3rd win in as many games by again beating the Titans 85-74, in a road game on February 12. Sandwiched between those two victories was an all important 135-134 buzzer beater over the Orangeville A’s at the Athlete Institute in Mono.

The three game win streak, their longest of the season, was a predictable improvement in momentum approaching the 2nd half of the season. Especially given the healthy return of starting guard Darren Duncan, along side of his championship front court of Quinnel Brown and DeAndre Thomas, the recent acquisition of power forward Juan Pattillo sealed the deal.

Warren Ward (10) attacks the Niagara defense as Nick Evans provides support on 19 February 2017.Photo by John Skinner.

Warren Ward (10) attacks the Niagara defense as Nick Evans provides support on 19 February 2017.
Photo by John Skinner.

Not only is the 6’ 6”, 225lb forward helping the Express get on a good footing, he garnered some attention from the league by being recognized as the NBL player of the week in the process.

Pattillo is joined up front by the team’s leading rebounder Nick Evans, 7.24rpg, and Duncan is well supported in the back court by the team’s scoring leader, a U-Sports product, Warren Ward, who is averaging 16.32ppg.

As well, assist leader Maurice Jones is averaging 7.79 dishes per outing.

The test for the Express came at home against the Cape Breton Highlanders on February 17. The Islanders were sitting in 4th place in the Atlantic division heading into the game, and the team features Anthony Walker, the current Atlantic Conference player of the week.

They are also lead by the premier point guard in Hank Thorns, who leads the league with 8.25 assists per game, while also averaging a commanding 17.25 points per game.

Juan Pattillo watches as Nick Evans (44) defends against Cape Breton's Chad Frazier (3) on 17 February 2017.Photo by John Skinner.

Juan Pattillo watches as Nick Evans (44) defends against Cape Breton’s Chad Frazier (3) on 17 February 2017.
Photo by John Skinner.

Riding their longest win streak of the season going into Friday night’s tilt against the Highlanders, the Express welcomed home Shaquille Keith, a mainstay in Windsor last year. Even without Brown, who rejoined his team in Venezuela, the Express extended the winning streak with a convincing 113-92 win.

However, two days later, the visiting Niagara River Lions halted the Express 107-98, forcing head coach Bill Jones back to the strategy table.

With the smoke cleared, Windsor finds itself in the lofty position of 2nd place in the NBLC Central, 7.5 games behind 1st place London. However, with the win streak behind them, the Express know they can play and complete on any given night.

And they’ll do exactly that this coming Saturday when they welcome the River Lions back to Windsor. Tipoff is at 7:00pm.

Former Express captain, Chris Commons (24) and team mate Marcus Lewis (12) crowd out Nick Evans on 19 February 2017.Photo by John Skinner.

Former Express captain, Chris Commons (24) and team mate Marcus Lewis (12) crowd out Nick Evans on 19 February 2017.
Photo by John Skinner.

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About the Author

Kim Elliott

I am very excited to recently be given an opportunity to serve as your Sports Editor. While my educational background is not steeped in the study of literature nor journalism per se, I formally learned the craft of research reporting in pursuit of my undergraduate Bachelor of Human Kinetics (Hons) and a professional degree in Education at the University of Windsor, as a student-athlete. Thus, it’s not ironic that my first foray as a sports writing intern was with The Lance student newspaper in 2010-11. Along with some sport broadcasting with CJAM radio and OUA.TV, as part of sports media team of 2013-14 Lancer A award winners. These experiences in turn lead me to begin broadcasting and writing for the Windsor Express of the National Basketball League of Canada for WE-TV and The Square, respectively. Email Kim Elliott

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