Jones, Pattillo Lead Express Into Playoff Fray

Logan Stutz drives the rim against Halifax during a 102-96 win on 29 April 2017.<br>Photo by John Skinner.

Logan Stutz drives the rim against Halifax during a 102-96 win on 29 April 2017.
Photo by John Skinner.

(WINDSOR, ON) – With a single regular season game remaining, the Windsor Express have solidified their hold on 2nd place in the NBL Central Division with a 102-96 win over the Halifax Hurricanes. And in a pre-cursor to the 1st round of the playoffs, Windsor traveled to Kitchener and punched out a 103-97 win over the Titans.

Riding a 3-game winning streak, the Express finished a distant 13 games behind the 1st place London Lightning. Conversely, Windsor completed the season 4 games ahead of Kitchener-Waterloo, their 1st round opponent starting May 5.

Despite the close over-all finish, Windsor is heavily favoured in the matchup against the Titans. In seven meetings this year, the Express held a 6-1 advantage including a current 4-game winning streak vs Kitchener.

Shaquille Kieth completes a reverse layup against Halifax on 29 April 2017.<br>Photo by John Skinner.

Shaquille Kieth completes a reverse layup against Halifax on 29 April 2017.
Photo by John Skinner.

The visitors for the opening two games, Kitchener is ranked No. 1 in the league in both 3-point defense and in shooting from the penalty stripe. Windsor, on the other hand, is ranked 1st in the NBL in three categories, including blocks per game, total blocks, and shooting from outside the arc.

Additionally, Maurice Jones and Juan Pattillo hold multiple league bests. Jones ranks first in total assists, assists per game, and total steals, while Pattillo is the best rebounder in the NBL, taking top spot for both most defensive rebounds per game and total rebounds per game.

Can't touch this. Windsor centre DeAndre Thomas plays keep-away with Billy White of the Halifax Hurricanes on 29 April 2017.<br>Photo by John Skinner.

Can’t touch this. Windsor centre DeAndre Thomas plays keep-away with Billy White of the Halifax Hurricanes on 29 April 2017.
Photo by John Skinner.

The first round tips off May 5 at the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore, at 7:00pm. Game 2 is an afternoon affair on May 7, beginning at 2:00pm. The best-of-5 series will then switch to the Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener for Game 3, May 10. If necessary Game 4 will be played May 12 in Kitchener before reverting to Lakeshore for a deciding Game 5 on May 14.

In other matchups, London opens their first round series by hosting the Orangeville A’s, on May 4, while in the East Halifax hosts Moncton and Saint John welcomes the Island Storm.

The Official Team Photo of the 2016-17 Windsor Express franchise.<br>Photo by John Skinner.

The Official Team Photo of the 2016-17 Windsor Express franchise.
Photo by John Skinner.

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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.
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