© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Alex DesRoches of the Moncton Miracle and Shawn Vanzant chase down the ball during NBL action in Charlottetown Sunday. The Miracle lost 120-91.
Ballard records double-double in victory
A proven basketball formula propelled the Island Storm to a 120-91 victory over the Moncton Miracles on Sunday at Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown.
The P.E.I. entry in the National Basketball League of Canada mixed defence, running the ball and solid post play to build a 29-17 first-quarter lead and never look back.
Moncton (0-2) cut the lead to 10 points late in the third quarter, but an 8-2 run by the Storm to close out the period ended the Miracles chance for a miracle comeback.
Click here for a slideshow of the game
“We're a defensive team. When we play defence (like Sunday) we can beat anyone in the league. That's not being arrogant, that's just a fact,” said Al Stewart, Storm captain and point guard. “We got the ball into the post and got their backline into foul trouble.”
Stewart’s generalship and D-play through three quarters was enough to fuel the Storm as he didn’t play in the fourth. He finished with seven points and nine assists.
Forwards Antonio Ballard and Amani Daanish led the Island squad with 24 points each. Daanish went 4-of-6 from the three-point line while Ballard was 2-for-2 from long range.
Ballard had a game-high 11 rebounds for the second straight game while centre Antoine Tisby chipped in 16 points and nine rebounds. Shooting guard Semaj Inge also drained 16 points for the Storm.
Moncton's Cornelius Vines led all scorers with 32 points. Alex DesRoches and Johnny Mayhane contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Miracles.
Alex Jacobson grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
The Storm opened the season at home on Saturday with a 100-93 win over the Saint John Mill Rats. Ballard and Greg Plummer led the Storm charge with game highs in points (22) while Ballard nabbed 11 boards.
It’s a good start, said Stewart, but it’s only a deuce into a 40-game season.
“We're on the same page, but not as good as we could be. As long as we can work hard and play good defence we’ll make up for that,” he said. “We have a long way to go, but this is a stepping stone to get two wins at home to build our confidence.”
The Storm host Moncton again on Thursday. Game time is 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.
A look at Sunday’s National Basketball League of Canada game at Eastlink Centre:
The Outcome - Island Storm 120 Moncton 91
Top Three Scorers
Moncton – Cornelius Vines, 32, Alex DesRoches, 14, Johnny Mayhane,13.
Island Storm – Antonio Ballard, 24, Amani Daanish, 24, Semaj Inge, 16 points.
Top Three Rebounders
Moncton – Jacobson, 7, Alex DesRoches, 5, Stanley Robinson, 5.
Island Storm – Antonio Ballard, 11, Antoine Tisby, 9, Greg Plummer, 4.
Moncton – Alex DesRoches, 2-for-3.
Island Storm – Amani Daanish, 4-for-6.
Moncton – Cornelius Vines, 5.
Island Storm – Al Stewart, 9.
Moncton – Cornelius Vines, 8-for-12.
Island Storm – Semaj Inge, 7-of-11.
Attendance - 2,050 announced.
Next Up - The Island Storm (2-0) host the Moncton Miracles (0-2) Thursday at Eastlink Centre. Game time is 7 p.m.
By The Numbers
Field Goal Shooting
Moncton – 42 per cent, 33-of-79
Island Storm – 56 per cent, 44-of-79.
Moncton – 33 per cent, 6-of-18.
Island Storm: 53 per cent, 10-of-19.
Moncton – 61 per cent, 19-of-31.
Island Storm – 73 per cent, 22-of-30.
Moncton – 23
Island Storm – 19.
Points In The Paint
Moncton – 36.
Island Storm – 52.
50-50 Draw - $420.