UPDATE: Storm pulls out victory against Saint John

Jason Malloy
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Eight players scored in double digits Wednesday as the Island Storm ended 2014 with a win.

The Storm held quarter leads of 31-28, 65-64 and 96-86 and was able to withstand a Saint John Mill Rats’ late run for a 123-118 victory in National Basketball League of Canada play.

The win improves the Storm to an Atlantic Division-leading 9-6 while the Mill Rats are in the basement with a 5-11 record.

“Saint John is a lot better team than the start of the season,” said Storm guard Alex DesRoches. “Saint John is one of those teams . . . they always seem to stick around.”

Rashad Whack had 17 points to lead the Storm while Mike Williams, Brandon Robinson and Nick Evans each scored 15. Louis Birdsong Jr. and Mike Martin each chipped in 14 while Nike Okorie and DesRoches both had 10.

“Everyone’s contributing and that’s what we want. That makes us a more dangerous team,” DesRoches said.

He scored all his points in the first half, but came up with a steal late in the fourth quarter and had the defensive rebound on the final play of the game.

Coach Joe Salerno said he was pleased to see the number of players score 10 or more points and the team record 30 assists.

“It meant we were sharing the basketball and a lot of guys were scoring the ball. When you’re doing that, it shows you have a lot of weapons,” he said.

Robinson added 13 assists and six rebounds while Okorie had seven boards and five dimes in his first game of the season in the Storm lineup.

While the combo guard didn’t have his best shooting game, he was an integral part of the final few minutes. After missing the second of two free throws, he grabbed the offensive rebound and scored on the put back and drew an offensive foul on the next play.

Martin had a big second half after being held scoreless in the first half after getting into foul trouble early.

Anthony Anderson led the Mill Rats with 28 points while Raheem Singleton and former Storm forward Jeremy Williams each contributed 19. Williams also had 10 rebounds.

Johnny Mayhane, who started the season with the Storm, had 15 points, including going 3-for-4 from three-point range. Two of those triples came late in the game.

The Storm was a force inside, winning the points in the paint 70-40 while the Mill Rats connected on six more three-point shots than the Storm.

Salerno was impressed with the defensive play of Mike Williams on Kenny Jones, who he called one of the best low-post scorers in the league.

“He knew what his job was tonight and I thought he did a hell of a job doing,” Salerno said. “Those are blue-collar minutes from Mike Williams tonight and I’m proud of him.”

The Halifax Rainmen visits the Eastlink Centre Saturday for a 7 p.m. game with the Storm.

Organizations: National Basketball League of Canada, Eastlink Centre

Geographic location: Saint John

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