UPDATE: Storm defeats A's in Islander Day matinee

Jason Malloy
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Brent Jennings went coast-to-coast and finished with a dunk with 49 seconds remaining as the Island Storm hung on for a 106-95 win Monday over the Orangeville A’s.

The Storm led by as many as 24 points in the first half during a sloppy and chippy Islander Day matinee in National Basketball League of Canada play at the Eastlink Centre.

The A’s made a second-half run and cut the deficit to single-digits and were looking to complete the comeback when Jennings grabbed a long rebound with 55 seconds remaining and his team up six. Six seconds later, he hammered the ball through the rim at the other end of the floor. 

“It’s always big when you can get a break like that and excite the crowd, excite the teammates,” Jennings said. “They had a little bit of momentum going . . . I believe that kind of halted their momentum a little bit.”

The Storm led 8-0 to start the contest, built the lead to 27-19 at the end of the first quarter and 54-34 at the half. They were up 76-61 heading to the fourth quarter.

“No lead is safe in this league,” Storm head coach Joe Salerno said. “For us, to hang in there, maintain the lead and win by double-digits was good for us.”

Jennings said basketball is a game of runs.

“If you can withstand those runs, you can win a lot of basketball games,” he said.

The Storm recently went through a similar scenario against the Saint John Mill Rats, but was unable to salvage a victory.

“Anytime you’re struggling in the win column and you can come out and get a big win like this at home . . . it definitely could be a turning point,” Jennings said.

The victory ended a four-game losing streak for the Storm.

“We definitely needed it and we’ll take it,” Salerno said.

There were two intentional fouls called and five technical fouls handed out.

Both teams openly questioned calls on the floor and a fan yelled “are we watching the same game?” at one point.

“It can be pretty frustrating,” Salerno said. “I thought there was certainly some inconsistencies tonight, for sure, but it's certainly not an easy game to officiate either.”

He said Orangeville plays an up-and-down style that can lead to some sudden transitions and guys making quicker-than-normal decision.

The A’s had 26 turnovers while the Storm had 25.

“It was a pretty ugly basketball game,” Salerno admitted.

He was pleased with his team’s first half and getting contributions from multiple sources in order to get the victory.

Storm point guard Josiah Turner took an elbow to the temple with eight minutes remaining. Salerno said he was checked out for a concussion, but seemed OK. He was held out for the rest of the game. Salerno said point guard Malcolm Grant was healthy but the coach decided not to play him on Monday.

The Storm improved to 7-13 while the A’s are 5-10.

The Storm travels to Halifax to play the first-place Hurricanes (12-4) Friday at 7 p.m.

 

Highlight reel

A look at the statistics from Monday’s National Basketball League of Canada contest between the host Island Storm and the Orangeville A’s:

Outcome

A’s – 95.

Storm – 106.

Top scorers

A’s – Justin Moss 23, Brandon Austin 19 and Rick Bodiford 19.

Storm – Rashad Whack 18, Nick Evans 17, Tirrell Baines 16, Brent Jennings 14 and Terry Thomas 10.

Top rebounders

A’s – Justin Moss 13 and Bilal Benn 11.

Storm – Terry Thomas 12 and Rashad Whack 10.

Assists leaders

A’s – Flenard Whitfield 3 and Brandon Austin 3.

Storm – Josiah Turner 6.

Steals leaders

A’s – Justin Moss 3, Richard Amardi 3 and Brandon Austin 3.

Storm – Josiah Turner 5 and Rashad Whack 5.

Team shooting percentages

Field goals

A’s – 38 (34-for-89).

Storm – 47 (37-for-78).

Three-pointers

A’s – 20 (6-for-30).

Storm – 36 (4-for-11).

Free throws

A’s – 66 (21-for-32).

Storm – 67 (28-for-42).

Attendance – 2,350.

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