Early foul trouble in third quarter derails Island squad
The Halifax Hurricanes had a big second half to catch and pull away from the Island Storm Sunday in Halifax.
The Hurricanes outscored the Storm by 27 in the final 24 minutes en route to a 104-84 win in the first of two games in as many days between the National Basketball League of Canada rivals. The teams play Monday in Charlottetown at 2 p.m.
"We just imploded," Storm head coach Joe Salerno said. "We had six or seven very quick fouls called on us to start the third quarter."
At one point the fouls were 7-1 against the Storm and Salerno said his players became frustrated and let the officials get in their head.
Tirrell Baines, who led the Storm with 15 points in the first half, was whistled for an offensive, defensive and technical foul in 17 seconds. It gave him five fouls for the game and sent him to the bench with 6:53 left in the third.
Salerno said he wasn't blaming Baines with the loss. He also pointed Brent Jennings and Malcolm Grant got whistled for their fourth fouls early in the third and it quickly became an issue.
"We were in foul trouble," Salerno said.
"It was an embarrassing way to lose that game. . . We lost our composure, including myself (by) picking up a technical."
The Hurricanes improved to 20-8 while the Storm is 10-18.
Justin Johnson led the way for the Hurricanes with 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists - all team highs.
Kyle Hunt chipped in 18 points while Shane Gibson added 16.
Baines had 20 points to pace the Storm. Terry Thomas had 17 and Grant 15. Jennings had 11 points to go with team-highs of six rebounds and six assists.
The Storm led 24-22 after the first quarter and 47-40 at half, but trailed 73-67 going to the fourth.
Salerno said it was a tale of two halfs. He was pleased with the team's performance on both sides of the ball during the first 24 minutes, but the Storm was unable to duplicate it in the second half.
Salerno said consistency has been an issue all season for the team with only being able to put it together for a full game a couple times this season.
"Maybe tomorrow will be the day," he said.