OSHAWA, ONT. – The Summerside Storm’s road to the playoffs in the inaugural season of the National Basketball League of Canada is a little more difficult today.
The Storm, who has lost six of their last eight games after winning three of four, dropped a 106-91 road decision to the Oshawa Power on Wednesday night. That loss, coupled with the Saint John Mill Rats’ 90-80 win over the Moncton Miracles, means the Storm is now 3 ½ games out of the fourth and final playoff spot.
The win moved the Power into a fifth-place tie with the Storm as both teams are now 10-18. Saint John is 13-14.
Things don’t get any easier for Summerside, which visits the league-leading London Lightning (21-6) on Thursday.
The Power jumped out to a 31-17 lead after the first quarter, and never looked back. Oshawa led 65-44 at halftime, and was in front 90-63 after three quarters. The Storm outscored the Power 28-16 in the fourth quarter.
Omari Johnson (29), Brandon Robinson (26) and Morgan Lewis (22) were the Power’s top offensive producers. Stephen McDowell (14), Troy Jackson (13) and Eric Gilchrese (13) led the Storm’s attack.
Two key statistics are the Power scored 62 points in the paint compared to 36 by the Storm, and Oshawa scored 21 points off turnovers while the Storm generated eight.
The Storm announced Wednesday morning that Xavier Hansbro has decided to return home due to personal family reasons.
The six-foot-10, 225-pound forward averaged 10 points a game, shot 42 per cent from the three-point line and averaged five rebounds a game.
"It's unfortunate X has decided to leave the team at this point in our season,” said Storm head coach Joe Salerno. “He (Hansbro) is a good player who has come up in some big spots for us in recent games.
“We have a deep bench, and now this just gives some other guys the chance to step up in his absence. We wish Xavier and his family the best."
The Storm’s next home game is against London on Thursday, Feb. 9. Game time at EastLink Arena is 7 p.m.