CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The buzz of bus wheels provides the background music for the Island Storm this week as the National Basketball League of Canada club embarks on a three-game, four-day road trip in Ontario against the Central Division.
It begins Tuesday in Kitchener-Waterloo against the Titans (5-27). Start time is 8 p.m. Wednesday, the Storm tangles with the Windsor Express (17-15) and finish up against the Niagara River Lions (13-19) on Friday.
Head coach Tim Kendrick said he nor the squad is peeking forward.
“We’re just looking at it one game at a time. We’re staying (Monday night) at the same place we’re playing. We’ll be ready to go,” said Kendrick.
It’s part of a hectic schedule for the Storm (14-16) as it plays 10 games over the next 19 days.
That after the team has been idling for 10 days because of the schedule and weather which cancelled a March 8 game contest against Saint John.
Kendrick somewhat appreciated the long impromptu break because of a nagging team-wide injury problem, but would’ve rather seen any pause spread more evenly down the stretch.
“I would have like to have played last week. We had won four straight and playing pretty well. I would’ve liked to have kept going. It’s one of those things where a little break would have been good, one of those things you live with,” Kendrick said.
The Storm sits fourth in the Atlantic Division and is in the driver’s seat for the last playoff spot in the conference. Cape Breton (11-21) is three games behind in the win column, but has played two more games than the Storm. The teams play twice more this month.
So far, the Storm has weathered is season-long injury problems and players are recovering. Kendrick said everyone is making the trip and all are available.
“Guys are healthier for sure. (Some) guys are still getting treatment, but we’re as healthy as we’ve been for a while.”
Tuesday’s game is also the first action for new forward Carl Hall, acquired from Niagara for Torrence Dyck Jr. at the NBL trade deadline. Friday’s game is also Hall’s first return to his old digs.
“He looks like a good addition for sure,” said Kendrick.
Chris Johnson leads the Storm in free throw percentage (85.6) and three-point percentage (42.5), while Derek Hall leads the Titans in points per game (18.3), field goal percentage (58.5), three-point percentage (43.9) and rebounds per game (11.5).
Niagara and Windsor have clinched playoff spots. Kitchener-Waterloo is out of the post-season.
A look at some of the statistical leaders for the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans and the Island Storm.
Points Per Game
Kitchener-Waterloo - Derek Hall, 18.3
Island Storm - Franklin Session, 20.5
Field Goal Percentage
Kitchener-Waterloo - Derek Hall, 58.5.
Island Storm - Du’Vaughn Maxwell, 46.4.
Kitchener-Waterloo - Derek Hall, 43.9.
Island Storm - Chris Johnson, 42.5.
Free Throw Percentage
Kitchener-Waterloo - Darren Duncan, 79.8.
Island Storm - Chris Johnson, 85.8
Rebounds Per Game
Kitchener-Waterloo - *Derek Hall, 11.5.
Island Storm - Franklin Session, 9.2