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Crunch time for Island Storm


Squad set for crucial stretch drive with goal of getting into NBL playoffs

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Talk about March madness, the Island Storm play 10 games in the next 20 days in an effort to get into the National Basketball League of Canada post-season.

“We’re focused because we know what we have to do to make playoffs,” guard Tyree White said before Sunday’s practice. “We need every win possible. Right now, we’re really jelling together so everything is positive.”

The Storm (8-22) trails the Saint John Riptide (14-21) for the final playoff berth.

It would have been easy for the Storm to pack it in and think about next year with a big mountain to climb to get into the post-season.

They haven’t.

They won three straight games to give themselves a shot.

“Our team is very mentally strong, and we know what we want, so we’re trying to accomplish it,” White said.

Head coach Tim Kendrick is proud of how his players have responded to the task at hand.

“I don't see any quit,” he said. “I think it says an awful lot about the character of the people right from the top to the bottom.”

The Storm travels to Moncton tonight to play the first-place Magic (22-11) at 7 p.m.

With a depleted lineup due to injuries, the Storm felt they should have beat the Magic on Feb. 24 but lost 121-120. With all but Tyler Scott, who is week-to-week with a shoulder injury, expected to be available tonight, they are looking forward to the test against the league’s elite.

“Our next target is Moncton and we’re ready for them,” White said.

“We have to go into each (game) just focusing on trying to play the way we’re capable of playing and not worry too much about who it is . . . and try to get that victory. And it’s been working for us,” Kendrick said. “Hopefully, we can get that one (tonight) and put a little more pressure on the teams ahead of us.”

The bench boss has liked the recent defensive play of the team’s guards, including White, Alex Campbell and Jonathan Loyd. Kyle Arseneaut, known for his outside shot, has also had some big contributions lately for the squad.

“He’s done a real good job, I think, at both ends of the floor lately,” Kendrick said.


Remaining games

A look at the Island Storm’s remaining games.

Tonight

7 p.m. – Island Storm at Moncton Magic.

Thursday’s Game

7 p.m. – Sudbury Five at Island Storm.

Sunday’s Game

2 p.m. – Windsor Express at Island Storm.

Monday, March 18

7 p.m. – Island Storm at Halifax Hurricanes.

Thursday, March 21

7 p.m. – Island Storm at Saint John Riptide.

Saturday, March 23

6:30 p.m. – Island Storm at St. John’s Edge.

Sunday, March 24

1:30 p.m. – Island Storm at St. John’s Edge.

Thursday, March 28

7 p.m. – Island Storm at Halifax Hurricanes.

Saturday, March 30

7 p.m. – Cape Breton Highlanders at Island Storm.

**Note – A makeup date for the Storm’s Dec. 26 game with the Saint John Riptide has not been announced yet.

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