Express fall to Edge 111-89
January 21, 2018
(WINDSOR, ON) – Windsor basketball fans welcomed two former players back to town on Saturday night when the St John’s Edge tipped off against the Windsor Express in NBLC action. Alex Johnson and Wally Ellenson didn’t figure prominently in the stats, just 9 and 4 points respectively, but Johnson directed the St John’s offence which ran to a 111-89 win over the Express.
The Express dropped the first bucket on the first trip up court during Town of Tecumseh night at the WFCU Arena. St John’s jumped into an early lead but Windsor was having none of that and ran to a 12-9 lead 7 minutes in. Two turnovers by Windsor lead to St John’s momentarily taking the high score.
Windsor went up by 4 when Chad Frazier bounced one off the rim and Desmond Hubert quickly grabbed the offensive rebound and completed a two-handed put back. A clear look from 3-point land for Braylon Rayson brought a cheer from the crowd.
At the horn the Express enjoyed a 5-point margin, 22-17.
Rayson connected on another long-ball to open the scoring in the 2nd quarter. The play turned scrappy as both teams ran into a series of open court fouls, but the visitors managed to take the lead at 8:43 on a lapse of perimeter defense by Windsor. And then again from in the paint.
A 7-0 Edge run prompted Express head coach Bill Jones to call a halt to the action for a 60 second time out. Coming out of the huddle, Logan Stutz took the handoff from Maurice Jones and gently put the rock through the hoop. St John’s replied with a 2nd chance triple.
“Me, I have to work harder. I have to sleep less, to be able to find out how I can put these guys in situations for them to be successful,” coach Jones said after the game. “How do we create offense with the personnel that we have? That’s something I have to do. That’s something I am committed to do.”
The Express fell back by 12 points with under 4 minutes on the clock. Their attempts from outside rimmed out and the Edge closed the lanes for anything inside to be successful. Jones dropped two from the penalty stripe and Demontre Harris battled for a pair on a Stutz rebound. With the halftime signal, Windsor trailed St John’s 45-39.
St John’s held a slight edge in shooting, hitting on 46.5% compared to Windsor’s 42.1% from the floor. The two teams went to the line for just 7 attempts combined, both making all their shots. The big difference at the mid-way point was St John’s bench out scoring Windsor 23-8.
The teams returned to the court for the 3rd quarter and Windsor couldn’t put a dent in the margin separating the two sides. For the full 12 minutes, St John’s maintained no less than a 9-point lead despite the Express having all five starters in double digits.
The crowd was hushed at 10:43 of the 4th when Edge starter Grady Glaze landed heavily after a play in the paint. He immediately grabbed his knee after hitting the floor. With the help of two team mates, he was helped off the floor and to the dressing room after being attended to by the team trainer.
The Edge all but gave up battling inside and instead filtered all their shots from long range. Almost at will St John’s kicked out to the corners and top of the arc to drop bombs for three. They managed to hit 100 points with 4:41 left to play, while the Express was well back at 74. The lone bright light in the 4th for Windsor was Jones, who logged yeoman minutes and accounted for most of Windsor’s 4th period points.
“We’re just struggling right now. We’re struggling to find an identity for our team,” said coach Jones. “As a coach who takes pride in his professions, we gotta figure it out.”
Frazier dropped a team-high 20 points in 39 minutes on the floor for Windsor. Harris, who played just over a half hour, knocked down 17 points while Jones was close behind with 16. Both Stutz and Anthony Ottley Jr contributed 10 apiece, with the latter registering a double-double with 12 boards. Production dropped off from the bench, however, as Windsor was out-gunned 56-16.
Ottley wasn’t resting on his laurels after the game. He recognized that the team has a long way to go to become competitive every night.
“It’s disheartening how we played. I wish that we could play all four quarters with energy,” Ottley said. “We need to bring it, man. We just need to bring it every game. We need to figure it out.”
Local product Antoine Chandler made the most of his time on the court when called upon. Seeing some minutes due to an injury keeping Shaquille Keith out of the lineup, Chandler managed 5 points, including a high arcing shot for 3 from way downtown.
Windsor is back in action on Thursday at 7pm when they host the Cape Breton Highlanders.