Canton Charge shows promise as they fight back to just shy of a win
But for want of a three pointer the game was lost. The Canton Charge, powered by the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers clawed their way back from an twenty three point fourth quarter deficit but were unable to take the lead in the waning seconds of the game against the NBA Development League’s newest franchise, the Long Island Nets. The win was the first for the Nets in their short franchise history as they stand 1-1 with Canton falling to 2-0 as the 2016-2017 season begins.
While on paper it looked like a tight contest, truth of the matter is that the Charge did not jell as a squad until late in the fourth quarter as the Nets took advantage of open lanes to the basket. While a valiant effort on Canton’s part the team will need to work on playing a total game. The first half had the two teams on an even standing as Canton countered their weak defense with a strong offensive effort that kept the game close at the half. In the third quarter the wheels came off the cart for Canton but the team was able to readjust and fight back to an exciting finish that unfortunately was just shy of the win.
It was the 36-19 Long Island run in the third that had the guests pull ahead 92-74 as the Nets controlled the paint for 20 points as opposed to the Charge’s 8. Long Island also won the battle of the rebounds by taking the ball 16-8 in the quarter. Long Island was already ahead by nine points with 3:35 left in the third when they went on a 10-1 tear as they controlled the game with a 92-74 lead as the fourth quarter began.
A Devin Brooks layup gave the Nets a 23 point advantage with 8:23 left in the game when the Charge had a 19-8 run of their own cutting the lead to nine points. With a mere 36.3 seconds left Canton hit for six out of seven bringing their shooting average at 56% for the fourth quarter. Quinn Cook was the last Charge player to score as his jumper went through but it was too little too late as time expired soon after.
Cook led all scorers with 29 points to compliment his five assists and two steals with 41 minutes of play. Justin Johnson was good for 20 points on an 8-of-11 effort in 34 minutes. Kent State newcomer Chris Evans made good with 20 points with seven boards and two steals after 35 minutes of play and returning Mike Dunigan hit for 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting effort snagging five rebounds and four blocks in 28 minutes before fouling out on a controversial call.
On the Net’s side of the court it was Chris McCullough’s double-double on 18 points with 10 rebounds and two steals that led his team with 26 minutes of playing time. Boris Dallo was the highest scoring reserve player with 16 points, six boards, five assists and two steals. Carrick Felix was good for an additional 15 points with three blocks and two steals in 26 minutes on the court. In all, six Long Island players scored in double figures with the bench responsible for 65 of the 120 points scored during the contest.
The next Canton Charge game will be at home on November 18, 2016 with tip-off at 7 p.m. as the home team faces their Central Division rival Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons affiliate). Charge fans will receive a free replica Cavs Championship banner as they enter the Canton Memorial Civic Center. There will be post game free throws and tickets start at just $8. Season tickets are still available for fans wanting to be part of Charge Nation for the 2016-2017 season. For information go online at www.CantonCharge.com or call (866) 444-1944.
The Canton Charge is part of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization and also owned by a group led by Cavaliers Majority Owner and Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The group also owns and operates the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League and the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League, both of which play their games at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.