April 30, 2017 - National Basketball League of Canada (NBL Canada) - Orangeville A's
LONDON, ON - After an 11-point comeback in the fourth quarter to pull off the playoff-clinching 104-103 win over the Niagara River Lions (14-26) on Saturday night, the Orangeville A's (16-23) set out to take on the London Lightning (34-5) this Sunday, April 30th, in their final game of the regular season. The London Lightning launched off with a Ryan Anderson three-pointer and they continued to pound the paint with an 18-5 run to begin the game. Fluid London Lightning ball movement in the form of 11 assists helped generate their lead while stellar defense, including 3 blocks and 3 steals kept the A's at bay. Maurice Bolden led the scoring for the Lightning in this quarter with 7 points. The efforts of Enrico DiLoreto, Anthony Harris and Corbin Thomas kept the A's competitive with 5 points, 5 points and 8 points respectively. The efficient London first quarter of 77% from the field and 55% from three-point range saw them lead 43-25 at the end of one.
The second quarter saw an exchange of baskets ensue between the two teams, which did not help the A's as they trailed by 17 points early in the frame. Effectively using dribble penetration, Johnson, and Bodiford were able to find Moss multiple times for easy buckets as he scored 10 points in the frame. Johnson also contributed 7 points to help the A's fight their way back into the game to bring it to a 10-point deficit (53-43) at 5:05. The Lightning responded to this through Maurice Bolden who added 5 points to his total. Kyle Johnson added 11 points and Royce White added another 5 points for his team. By half time, the London Lightning were able to hold off the Orangeville A's leading with a score of 56-67. (Kyle Johnson final: 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists).
Both teams came out poised in the third quarter. Every time the Orangeville A's fought to bring the game into a single-digit deficit, the Lightning had a response to extend their lead. The A's played a majority of the quarter in zone defense, but London's accurate passing continued to find gaps for easy baskets as they only shot four baskets from outside the paint in the frame. The Lightning racked up 12 assists by the end of the quarter with five players in double-digits. Royce White certainly benefited from the passing with 9 points in the third. The A's main source of scoring was Justin Moss who racked up 29 points on a perfect 10-10 from the field by the end of the frame. Tyshawn Patterson also contributed for the A's scoring 8 points in the quarter. Heading into the fourth the A's trailed by a score of 104-82.
The fourth quarter saw the A's experiment with a smaller backcourt of Alex Johnson and Tyshawn Patterson who contributed a total of 8 points off-the-bat (Patterson scored 3 while Johnson added 5). The Lightning were not about to give up their lead, however, as they continued to strike from within the paint, led by Royce White with 7 points. The A's tried to remain competitive through the final minutes of the game but the London Lightning walked away with the 126-107 win by the final buzzer. Royce White led London Lightning scoring with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists while Maurice Bolden contributed 18 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. London's slick passing allowed for 60 points in the paint and 40 assists versus the A's 44 and 29. Justin Moss was perfect for the A's at 11-11 from the field and added 10-12 from the free throw line. He finished with an outstanding double-double of 33 points and 11 rebounds. Tyshawn Patterson also added 21 points, 6 assists, while Alex Johnson totaled a double-double of 20 points and 10 assists.
The A's finish the regular season at fourth place in the Central Division and will face off against number one London Lightning in the first round of playoffs. Playoff schedule will be announced in the coming days.