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Storm wins playoff thriller

March 15, 2005 - Continental Basketball Association 1 (CBA 1) - Great Lakes Storm News Release

Birch Run, MI (March 15, 2005) – The Great Lakes Storm won tonight against the Rockford Lightning 130-127 (5.5, 1.5) to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series. The Storm had to go to overtime to get the win for the second time in a week against the Lightning while picking up the first playoff victory in franchise history.

The two teams traded baskets in the opening quarter and were deadlocked at 32 a piece after the first. Rockford came out gunning in the second quarter and pushed the lead to double digits halfway through the quarter. The Storm would cut the lead to six points with :30 to go in the half, but Jermaine Walker hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds to push the lead to 62-53. Walker led all scorers at the half with 15 points. The Lightning pushed the lead to as many as 14 points in the third quarter, but the Storm chipped away and trailed by only five going into the final quarter, 86-81. The Lightning once again went ahead by nine points but the Storm once again made a comeback and actually led by six points with 2:30 to go in the game. The Lightning went on a 9-0 run and led by three with :37 left in regulation. Mark Jones made a clutch three to tie the game at 113-113 and Rockford missed a shot with 5.9 seconds left in the game. The Storm had one last chance and Ezra Williams missed an uncontested lay-up with one second to go as the teams went to overtime. Williams would redeem himself as he scored nine points in the extra period which included several clutch baskets down the stretch to lead the Storm to victory.

The Storm’s next game is on Thursday, March 17th at home against the Rockford Lightning. Tip-off is set for 7:05 at the Birch Run Expo Center.

Game Highlights:

STORM: Mark Jones 40 points, 7 rebounds

Ezra Williams 22 points, 5 assists

LIGHTNING: Stais Boseman 24 points, 4-for-7 3-pointers

Jermaine Walker 33 points

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Tickets are now on sale for the 2005 CBA Playoffs. For details call a Storm representative at (989) 624-4665.

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