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Top Teams in the NBL Central Division Go Down to the Wire

January 4, 2017 - National Basketball League of Canada (NBL Canada) - Orangeville A's News Release

ORANGEVILLE, ON - Top teams in the NBL Central Division go down to the wire as A's edge out Lightning, 121-113

After suffering their first loss of the season in a nail-biter to Windsor, the A's looked to get back into the win column although it would have to come against a very difficult opponent. Despite having a double-digit lead late into the game at no point was London too far out of reach. Lightning forward Royce White, a former 1st round pick in the NBA, was outstanding for his team scoring 27 points and nabbing 6 rebounds. Fortunately for Orangeville, Rahlir Jefferson (30p & 15r) and Anthony Harris (29p & 6a) had their best output of the year so far and powered their team through the finish line. The win gives the A's a 3-1 record and puts them atop the Central Division. #24 Rahlir Jefferson and Anthony Harris combine for 59 points in A's 121-113 win over London Lightning (Jefferson: 30 pts, 15 rebs, 5 asts, Harris: 29 pts, 6 asts, 4 rebs)

The A's have had some problems through the first few games with ball security and their troubles were definitely evident in the first quarter. London converted 10 points off turnovers but the A's found themselves having a very prolific night on the boards thanks to the pace of play. Teams went back and forth early but Orangeville's Justin Moss got down the floor quickly and converted a smooth reverse layup in transition before the buzzer could sound to give his team a slight edge going into the 2nd. Orangeville started the 2nd quarter ahead 31-28 and looked to take control. Rahlir Jefferson had an impressive start to the game but it was Anthony Harris's offense that exploded to give the A's their first double digit lead of the night. Although the A's offense was rolling, they later began to have trouble with stopping London's Royce White as he barreled into the lane and drew fouls on every attack. Those fouls cost the A's easy points and put them in the bonus with 3 minutes left. It also forced Justin Moss off the court for extended periods of time. The Lightning managed to cut deficit to only 5 and would go into the half down 60-55. With the 3rd quarter underway and an unsatisfactory lead, the A's came out of halftime with momentum on their side. Jefferson took the lead on offense and once again gave his team a large lead. Up 16 points mid-way through the 3rd quarter the A's seemed to be seizing firm control of the game for the first time. The Lightning however had other plans. London's Julian Boyd poured in 13 points in the 3rd quarter and kept London within range of making their comeback. The A's would take another 14-point lead only to see it trimmed to a mere 89-86 advantage. The final quarter left fans on the edge of their seats until the final buzzer. Teams once again went back and forth but this time London would take the lead for the first time since the first quarter. Once they began to pull away and take a 3-point lead, Anthony Harris kept his team afloat behind a timely 3 pointer as a response. Jefferson and Harris played off each other and were the one-two punch the A's needed but no play was bigger than Jefferson's 4-point play in the closing minutes to put the dagger in the game. BY THE NUMBERS:

Back-&-Forth: A's and Lightning exchanged leads 16 times Converting at the line: A's shot 81% from the FT line (31-38) Glass Cleaners: Orangeville out rebounded London 56-37

FULL BOX SCORE: NEXT GAME: Sunday, January 8th, 2017 - Orangeville A's @ Halifax Hurricanes (2:00 PM AT) NEXT HOME GAME: Sunday, January 15th, 2017 - Orangeville A's vs. KW Titans (3:00 PM ET) GET TICKETS NOW!

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