Arinze Onuaku and Sergey Karasev (both on assignment from the Cleveland Cavaliers) rocked the house Saturday as the Canton Charge defeated the Springfield Armor, 118-110 as 2,802 fans cheered. The win lifts the Canton Charge to 24-15 for the season and drops Springfield to 16-23 with the teams at 5-2 in favor of the Charge.
The Charge took an early lead in the first quarter and led by as many as 10 after hitting 11-of-17 for 65%. Springfield fought back and managed to come within two points at the buzzer at 30-28. The hard fought second quarter featured 11 lead changes as both teams tried to find their rhythm but managed 40% shooting from the field. As the half ended, the Armor managed to squeak ahead 49-48 after Darius Johnson-Odom hit a 20 footer with 3.8 left in the half.
The third quarter began with both teams trading bucket for bucket as they went through three ties and two lead changes. With the score board reading 53-all, Canton went on a 12-1tear in just 2:39 to take an 11 pointe lead. The team scored 35 in the third on 12-of-15 for an incredible 80%. As the third quarter drew to a close it was Canton 83, Springfield 74.
The Charge kept pouring it on in the fourth leading by as many as 16 points. The Charge was good for 74% from shooting 23-of-34 as they hit for 70 points in the second half. Overall, Canton was good for 60.9% from the floor for the entire game which just falls short of the franchise record of 61% set against Fort Wayne during the January 22 game.
Onuaku notched his 13th double-double of the season with 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting, 15 rebounds and two blocks in 32 minutes. Karasev totaled new season-highs in points and rebounds with 21 and eight respectively in 42 minutes. Shane Edwards netted a team-high 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting with seven rebounds in 38 minutes. In his first-ever start, Will Cherry added 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting with four steals in 26 minutes for the Charge.
Springfield was led by Devin Ebanks’ game-high 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting with two steals in 39 minutes. Willie Reed posted a double-double of 21 points and 13 boards with two blocks in 39 minutes. Khalif Wyatt provided 17 points in 13 minutes of relief off the bench.
HEAD COACH STEVE HETZEL
(On Arinze Onuaku’s play today on assignment):“We love having him. He was dominant inside like we expect and have seen all year. I think he was happy to be with us because of the minutes he was getting. Plus, this is a true team. These guys care for one-another, so they are happy when he comes back.”
(On dealing with a constantly changing roster):“It’s always difficult. Number one, you are proud of your players for moving on and forward because that’s what this league is about. So, you are first off happy for them. That’s what we want as a coaching staff, that’s what we want as a team is for our guys to move forward and we want our success to help them move forward. We started the season and said that we would embrace change, so when change occurs we just step right on the floor and we go with what we got.”
G/F SERGEY KARASEV
(On what he is improving on while in Canton):“Becoming a better ball handler, that’s what I showed today. I was aggressive with the ball and tried to facilitate my teammates. Also, getting bigger and getting stronger, so as a result I had eight rebounds today. I hope, soon, you are going to see my first double-double.”
Canton is back at the Memorial Civic Center tomorrow afternoon, March 9 at 3:00 p.m. to take on the Sioux Falls Skyforce. It’s the Mascot Showdown, with appearances by mascots from all over Northeast Ohio, a poster & window cling giveaway courtesy of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet plus dollar dogs presented by Sugardale all starting at just $7!
For game day promotions and links to live stats and YouTube game streams, head to www.CantonCharge.com.