The Canton Charge delivered yet another early Christmas gift to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants as they went down in defeat at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum this past Sunday. This was the second loss is so many days as Canton goes to 8-3 on the season and Fort Wayne climbs to 5-5.
The Charge took an early lead in the contest and was ahead 23-18 at the buzzer when the Mad Ants came out in the second with a 15-2 run in just the first 5:16. Capitalizing on three Canton turnovers, Fort Wayne went to the locker room with a 33-25 lead. Arinze Onuaku kept the Charge in the game with 4-of-5 shooting while grabbing five rebounds but the Mad Ants shut down the rest of the team to only 27% with 4-of-15 from the field. It was Fort Wayne ahead 47-39 at the half.
It was all Mad Ants in the third as they padded the lead by as much as 17 points due largely to nine forced turnovers that gave Fort Wayne ten points. Even with Jorge Gutierrez netting seven points and grabbing two steals Canton was on the short end of the 71-56 score going into the fourth quarter.
Canton’s offense began to spark in the last quarter with a 10-0 run in just 3:05 that saw six consecutive Fort Wayne wiffs and five turnovers which narrowed the lead to just two points at 80-78 in favor of Fort Wayne. Penalties came to the aid of the Mad Ants as they converted all six free throws. The game was far from over as Antoine Agudio dropped in a three pointer to narrow the score to 88-83 with just 36.1 seconds left in the game.
Fort Wayne opened the door a bit when Trey McKinney Jones missed a jumper and although they got the rebound they were rewarded a shot clock violation for their efforts. Robert Hite tipped in a Agudio three pointer attempt to make it a one possession game at 88-85 with 3.5 seconds left. Ron Howard was caught with an offensive foul before the Mad Ants could get the ball into play giving Canton one last chance for victory but the ensuing inbounds pass was picked off by Fort Wayne to end the game.
Kevin Jones scored a team-high 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting with 10 rebounds and a block in 41 minutes for his second double-double in as many nights and fourth overall this season. Onuaku finished with 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting with nine rebounds, one steal and one block in 28 minutes. Hite scored 14 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists in 36 minutes, all season-highs. Jorge Gutierrez added 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting with four rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes.
Howard paced Fort Wayne with 20 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals in 35 minutes. McKinney Jones added 19 points, five rebounds, one steal and one block in 36 minutes. Sadiel Rojas supplied six points, 10 rebounds and four steals in 35 minutes. The Mad Ants made 30 trips to the free-throw line on the night to Canton’s 15.
The Charge are back at home hosting the Reno Bighorns on Saturday, December 28th, at 7:00 p.m.,with tickets starting as low as $7! The contest features dollar hot dogs presented by Sugardale and postgame autographs presented by FirstEnergy Solutions.
To purchase single game tickets or for all general ticket information, fans can call 1-866-444-1944 or visit www.CantonCharge.com/tickets.