For all intensive purposes, it was a game that the Charge should have won. They were the stronger team with more wins and the home court advantage. Unfortunately, there are those games where the baskets don’t drop, ball doesn’t bounce your way and the whistles blow on your end of the court more than theirs. Thus the Springfield Armor ended the night with a 93-88 victory over the Canton Charge in front of the 2,454 Charge faithful that showed up.
The game started well enough with the Charge taking an early and decisive lead with a strong defense that kept Springfield at 7-of-21 or 33%. Taking advantage of 13 rebounds the Charge shot ahead 25-16. The Armor fought back in the second quarter with a 13-2 run in only 2:01 to take a brief lead. This switched five times until the Charge finally put a cap on the half with a 44-43 score.
The third quarter saw the Charge rally once more after a brief 49-49 tie with a 14-2 run in 4:27 to take the lead once more of 63-51, but Springfield was not to be denied as they held an 8-0 rally of their own which brought them within six points at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter went badly for the Charge as shot after shot refused to fall while the Armor hit 50% combined with 17 trips to the free throw-line. This 29-18 run proved too much for the Charge to overcome. The loss drops the Charge to 13-10 for the season while Springfield improves to 6-13.
Antoine Agudio tied his season-high mark with 20 points, including 4-of-9 from three-point range, with six rebounds and two assists in 40 minutes. In his second start of the season, Ryan Rossiter netted 14 points with seven rebounds and one block in 26 minutes, all season-highs. Kyle Gibson scored 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting with four rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes. Jorge Gutierrez added 13 points, four rebounds and eight assists in 36 minutes. Micheal Eric grabbed 14 rebounds for the second-straight game for Canton.
Springfield was led by Ben Uzoh’s 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting with seven rebounds and four assists in 36 minutes. James Mays poured in 20 points with six rebounds and three steals in 39 minutes. Ramone Moore scored 15 points for the Armor, while Carleton Scott added 10 points and eight rebounds. Springfield surrendered 11 turnovers for nine points, while Canton had 16 giveaways for 21 points on the night.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at the Memorial Civic Center. It will be Youth Basketball Night, as local teams throughout the area will be in attendance and recognized throughout the game. There are also $1 hot dogs presented by Sugardale and postgame autographs presented by FirstEnergy Solutions. Tickets start at just $7 and fans can receive more information by heading to www.CantonCharge.com.
CANTON CHARGE POSTGAME QUOTES
CHARGE HEAD COACH ALEX JENSEN
(On tonight’s game): “Right now, I think we are trying to find some leadership on the court. When other teams are making their runs, we need someone to get the ball, get into a play, execute a play and calm things down for us… They shot a lot of free throws. They went to the basket and we had a lot of slap fouls and hand fouls. When we drove (to the basket) tonight, they did a good job tonight of showing their hands and going straight up. It’s little things I think: be good on our runs and understand what we do well when we make our runs and then (understand) what we don’t do well. We beat ourselves a lot tonight. They came in real prepared and did well… so give them all the credit in the world.”
G KYLE GIBSON
(On losing the game in the fourth quarter): “I think we started thinking about making the play on the first side instead of continuing to grind it out and play hard on offense. Also on the defensive side, (they) got a couple run outs on us. That’s really what happened to us. They just knocked us off of our sweet spots and our offense. We weren’t stressing on our execution, that’s how we contributed to them getting those buckets.”
(On how the Armor pulled ahead late): “We weren’t playing consistent really and weren’t sticking with what was going well. Like I said, we weren’t executing in the end and there were a lot of scrambling situations.”
(On what they need to do against the same team tomorrow): “To just get the win. I think we gave this one away through our play and execution. We know what to do tomorrow.”