What could be more fun than Cavs Night at the Canton Charge Game this past Saturday night? You had Pozzi and Sir C. C. teaming up their antics to entertain the crowd. The Canton Charge Girls sharing the floor with the Cleveland Cavaliers Girls. The Ohio Lottery giving away commemorative T-shirts. The Cleveland Cavaliers “Scream Team” on hand to perform their amazing dance routines and Cavs legends Larry Nance and Bobby “Bingo” Smith showing up to meet and greet the biggest crowd of the season (3,703).
Throughout the game, extra souvenirs were thrown to the crowd and the usual array of fan contests on the court were held. The Canton Charge players showed up ready to play in Cleveland Cavalier uniforms which were given out to lucky fans at the end of the game…AND!!! The Canton Charge won their fourth game in a row (107-101) in an exciting contest that had everything a great game requires!
Things got off to a slow start for the home team as Iowa pulled off a 26-21 lead to end the first quarter by shooting an incredible 63% or 12-of-19 shots from the field. Iowa’s Paul Harris was on fire as he sank 10 points for a 5-of-7 clinic in the opening twelve.
Not to be out-done in front of this huge crowd, Canton responded in the second quarter with a 15-3 run of their own, putting them on top 36-29 with 6:00 remaining in the half. The game settled into a basket trading contest but ultimately, the Charge outscored Iowa 30-21 and went to the mid-game break with a 51-47 lead.
The third quarter was an exciting blur as the Charge lived up to their name by using the fast break as their main weapon. With 11-0f-16 shooting for 69% the third quarter was full of the ever popular slam dunks and breakaways. This resulted in a 78-69 lead going into the final turn.
Iowa was not quite done and bounced back with a 9-2 run in just 2:47 to pull within two points. Canton shook it off and hit six of their next seven shots to power ahead by ten. Iowa managed to whittle the score down to a six point deficit but that is where the final buzzer locked.
This 11 out of the last 13 games victory brings the Canton Charge up to 17-10 for the season while Iowa drops further down to 6-18. The win gives the Charge a 4-1 edge over the Energy for the season.
JaJuan Johnson paced Canton with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting with six rebounds and three blocks in 37 minutes in his first start with the Charge. Jorge Gutierrez notched his second double-double of the year with 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting with a season-high 10 assists in 35 minutes. Kyle Gibson scored 14 points with four rebounds and two steals in 27 minutes. Josh Selby provided 12 points, six rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes off the bench. In his first game back since missing the last nine, Arinze Onuaku added nine points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes of relief.
All five Iowa starters scored in double figures, led by Harris’ game-high 25 points on 12-of-17 shooting with 12 rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block in 38 minutes. Chris Wright tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists in 40 minutes. Morris Almond poured in 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting with two steals in 34 minutes. Othyus Jeffers and Quincy Miller contributed 18 and 13 points respectively to round out the starting five. The Energy outscored the Charge 64-44 in the paint.
Canton will next host the Erie BayHawks on Wednesday, January 30th at 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Center. Tickets start as low as $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): “I have to give Iowa a lot of credit because they lost a couple guys the last day or so, but they came out and played. It’s always hard for both teams after back-to-back nights. They played really hard and a lot harder than us at times… We haven’t given up 100 points in a long time. We kind of reverted back to earlier in the year when we had stretches that were really good and stretches that were really bad so we have to look for consistency. It’s always hard to beat the same team twice on a back-to-back especially when traveling so I give our guys all the credit in the world.”
(On JaJuan Johnson’s play tonight): “The best thing about JaJuan tonight is he would make a mistake and then he wouldn’t stop, he would go and make up for it later. I go and tell all the guys on the team all the time ‘Make me play you. There’s not a coach in the history of the sport who doesn’t want to play his best five players, so make me play you.’ I always say that I don’t decide who plays; (they) decide who plays. He was hard to take out because of how hard he was playing.”
F JAJUAN JOHNSON
(On the importance of holding off Iowa late when they were shooting the ball well): “It’s important, especially coming off of a back-to-back. Obviously, the (other) team knows what you want to do and everybody pretty much knows each other. With the traveling and everything like that, it’s mental and our guys held on and we got the win.”