Under the Boards

February 21, 2014
Steve Hetzel
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images

Week-in-Review: The Canton Charge returned to work this week after a pair of their frontline anchors – plus the team’s coaching staff – made the trip to the Big Easy for All-Star Weekend.

Last Saturday afternoon, forward Kevin Jones and center Arinze Onuaku joined Steve Hetzel and his staff for the eighth annual NBA D-League All-Star Game at Sprint Arena in New Orleans.

Last Saturday’s matchup was another high-octane All-Star event with plenty of scoring and high-flying action – and it’s safe to say that “Futures” Coach Hetzel didn’t hurt his throat barking out defensive assignments.

In the game itself, the Charge’s All-Stars each represented well. Kevin Jones went 6-for-9 from the floor, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc for 14 points. Onuaku, a late addition to the squad, fared even better – notching 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting, adding eight boards. Both players logged 20 minutes of action as the Prospects topped the Futures – 145-142.

Jones and Onuaku rejoined their teammates on Tuesday night when they took on the league-best Rio Grande Valley Vipers at the Civic Center.

The game featured teams with starkly contrasting styles – the defensive-minded, disciplined Charge vs. the high-scoring, free-wheeling Vipers. Canton set season highs in free throws made (31) and attempted (44).

The game itself was tied, 115-115, with 2:15 to play. But Rio Grande Valley’s Isaiah Canaan took over from there, scoring eight of his 26 points down the stretch as the Vipers pulled away for the 124-119 win.

Shane Edwards scored a career-high 35 points in Tuesday’s loss, going 14-for-26 from the floor, adding seven boards and four steals. Edwards led seven Charge players in double-figures.

Including their 105-96 loss to Sioux Falls before the Break, the Charge have now dropped two straight and come into the weekend tied with Fort Wayne for first place in the East Division.

Did You Know: Charge assistant coach and Twinsburg native James Posey is a two-time NBA Champion, helping the Miami Heat beat the Mavericks for the title in 2006 and again with when the Boston Celtics won their 17th NBA crown in 2008.

They Said It: “I thought we fought the whole game. We kind of slipped up in the fourth quarter. When it comes to that point in time of the game, you have got to get stops and I just felt that we didn’t do as well as we could have with our team defense in the fourth quarter."
-Charge forward Shane Edwards following Tuesday’s wild loss to Rio Grande

Stat of the Week: In Tuesday’s wild game against Rio Grande Valley to open the season’s second half, there were 63 combined personal fouls, five technical fouls and 82 free throws attempted. The Vipers scored 124 points despite missing 28 three-pointers and committing 21 turnovers.

Look Ahead: This weekend the Charge (20-13) hope to return to their winning ways with a pair of home contests. On Friday, they take on an Erie team that they’ve had good success against – going 6-1 against the BayHawks (11-22, 5th East Division) so far this season.

On Saturday night, the Charge welcome the Texas Legends to the Civic Center. Earlier this season, Canton topped Texas at the annual NBA D-League Showcase in Reno, with Shane Edwards leading the way with 23 points in the victory. The Legends currently sit in 4th place in the Central Division.

Fans can follow all of the action with live stats and a live YouTube stream of the game on CantonCharge.com.