Under the Boards
Week-in-Review: – This past week, the Charge snapped their four-game skein, played their final home game of the regular season and acquired another player as they prepare for the final playoff push.
On Saturday night in Delaware, the Charge bounced back after a season-long four-game losing streak, topping the 87ers, 114-100, to improve to 26-19.
After a tight first quarter, Canton caught fire from the floor and used a 34-6 run to take a 23-point lead into intermission. The Charge led by as many as 26 in the second stanza and kept the 87ers in a double-digit deficit the rest of the way.
Recently-acquired big man, Kyrylo Fesenko led Canton with 29 points to go with 12 rebounds, going 12-of-17 from the field. Olek Czyz was just as good, finishing with 28 points and 19 boards – both season-highs – going 12-for-15 from the floor in 42 minutes for his fourth double-double of the year.
Antoine Agudio chipped in with a season-best 21 points and a career-high four steals. William Buford came off the bench to net 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting and Will Cherry added his third double-double of the year with 10 points, 11 boards and four steals of his own in the much-needed win.
On Wednesday night, the Canton concluded their 2013-14 regular season home schedule in style – topping the Maine Red Claws, 117-108, before 3,678 fans at the Memorial Civic Center. The win improved the Charge’s mark to 27-19 and got them that much closer to their third playoff appearance in as many years of existence.
After a back-and-forth first half that featured 13 lead-changes and eight ties, both clubs went into the halftime locker room knotted at 61-apiece. Neither team could get much separation after intermission until Canton closed the quarter on a 17-7 run to take a ten-point lead. In the fourth it was the Antoine Agudio Show, with the sharp-shooting guard scoring 12 straight points, propelling the Charge to the 117-108 win.
The Charge made history in the win – with five Canton starters all scoring 20-plus points, accounting for 109 of the team’s 117 points. Agudio led Canton with 24 points and Kyrylo Fesenko notched his second straight double-double with 22 points and 14 boards. Shane Edwards added 22 points and six rebounds, Will Cherry netted 21 and Gilbert Brown finished with 20 points and five boards in the home finale.
The Charge also made a roster move this week – acquiring guard Kyle Randall from the available player pool and waiving guard Anthony Harris. The 22-year-old Randall, who played college ball at Central Michigan, played in 24 games with Fort Wayne this season – averaging 4.3 points, 1.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 16.2 minutes per contest.
They Said It: “(Agudio) took a sip out of the fountain of youth. He’s been steadfast (for us). If Ron Howard is Mr. Mad Ant, he is Mr. Charge. He deserved a night like this because nobody cares more than he does about number one, winning, and two, playing for this team. I’m just so happy that he had a night like this and we needed him to.”
-Charge Head Coach Steve Hetzel on Antoine Agudio’s big second-half effort in Wednesday’s win
Stat of the Week: - The Charge continue to have the stingiest scoring defense in the D-League, allowing just 101.3 points per game.
Look Ahead: – The Charge have just four games remaining, with two coming this weekend in a crucial back-to-back against Iowa. Canton’s magic number to clinch a postseason berth for the third time in as many seasons of existence is 2, which includes a combination of Charge wins and Idaho Stampede losses.
The Energy (27-17) are led by Othyus Jeffers, the 21st-ranked prospect in the D-League, who’s averaging 21.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Iowa also features Glen Rice Jr., on assignment from the Washington Wizards. Jeffers finished with 18 points and 17 boards and Rice, 25 points, in a 145-111 win over Rio Grande Valley earlier this week.
For this weekend’s action, as always, fans can follow all of the action along with live stats and a live YouTube stream of the game on CantonCharge.com.