Under the Boards
Week-in-Review: – The Charge wrap up the regular season this Friday night in Tulsa, but they’ll be playing past this weekend after securing their third playoff appearance in as many seasons of existence when they topped the Iowa Energy, 108-101, last Saturday night in Des Moines.
The Energy got off to a strong start behind Glen Rice Jr., but Canton caught fire in the second period and led by a touchdown headed into intermission. Shane Edwards scored 10 of his 23 points in the third quarter and the Charge led by as many as 11. Iowa went on a 16-5 run to take a brief lead, but Canton was clutch from the stripe down the stretch and held on for the 28th win of the season.
Edwards’ 23-point effort led Canton, with Kyrylo Fesenko right behind, notching his third straight double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. Antoine Agudio added 15 points and Will Cherry chipped in with 12 points, five boards and seven assists.
The following night, the playoff-bound Energy got a measure of revenge, topping Canton – 110-98 – at the Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday night.
After a back-and-forth first half, the Charge trailed by a half-dozen at the half. Canton came out of the locker room with a 12-5 run to take the lead, but Iowa countered with an 8-0 dash to take a lead they’d hold for the rest of the game.
Gilbert Brown led all scorers with 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting and Antoine Agudio added 18 points, six boards and four assists. Olek Czyz pitched in with 16 points off the bench and Kyrylo Fesenko finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks.
On Thursday night, the Charge dropped their second straight – falling the Austin Toros, 96-94, at the Cedar Park Center in Texas. The loss put Canton at 28-21 heading into the regular season finale on Friday night.
The Charge got off to a cool start on the offensive end while former Cavalier Flip Murray netted 11 of his game-high 30 points in the in the first quarter. Canton warmed up in the second, shooting 67 percent from the floor, erasing a 15-point deficit to knot the game at 48-apiece heading into the half.
In the third quarter, Canton countered a 9-0 Toros run with a 17-2 outburst, grabbing 16 boards in the period to take a 73-67 advantage heading into the fourth. The game was tied at 92-apiece with 1:18 remaining when Shane Edwards scored to put Canton up a deuce. But the Toros’ Terrance Woodbury hit a three-pointer with 46 seconds remaining and Texas blocked a pair of Charge attempts down the stretch to seal the victory.Edwards led the Charge with 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting and Arinze Onuaku, fresh off an orbital injury that kept him out of the previous seven contests, returned to notch 16 points and a dozen boards for his 15th double-double of the season. Olek Czyz went 8-of-12 from the floor for 19 points and Kyrylo Fesenko posted his fourth double-double his last five games with 10 points, 12 rebounds and a pair of blocks. Flip Murray led all scorers with 30 points on 11-of-23 shooting with two steals in 43 minutes for Austin.
Stat of the Week: - The Charge continue to lead the D-League in critical categories on both ends of the floor – holding opponents to just 101.4 ppg while shooting a league-best 48 percent from the floor.
Look Ahead: – The Charge close out the regular season against the 66ers (23-25) on Friday night in Tulsa.
Tulsa is led by the league’s 20th ranked prospect, Dominic McGuire, who comes in averaging 13.5 points and 10 boards per game. Canton won their only meeting with the 66ers on December 11 at the Canton Civic Center – topping them, 94-91, behind 17 points and 12 boards by Arinze Onuaku.
As for the postseason and playoff seeding – game dates and matchups will be made by the D-League office this Sunday after regular season games conclude on Saturday night.
The selection process will see the top four seeds select in order who they will play from a pool that includes the bottom four seeds. All playoff series are best-of-three – with the lower seed hosting the first game and the higher seed hosting the second and then third game if necessary.
For this tonight’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.