Canton's Home Streak Snapped by Maine

After winning their last five at the Memorial Civic Center, the Canton Charge were defeated by the Maine Red Claws, 113-105, in front of 3,504 for the annual School Day game on Thursday afternoon. Canton now sits at 18-11 on the season and 11-3 in their building, while the Red Claws improved to 13-15.

Maine raced ahead to a 33-31 lead after the first quarter, thanks in part to hitting 11-of-16 shots from the field (69%) and 7-of-11 attempts from three-point range (64%). The Charge hung tough by forcing seven Red Claws turnovers for 10 points and capitalizing on high-percentage opportunities with 24 points in the paint. Kevin Jones netted 10 points to lead Canton’s attack in the first.

The second period featured a back-and-forth theme of five lead changes and two ties, with the Red Claws continuing their collective hot shooting by sinking 11-of-21 shots from the floor (52%). With the game tied at 52-52 and 3:05 left, the visitors finished the half on an 8-3 run to go up 60-55 at the break.

The Charge cooled off Maine’s offensive attack in the third by turning up the pressure on the ball again as they did in the first, forcing five turnovers for seven points and limiting them to nine field goals on 24 attempts (38%). After seven more lead changes and four ties in the final 2:00 of the quarter, Canton was able to pull even at 84-84 when Jones pulled up from 20-feet out and hit just before the end of the quarter.,/p>

Canton kept the game close throughout the early stages of the fourth, but with the game tied 96-96 and 5:51 left, Maine forced eight Charge misses on nine shots in a 13-4 run to go up 109-100 and put the game away. The season series between the two teams is now even at 1-1 with three meetings left between the East Division foes.

Jorge Gutierrez led Canton with 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting with four rebounds, four assists and a steal in 35 minutes. Arinze Onuaku posted his third double-double in the last four contests, netting 15 points and grabbing 12 boards in 24 minutes. Jones finished with 18 points, five rebounds and a steal in 32 minutes. Cleveland Cavaliers assignment Sergey Karasev scored 16 points with four steals in 36 minutes. The Charge finished the game forcing 23 turnovers that resulted in 25 points, while surrendering the ball just 12 times for 10 points.

The Red Claws were paced by Frank Gaines’ 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting in 35 minutes. Daniel Orton supplied a double-double of 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting with 13 rebounds and five blocks in 28 minutes. Tyler Brown came off the bench to add 20 points, including 4-of-8 from three-point range, and two steals in 16 minutes. Maine hit 13-of-30 three-point attempts in the game (43%) while holding Canton scoreless from behind the arc at 0-for-10.

POSTGAME QUOTES HEAD COACH STEVE HETZEL

(On today’s game): “I thought we started slow out of the gates this morning. We tried to start aggressive in our coverage, but we didn’t have the multiple efforts to effectively do that coverage which exposed us at the three-point line. Instead of giving maximum effort to run three-point shooters off the line, we fell a little short. So in the future, for myself, make sure the game plan is on point. When we’re right, we can do any coverage that we put out there. I felt they put us in a little bit of a hole to start the game.”

(On Maine’s run after the game was tied 96-96): “I just thought the ball got stagnant, we didn’t move it as well. We struggle to score when we’re not moving the ball and bodies. I don’t know if it was tired legs from the physicality of the game in the early morning, but we are not the same team when we don’t play with pace offensively.”

The Charge will next head to Springfield for an East Division matchup with the Armor on Saturday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m. Canton is back at the Civic Center on Sunday, February 9 at 5:00 p.m. for an evening matchup with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, with tickets starting at just $7! For game day promotions and links to live stats and YouTube game streams, head to www.CantonCharge.com. Fans can sign-up to be a Charge Insider for breaking news and exclusive offers at www.CantonCharge.com/insider.

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