Charge Down Legends
The Canton Charge went wire-to-wire for a 118-106 win over the Texas Legends in front of 3,320 at the Memorial Civic Center on Saturday night. The victory improves Canton to 22-13 on the season heading into the stretch run, while the Legends dropped to 15-21.
The Charge led for the entire game and by as many as 21 en route to sweeping the season series between the two teams, 2-0. For the second time in as many nights, Canton sunk a majority of their shots in hitting 39-of-75 attempts as a team (52%). Seven of the eight Charge players in uniform scored in double figures to maintain the team’s half-game lead in the East Division.
Fresh off his call-up to the Cleveland Cavaliers on a 10-day contract, Arinze Onuaku posted his 12th double-double of the year with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting with 10 boards, a steal and a block in 26 minutes. Kevin Jones also posted a double-double of 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting with 12 boards and a block in 38 minutes.
Gilbert Brown netted 20 points for Canton on 7-of-12 shooting with three steals in 41 minutes. Will Cherry added 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting and two steals in 24 minutes of relief off the bench. Jorge Gutierrez scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out seven assists in 30 minutes of play.
Damion James’ double-double paced the Legends with 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting with 12 boards in 36 minutes. PJ Hairston came off the bench to add 16 points and two steals in 28 minutes. James Nunnally added 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting in 31 minutes. Texas as a team hit just 8-of-32 attempts from the three-point line (25%).
HEAD COACH STEVE HETZEL
(On how the team is playing after tonight’s win):“I just felt like our guys are starting to play together, much like we were at the beginning of the season. We found our second half of the year win right now, winning makes it easier, but we’re getting good leads by playing basketball the right way. We’re defending, number one, and then we’re sharing the basketball on the offensive end of the floor. We’re rebounding the ball well and it’s equating to wins and I keep stressing if we can keep doing it, we can keep winning and that’s the key.”
(On fighting through fatigue):“You can tell that they got tired because they were playing so hard. We said it since the beginning: To be a no-excuse team, you have to wear it on your chest every single time you step out on the floor. So, regardless of what you’re feeling, you have to put everything that you have in the tank out there for each other. When you’re playing with the belief in your teammates and yourself, that positive energy kind of carries you through. They made runs, we took their punches and absorbed them and made a run of our own. I’m very proud to coach a team that can just stand up and not wilt when teams go on a run like that.”
The Charge next hit the road for a trip of division games, beginning with a visit to the Maine Red Claws on Thursday, February 27 at 7:00 p.m. 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.