Charge Fall at Home to Skyforce
The Canton Charge were defeated at the hands of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, 113-109, at the Memorial Civic Center on Tuesday evening. The loss sets Canton at 25-16 on the season and in a tie for first place in the East Division, while Sioux Falls improved their mark to 24-17 and in the thick of the postseason push.
After a Larry Drew three-pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter put the Skyforce ahead 25-22, the visitors led for almost the entire rest of the game and by as many as 17. The Charge only found themselves within one possession once during the second and third quarters despite shooting 55% from the floor as a team during the first 36 minutes.
Trailing 93-86 with 7:54 to play, Canton clawed back on a 10-3 run over a span of 3:36 to tie the game for the first time since the opening quarter at 96-96. Sioux Falls proved to be too determined, as they scored on seven of their final eight possessions down the stretch to seal the win and take the season series 2-1. In the loss, the Charge as a team finished 40-of-71 shooting from the floor (56%) and tied their season-high with 27 assists.
Canton was led by Olek Czyz’s 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting with six rebounds, two steals and a block in 34 minutes off the bench. Will Cherry had his second-consecutive game with a double-double in netting 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting with 10 assists, six boards and three steals in 37 minutes. Shane Edwards poured in 21 points in 38 minutes, while Gilbert Brown added 21 points of his own with seven rebounds and a season-high three blocks in 40 minutes.
The Skyforce were paced by Anthony Mason’s 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting with six rebounds and three steals in 40 minutes. Henry Walker scored 23 points and grabbed six boards with two steals in 38 minutes. Tre Kelly sank all five of his three-point attempts, posting 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting overall in 43 minutes. Sioux Falls as a team had a hot night shooting from all over the floor, hitting 39-of-70 attempts from the field overall (56%) and 10-of-18 from three-point range (56%).
HEAD COACH STEVE HETZEL
(On tonight's game):“I thought it was a little bit of a chaotic game. I didn’t think we started the game well at all. Obviously, when we got down 17, we dug ourselves a huge hole. We were very sloppy with the basketball. Our defense was not as good as it was the (game) before. I thought their intent was much better to start the game than ours was. I thought we were just kind of going through the motions and floating, expecting to win rather than trying to win. We showed great resolve in coming back from down 17, but when you exert all of your energy to take away a deficit like that, you have got little in the tank to finish the game. I thought that’s where we came up short.”
(On the differences down the stretch):“They made shots all night. They shot the ball much better than they did the (game) before. I thought a lot of that was our defensive intent. We weren’t as locked in as the (game) before and I was very disappointed. They went zone versus us to try to give us a different look and I think that it flustered us. We were in a good rhythm, so it was smart play. We had a turnover that led to a fast-break point and we couldn’t get the stops that we needed to go down and take the lead. We were always playing from behind.”
F GILBERT BROWN
(On tonight's game):“I think getting down 16, 17 points early and having to exert that much energy to fight back wore us out in the end. You could see it on the defensive end with late rotations and some drives and post-ups that we were making early in the third quarter. We were getting stops, but when it came down to late in the fourth quarter, we were just a little burned out. I think we just need to start off playing how we did at the beginning of the third quarter at the end of the game.”
(On having to rotate different players in):“It’s tough, but that’s part of professional basketball. You have to adjust on the fly with two new players coming in and playing with not having that much practice time. That’s just part of the business, but you can’t use that as an excuse. It does present a difficult situation, but we have to overcome that.”
Canton stays at the Memorial Civic Center for a matchup with the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Friday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m. The Charge will wear special white and purple jerseys presented by Longbridge Wealth Advisors that fans can bid on during a live in game auction with all proceeds benefitting the Domestic Violence Project. For tickets, 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.