Fourth Quarter Rally Propels Charge Past Armor
The Canton Charge overcame a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Springfield Armor, 87-81, at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Friday night. The victory was Canton’s third-straight at home and improved their record to 4-5 on the season, while the Armor fell to .500 at 3-3. Canton also currently has the edge in the season series between the pair of East Division rivals, 2-1.
Canton was staunch on defense to start the game, holding Springfield to just 7-of-23 shooting for 30% overall from the floor as the home team led 19-16 after the first quarter. The second quarter was back-and-forth with five ties and six lead changes, but Canton still held the advantage 39-37 at the intermission. Both teams combined for 57 rebounds in the first half, with the Charge grabbing 30 boards and Springfield nabbing 27.
The Armor were able to pull ahead in the third quarter with a 15-8 run that gave them a 64-59 lead heading into the final period. Springfield extended their lead to as many as nine early in the fourth, but Canton began to climb back with crucial stops on the defensive end. The Charge forced eight misses and two steals amidst a 10-2 run over a span of 5:09 to climb within one point at 72-71. Canton took the lead for good on a Jorge Gutierrez layup and converted free-throw on the ensuing foul with 1:35 left and never looked back, scoring 11 of the game’s final 15 points over that span.
Jon Leuer scored 20 of his game-high 28 points in the second half en route to his third double-double in as many games, adding 16 rebounds, one steal and one block in 40 minutes. Arinze Onuaku was a torrid presence in the post with 18 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks for his fifth double-double of the season. Kyle Gibson added 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe in 32 minutes. Canton finished the game outrebounding Springfield, the league’s top rebounding squad at 51.8 per game, 53-48. Canton came into tonight fourth in the league as a team on the glass, averaging 49.3 a night.
Willie Reed provided a major spark for Springfield off the bench with a team-high 23 points on 11-of-19 shooting with five rebounds and two blocks in 34 minutes. James Mays supplied a terrific effort of 18 points, 19 rebounds, two steals and one block in 39 minutes. Ben Uzoh added 14 points, four rebounds and one steal in 44 minutes. The Armor bench outscored the Charge reserves 37-17. The Charge held Springfield to a season opponent-low 36% shooting from the field tonight.
Canton will look to continue their winning ways when they host the Iowa Energy tomorrow, December 15th at 7:30 p.m. at the Memorial Civic Center. Tomorrow’s game will feature $1 hot dogs presented by Sugardale, postgame autographs presented by FirstEnergy Solutions and a postgame party at Panini’s in Belden Village with the Charge players.