CANTON HOLDS ON TO TOP SPRINGFIELD
The Canton Charge held on to defeat the Springfield Armor, 91-88, at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Friday night. The win puts the Charge at 3-0 on the young season, while the Armor fall to 0-2.
Springfield pulled ahead 21-18 after the first quarter thanks in part to Adonis Thomas hitting all four field goal attempts and scoring 10 points in just four minutes off the bench. Both teams turned the ball over five times in the opening period, with the Armor capitalizing for 10 points.
After trailing by as many as eight in the second quarter, the Canton offense gained efficiency sparked by eight different players getting in the scoring column. The Charge as a team hit 11-of-17 shots from the field (65%), including eight of their last nine attempts, and the score was knotted up at 47-47 heading into the break.
Canton extended their advantage in the third by continuing to maximize their opportunities on the offensive end while cutting back on their mistakes. After 10 turnovers in the first half, the Charge had just two in the third quarter and hit 10-of-20 shots from the field (50%) in outscoring the Armor 27-18. Up by as many as 12, Canton held a 74-65 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Springfield turned the tables to hold the Charge attack at bay for 4-of-16 from the field (25%) in the fourth quarter, including contesting nine consecutive misses to end the game after they were 29-of-57 in the first three periods (51%). The home team continuously attacked the rim to keep themselves ahead and got to the free-throw line 12 times, hitting nine.
The Armor closed the game on an 8-2 run to pull within 89-88 after JamesOn Curry hit a 14-foot jumper with 38.8 seconds to play. After a miss on the ensuing possession, Canton locked down on defense to force two misses on potential go-ahead shots and regained possession on a foul in the bonus with 4.2 seconds left. Michael Lee nailed both free throws, and the home team pulled out the victory after Justin Johnson couldn't convert the 27-foot attempt as the buzzer sounded.
Jorge Gutierrez paced the Charge with 12 points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals in 40 minutes. Antoine Agudio netted a team-high 16 points with three rebounds and three steals in 40 minutes. Kevin Jones posted his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. Bo Spencer came off the bench to supply 12 points, four assists and a steal in 23 minutes of relief off the bench.
Springfield was led by Dennis Horner's 16 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 33 minutes. Thomas finished with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting off the bench. Gary Forbes scored 13 points with four rebounds and three steals in 33 minutes. Curry ended with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes.