Armor Fall Short in Maine
PORTLAND, ME – Kenny Hayes lit up the scoreboard in the 4th quarter with 26 points, including 17 consecutive points, finishing the night just one point shy of the all-time league mark of 53 points in a single game. Hayes’ 52 points shattered the all-time Maine Red Claws record of 40 points, set by teammate Morris Almond in 2010. Almond also shares the all-time league mark of 53 points in a game, set during the 2008-09 season while with Utah and tied by Will Conroy of the Albuquerque Thunderbirds later that same season. Hayes also set new team marks for field goals made (18) and field goals attempted (29) while equaling the all-time free throws made mark (12).
The Red Claws (15-22) and Springfield Armor (21-15) played an even game early on, ending the first period with a tied 25-25 score. With seven lead changes in the second frame alone, it seemed anyone’s game early in the second, however, the Armor gained momentum late in the second half, seemingly opening up the game to lead the Red Claws 61-49 going into halftime. Maine battled back from a 17 point 3rd quarter deficit, closing the gap to 7 for the final period before Hayes took over. Maine outscored the Armor 42-30 in this final period to pick up their second consecutive win over the first place Armor, 118-113.
Hayes, the Adidas Player of the Game, dominated the night with 52 points. Morris Almond, who referred to himself postgame as Hayes’ “wing man for the night” added to his impressive season tally with 31 points and 9 rebounds while Xavier Silas and Courtney Pigram both scored in the double digits with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Justin Brownlee led all players in rebounds (11) and assists (6) on the night.
Springfield’s Jerry Smith led his team with 30 points while Dennis Horner chipped in 21 of his own. With 9 rebounds, Horner led his team in rebounds but was followed closely by L.D. Williams’ 8 rebounds and 18 points. Lance Hurdle (14 pts) and JamesOn Curry (13) also scored in the double digits.
The Red Claws will head out tomorrow for a weeklong road trip, swinging through Erie Tuesday, Fort Wayne Thursday and Canton Saturday before returning home on Sunday, March 11 for Military Appreciation Night. The Armor will host Canton on Thursday and Iowa on Friday before heading out on their first extended road trip since a brutal seven game trip in late December.