If you have not made the drive down to Canton to check out the Canton Charge NBA Development League Basketball you are missing a lot. With the NBA not starting up until late December, why not make the drive to see the next round of great players. The games are fast pace and exciting with amazing feats of aerial mastering seldom seen anywhere else. I guarantee that you will have a great time and at a price that will not break the bank. There are five home games scheduled until the end of the month and fifteen more following until the end of the season in April. Check out the intensity and drive that these players have! Check out the Charge!
The latest game was played on Wednesday, December 7th and was thrilling from the word go. The Canton Charge came back from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to win their second game in a row, 112-104, at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Wednesday night. Canton was propelled by six players scoring double-digit points to even their record at 2-2 in their inaugural campaign.
After Fort Wayne built a six-point lead at the half, the Mad Ants went on a 12-0 run midway through the third period to build a 14-point advantage. Coach Jensen called a time out in order for his squad to gather themselves, as they were then able to erase the deficit entirely in the final 5:03 to even the score at 87-87 entering the final quarter.
T.J. Campbell provided a boost off of the bench in the fourth, scoring seven points and grabbing four boards, as the home team was able to pull away with a 9-1 scoring run late to go ahead for good.
It was a tale of two halves for the Charge, as they buckled down defensively to allow just 43 points on 15-of-41 shooting for 37% after the Mad Ants tallied 61 points on 21-of-42 for 50% in the first half.
Dante Milligan and Keith McLeod each had double-doubles for Canton – with Milligan dropping in 13 points and grabbing 12 boards. McLeod scored 12 while adding 10 assists and six rebounds.
D-League assists leader Walker Russell Jr. paced Fort Wayne with 19 points and 14 dimes at the point guard position. Darnell Lazare led all scorers with 24 to go along with his six rebounds, while Marvin Phillips notched a double-double with 11 points and 14 boards. The Mad Ants had four starters in double figures.
Tyrell Biggs led Canton in scoring with 18, and Antoine Agudio poured in 16 in his first start of the season.
Campbell finished with 10 points, seven boards and four assists in less than 22 minutes of play. Jonathan Blake rounded out the Charge’s double-digit scorers with 12 on 5-of-5 shooting.
Canton will head to Erie for their first road contest of the year to face the BayHawks Friday night.
CANTON CHARGE POSTGAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH ALEX JENSEN
(Opening Statement): “Great teamwork, everybody made their contribution. In the second half, the stats bared out. You go from (them) shooting 50% in the first half to 37% in the second half and 43 points in the second half. That’s what we’ve been preaching all along. It’s the Cavs way, it’s the Canton way and it’s another example to show our guys how good we can be if we do that. Fort Wayne is a very good team. Coach Meyer, I’ve known him for a while. They came in well preparedand he’s won a lot of games in his career. They were well prepared, they were coached well, they played well, but this was about our guys’ effort, especially in the second half. You try to get that same effort the whole game, but especially the second half. Also to the fans in Canton you showed a good reason why the Cavaliers picked Canton. They helped us make that run and it’s always nice to have that.”
(On what changed the game after being down by 14 in the third quarter): “It’s something we’ve said all along: regardless of the score, you keep playing as hard as you can and you play defense. We were struggling on some of the ball scheme defense and it was just a matter of making it a priority, getting a sense of urgency, and they did that. They picked it up and turned it around. For instance, Cameron Jones had 12 first half points and he was held to 3 the whole second half, and he played 36 minutes. That was one of the challenges we gave them and Tyrone (Kent) took it upon himself to do that. Our bigs were much better at the ball screen in the second half. (We have to) just keep plugging. I don’t think anything changed, I think it was just kind of feeding the same message over and over again.”
(On controlling Walker Russell Jr.): “He was the player of the week last week for a reason. It was going to take a team effort to shut him down. The guy getting screened who was guarding him, the bigs helping, the weak side corner; all five guys had to move when he had the ball so we could stop him. That was going back to stopping him and winning, it’s the same thing. It took five guys to stop him, five guys to win. You have 24 assists to 11 turnovers, you have 46 bench points. That doesn’t happen very often. In doing it the right way, it truly was a team win.”
(On what changed the game): “I’d say our bench and our energy. It’s a long game, we had plenty of time left and that third quarter was a big stretch for us. Guys like Tyrone Kent stepped up and our bench provided a lot for us. We just rose off their energy, took it to the fourth quarter and came out with the win.”
(On defending Walker Russell Jr.): “We all pride ourselves on our pick-and-roll defense, even though teams think it can be a weakness for us. Guys like Travis (Franklin) and our big guys steppedup, hedged harder and our weak side defense came over and we provided the help that they needed. We communicated and got the defensive stops.”