By Michael Kennedy
The St. John's Edge, or maybe we should call them the Road Warriors, continued their impressive swing through Ontario with 122-120, double OT win in Sudbury. Edge are now 3-0 on the trek and look to close it out with another visit to the Aud in Kitchener tomorrow night.
1st quarter - Nice start as the Edge jumped out to a quick lead. Sudbury looked a little sluggish without the recently departed Marlon Johnson and struggled to find an identity. The teams traded buckets for much of the quarter until Coron Williams drained a triple at the buzzer. Edge in front 28-20.
2nd quarter - The Five came out with a little more intensity to start the quarter. Meanwhile, St. John's were a little stagnant and they allowed Sudbury to climb back into it. Tyrone Watson continued to lead the Edge with six points in the quarter for sixteen total in the half. On the other side of the ball, J.R. Holder led the way for Logan Stutz's squad with thirteen in the quarter. 52-49 Edge at the break.
3rd quarter - Once again it's back and forth as they trade buckets and neither team is able to seize control away from the other. 74-69. Edge with the advantage heading into the final frame.
4th quarter - Sudbury came out looking to push the pace and draw the Edge into a shootout but the Edge held steadfast for the most part. Sudbury's star guards, Jaylen Bland and Braylon Rayson, hit some big shots to claw their team back into this one. Fast forward now to under five minutes to go and Rayson hit a huge three to put his team up by four. Edge don't go away though. After a quick Karrington Ward dunk the Edge still trail by one. They fouled Rayson and he made both free throws to give the Five a three-point lead with 11 seconds to go. Desperation time for the Edge. Junior Cadougan is guarded closely by Holder and he's forced to get up a tough shot and Cadougan nails it to silence the Sudbury crowd and send this one to OT.
OT - Both teams battled tooth and nail as the intensity was in high gear. Fast forward to 28 seconds left and Braylon Rayson shows why he's the reigning league MVP with a clutch three-point play to put his team up by four. St. John's refused to go away though. Coron Williams quickly answered the bell and drilled one home from deep to cut the deficit to one. After two more Rayson free throws the Edge once again found themselves down three. Ward went for a shot but missed and somehow the ball finds its way into the hands of Ahmad Thomas. Thomas hastily fired it toward the rim and the shot went down! The crowd are left stunned in silence once more! Tied at 111-111.
2OT - Sudbury stay ahead most of the way until Tyrone Watson hit two free throws with 58 seconds to go and tie it at 120-120. The ball goes to Rayson and the three-point shot goes up but it's no good. Edge attack in transition to go up by two and put the pressure back on the Five. Sudbury could not muster any space and the Edge stand their ground to steal this one in the nickel city.
After the game Edge coach Steve Marcus spoke confidently about how their team is playing right now. "Couldn't be prouder of this group. Time and time again, with our backs against the wall we found a way. Gritty win for our guys. We'll enjoy this one till midnight and then we're onto KW to finish out this road trip" said Marcus.
+ St. John's were led by Tyrone Watson(21 pts, 17 rebs and 6 assts) and Montay Brandon(18 pts, 16 rebs and 2 assts)
+ Sudbury were led by Braylon Rayson(27 pts, 9 rebs and 5 assts) and J.R. Holder(24 pts, 5 rebs and 3 stls)
+ Once again the bench coming up huge for the Edge contributing 50 in this one in comparison to just 23 bench points for the Five.
+ Both teams made 13 threes but it was St. John's shooting at a more efficient rate with just 35 attempts from deep versus 50 attempts from Sudbury.
Don't miss a minute of the action by subscribing to NBLC Live online at www.nblclive.com. The next home games for the Edge are particularly notable as the February 22nd game will be 'Shine the Light Night' in support of Iris Kirby House. Donations will be accepted plus the Edge players will be sporting commemorative jerseys that will be auctioned off. Then on February 23rd the Edge invite you to celebrate and pay tribute to the career of Newfoundland's own, Carl English. In honour of Carl's retirement, the Edge organization will retire his number 23 and hoist his jersey to the rafters of the Mile One Centre. Tickets can be purchased online at www.mileonecentre.com, by phone at (709)576-7657 or by visiting the Mile One Centre Box Office.