Game One Ends in One Point Loss for St. John’s Edge
St. John’s, NL — The St. John’s Edge faced off against the Sudbury Five in the first game of their best three of five first round match-up. The Edge hold the #2 seed in the Central Division while the Five sit in the #3 position, pitting these two high powered offences against each other in round one.
Coming into this one, Head Coach Steve Marcus had identified in several interviews over the week leading up to the game, that the keys to this series were to limit the three-headed monster on Sudbury. That three-headed monster is comprised of Jaylen Bland, Braylon Rayson, and Maurice Jones Sr.
With this game plan in mind, the Edge would begin at their own pace against Sudbury, feeding the ball inside to Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis and capping off their scoring early with a Jared Nickens triple from the corner to put the Edge in front 10-8. After another small run by the Edge, Sudbury would stick around thanks to Cory Dixon who paced the offence in the first quarter with 11 points. The quarter would finish with Sudbury leading 28-26.
Into the second quarter of play and Sudbury would begin shooting the ball well. Following a stop on the defensive end, the Edge would retake the lead after Jarryn Skeete hit a corner three and Olu Ashaolu cashed in a tough bucket in the paint.
The action would go back and forth for the next few minutes with neither team seeming to be able to put much together. Then with just under 3 minutes left in the quarter, Junior Cadougan would slash to the hoop for tough bucket through contact, then would be followed up by two straight Isaiah Tate II triples from just beyond the arc to put the Edge in front by 7 points, 58-51, to end the half.
Coming out of the break, the Five would climb back into the game at the 5:22 mark, when a Jaylen Bland three-pointer would tie this one up at 64.
Out of a timeout, the Edge would get another Olu Ashaolu bucket in the paint and another Isaiah Tate II triple to go ahead by 5. It would be just over a minute before the next basket was scored, when Mamadou Gueye hit a layup in traffic to set the stage for Maurice Jones Sr. who would convert on 3 straight possessions to once again tie the game up, this time at 71. A deep three by Braylon Rayson with 11 seconds left on the clock would put Sudbury in front 74-71 going into the final frame.
Going into the fourth quarter, both teams would have to dig deep to pull out the victory. The Edge would be locked in from the first possession, going on a 9-0 run, capped off by a Glen Davis bucket on the inside to take the lead with just under 9 minutes to go.
The Edge would build an 8-point lead, but Cory Dixon would re-enter the game after spending the majority of the third quarter on the bench due to foul trouble. He would hit two free-throws then a tough layup to tie this one up again, with 3:57 left in the game. Down to the final two minutes and the Edge trailing by two, Junior Cadougan would take a quick pass from Glen Davis and convert the layup falling away from the hoop to tie the game at 95.
After Dez Lee hit a clutch three from the top of the key, the Five would get the ball into the hands of Braylon Rayson who would hit a deep three over the Edge defender to put Sudbury in front 100-98. The Edge would have the last shot but would come up just short, dropping this one 100-99.
On the night, the Edge had 6 players in double figures, with Dez Lee finishing one assist shy of a triple-double (16 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists) and Glen Davis putting up 18 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.
For the Five, they were led by Cory Dixon who had 24 points in the franchise’s first playoff win.
Game 2 is set for Sunday afternoon at Mile One Centre, as the Edge look to even up the series. Get your tickets now, by calling the box office at 576-7657 or online at www.mileonecentre.com.
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