St. John’s, NL — The St. John’s Edge dropped a tightly contested match-up to the Saint John Riptide on Friday night by a score of 84-82.
It was a close battle all the way down the stretch as the Edge have to wait until Sunday for their next chance to clinch their playoff birth.
From the final score, it can be read that it was a tight match-up with some great defence. This was true in most cases and it was shown early on. The back and forth action would happen for the first few minutes until the Edge pulled ahead by 7 points at the 5-minute mark when Murphy Burnatowski drilled a deep three-pointer.
With under a minute to go in the quarter, the Riptide would pull to within one point when Jon Harris dropped a triple from the corner. After a Russell Byrd would convert a layup as the answer, Saint John would hit two free-throws and send this one into the second quarter with the Edge holding the slim 24-23 lead.
Into the second quarter, where the offence began with a huge dunk by Olu Ashaolu after he shook off a couple of defenders. Following the dunk, the Riptide would hit two straight triples to take the lead with over 10 minutes left in the second quarter. As the quarter wore on Saint John would maintain their slim lead with the Edge only climbing back into the driver’s seat for a couple of possessions. The Riptide would head into the break with the 44-42 lead.
At the start of the second half, the Edge were trying to get back into a rhythm offensively and limit the conversions by Saint John who were taking advantage of their stops. At the 4:49 mark the Riptide would hold their biggest lead of the game (9 points) after a couple of Marvin Binney free-throws.
As the clock ticked down to the final minutes, the Edge were willing themselves back into this one. Tra-Deon Hollins would take advantage of a fast break opportunity, then Murphy Burnatowski would cut his way to the hoop for a layup of his own, pulling the Edge to within one point. Then with just 3 seconds on the clock, Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis would hit the turnaround jumper to put the Edge in the lead 64-63 going into the fourth and final quarter.
The final quarter of this one was filled with excitement as the Edge were looking to lock in their spot in the 2019 Playoffs. This was in the back of each players mind as St. John’s went on a quick 8-0 run to open the fourth, capped off by a Tra-Deon Hollins layup.
Saint John would have an answer for the run put up by the Edge, as they would scratch and claw their way back into this one, hitting big shots when they had the opportunity. They would take their first lead of the fourth quarter at the 2:18 mark when Marvin Binney converted from beyond the arc. Dez Lee would answer with 1 minute left, as he sliced through the defensive to bring the Edge to within one. However, that was as close as the Edge would get as they dropped this one to Saint John by a score of 84-82.
On the night, the Edge were again led by Glen Davis who dropped 18 points with 8 rebounds. Olu Ashaolu would record the double-double with 15 points and 10 boards, while Dez Lee dropped 15 points and had 9 rebounds.
For the Riptide, they were led by Frank Bartley who went off for 29 points in the victory.
These two teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM as this time both teams will have a chance to clinch a playoff spot. The Edge could already have their spot clinched by then, however, as with a London Lightning win on Saturday night, it would give both the Edge and Lightning a birth in the 2019 Playoffs.
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