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It was a rough shooting start for the A’s despite moving the ball very well for open shots. With a struggling offense, they quickly found themselves on the wrong end of a 10-0 run while Windsor converted most of their opportunities inside the paint. The A’s didn’t find themselves behind for too long however, and they retaliated after a quick pause in action to tie the game back up at 16-16. Although they had no success from behind the 3-point line, their interior presence provided consistency on the offensive end. 20 of their 24 first quarter points came from the interior and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (6p, 3-4 FG) led the charge for the visitors. Their strong play translated to the other side of the floor as well and they limited Windsor’s scoring to 37% on their way to a 24-23 lead to end the 1st.
Stefan Nastic lead the A's with 31, Anthony Harris added a double double of 12 points, 10 assists
Only a small margin separated the teams and the back and forth battle continued well into the 2nd quarter. Turnovers were an area of concern for the A’s, having given up the ball 12 times, and Windsor converted 16 points as a result. Orangeville’s lead only got as big as 4 points while Windsor countered with a 7 point lead shortly after. Warren Ward was dominant for the Express, the guard poured in 14 points to lead his team. Larry Anderson had that responsibility for the A’s and his 11 points were just as valuable for the visitors. Orangeville was able to stay close behind his scoring for a long stretch but towards the end of the quarter Windsor caught fire to grab an 8-point advantage.
Starting the 2nd half trailing 43-51, Orangeville had some ground to make up against the home team. They looked to be on their way to closing the gap but they were unable to contain Windsor’s Nick Evans (8p, 4-8 FG) who was scoring with regularity. Orangeville was eventually able to respond once Evans stepped off the floor and they were able to get within 3 points. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t get much closer and Windsor responded with a run of their own to reclaim their large lead. Ward (21p, 9-14 FG) was once again the highlight of the Windsor offense and his shooting from the outside was crucial to his team’s run. Orangeville managed to get stops and convert on the other end towards the end of the frame but the back and forth exchange didn’t bode well for gaining any ground down the stretch.
Now facing a 68-77 deficit heading into the 4th quarter, Orangeville had to make a late push in order to give them any opportunity at a comeback. In the previous quarters they came out strong and the trend continued in the final frame. Stefan Nastic (22p, 7r) emerged as the primary option for the A’s and they went on a run to get within 1 point. Nastic wasn’t the only contributor in the offense, 4 other A’s ended with double-digit scoring numbers in the comeback attempt. With 80-81 in favour of Windsor, they went on an 11-0 run which seemed to quickly put an end to Orangeville’s hopes. However, Orangeville had other plans and they exploded to take a 95-94 lead within the final minute. In a strange series of plays, both sides had many opportunities to seal the game from the free throw line but after a series of missed free throws, nothing separated either side and they would end up going into overtime.
Overtime was very slow offensively and both sides only managed to put up 2 points in the 6 minutes of play. As a result, the game led into another overtime quarter that was drastically different. Both the A’s and the Express lit up the scoreboard but neither side could create enough distance to get a hold on the game. Orangeville took a 5-point lead and it seemed that it would be enough to hold through the stretch but to everyone’s surprise the Express had a final run up their sleeve. The A’s were up 110-108 and the Express had one opportunity to steal the victory for their home fans. They put the ball in the hands of their leading scorer, Warren Ward, who came through on the opportunity by draining a deep 3-pointer off the wing to give Windsor the 111-110 victory.
By the numbers:
At the line: The A’s left a lot of points at the free throw line, only converting 57% of their shots (20-35 FT)
Giveaways: Orangeville finished with 24 turnovers resulting in 30 points for Windsor
Swatted: Despite good shooting inside, they had their shots blocked 17 times.
NEXT HOME GAME:
Sunday, March 26th - Orangeville A's vs. London Lightning - 3:00 pm EST