By Carson Deveau
MONCTON - The Island Storm dropped a close game to the Moncton Miracles on Tuesday night, losing 116-113.
The Storm got off to a slow start in the first quarter, and found themselves down 32-22 to the Miracles after the opening frame.
The Storm battled back in the second, cutting Moncton’s lead down to seven halfway through the quarter, and scored 32 throughout the quarter.
Unfortunately, all the Storm’s focus was on offense as they allowed Moncton to put up 34 points in the quarter, and took a 66-54 lead going into half.
Coming out of the half the Storm caught fire, putting up 36 points in the quarter while holding the Miracles to just 20.
New signing Akeem Ellis was a big part of the huge quarter, putting up 17 points in the frame, which helped the Storm take a 90-86 lead going into the fourth.
The fourth quarter was back-and-forth affair with each team trading baskets until the very end.
With both teams neck-and-neck, the Miracles got two free throws to drop, which gave them a 116-113 lead with 10 seconds left.
Jahii Carson received the inbound pass on the Island’s final possession, but had the ball poked away from him by a Moncton player, and was called for a questionable back over centre call to ice the game for Moncton.
Coach Joe Salerno didn’t agree with referees call on the Storm’s final possession.
“Obviously the Moncton player knocked the ball out of Carson’s hand, meaning it should’ve just been a play on. But even the refs make mistakes sometimes, so we just have to move on.”
Going into tonight’s game, the Storm have made a flurry of roster moves, including the free agent signing of Akeem Ellis.
Dealing with this many changes can be tough, but Coach Salerno said he felt good about seeing the Storm play tonight.
“With all the trades, acquisitions, and injuries we’ve had recently, it’s going to be a work in progress to figure everything out. But, Ellis played great for us tonight, so that’s a positive sign looking ahead.”
Ellis led all Storm scorers, and tied for the game’s top scorer with 23 points, to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Terry Thomas had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in his return from injury.