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The Orangeville A's (7-11) came into this Sunday afternoon game looking to snap their five-game losing streak against the Niagara River Lions (7-11). The first quarter started off sloppy for the A's as unforced turnovers and missed shots allowed the River Lions to take an early 13-7 lead. The A's shooting slumps continued throughout the quarter as they shot a low 37% (6-15) from the field and 33% (1-3) from three-point range. However, the A's free-throw shooting kept them in the game as they shot a perfect 8-8 from the line. The Niagara River Lions led throughout the first quarter as Richard Amardi led the charge with 7 points. Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson led the way for the A's with 6 points of his own. An Enrico DiLoreto baseline floater at the buzzer made the score 27-25 for the Lions at the end of one.
The second quarter started off with an A’s layup by newly acquired Corbin Thomas to tie the game, 27-27. An exchange of baskets ensued, but smooth execution allowed the Lions to pull away with a five-point lead at 36-31. This was their largest lead of the quarter as the A's repeatedly responded and stayed within three-points for the remainder of the first half. Stefan Nastic had a big quarter for the A's as he scored 7 of his 11 points in the 2nd. His energy sparked the A's offence as they were able to close the gap and tie the game at 50-50 at the half. (Stefan Nastic final: 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists).
A balanced attack helped the A's take down Niagara; (left to right) Alex Johnson: 15 asts, Rick Bodiford: 18 pts, Jameson Tipping: 17 pts, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson: 23 pts, Stefan Nastic: 21 pts
The third quarter reflected the same themes as both teams exchanged baskets striving to establish a proper lead. Jameson Tipping was a huge boost off the bench as he scored 8 straight (17 on the game, including 5 three pointers). With successful defensive adjustments and baskets falling, the A's found themselves up 74-66 at the 3:52 mark. Stefan Nastic and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson brought more fire to the floor scoring 10 points each in the quarter. However, following a necessary time-out, the Lions re-grouped and made a run to bring the A’s lead at the end of three quarters to 5, 81-76. Amardi brought his total up to 17 points at this point. (Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson final stats: 23 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists).
The A's came out punching in the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run courtesy of two Rick Bodiford three pointers and another from Tipping; 90-81. The A's continued to shoot well at 56% (14-25) from long-range which helped them reach their largest lead at 18 points (99-81) by the 6:49 mark. Coach Grâce of the River Lions was forced to take a timeout but the A's remained vigilant and simply maintained their lead as the game continued. The final score was 113-95 at the final buzzer. The bench played outstanding for the A's as they scored 59 points while the River Lions' bench totaled 33 points to finish the game. Richard Amardi was the Lions' top scorer with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. Rick Bodiford aided the A's with 18 points and 5 rebounds while Jameson Tipping added 17 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and plenty of energy throughout the game.
Next Game: Orangeville A's vs. Windsor Express - Saturday, March 4th, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. EST