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ORANGEVILLE, ON - With the first game of the series finally on Orangeville’s home floor they had to be prepared to step up their play and feed off the fans to get back into the series. After making their first shot attempt, they went through a cold stretch in which London took advantage of open shots from the perimeter. The A’s quickly fell behind in the contest but the excellent vision of their guards often found an open man in scoring position. Although their 3-point shooting didn’t have the same success as the visitors, their points in the paint accounted for half of the team’s scoring. They managed to hang around for most of the quarter but a late 3 by London would see the Lightning go up by 8 to end the first.
Orangeville trailed by 21-29 to start the 2nd quarter and an 8-2 London run only increased the deficit. The Lightning were constantly going to the free throw line where they shot nearly 80% as the A’s had trouble defending without fouling. When London's attacking drives didn’t get them to the basket, they could rely on the deadeye shooting of Ryan Anderson (12 points, 4/6 3PT FG) who torched the A’s with long-range bombs. Unfortunately, for the A’s the success they had on the inside came to an end and the big men that were so prolific in the 1st quarter couldn’t find the bottom of the basket. At one point the A’s were down by as much as 24 points and it wasn’t until Anthony Harris (9 points, 5 assists) took control on offense that the A’s started to chip into the Lightning lead. Orangeville continued to attack the basket on the offensive end but were only able to convert 38% of their first half field goals and found themselves down 41-59 after 2 quarters.
After the halftime break the A’s came out of the locker room with aggression and looked hungry to score. They put pressure on London’s defense with every drive and made them work hard on the other end of the floor. However, their trips to the free throw line weren’t as fruitful as they had hoped and they missed several opportunities to put points on the board. Not only did they have trouble with consistency in their scoring but London’s Royce White (29 points, 10-11 FG) was also a terror whenever the ball touched his hands. He muscled his way around any Orangeville defender that stood in his way and pulled in virtually every rebound in his vicinity. Aided by the play of Garrett Williamson (19 points, 6-11 FG), the Lightning were up to a 73-53 lead midway through the 3rd quarter. Even the A’s highest scoring output of the game (28 points) couldn’t help Orangeville close the gap between both squads.
The A’s had a huge mountain to overcome in starting the quarter facing a 69-92 deficit. It would take big plays and consistent solid defense in order to get back into contention and a quick 4-point play by Jameson Tipping (15 points, 5-13 FG) seemed to be exactly what they were looking for. However, London retaliated with a 3-pointer of their own which took the wind right out of the A's sails. The Lightning went up by 104-74 in short order and the 30 point lead was their biggest of the game. Despite the challenge the A’s continued to battle hard on every possession and a sudden surge of outside shooting saw Orangeville go on an impressive 19-2 run led by the touch of Rick Bodiford (20 points, 7-18 FG). Unfortunately, for Orangeville the run would hit its' peak and London once again took control of the contest. Their game clinching run saw the visiting Lightning win the game and the series, in turn ending the A’s season in a 102-121 Game 3 loss.
By the Numbers:
Cleaning the glass: A’s were out rebounded, 46 to 52
Giveaways: London capitalized on 14 Orangeville turnovers, turning them into 20 points
Foul Trouble: The A’s ended the game with a total of 34 team fouls & 2 fouled-out players