Basketball can be a crazy and confusing game at times. After playing some of the ugliest basketball you will see for first three plus quarters last night the Charge overcame a 21 point fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Lakeland Magic in overtime 103-97. Asked how they were able to win this game coach Nate Reinking simply said, “I have no idea.”
There are not many positive things you can say about the first half of last night’s game other than they only trailed by nine at the half after one of their worst halves of basketball this season. Canton shot only 17% (3-17) from three point range in the first half and turned the ball over 12 times. Fortunately for the Charge the Lakeland Magic only shot 40% from the floor and coughed it up ten times keeping the game withing striking distance. No Charge player scored in double figures as London Perrantes led the way with nine points and six assists. Rodney Purvis led the Magic with 15 points as they took a 50-41 lead into halftime.
The third quarter did not get any better for Canton as they continued their cold shooting from beyond the arc hitting only one three keeping their percentage at 17%. Lakeland outscored Canton 26-19 in the quarter and took a 76-60 lead into the fourth quarter.
Lakeland went on a quick 7-2 run to open the fourth quarter taking their biggest lead of the night at 83-62 and forcing a timeout by Reinking with 10:08 to go in the game. From that point on it was all Canton. The fans that decided to abandon ship and head home at that point had to be in disbelief when seeing the final score after watching the first three plus quarters. The Charge outscored Lakeland 35-14 the final ten minutes of regulation. An Canton 8-0 run in the final minute of the game featured a Caleb Swanigan three, a London Perrantes layup and a big John Holland three that tied the game at 97 with 3.9 seconds to play and sent the game into overtime. After hitting only four of their first 25 three point shots the Charge hit seven of their final 11 three’s in those final ten minutes of the fourth quarter.
“Guys kept fighting and we scored in the fourth period,” said Reinking. “It’s a crazy game.”
John Holland was a very happy man post game as he talked about the amazing fourth quarter comeback by he and his teammates.
“It was just a bunch of heart everybody had heart,” said Holland. “We didn’t get discouraged down 21 in the fourth and we just kept fighting and didn’t stop. That’s a big character win!”
The two minute overtime period was all Canton as they scored all six points to take the game 103-97. John Holland led the scoring with 21 points and the biggest shot of the game. Caleb Swanigan notched yet another double/double with 18 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. London Perrantes also dished out a double/double with 16 points and 15 assists. Jacorey Williams was outstanding with a +/- of +27 as he scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Marcus Thornton came off the bench for 15 points.
Orlando Magic two-way player Adreian Payne and Rodney Purvis led Lakeland with 21 points a piece. Unfortunately for Payne he found out after the game that he had been released by the Magic organization after his name surfaced in the Michigan State scandal.
Canton doesn’t have much time to enjoy this one as they are back at it tonight as they host the Greensboro Swarm (9-21) at 7:00 pm.