For the second night in a row the Canton Charge found themselves down double digits heading into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately on this night the Charge were not able to duplicate their efforts of the night before against Lakeland. A late John Holland scoring barrage was not enough as the Charge (12-19) fell to the Greensboro Swarm (10-21) by a score of 106-99.
It was a competetive start to the game as Jacorey Williams asserted himself inside scoring the first six points of the game for Canton. The Charge took a 9-8 lead on a Marcus Thornton three with 8:02 to play in the quarter. That would be their final lead of the game. Thornton hit on all three of his shots from deep en route to 10 first quarter points as the Charge trailed 23-22.
Canton came out strong to start the second and were able to draw even at 38 with 6:44 to play in the half. Greensboro took Charge the rest of the quarter outscoring the Charge 19-11 and taking a 57-49 lead into halftime. The Charge shot 52% in the quarter but were still outscored by seven. Marcus Thornton led the Charge with 15 points in the first half.
Once again the game got away from Canton in the third quarter. Greensboro came out hot in the third and connected on 53% from the floor in the quarter. Roscoe Smith hit a three and then converted two free throws on the next possession giving the Swarm their biggest lead of the night at 75-56 with 4:36 remaining in the quarter. Smith burned Canton with 14 points in the quarter including an and one on a made jump shot after which he had words with Kendrick Perkins and Jacorey Williams in front of the Charge bench. The Charge made only eight shots in the quarter and committed six turnovers trailing 83-69 after three. Coach Nate Reinking talked about the constant struggles with digging a whole in the first three quarters of games.
“Every possession now at the end of the game is crucial,” said Reinking. “Points we give up in the first three quarters you can’t wait to start playing in the fourth.”
Canton once again faced a double digit deficit entering the final quarter. They were able to cut the Swarm lead to 90-86 after Rossevelt Jones split a pair of free throws with 3:29 to play in the game giving hope to the 2,901 in attendance. From that point on it was the Marcus Paige show as the Greensboro guard scored 12 of the Swarms final 16 points of the game. John Holland converted back to back three point shots in the final 11 seconds but it was not enough as Canton was forced to twice foul Paige who converted all four of his free throws to close out the game. The Charge outscored Greensboro 30-23 but were unable to complete a big comeback for the second night in a row.
I asked coach Reinking who was visibly frustrated with the officiating during the game about the free throw disparity and inconsistent calls.
“Yeah I don’t know what the fines are in the G-League for commenting on that so I’m not going to say anything,” said Reinking. “It is what it is they are part of the game and they are trying to be good…no comment.”
Marcus Thornton returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench on Friday night and scored 28 points on 10/16 from the floor (6/10 from three). I asked him if moving back into the starting lineup helped him get his rhythm back.
“I don’t know I always tell you guys I shoot to stay hot,” said Thornton. “I always trust myself and I’m confident and my teammates believe in me.”
Caleb Swanigan recorded his 10th double/double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. John Holland and Jacorey Williams chipped in 14 points a piece.
Roscoe Smith led the Swarm with 26 points and eight rebounds. Marcus Paige dropped in 19 points off the bench and was a perfect on all seven of his attempts at the free throw line.
Canton is back in action on Tuesday for the third game of this four game homestand as they welcome in the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at 7:00 pm.
Members of the Mount Union 2017 National Championship football team were honored during the first half.