After over two weeks away from the Civic Center the Canton Charge returned home on Wednesday night to face the Oklahoma City Blue. They were without leading scorer Marcus Thornton who made the Team USA squad in the World Cup. After losing a 25 point fourth quarter lead the Charge were able to hang on for a 106-101 win.
The Charge got off to a fast start as Cleveland Cavaliers assignee Ante Zizic scored the first eight points of the game for Canton on his way to an 11 point and six rebound opening quarter. John Holland came out shooting as he put up eight points in the opening frame. The Charge ran out to a 32-21 lead after one quarter and shot 50% from the floor.
Canton continued to pour it on in the second quarter as Isaac Hamilton and Arthur Edwards provided a boost off the bench. John Holland was strong again putting up another seven points on his way to 15 points for the half. An alley oop dunk by Gerald Beverly with 4:12 to play in the half sparked a 14-4 Charge run heading into halftime as Canton built a 63-43 lead. Zizic ended the half with 15 points and six rebounds. Hamilton scored eight points off the bench outscoring his brother Daniel who had five points for OKC. PJ Dozier led the Blue with 10 first half points.
The third quarter was more of the same as Canton did not let up never trailing by less than 19 points. It was a welcome sight to see as many times this season the Charge would build a nice first half lead only to lose control in the third quarter of games. The Charge played solid aggressive defense led by Jacorey Williams who blocked two shots in the quarter. Ante Zizic started the third quarter strong scoring six quick points en route to his team leading 21 points to go along with 12 rebounds. The Charge took an 88-65 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Charge started out strong in the fourth quarter as an Ante Zizic bucket put Canton up 95-71. From that point on the tide turned in favor of Oklahoma City as they went on a 23-5 run to cut the Charge lead down to six points. Turnovers and bad shot selection hurt Canton as OKC got hot from outside hitting seven three’s in the quarter. Daniel Hamilton scored 17 points during the OKC run adding to his game high 27 points. Ante Zizic scored his final bucket with just over a minute to play stopping the OKC run and putting the Charge up 100-94. The Blue were forced to foul in the final minute of the game and Canton converted all six of their free throws to hang on and close out the win 106-101.
Zizic led the Charge with 26 points and 13 rebounds. John Holland converted his four free throws in the final minute and scored 19 points for the game. Isaac Hamilton couldn’t match his brother’s production but dropped in 123 points off of the bench. Player of the game Roosevelt Jones had eight points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.
PJ Dozier had a nice game for OKC as he scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
The Charge improved to 15-23 on the season. They are back home on Friday against Fort Wayne.
It was announced during the game that Charge guard Marcus Thornton has signed a 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thornton was averaging 18.8 points per game with Canton and is currently with Team USA in the World Cup.