SAINT JOHN, NB – The Saint John Riptide struck first in their best-of-five first round series against the Island Storm to take a 1-0 series edge. Although it was a tight game wire to wire with both sides trading leads, the Riptide were able to hold off the Storm to take game one on home court.
It was the visitors from the Island who jumped in front early as the Riptide struggle to get anything going. A timeout by Coach Rob Spon seemed to settle the Riptide down after an 8-2 run by the Storm to start the game. The two teams went nearly shot for shot throughout the first quarter of play with the Storm in front 24-23 at the buzzer.
The second quarter was neck-in-neck once again but the Riptide were able to gain some traction and give their home crowd something to cheer about. A massive alley-oop by Stover off a feed by Freeman erupted the stadium to give the Riptide a big momentum boost. The first half came to a close with the Riptide in the lead 47-44.
Saint John outscored the Storm once again in the third quarter as they came out firing right off the bat. Newcomer Alex Campbell made some noise in his first appearance at Harbour Station with a pair of clutch threes to help the Riptide pad an eight point cushion going into the fourth quarter, 71-63.
Fans were left biting their nails and sitting on the edge of their seats in the fourth quarter as the two squads battled it out down the stretch. The Storm managed to outscore the Riptide in the final frame but a late trey from Darin Mency was the dagger sealing a 101-96 victory and the series lead.
Anthony Anderson paced the offence for Saint John with 31 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists. Gabe Freeman had 14, Mency chipped in 12, and Commons finished with 10 points. Jahii Carson lead the Storm with 34 points.