Citadel Takes Number One Spot in Nova Scotia…For Now…Nordin, Adams, Thomas Trio Anchor Phoenix
NPH Top Performers
PHOTO COURTESY: CHRIS ALBRECHT
HALIFAX,NS–When you get a rivalry game that stars two of the elite basketball teams in Nova Scotia you know you’re going to have an intense battle, especially when a gym gets filled up by multi-talented players and crazed fans and parents from both teams.
Citadel and Auburn are known for there up tempo fast break playing style and incredibly athletic lineups which they give opposing teams plenty of trouble with.
Citadel emerged out on top with a one point victory after Jayden Nordin hit a foul shot to take the lead with only four seconds remaining. Auburn was unable to answer back as their final shot missed, ending the game with a Citadel victory, 88-87.
Auburn started the game off strong with a six point lead thanks to forward Ian Mitton who displayed a nice touch around the basket and lead the charge for the Eagles, scoring their first 11 points. Not long after that Citadel relentlessly battled back keeping the score within reach.
Davonte Provo from Auburn was showing his multi-dimensional scoring ability as he was able to knock down an early three pointer creating a comfortable lead. On the very next possession, NPH ranked (2013) point guard Jayden Nordin answered right back by knocking down a three pointer of his own.
With Shaquille Johnson keeping intense defensive pressure on one of Citadel’s top scorers, Travis Adams, Auburn was able to dominate the first quarter of play with a 10 point lead 26-16.
The second quarter started off with Citadel taking control with thanks to an 8-0 run on the Eagles. Citadel was determined to keep up the intense defensive pressure which resulted in numerous Auburn turnovers.
On the eagles side, point guard and NPH ranked (2012) AJ Simmonds opened up offensively and started hitting three pointers, allowing Auburn to still hold on to the lead.
With three minutes left in the second quarter, Nordin hit a three pointer giving Citadel their first lead of the game. Multiple foul calls on Auburn allowed many trips to the line which gave Citadel a strong lead 46-39 going into halftime.
Following the break, Auburn really stepped it up. AJ Simmonds started the third by knocking down another three pointer, feeding the rest of his team’s intensity levels. Travis Adams then took control from here. Adams scored off of multiple “And 1” plays and allowed Citadel to tie up the game.
Travis Adams continued his roll into the fourth quarter, scoring Citadels first five points including a jaw dropping two hand slam. Half way through the fourth AJ Simmonds knocked down a deep three closing the gap to only two. Ian Mitton of Auburn who was playing overly aggressive fouled out within the final minutes of the game.
Citadel was still holding onto a two point lead nearing the end of the game despite Auburns intensive full court pressure. With only 27 seconds remaining Jordan Crawley from Auburn stole the ball and attempted a full court lob to teammate Simmonds, Citadel deflected the pass which bounced out of bounds.
Auburn attempted a final shot at the buzzer but was unsuccessful giving Citadel the victory and first place in the division.
NPH talked to Citadel coach Mark Parker in the post game.
“Our defence was alright, they made some tough shots. Our guys stood around a little too much and they came back because we didn’t finish a lot of our plays,” explaine Parker.
Travis Adams who had a monster game for Citadel also spoke, “We played so well, that’s the best we’ve ever played as a team.”
With this victor,y Citadel now takes first place in the division, they are currently undefeated so far this season. Auburn will fall to second place with two losses on the year, both of them coming to Citadel in league and tournament play.