HALIFAX, NS–Team chemistry and size were the deciding factors in the Halifax Rainmen’s 105-94 loss to the Lawton Fort-Sill Cavalry on Tuesday night. The rematch of last season’s first round playoff matchup was rescheduled from Sunday to Tuesday night due to weather conditions in Halifax.
It was a matchup of the remaining two undefeated teams in the PBL with both teams holding a 2-0 record going into last night’s game. The Cavs, who were coached by former NBA All-Star, Michael Ray Richardson, proved that team chemistry can go a long way in the PBL, having the same core group of players for the past three seasons. And the teamwork showed last night as the defending PBL champs were able to get any shot on the floor against Halifax. The Cavs shot 52% going 47-90 from the floor. The Cavs were led by Elvin Mims who scored 24 points to go along with his six rebounds.
Richardson, who spreads out the minutes amongst his players, acknowledged the balance of his team, “Our second unit is just as good as our first unit, and what we try to do is to keep the pressure on when I go to the bench” said Coach Richardson. “I don’t have a second unit or a first unit, I have a basketball team”
As for Halifax, it was a sloppy first half, scoring just 13 points in the second quarter where the Cavs’ big bodies proved to be the difference maker. Taliek Brown of the Rainmen identified that falling behind early became an issue. “The first half we got down so much, that we got down on ourselves so that’s what really hurt us.” said Brown.
Halifax made a run in the second half where Brown and Rainmen forward, Kavon Jones, sparked a run. The Rainmen were able to close the gap by as much as eight points but couldn’t get over that hump as the Cavs continued to make shots. Halifax’s leading scorer going into last night’s game, Desmond Ferguson, had an off night, and scored just 3 points for the Rainmen. But the rest of the roster picked up the slack, as six Rainmen players scored in double figures.
Eric Crookshank had a double double with 12 points and 15 boards and forward Kavon Jones, also had double double, with his 16 points and 11 boards.
Taliek Brown led the Rainmen in scoring with 18 points, helping the Rainmen close the gap in the final quarters. “Second half, we improved and we got better during the game.” said Brown. The Rainmen point guard, who was a member of the UConn NCAA National Championship team in 2004, said that the Rainmen will use this loss as a learning experience. “That’s the whole point, we have to be getting better every single day if we’re gonna be champions”.
Photo Courtesy: Halifax Rainmen