Halifax Rainmen 102, Quebec Kebs 94 (Double Overtime)
HALIFAX, NS – – – Well, Rainmen fans got their money’s worth on Friday night. The Rainmen had a hard fought battle with the Quebec Kebs in a 102-94 double overtime victory at the Halifax Metro Centre. Friday’s game was marked to be one of the most exciting Rainmen games in its franchise history, with a rare double overtime game. The Rainmen and the Kebs came into Friday’s game as two of the top three teams in the PBL, so Friday’s matchup was a bit of a measuring stick game for Halifax. Last week, the Kebs gave the defending champs, Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry, their first loss of the season, a team who the Rainmen struggled against earlier in the season.
Halifax Coach, Mike Evans, continued to have his Rainmen team play run-and-gun basketball on Friday and in the first half, the Rainmen were able to get an early 22-15 first quarter lead. Mike Mercer had 9 of his 16 points in the first half.
But the Quebec Kebs were able to slow down Halifax’s pace and Quebec eventually crept back in the game. Maurice Acker and Carl Mitchell each had 19 points for the Quebec Kebs.
Halifax went into the fourth quarter with a ten-point lead, only to have the lead erased by Quebec in the final quarter. 5’8″ Point Guard, Maurice Acker, scored a jumper in the final quarter with 6.8 seconds to play, to tie the game at 81. In the Rainmen’s final possession of the fourth quarter, Taliek Brown drove the lane to shoot the fadeaway jumper, only to have his shot bounce off the rim. Mike Mercer went up for the tip before the buzzer but couldn’t get the basket to roll in.
In the first overtime period, Josh Dollard got it going early, making the first two Rainmen baskets. Halifax had an 87-81 lead until the Kebs made a run. Quebec’s Benson Callier tied the game up at 89-89. Halifax had another opportunity to finish off the Kebs in their final possession, but Josh Dollard’s jumper was no good.
It took Halifax one more overtime period to finish off the Quebec Kebs. Both Taliek Brown and Josh Dollard made key free throws in the final period. Dollard recognized Quebec’s continued preserverance in Friday’s game. “We had them up by 20 and in games like that, you wanna finish teams out, you don’t want to let them stick around. As you can see, they continued to fight. They fought hard, but we were able hit some tough free throws in the end.” said Dollard. “Everyone on this team, contributed tonight. We got so many weapons on the team. On any given night, somebody can have the hot hand. Tonight, my teammates fed me the ball and without them, I couldn’t do it. So I give a lot of thanks to them.” Dollard, the Auburn alumni, had a monster stat line: 20 points, 11 boards, 8-10 from the FT line, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
Halifax was able to hold Quebec’s leading scorer, Quinnell Brown to just 5 of 20 shooting, Brown finished with just 13 points. Quebec shot 37% on the night.
The Rainmen are now 6-0 when scoring over 100 points. All five Rainmen starters scored in double figures: Dollard (20 pts), M. Brown (18 pts), T. Brown (17 pts), Mercer (16 pts) and Jackson (10 pts).
Halifax moved to 7-2 on the season, while Quebec moved to 6-4. The matchup on Friday was Halifax’s lone home game in February as the team goes on a four-game road trip. Rainmen veteran forward, Eric Crookshank thinks the Rainmen will be be prepared for the road trip. “Great teams have to win on the road in order to win championships, so we’re going back to the drawing board to prepare.” said Crookshank.
Canadian Content: The Kebs’ Samuel Audet-Sow (Laval) finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds while former Rainmen forward, Cordell Jeanty (Toronto) finished with 5 points and 10 rebounds.
Photo courtesy of the Halifax Rainmen