After a five game at home winning streak at the Canton Memorial Civic Center, The Canton Charge was defeated by the Maine Red Claws, 113-105 as 3,504 guests for the annual School Day game looked on. The loss drops Canton to 18-11 for the season and 11-3 at home while the Red Claws climb to 13-15.
Maine took an early lead and held it through the first quarter after hitting 69% of 11-of-16 shots from the field and most importantly 7-of-11 from three point land. In spite of the long shots dropping for Maine Canton managed to stay in the game by forcing ten points worth of turnovers and 24 points in the paint. Kevin Jones was good for ten as the Charge fought to stay in the game.
The second quarter saw the lead traded back and forth with five changes and two ties. The Red Claws stayed hot with 11-of-21 from the floor for 52%. Canton managed to tie the score with 3:05 left but Maine went on a rampage with an 8-3 run going up 60-55 at the buzzer.
Canton went back to what worked in the first quarter by turning up the pressure and were awarded five turnovers for their efforts resulting in seven points while keeping the Red Claws to just nine field goals out of 24 attempts for 38%. The stats folks were busy keeping track of the seven lead changes and four ties in just the last 2:00 of the quarter. The third quarter ended with Canton able to pull even at 84-84 as Jones hit a 20 foot jumper as time expired for the third.
It was nip and tuck for both teams when with the game tied at 96 each and 5:51 left, Maine forced eight Charge misses on nine shots as they went on a 13-4 run racking up the score to 109-100 which shut the door on the Charge. This game evens the series between the two teams at 1-1 with three games left between the two East Division rivals.
Jorge Gutierrez led Canton with 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting with four rebounds, four assists and a steal in 35 minutes. Arinze Onuaku posted his third double-double in the last four contests, netting 15 points and grabbing 12 boards in 24 minutes. Jones finished with 18 points, five rebounds and a steal in 32 minutes. Cleveland Cavaliers assignment Sergey Karasev scored 16 points with four steals in 36 minutes. The Charge finished the game forcing 23 turnovers that resulted in 25 points, while surrendering the ball just 12 times for 10 points.
The Red Claws were paced by Frank Gaines’ 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting in 35 minutes. Daniel Orton supplied a double-double of 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting with 13 rebounds and five blocks in 28 minutes. Tyler Brown came off the bench to add 20 points, including 4-of-8 from three-point range, and two steals in 16 minutes. Maine hit 13-of-30 three-point attempts in the game (43%) while holding Canton scoreless from behind the arc at 0-for-10.
HEAD COACH STEVE HETZEL
(On today’s game):“I thought we started slow out of the gates this morning. We tried to start aggressive in our coverage, but we didn’t have the multiple efforts to effectively do that coverage which exposed us at the three-point line. Instead of giving maximum effort to run three-point shooters off the line, we fell a little short. So in the future, for myself, make sure the game plan is on point. When we’re right, we can do any coverage that we put out there. I felt they put us in a little bit of a hole to start the game.”
(On Maine’s run after the game was tied 96-96):“I just thought the ball got stagnant, we didn’t move it as well. We struggle to score when we’re not moving the ball and bodies. I don’t know if it was tired legs from the physicality of the game in the early morning, but we are not the same team when we don’t play with pace offensively.”
The Charge will next head to Springfield for an East Division matchup with the Armor on Saturday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m. Canton is back at the Civic Center on Sunday, February 9 at 5:00 p.m. for an evening matchup with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, with tickets starting at just $7!
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