An action packed evening; filled with free pizza, Pepsi products, and a firework performance wasn’t even the highlight of the night, because the Summerside Storm took command of the Saint John Mill Rats to win their first game of the 2012-2013 NBL season, with the final score of 118-99.
A night that promised to be “spectacular” lived up to that, fans were thoroughly entertained from start to finish. The events began with free Greco pizza and Pepsi products for the first 500 fans to show up at the Credit Union Place. Doors opened at 6 with players doing their routine dunking to entertain fans. Brooke MacArthur, MuchMusic covers finalist performed the national anthem. The pre-game ceremonies were topped off by a firework display as each player was introduced.
From the tip Summerside had control of the game, Al Stewart attacked the Mill Rats early scoring seven in the first quarter. Summerside had a four point lead going into the second period.
Greg Plummer began to realized that he was playing against his former team in the second quarter. His game came to life, making an extra effort to step in on help defence while on the other end of the court scoring nine in the quarter.
After the game when asked about his 26 points in total Plummer said, “It’s nothing personal towards Saint John, I’m playing against friends, so I put a little extra effort in to beat them, but that’s all it is.”
Meanwhile, his friends were putting up impressive numbers too. Jerice Crouch and Anthony Anderson both had nine points at half but in the third they took over. Together they scored 19 points in the third quarter, to bring the game within arms length, but Storm coach Joe Salerno wasn’t taking any chances with this game. Saying, “Saint John is a great team, they will make runs, we knew that and we stayed calm and remembered that defence keeps us in games.” At the end of the third the score was still in the Storm’s favour, 84-75.
In the fourth Summerside pulled away, hitting several three’s early on which gave them a 20 point lead for the majority of the final period. Plummer scored his final ten points in the quarter to propel The Storm to an impressive win over a solid team in Saint John.
Summerside’s bench was absolutely incredible tonight, scoring 62 points, compared to Saint John’s mere 21. It’s safe to say The Storm will have by far the best second unit in the league. Which is vital to winning games on the road and in back-to-back situations.
Unfortunately this has been an issue for Summerside since the team was formed, and that’s turnovers. 27 was tonight’s count, although that’s extremely high, Saint John almost had as many and the good news is that turning the ball over is an easy problem to fix. Make smart decisions with the ball!
Nick Evans was the subject of an elbow to the neck early in the game, after sitting out for a few minutes he was good to go. After the game he told me that he was a little tight but will be fine.
Willy Manigat; Summerside’s newest addition, played seven minutes tonight, scoring once and picked up two fouls.
Notable Stats: (Summerside) (Saint John)
Greg Plummer: 26 points, 5 rebounds Jerice Crouch: 27 points, 5 assist
Avery Smith: 19 points Anthony Anderson: 24 points, 7 assists
Al Stewart: 11 points, 8 assists PJ Young: 17 points, 8 rebounds
Greg Plummer elevates for a dunk. Photo by Dee Arsenault