CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Friday night the Saint John Riptide dug out of the gigantic snowbanks in the city and were on the road to Prince Edward Island. After weathering a pair of snow storms this week, the Riptide looked to defeat another storm, the Island Storm.
Saint John started off the game on a hot streak scoring 20 points in the first half of quarter number one. Gabe Freeman and Haakim Johnson shared the load offensively as the Riptide capitalised on a cold shooting Storm squad to lead 30-27 after one.
In the second quarter the Storm started to find their stride. Well, that spelled bad news for the Riptide as the Island boys rattled off another 27 point quarter to trim the Saint John advantage. Despite the Storm turning up the heat, the Riptide stayed warm themselves and stayed in front 56-54 at the half.
The Storm fans in attendance started to get worried as their team’s unbeaten record on home court was in jeopardy. Johnson started knocking down shots from all angles and Anthony Anderson was scoring with ease. Coach Spon’s guys posted another solid frame extending their cushion to six points, 90-84 going into the fourth.
Just like every Riptide-Storm matchup, things got interesting down the stretch. The Storm’s big guns such as the likes of Terry Thomas, Nick Okorie, and Jahii Carson looked to step up and help their team stay unbeaten at the Eastlink Centre. After two free throws from Carson gave the Storm a 110-109 lead with 14 seconds to go, the Riptide went the other way but failed to grab the lead. That forced them to foul again with three on the clock sending Thomas to the charity stripe. The first one was good, but the second didn’t go. However, Tirrell Baines came flying in for the put back to put a dagger in the Riptide’s hearts and secure a 113-109 victory for the Storm.
For the Riptide it was Gabe Freeman posting a monstrous double-double with 28 points and 17 boards, while Anthony Anderson finished with 26 points, nine dimes, and six rebounds. Canadian Terry Thomas lead the Storm with 30 points five rebounds.