SAINT JOHN, N.B. – The Saint John Riptide hit the Harbour Station hardwood Sunday afternoon for the Telegraph Journal Tip-Off game against the Island Storm. Players from both Atlantic division squads were looking to shine once more as final cuts are right around the corner.
Jabs Newby, Anthony Anderson, Haakim Johnson, Brian Addison, and Olu Famutimi were the starting five for the Riptide. Gabe Freeman and Anthony Stover had the night off.
The opening quarter of play saw several lead changes but the score stayed close. Saint John jumped out to an early lead but in the late stages of the frame the Storm would climb back and eventually take the lead. At the first quarter buzzer the Island Storm had a nine point advantage, 31-22 on the Riptide.
In the second quarter the Riptide started to heat up and mounted a comeback. Haakim Johnson continued his hot streak from beyond the arc as the hometown team brought the game back to even, 35-35 with six minutes left in the half. However, the boys from the Island weren’t about to go away and would strike back to take a 53-46 lead into the halftime break. At the half, Johnson was the Riptide leader with nine points while Addison, Famutimi, Early, and Mency each had six. Big men Shaun Pruitt and Brian Addison paced Saint John on the boards with three rebounds apiece in the first half.
The Storm maintained control of the scoreboard for the entirety of the third period despite a strong effort from the Riptide. Through three quarters of action, the visitors held the lead by ten points, 79-69.
Saint John started to turn up the jets in the fourth quarter with a few of new faces leading the charge. Six-foot-seven shooting guard Chris Early exploded in the final twelve minutes to finish the game with 19 points. Canadian guard Jabs Newby was right behind him with 13 points while Brian Addison, Olu Famutimi, and Darin Mency each picked up 12.
Although this late burst of offence from the Riptide gave the fans something to cheer about, it was not enough as the Storm headed home with a 104-96 victory.