SAINT JOHN, NB – The Saint John Riptide returned to Harbour Station for the first time in three weeks after a lengthy road swing to take on the new-look Cape Breton Highlanders. Since these two teams last met, the Highlanders have made several roster moves and a coaching change.
In the first quarter the Riptide gave their home fans plenty to cheer about as they lead most of the way through the frame. Haakim Johnson came out firing as he dropped 10 points in the opening five minutes of the game. That combined with strong defence helped the Riptide grab a 33-23 lead through 12 minutes of action.
Cape Breton came on strong in the second quarter while the Riptide started to slow down. A 30-point performance before halftime propelled the Highlanders into the lead 53-51 at the break. The tides would turn in the third as Saint John pushed back. Horace Wormely converted on three straight chances, including one off of a steal, in the later half of the quarter to help the Riptide regain control. It was a tight game going into the final quarter with the Riptide ahead 81-75.
Continuing the trend of lead changes, the Highlanders put up another 30-spot in quarter number four in hopes of being the first team to win at Harbour Station this season. The Riptide lead by four with one minute to play but a three from Booker Woodfox and two free throws from Shaquille Keith gave Cape Breton a one-point advantage.
With seven seconds to go, Coach Rob Spon called a timeout to draw up one last play. Whether it was how they drew it up or not, Brian Addison ended up with the ball in his hands just inside the three-point line. The big man took the jumper but it rimmed out as the buzzer sounded giving the Highlanders the 105-104 victory. The loss snapped a 6-0 home record for the Riptide and dropped them to 9-4 on the season.
Anthony Anderson paced the home squad with 24 points and seven assists, while Haakim Johnson added 16 points and nine rebounds. Horace Wormely picked up 15 points on 100% shooting and Gabe Freeman put up 12. Leading the way for Cape Breton was Charles Mann Jr.
The Riptide continue their weekend schedule against the Halifax Hurricanes tomorrow night at Harbour Station. Tip-off is set for 7pm.
Earlier in the day the Riptide released point guard Craig Foster to open up a spot on the roster. We would like to thank Craig for his time in Saint John and wish him the best of the luck!