The Saint John Riptide kicked off their 2018-19 regular season on Sunday afternoon in Charlottetown versus the Island Storm.
The Riptide showed signs of early season rust against an Island squad that was playing their second game of the season in the early goings. Randy Phillips started strong with 11 points in the first frame, but 2-10 shooting from beyond the arc left the Riptide in a 33-22 hole at the conclusion of the first quarter. The Storm were 6-11 from beyond the arc in the same frame.
The second quarter was a defensive frame as both teams buckled down. The Riptide cold shooting from beyond the arc continued connecting on only 2 of 11 shots from long distance. Newcomer Daniel Dingle connected for 5 points in the quarter and strong defense held the home team to only 21 points. Despite the strong defense the Riptide were outscored 21-18 in the quarter and trailed 54-40 at the half.
The third quarter started with a 5-0 run from the Storm and the lead ballooned to 19 before Coach Terroba called a time-out. As the third quarter wore on the long ball started to connect for the visiting team and the Riptide made 4 of 9 led by Renaldo Dixon and Chris Early who each made 2 from long distance in the quarter. The Riptide defense continue to cause problems for the Storm and the Riptide had crawled within 10, ending the quarter down 75-65.
In the fourth quarter the Riptide offense finally got into gear led by 15 points between back court partners Kemy Osse and Jeremiah Mordi. With only 43 second remaining the Riptide tied the game for the first time at 92-92. In a frantic finish the teams traded 3 point shots again tying up the competition at 95-95 a piece. Storm forward Brad States was fouled with 15 seconds left and converted 1 of his 2 free throws to put the home squad ahead 96-95.
The Riptide were unable to score on the final possession of the game and the Storm held on for an exciting 96-95 victory in front of the home crowd. Randy Phillips led the Riptide with 19 points and second year guard Jeremiah Mordi added 18.
Next up for the Riptide is a visit to ScotiaBank Center in Halifax on Thursday night to take on the Halifax Hurricanes who have started the season with 2 losses to the Moncton Magic.
The Riptide kick off their home schedule next Sunday, November 25th at 2:00PM at Harbour Station again the Halifax Hurricanes. Tickets are available now at the Harbour Station box office.