Titans Extend Win Streak To Five Defeating Magic

Titans Extend Win Streak To Five Defeating Magic
Photo: Dan Congdon

By: Matthew Thomas, Titans staff

The KW Titans continued to make history on Sunday afternoon in Kitchener by winning their fifth straight game, 103-98 over the first-place Moncton Magic.
Less than 24 hours after a big win over the Windsor Express on Saturday night, the Titans came to work with their hard hats on yet again on the tail-end of a back-to-back set. 
The first quarter saw both teams struggling to get into any real flow, as the two squads exchanged blows with not much ground being gained. In fact, a large portion of KW's offence came from the free-throw line in the opening period as the officials were calling a tight one.
The Titans finished the opening frame trailing the Magic by two points.
KW came out with an energetic 10-0 offensive run to start the second, sparked by a thunderous fast-break dunk by Flen Whitfield (17 points, six rebounds, four assists) in just his second game back from a three-game absence due to injury. 
The Titans continued their push throughout the next ten minutes despite the Magic's best efforts and closed out the half on a high note with back-to-back three-pointers from Joel Friesen (25 points) to give themselves a 53-41 lead at the midway point. 
In the third, KW found itself on the receiving end of a technical foul early on as Head Coach Cavell Johnson was assessed one followed by another given to Ashton Smith (six points, six assists, and six rebounds) a few moments later. 
The Magic battled back in the third, building off the Titans' frustrations and were able to equalize the score 77-77 before rookie Justin Strings (18 points, nine rebounds) was able to take back the lead with a trip to the line to end the quarter. 
The two teams went back-and-forth throughout the fourth until a clutch surge of offense from the Titans helped build a nine-point lead with just four minutes left in the game – which they ultimately wouldn't relinquish. 
The visitors refused to go down quietly and kept the score within striking distance in the final two minutes. The Magic was forced to intentionally foul KW repeatedly in an attempt to gain some extra possession, time but their best efforts proved to be futile with the Titans keeping the longest current winning streak in the National Basketball League of Canada alive.
The Titans continued to receive balanced offensive contributions with five players scoring in double-digits. Ed Horton chipped in with 12 points and four rebounds, while Derek Hall helped out with 13 points and eight boards.
After the game, Friesen attributed the team's recent run of success to the fact that they "have a group of guys that are playing for the same cause, sacrificing, making plays, doing whatever it takes to win games."
Fellow veteran Whitfield asserted his belief that the team can "get 10 (wins) in a row the way we're playing because we've got a home stretch for the rest of this month." 
"February's going to be tough for us, but I feel like if we protect the home-court the rest of this month, we'll get to ten."
The Titans (8-5) will get a well-deserved three days off from game action before looking to make it six-straight wins as the Saint John Riptide (3-11) come into town. 
Tip-off on Thursday night is set for 7pm.