(Greater Sudbury, ON) For the second time in 10 days, the Five took the court against the Magic, looking for another big win against the first-place team in the National Basketball League of Canada.
After being away from the Sudbury Arena for over three weeks, the Five returned home Thursday to a packed and energized Sudbury Arena crowd. Thursday's crowd marked the first game in the team's final home stand this season, with the Five taking on the Lightning (Sunday) and the Titans (Wednesday) to close out the season at home.
The Magic took the court with the hot hand, opening the game on a 7-0 run. Maurice Jones Sr. opened the scoring for the Five, scoring on back-to-back possessions to get the local team into the game. After two lead changes the pace of the game continued to quicken, with the first place Sudbury offence going shot-for-shot with the eighth ranked Moncton attack. At the end of the first, the Five trailed by three, 26-23.
The Five offence got going in the second, fuelled by perfect shooting from Canadian Mamadou Gueye. The Quebec City, QB native went 3-3 in the second, including one three-pointer. Gueye also scored both after driving to the net with just over five minutes to go in the quarter. League leading scorer Braylon Rayson also had an efficient quarter, scoring seven points on four shot attempts. The Five scored 29 points in the quarter and took the lead going in half-time, 52-47.
The third quarter featured a pair of stellar performances for the Magic. 22-year old Trey Kell scored 15 points for the Magic in just seven minutes of work, while team MVP candidate Billy White scored 12 to tally 27 of the team's 33 points in the quarter. Meanwhile for the Five, it was a three-headed monster that led the quarter. Canadian Yohanny Dalembert had his best quarter in a Five uniform, scoring 10 points, collecting three blocks, and three rebounds in eight minutes of work. Braylon Rayson scored 12 points on five shot attempts and Maurice Jones Sr. added in 10 points of his own. The Five scored a game high 41 points to extend their lead moving into the fourth quarter, 93-80.
With their playoff lives on the line, the Five continued to fight into the fourth quarter. The King of the final frame, Braylon Rayson capped a remarkable game with an even better fourth quarter, scoring 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Cory Dixon and Maurice Jones Sr. both added in five points each as the Five cruised to victory against the first place Magic, 127-120.
Canadian Yohany Dalembert was named the BOSS Supplements Sudbury BOSS of the Game. The Haitian born forward collected 12 points, 7 rebounds, and four blocks for one of his most dominant games of the season. Braylon Rayson finished with a game high 42 points, while Cory Dixon and Mamadou Gueye both finished with a double-double.
The Five now set their focus on Sunday's game in a battle for first place in the Central Division against the London Lightning. Tip off is set for 2:05 PM. Fans are reminded to arrive to the arena early, with the Kids Zone, live music, and open court activities commencing at 10:45 AM as part of the team's Fan Fest. The team will also be hosting a free BBQ prior to the game, as a thank you to fans for their support through the team's inaugural season.