Titans Take 2-0 Series Lead Over Lightning

Titans Take 2-0 Series Lead Over Lightning
Photo: Dan Congdon
By: Dan Polischuk

The KW Titans have the defending champion London Lightning on the brink of elimination from the National Basketball League of Canada playoffs after a 101-97 road win at the Budweiser Gardens on Tuesday night.
 
Unlike the comfortable finish in the Game #1 victory for the fourth-seeded Titans, the Game #2 result wasn't a sure thing until a pair of Damon Lynn free throws with 11 seconds remaining secured KW's second win of the series.
 
Starting the game with the same five players as the opener, KW would lose one of them just five minutes into the game.
 
After his momentum on a fast-break lay-up attempt carried him into the first row of courtside seats, Ed Horton would leave for the locker room and wouldn't return to action for the rest of the night.
 
His teammates would carry on though, as Ashton Smith (13 points, six rebounds, eight assists in 37 minutes played) and Damon Lynn (10 points in a game-high 40 minutes played) more than adequately filled in for the missing veteran.
 
After a low-scoring opening frame that saw the teams tied at 20 apiece, the Lightning would pull away slightly in the second and build a 49-43 halftime lead.
 
Opening the second half, KW would go on an 8-2 run - which was punctuated by a tough Tramar Sutherland lay-up conversion that drew a foul. Sutherland would convert the free throw to tie the game at that point.
 
While the Lightning would respond by building an 11-point lead at one juncture of the quarter, the Titans would bring it back to a one-point deficit before the start of the fourth.
 
It was during the final 12 minutes of regulation that KW would record the best offensive total in a quarter for either team on the night. With 33 points on 57% shooting from the field, the Titans closed-out their second consecutive win of the series.
 
Flen Whitfield recorded 24 points for the second consecutive game and led all scorers in that category while Akeem Ellis had a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
 
Derek Hall (11 points, three rebounds) rounded out the five Titans who finished with double-digit scoring totals.
 
As a team, KW outworked London in the paint by holding the rebound advantage over the Lightning 57-46.
 
The scene now shifts to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Thursday night as the Titans return home with a chance to clinch their first playoff series in franchise history. 
 
Tip-off is set for 7pm.