Apr 26, 2019
Photo: Dan Congdon
By: Matthew Thomas
The National Basketball League of Canada Central Division Finals continued on on Friday as the KW Titans got their first win of the series, 103-96 in front of their home crowd.
The game got off to a quick start with the Edge looking to assert themselves early on.
Ed Horton (25 points, seven rebounds) put the first points on the board in style for KW with a slick lay-in, plus the harm. Soon after, Damon Lynn (14 points, six assists, four rebounds) knocked down a three-pointer which brought the Titans within one point of St. John's.
The two teams went back and forth throughout the opening period but Denzel James (five points) netted a clutch three-point bomb to end the quarter with the teams tied 27-27.
The division rivals exchanged buckets all through the second quarter as well, with neither side managing to make much headway. Nigel Tyghter (six points, six rebounds), who played some meaningful minutes off of the bench, showed some real determination as he had a timely tip-in after getting knocked to the floor just outside of the paint.
Both the Titans and the Edge refused to let any significant leads be built and the two sides went into the locker room at the half with a score of 55-54 for St. John's.
After the half, the Titans shifted gears and decided to take it up a notch. The home town team increased the pressure on the Edge and were able to build a decent lead for the crowd of over 1,338 Titans fans in attendance.
Horton put his intensity on display as he followed his own miss with a big rebound and banked-in an easy lay-up. Shortly thereafter, Tyghter showed off his hustle as well when he threw the ball off of his defender as he was falling out of bounds, securing the possession for KW once again.
Ashton Smith (12 points, six assists) came alive in the third and propelled the Titans to a double-digit lead. The Canadian was creating in the half court and making plays on defence that led to offense as well.
Not long after, St John's star playern Glen Davis (nine points, five rebounds) received a technical foul and began getting frustrated - which would later lead to his undoing.
The fourth quarter started off with some more hustle from the Titans as Justin Strings (17 points, 11 rebounds) came up with a nice board and followed it up with a bucket. The rookie then banged home another triple and opened the Titans lead up to 14 points.
The Titans were running away with the game and, despite some great play from Waterloo-native Murphy Burnatowski (25 points), KW's third-quarter run proved to be too much to overcome.
The Edge's former NBA champ, "Big Baby" Davis was letting his emotions get the better of him as the game wound down and was assessed another technical and subsequently ejected for his actions.
The Titans closed the game out with some solid free throw shooting and were able to defend their home court successfully.
Titans Head coach Cavell Johnson was happy with his team's effort on both sides of the court.
"That's how we're built," Johnson said after the game.
"These guys played with a sense of urgency tonight. [We] still have some things that we need to clean up on both ends of the floor, but the energy level and focus was there for the majority of the game."
The Titans will now have a day off to rest before their next home game at The Aud on Sunday.
Tipoff for Game #4 time is set for 2pm EST.