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Saint John Riptide sink The Five in overtime

Two losses and four wins sets the Sudbury squad in second place 
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The Sudbury Five played to a 115-111 loss against the Saint John Riptide in overtime at the Sudbury Arena on Thursday night. (Supplied / Sudbury Five)

The tide may have started low for the Sudbury Five, but it was rough water by the end of the night for the National Basketball League of Canada’s expansion franchise.

The Five entered Thursday evening’s contest with only a single loss to their name. Meanwhile, the Saint John Riptide stopped in Sudbury for the first and only time this season, still looking for the team’s first win.

The Riptide received a much-needed boost to their offence earlier in the week when they acquired forward Walter Pitchford from the Five, who started for the Riptide on Thursday.

The Riptide drew first blood to open the game, with Pitchford scoring the first basket of the game. 

It was the Five who would get the last laugh in the quarter. In a complete team effort, eight different players scored at least one point for Sudbury. Jaylen Bland and Travis Releford led the way for the starters with six points each, while Devin Gilligan came off the bench for five of his own. 

After the quarter, the Five led by eight, 29-21.

The second quarter represented a second life for the Riptide. 

The Tide opened the quarter on an 8-4 run, collecting timely rebounds to limit the offence of the Five. The Riptide starters led the way, scoring 18 of the team’s 26 in the quarter. 

For the Five, Grandy Glaze led the way, netting nine points and six rebounds in the frame. The Five struggled from behind the arc, shooting 1-8. 

Going into the second half, the Five remained on top 59-57.

The Five’s shooting troubles continued into the third quarter. The team shot 29.4 per cent and 42.9 per cent from behind the arc in the frame. Tight defence limited Five starters to 12 points in the quarter, and just seven points off the bench. 

On the other side of the court, the Riptide were fueled by their bench, who scored 16 of the team’s 26 in the quarter. 

After 36 minutes, the Five trailed 68-73.

With both team’s fighting for their share of the lead, the flood gates opened in the fourth quarter. 

Braylon Rayson led the offense for the Five, netting 22 points while also shooting 8-8 from the free-throw line. 

What was a dagger to the team’s success in the first three quarters, team shooting seemed to suddenly turn around in the final frame. The team shot 58.8 per cent from field goal territory and 77.8 per cent for three. 

Bland was perfect for three in the quarter shooting 3-3 for 9 points in the frame. 

The Five starters came to play in the quarter, scoring all 39 of the team’s points in the final frame. After 48 minutes both sides were all tied up 107-107, moving into extra time.

After a strong shooting quarter from the Five, the Northern squad was met with all sorts of problems in the extra frame. 

In overtime, the Five shot 0-7 from the field, and 0-6 from behind the arc. Bland scored all four of the team’s points from the free-throw line. The Riptide scored eight in the extra frame to take the game 115-111.

Glaze was named the BOSS Supplements, Boss of the Game with 12 points, 17 rebounds, one steal, and one assist in the contest.

The Five now look to get back in the winning column on Sunday when they welcome the Windsor Express back to the Sudbury Arena. 

Tickets for the game can be purchased online at thefive.ca or in person at the Sudbury Arena Box Office. Game time is 2:05 p.m.




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