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Titans take first playoff game against Five

Sunday match ends 122-116 for KW, but Sudbury has a chance to take game two when the Titans come to town on Thursday

The first game of the first round of the NBLC playoffs didn’t get off to the start Sudbury was hoping for.

The KW Titans were in town Sunday for the first game in the best of five series against Sudbury. And while the game was close, it was Kitchener that came out on top, 122-116.

Braylon Rayson led the way points wise for Sudbury with 32, going 10-18, 7-10 from downtown and 5-5 on free throws. Dexter Williams Jr. put on an impressive performance, as well, picking up 26 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and five steals.

The first two quarters ended with KW up 69-56, but the action was pretty back and forth.

“Braylon Rayson was a bright point for the Five entering the half, having 17 points to his name after shooting 5-9 from the field, and 3-5 from the three-point line in the first half of action,” the league said in a release.

Jaylen Bland came out strong in the third quarter, going three for four from beyond the arc and a perfect four-for-four from the free throw line. The 13 points Bland earned ensured the Five reduced the Titans lead to 10 as the teams entered the fourth quarter. 

Rayson scored 15 points in the fourth but it wasn’t enough to give Sudbury the win.

Rayson, Williams, and the Five will be looking to bounce back while KW has an opportunity to take both of their first two away games as game two takes place on May 17 in Sudbury.

In other NBLC news, Five guard Jeremy Harris was named NBL Canada Newcomer of the Year on Monday.

"I'm happy for Jeremy to get this recognition. He deserves it," said Elliott Etherington, Sudbury Five head coach and general manager. "He came into training camp with the right mentality – just go out there each practice and game, compete at a high level, and not worry about anything else but that."

In 2022, the Greensboro, N.C. native stood out immediately – scoring 25 or more points in five games, while collecting a pair of double-doubles along the way. His 429 points was good for fourth in the league. Appearing in all 24 games, the 6-7 shooting guard finished the year averaging 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game.

Harris is the third straight member of The Five to win the award, following Jaylen Brand in 2018-2019 and J.R. Holder in 2019-2020.