The KW Titans scored a big win at home on Saturday on the first leg of a back-to-back set against the St. John’s Edge in front of nearly 14,00 fans at the Aud.
The game started off how many do as Akeem Ellis (16 points, 10 rebounds) showed off his motor with an easy rebound under the visitors’ net and an effortless scoop lay up on the other side of the court.
The Titans dominated the first quarter and gave the opposing club all they could handle on the offensive end.
The first line transitioned their way to the bench and a familiar face subbed in and gave the Titans some instant offence.
Joel Friesen (eight points, six rebounds) played his first minutes of the season for KW and immediately made an impact as he connected on a three-pointer and came up with a deflection on the defensive end on the following possession.
The Titans controlled the pace for the entirety of the opening period and cruised into the second with a score of 31-18 after 12 minutes of play.
The home team came out a little stagnant in the second and let the Edge gain some traction.
This, in addition to the officials calling a very tight game, gave St. John’s the opportunity to get themselves back in competition with the Titans. KW quickly found themselves in foul trouble and the Edge capitalized on this with 12 trips to the charity stripe.
The Edge’s Junior Cadougan (25 points, eight assists) pulled up at the elbow a knocked down an easy jumper and finally grabbed the lead from the Titans.
Moments later, Ed Horton (22 points) knocked down a triple and stole the advantage back but the Edge clearly had the momentum on their side and they held on to lead going into the intermission.
The Titans trailed the Edge 53-48 at the halfway mark.
The Edge came out strong in the third quarter but the Titans were determined to match the opposing team’s intensity.
The Edge’s Olu Ashaolu (22 points, five rebounds) threw down a thunderous slam on one end but Horton sprinted up the court and connected on an and-1 three-point play that gave the Titans a two-point lead over St. John’s.
KW fed off each other and continued to push the pace. Damon Lynn (34 points, eight 3-PM) cooked the Edge’s big man, Mike Edwards and splashed a three in his face from deep. Shortly after that, Justin Moss crashed through the lane putting his body on the line and got the hoop and the harm.
After 12 back and forth minutes of third-quarter action, the Titans were in control of the game once again but just barely, as they led the Edge 76-74 as they head into the final period.
Horton got the first bucket of the quarter and it came with a foul. The veteran calmly knocked down the freebie and the Titans now led by five points.
However, the Edge battled back and managed to knot the score up once again. Coron Williams (17 points, five 3-PM) drained a triple and swiped the lead back one more time for St. John’s.
But just when the Edge thought they had the game back in their hands, Lynn recaptured the lead for the final time with a big shot from three-point land.
Lynn was on a roll from then on. The powerhouse guard connected on his 8th make from deep out of the corner and the Titans never looked back from there.
St. John’s forward, Tyrone Watson foolishly bailed KW out of a shot-clock violation when he fouled Lynn on a three-point attempt with just one second left on the clock. Infuriated with the call and fouling out, Watson proceeded to kick up dust and was assessed a technical foul for his performance.
This, effectively sealed his team’s fate and lost them the game as Lynn knocked down all four free-throws and gave the Titans a comfortable lead with just over a minute left in the game.
The St John’s Edge weren’t able to come back in this one and fell to our home town Titans on Saturday with a score of 114-108 at the end of regulation.
Head coach Cavell Johnson was impressed with how his team overcame their second-quarter struggles.
“We had to get our energy back,” Johnson said. “We came out a little flat. The guys needed to get their energy together and pick it up on the defensive end first and they did a good job of doing that and carrying it over to the offensive end in the fourth.”
Titans’ player of the game, Damon Lynn was feeling encouraged with his team’s outlook going forward after the game.
“..Staying locked in, protecting the crib,” Lynn said. “If we all play together on the same page with the same energy, it’s kind of hard to beat us so we’ve just got to stay focused.”
The Titans will play the second game of their back-to-back set on Sunday against the Halifax Hurricanes at the Aud.
Tipoff is scheduled for 2 pm.