A strong fourth quarter sends the Sioux Falls Skyforce soaring to a Saturday night win beating Canton 116-109 at the Sanford Pentagon.

To fully understand the final 12 minutes isn’t difficult, but Sioux Falls (36-8) has been consistently outperforming their foes in the 4th period all season long. After Canton’s (28-17) substandard performance on Friday, the two teams were mostly on par for the second game of the back-to-back set.

Trailing 91-83 entering the fourth quarter, Sioux Falls quickly erased the deficit then took the lead for good 97-95 with 7:28 left. Coach Dan Craig says the right defensive combination shut down the Charge.

“We were searching for (that defense) all night. Knowing it was going to be a grind-out game on the second night of a back-to-back, both teams really competed. I was proud of our unit holding them to 18 points in the fourth.”

Canton only shot 5-15 in that final stanza turning it over 7 times with Sioux Falls converting 14-17 from the floor. Jabril Trawick entered the game with 8:44 left when Greg Whittington picked up his 5th foul. Both teams struggled at times through the second game in a back-to-back defensively, but Trawick says Sioux Falls was able to stick to the plan.

“It was all about defense in getting stops and the 50/50 balls. Canton is one of the top teams in the league and they were making some shots. What we had to do was stay composed when they were making their run and not get flustered. Then we made our run.”

Offensively, Bubu Palo had the master stroke by virtue of his season-high 34 point performance which is the most by a Skyforce player this year. Rodney McGruder followed with 23 points, Jarnell Stokes had a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds as Trawick added 6 of his 15 points down the stretch.

Canton top point total came from forward Nick Minnerath who knocked down 5 from downtown on the way to 35 points. Guard Quinn Cook finished with a double-double of 17 points, 10 assists as the rookie from Duke continues to impress.

Both teams are still playoff-bound so this may not be the last time they see each other this season. Sioux Falls will make their way to Fort Wayne and face the Mad Ants on Tuesday with Canton heading home to face Delaware on Wednesday.