Two teams that could possibly meet in the postseason played a game worthy of the bright lights. In the end Sioux Falls outlasted Canton 121-117 Friday night.

When the season started, it was highly unlikely that March 11 was circled on the calendar as a pivotal game. With under a month left the Skyforce (32-8) pushed their lead over Canton (26-15) to 6.5 games in the standings and tightened their firm grip on the division lead. Through the first four games of the season series, the visitor has been the victor each time.

Sioux Falls sailed through the first quarter shooting nearly 70 percent in the first 12 minutes building a 37-23 lead. The two teams would play in close quarters until the Skyforce outscored Canton 11-2 to build an 8-point lead with under 6 minutes left.

Two crucial offensive rebounds, one by Rodney McGruder another by DeAndre Liggins sustained a long Sioux Falls possession in the final minute that also bolstered the effort. Attempts to lengthen the game through fouling nearly paid off for the Charge with a chance to tie the game with under ten seconds left. C.J. Wilcox could not convert from downtown and the win was secured by a Jarnell Stokes free throw.

Seven Skyforce players scored in double figures led by McGruder (20 points), Greg Whittington (19 points, 14 rebounds), Stokes (17 points), Bubu Palo (15 points), Liggins (13 points, 8 assists), newly acquired Toure’ Murray (12 points) and Keith Benson (11 points). See the leading role McGruder provided in the footage below.
Canton’s crew got six to ten or more led by Wilcox (24 points), John Holland (22 points), Nick Minnerath (17 points, 7 rebounds), Lamar Patterson (16 points), Michael Stockton (15 points) and Sir’Dominic Pointer (10 points).

Sioux Falls and Canton will have two more battles at the Sanford Pentagon next Friday and Saturday. Before that happens, on Saturday Fort Wayne hosts the Skyforce while the Charge welcomes Erie to the Canton Memorial Civic Center.

See Also: