Owning the last 6 minutes helped the Canton Charge secure Game 1 of their NBADL Playoff series at home over the Sioux Falls Skyforce 99-86. 

Most of the contest was played at arm’s length with the spread between the two teams never more than 7 on either side. With 5:50 left, DeAndre Liggins made one of two free throws to pull the ‘Force to within a point.  Six straight fruitful Charge (1-0) possessions later with no suitable answer from the visitors put the game out of reach.

Two categories showed the respective strengths of the two ballclubs.  Sioux Falls (0-1) is adept at forcing turnovers with the Charge committing 24 overall.  Canton is an excellent rebounding squad and held a 52-23 advantage on the boards.  In the fourth quarter alone, Canton’s rebounding margin was 13-2.  You also have to hand it to a Canton squad that goes 12-14 in the money quarter, holding Sioux Falls to 6-18 shooting in the final stanza.

A gold-clad throng of 2,875 at Canton Memorial Civic Center celebrated Shane Edwards’ 29 points and 8 rebounds with a monster double-double from Arinze Onuaku of 21 points and 19 rebounds to boot.  Sioux Falls top performers included Craig Smith (24 points), Tre Kelley (15 points) and DeAnde Liggins (10 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals).  One of Edward's buckets was a rugged reverse jam that you can see below.

Canton will need to win one game in enemy territory to advance to the second round with Sioux Falls sporting a 19-5 record at the Sanford Pentagon.  Game 2 is Saturday night with a possible Game 3 set for Monday.