Opening Salvo Carries Skyforce past Canton and Sets up Game Three
Sioux Falls used an excellent first quarter to propel them to a Monday night win over Canton 100-89 in Game 2 of their first round playoff series. A decisive Game 3 looms large Tuesday.
There’s that saying about first impressions. Canton (1-1) in the first 12 minutes was well below their standard. Shooting was off (3-20 on field goals) and ball handling was suspect (8 turnovers).
Sioux Falls (1-1) was more than willing to pounce on the Charge’s mistakes to take a 32-10 first quarter lead. Skyforce guard Bubu Palo was the plan was to counter size with swift. “They’re a little bit bigger than us. We have to be more feisty and energetic. We try to use our quickness to get stops and get us into the open court. We did a really good job of that in the first half.”
At the half the lead was 55-30 and it eventually grew to 33 points in the third quarter. Eventually the Charge crept back until the lead was whittled to nine points late in the game. “We were so hard on them in our defense, but then we allowed them to get into a little bit of rhythm,” said Palo. “They’re a great team so when you give them that confidence, it’s tough to shut the water off.”
Leading the Skyforce effort was a rejuvenated Shawn Jones who piled up 26 points and 14 rebounds (which you've got to see in the video) with Scotty Hopson in the second seat with 19 tallies. Meanwhile Canton leaned on James Singleton with 20 points and 13 rebounds with Justin Johnson giving 15 points to the effort off the bench.
Considering that Sioux Falls had not bested Canton in the 2014-15 regular season or playoffs until this contest, just getting that first one was a huge step for the home team. The two teams will play the deciding game at the Sanford Pentagon with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants waiting in the Eastern Conference Finals.