Orangeville A’s finish regular season with a win

May 5, 2016   ·   0 Comments

The regular season is over and the Orangeville A’s will now head into the playoffs.

The A’s wrapped it up with two games on their home court at the Athlete Institute over the weekend.

On Friday night, the A’s hosted the London Lightning but came up short when the visitors had a late game push and took over the fourth quarter.

The Orangeville team had a strong start in Friday’s game and had a 27-24 lead at the end of the first quarter.

They held the lead through the second quarter with some strong defensive posturing and finished the half leading 51-44.

It was the fourth quarter that saw the A’s run into trouble when the Lightning managed to tie it up and the game was forced down to the wire with Orangeville behind by a single point (103-102) with just over three minutes left on the clock.

The A’s were unable to slow the Lightning in the fourth quarter and had to settle for a 122-113 loss.

“The one thing the guy’s have to understand is every bit matters as you get deeper into the season and closer to the playoffs. Every possession matters,” said A’s head coach Chris Thomas after Friday’s game. “The way you close quarters matters, the way you close halves matters, the way you close games matters. We’ve got to remained disciplined to who we are. What that means is we can’t freelance. We’ve got a great game plan in place. It’s been proven by the way we played for three quarters. We have to stick to the script,” he said of the team’s final quarter loss. “We have had the tendency this season to allow success to take us off of our game plan.”

The return to the Athlete Institute on Saturday (Apr. 30) night saw the squad get back with the plan when they faced the Niagara River Lions.

During their last game of the regular season, A’s forward Justin Moss notched 25 points.

This time out the A’s started out with a deficit in the first quarter trailing 39-38 at the end.

The second quarter was a battle to take the lead with the two teams combing for 65 points for quarter.

The A’s were leading 72-70 at the half.

Going into the third quarter the Orangeville squad managed to hold Niagara scoreless until the 9:25 mark in the quarter.

By the end of the third quarter the lead in the game had changed 19 times, but at the end of the third the third the A’s had pulled ahead with a 96-92 lead.

The A’s took their biggest lead of the night in the fourth pulling ahead by 11 points with 3:55 left on the clock.

Orangeville held on to the lead to leave the court with a 137-128 win.

With the regular season over, the A’s will now prepare for their playoff match-up against the London Lightning.

“We need to keep our momentum going,” Thomas said. “Our last nine games we’re 5-4. We’ve had the mindset all year that we have to get ready for playoffs. We’ve had the most games missed due to injury this year, we’ve had the most different starting line-ups in the League and we’re the youngest team in the League. We’ve had the mentality that the regular season is just a tune-up for the playoffs. As the playoffs get going and the rounds go deeper and deeper into the playoffs, you tighten your line-up a little bit. To put my guys in different situations and see them thrive will definitely help me formulate an even tighter rotation in the playoffs.”

Game one of the playoff series against London ended with a 118-110 loss for the A’s on Monday (May. 2) night in London.

The A’s trailed in the scoring for the first half of Monday’s game. They had a fourth quarter rally to close the gap to as little as seven points but they couldn’t make up the difference by the time the final buzzer sounded and they had to settle for the loss.

Game two of the series was underway on Wednesday (May 4) in London with results not available at press time.

The series will return to Orangeville on Friday, May 6, at the Athlete Institue.

The tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

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