Lightning Joel Friesen Post-Game vs K.W. Titans
The London Lightning (20-4) came in hot to Thursday night’s game at Budweiser Gardens, winners of 16 of their last 17 games. Taking on the K.W. Titans (11-13), a team they had played four times in the month of January and had been victorious against on three of those occasions. Coming off of a 7 point loss at home to the Niagara River Lions, the Titans were looking for a colossal road win to stay on pace with the Windsor Express (12-13) for second place in the Central Division.
The first half of basketball featured a quarter of offence, followed by a quarter of defense. The home team grabbed 28 of the 50 points showcased in the 1st quarter of play to take a 28-22 lead. Then proceeded to out rebound their opponents in the 2nd quarter where both teams cooled down in shooting percentage. The Titans only mustered 14 points during the frame and had to watch Marvin Phillips energize the crowd with a buzzer beating bucket that sent the teams to the locker rooms with a 49-36 halftime score in favor of the Lightning.
Both teams got back into their offensive grove to start the second half, combining for a 60 point 3rd quarter which had London going into the 4th quarter with the 81-64 lead. With the respectable lead it gave Coach Julius of the Lightning the opportunity to utilize his bench. This allowed Kitchener-Waterloo to finally outscore the home team in a quarter for the first time on the evening (27-20), but it was too little, too late and London would take it by a 101-91 final. The former Alberta Golden Bear Joel Friesen was named player of the game, hitting 5 of 6 shots from downtown for 15 points and 6 rebounds. He had 4 other teammates hit double-digit scoring to support his performance, including 16 points from Royce White. Titans forward Flenard Whitfield led all players on the court with 18 points and fans got to see former Western Mustangs’ star and local product Greg Morrow hit a three ball on one of his two attempts on the evening.
The new winning streak grows to 3 games for the London Lightning, having also now won 17 of their last 18 contests. The Lightning’s 21-4 record is the best winning percentage in the league however the Halifax Hurricanes still have the most wins with their 22-6 record in the Atlantic Division. London has a tough schedule coming up and will now play two road games this upcoming weekend, as a part of three games in three days. On Saturday they’ll play the Orangeville A’s, a team they already beat at the Athlete Institute last weekend 126-122 and then Sunday the K.W. Titans will have their chance at revenge when they host at The Aud. Finally Monday, the Lightning play back at home as they will take on the A’s for the third time in March, but for the first occasion in the 519.