The London Lightning traveled to Kitchener, and managed to hold off the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans for a tightly contested 105-97 victory. The game marked the fourth time these Central Conference rivals faced off.
The first quarter started with the Lightning going on a 12-2 run immediately after the tip-off, giving the Bolts some cushion for the rest of the quarter. The quarter also saw the season debuts of Marvin Phillips and Doug Herring Jr. The Titans never went away though, and managed to fight back, closing the gap to only a six point differential by the end of the quarter.
The Titans carried that momentum into the second quarter, as the new kids on the block continued to give London’s defence fits, scoring 30 second quarter points. The Lightning responded with a balanced attack of their own, with five players scoring seven or more points in the half, and the two teams battled it out until the buzzer sounded. The Bolts would head into the locker room at the half, narrowly leading the Titans by a score of 52-51.
Royce White took over in the third, scoring 9 points in the quarter, providing the Lightning with a spark. The energy carried over to the defensive end, with London holding KW to just 21 points in the quarter. The Lightning also picked up the scoring, ending the frame with an 82-72.
That gap continued to grow, with the Lightning up by as much as 16 in the fourth quarter. The Titans fought to close that gap, but the Lightning were able to continue riding the momentum all the way to a 105-97 victory.
Royce White led the Bolts in scoring with 23 points. He also recorded 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Kyle Johnson had another strong performance too, scoring 21 points. Doug Herring Jr. scored 11 in his debut, and Marvin Phillips had 9 points and 6 rebounds in his return to the Bolts.
“It was a good win for us, especially with the new guys coming in, it was important for us to come out and get a win.” said Johnson, “We’ve been practicing for eight days, and we haven’t had a game so we got a chance to work on a lot of things and I feel like we came out and were successful doing what we wanted to do today”
“Good, grind-out victory on the road, you know, putting two new guys in is always challenging, and I thought they did a really good job despite the circumstances” said coach Kyle Julius, “I thought we did a good job overall, we could have been better to close that out, but overall it was a good job.”
Junior Cadougan left the game late in the second quarter in discomfort. “Unfortunately we had another injury” Julius said, “we’ll have to evaluate that.”
The Lightning are back in action on Saturday, January 28, with the Niagara River Lions visiting Budweiser Gardens, the first of a home-and-home between the two teams. Tip-off has been set for 7pm, tickets are available online and at the Budweiser Gardens box office.