The London Lightning survived a late scare to take a commanding 2-0 lead in their five game playoff series against the Orangeville A’s, taking Game Two by a score of 121-118.
The first quarter was a hard fought battle. After Orangeville came out to a hot 10-2 start, London answered back with a run of their own. The rest of the quarter saw both teams throw counter punch after counter punch, with Orangeville leading by the end of the quarter.
That lead was only temporary, as the second quarter saw the same back and forth battle continue. Both teams never quit, but near the end of the quarter, the Lightning were able to get themselves a slight edge, leading 57-52 at half time. Garrett Williamson came up huge in the half with 17 points.
The second half saw London continue to battle. The Lightning started opening the gap, thanks to some key plays from Royce White and Doug Herring Jr. The A’s seemed to be slowly losing their steam, but bounced back in a big way.
After the Lightning led by nearly 15 points, the A’s fought back hard to bring the game back within reach. After some clutch Alex Johnson threes, London locked down on defence, and closed out a hard-fought 121-118 win.
“Flat is probably a decent word [to describe the game], I was just frustrated with the blown assignments,” Julius said after the game. “We have special coverages for each one of those guys that we really executed the other night [in Game 1], but didn’t execute well tonight.”
Garrett Williamson led the way for London with 28 points in what was a dominating performance.
“They came out to fight, we missed a lot of assignments mentally,” Williamson said. “I know my spots, I’m starting to get comfortable playing the floor more, I feel good. It’s the playoffs — the focus is at another level.”
Coach Julius also offered his praises. “The thing that separates Garrett is that he that nothing ever bothers him. I saw all our guys get caught up in blown calls, conversations with players, missed shots, but Garrett never wavers.”
Royce White also recorded a double double with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson led Orangeville with 28 points and 15 rebounds.
The game also featured a pre-game ceremony, in which Kyle Julius was awarded the NBLC Coach of the Year award, while owner Vito Frijia was awarded a Commissioner’s award for his service to the league.
The Lightning are back in action on Tuesday, May 9th in Orangeville for Game Three of their five game series. The Lightning will be back at Budweiser Gardens for Game Five if necessary, which would be on May 13th.