River Lions Win Another One
March 12, 2016
Niagara River Lions Media
River Lions improve to 4-1 since East Coast trip
Written by: Zach Dadson
“It’s another team effort!” That was the message from Niagara River Lions (10-17) Head Coach Grâce Lokole following the River Lions’ 113-103 win over the Orangeville A’s (8-16) on Saturday night.
“I keep preaching team basketball. You spread the ball, you have one, two, three, four, five, six guys in double figures, everyone played, it’s a team effort,” Coach Lokole continued.
The River Lions started the game on a 5-0 run and they never looked back. Orangeville did not lead at any point Saturday night.
“We’re just coming together; we’ve got a system. Guys are buying in and that’s showing on the court. Off the court we’re even closer than we were before which helps,” Logan Stutz said following the team’s fourth win in five games. Stutz had 17 points and 8 rebounds in 31 minutes of play Saturday night.
The River Lions finished the first quarter leading 30-24 and went into halftime up 58-50.
No win is easy in the National Basketball League of Canada’s Central Division however, and Saturday night was no exception. Despite the River Lions leading the A’s 92-76 after three quarters, Orangeville started the fourth quarter on a 10-2 run and brought themselves to within two points during the game’s final minutes.
“Every team makes a run. All these teams are good. Whenever you play good teams they’re always going to make a run so you always have to prepare your team for that,” said Coach Lokole.
“I trusted my guys. I didn’t have to call a time out to reel them in, they just kept playing basketball. I was confident that what we were able to do would get us a victory, we just had to keep climbing, keep digging,” Lokole continued.
B.J. Monteiro led the way offensively for the River Lions putting up 21 points, collecting 9 rebounds and dishing out 8 assists.“I’m just getting used to the guys and picking my spots. The lanes really opened up. Some nice shooting from the guys and I was able to do some things and just get a little more comfortable.”
Spacing was a point of emphasis for Coach Lokole’s River Lions and it also benefited Sammy Zeglinski who had 20 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds Saturday night.
“With Sammy, he operates well with space so you need to create settings where there’s a lot of space and I’ve been preaching space ever since I was brought on as Coach,” Lokole said after the game.
Sam Muldrow looked much more comfortable on the court and saw his workload increase Saturday night. The former University of South Carolina star scored 15 points, 4 rebounds, and had an impressive 4 blocks in 30 minutes of play.
Clinton Springer-Williams and Mike Allison also both scored in double digits Saturday night putting up 12 and 10 points respectively. Allison also had 7 rebounds.
With the win, the River Lions improve to 5-3 since Grâce Lokole was named Head Coach including a 5-1 record against the Central Division.
The River Lions are back in action on Wednesday, March 16 when they will take on the Halifax Hurricanes (16-7) at the Meridian Centre. Niagara will then play host to the Orangeville A’s on Sunday, March 20.