(MONCTON, NB) The Five entered the Moncton Coliseum with a daunting task Tuesday night; take down the league leading Moncton Magic.
The NBL Canada's top team for the entire year, the Magic started the season on an incredible 10-0 run, continuing to charge through the league all season. The Magic had been especially strong at home, losing only twice in eighteen games at home, owning the top home record in the NBL Canada.
The Five got off to a hot start, courtesy of veteran Maurice Jones Sr.. Jones Sr. opened the game with a three-pointer and collected nine total points to lead all Five players in the first quarter. Recently named Canadian Player of the Week for the league, Yohanny Dalembert had a strong quarter defensively for the Five, with two points, two rebounds, and two blocks in three minutes of play to open the game. After three lead changes in the first quarter, both teams moved into the second quarter tied at 34.
The offense for both sides continued to stay hot moving into the second quarter. The Five were limited on offense with only 21 shot attempts but shot 61.9% to stay within striking distance of the Magic all quarter. Guard Wayne McCullough led the show for the Magic in the quarter. On near perfect shooting, McCullough scored 17 points, including five three-pointers, leading to a Moncton half-time lead 74-70.
The close game continued into the third, with neither team able to separate themselves by more than four points. Maurice Jones Sr. continued his strong game for the Five, leading all players in scoring with 13. The Five controlled the glass on either end of the floor, out rebounding the Magic 15-9 led by Cory Dixon's five and Dalembert's three. After three quarters, the Five trailed by three, 105-102.
Moncton got off to a quick start in the fourth, scoring two quick baskets to stretch their lead to seven. But the Five continued to battle back, chipping away at the Magic lead to eventually draw even with six minutes to play. However, a missed three from Braylon Rayson and a rare pair of missed free throws by Dexter Williams Jr. would allow the Magic to retake the lead. When it mattered most, the Northern Boys came through. Jones Sr. and Rayson combined for 13 points inside the final 4 minutes of play to carry the Five to victory 136-128.
Maurice Jones Sr. led all players in scoring with 41 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and three steals to earn BOSS Sudbury BOSS of the Night Honours and NBL Canada Line of the Night Honours. Cory Dixon collected his eleventh double-double of the season finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Canadian Yohanny Dalmebert had another big defensive game, scoring eight points, collecting nine rebounds and four blocks.
The Five will travel to Charlottetown to finish their final road trip of the season Thursday at 7:05 PM. Fans can catch the action online, at www.nblclive.ca.