Posted: Apr 14, 2019
By: Dan Polischuk
The KW Titans made history once again this season on Sunday afternoon, winning their first ever postseason series with a 109-93 road victory in Game #5 against the London Lightning.
Having lost their previous two games in Kitchener, the Titans found success away from The Aud for the third time in the best-of-five match-up against the two-time defending champions.
The Titans entered the game having absorbed a series-tying loss less than 24 hours prior, but they came out with the required high energy and level of desperation from the get-go.
With Ed Horton (lower body inury) out of the line-up for the second straight game, fellow veteran Tramar Sutherland filled quite admirably by pacing his squad to a 23-9 lead in the frist quarter.
Sutherland, having posted 25 points combined in the first four games of the series, recorded 23 points by the end of the game to go along with 12 rebounds in 40 minutes of play.
Flen Whitfield, with a game-high 29 points to go with 10 rebounds, was the other Titan to record a double-double (his first of these playoffs) on the day.
Carrying a 49-38 halftime lead, the Titans would boost that advantage to as much as 17 just before the midway point of the third quarter.
Heading into the final frame with an 11-point lead, the Titans were able to shut down any pushback from the Lightning from then on out to close out the win.
Along with Sutherland and Whitfield, rookie forward Justin Strings (17 points, six rebounds) was also one of five Titans to finish with double-digit scoring totals. Damon Lynn (16 points, eight assists) and Ashton Smith (10 points, nine assists) rounded-out the group.
Commenting on his the offensive boost he provided his team in such a crucial game, Sutherland commented on how "there was a lot of stuff we were playing for, a lot of people we were playing for."
"We weren't ready to let this go, we were playing for one another," said Sutherland.
Titans Head Coach was most pleased with how his squad "kept going" and "kept pushing" while acknowleding the relentlessness with which the Lightning played all series.
The difference though, in his view, was how KW showed bounceback grit.
"All season long, they have shown how tough they are when adversity really sets in," said Johnson of the Titans.
KW will now face the St. John's Edge in their first appearance in an NBL Canada divisional final. With the Titans being the lower seed, the best-of-seven series will begin in Newfoundland.
Dates and times have yet to be released.