Rainmen End Week on High Note

Kavon Jones had a double double for the Rainmen with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
by Petec Clarke
THE GIST OF IT
In a week that saw ice and snow blow into Halifax, the Rainmen looked way colder than their southern rival, Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry out of Oklahoma. It was a classic case of not playing all four quarters for the Rainmen.

After a strong 24 point first quarter, the defending PBL champion Cavalry held Halifax to 13 in the second quarter and ran the score up very quickly.

As a result, the Rainmen were playing catch up for the whole second half and it obviously took its toll. That isn’t to say they didn’t do well. The Rainmen owned the rest of the game wining both the third and fourth quarters by two points each. In the end though it wasn’t enough to catch up to the run and gun Cavalry.

That all changed when Kentucky came to town on Saturday night though. The Rainmen dominated the Stallions.

To say this game was a one sided affair would be an understatement. Halifax controlled the game at both end of the floor and did not take the foot off the gas for the full 48 minutes.

The Stallions were limited to 29 points for the first half, scoring an embarrassing 12 points in the opening quarter, which really set the tone for the rest of the game.

WHO DID IT
The Rainmen had a frustrating loss to the defending champion Cavalry but still managed to have consistent production for the stat sheet.

They were led by starting point guard Taliek Brown with 18 points six rebounds, three assists and a steal.

Kavon Jones came up with a big double-double, 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Mike Mercer chipped in with 15, Josh Dollard scored 13 and Eric Crookshank continued his excellent bench production with 11 points and 15 rebounds.

Despite these strong numbers from the Rainmen’s key players they were not able to get a leg up on the stalwart Cavalry.

Everyone one the Rainmen squad was able to contribute to the big win over Kentucky on Saturday.

Tommy Mitchell who racked up 19 points led them.

Brown was excellent again with 18 points and seven assists.

Mercer also had 18 as he took advantage of running the floor with Brown.

Dollard and Jones each had 13 as they came off the bench together.

Desmond Ferguson had a decent night too. He was three for six from downtown with 12 points in total.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
On Tuesday against the Cavs, the Rainmen did not execute well on the defensive end. When the Cavs weren’t running on the Rainmen, they were playing a perfect pick and roll offense and the Rainmen were not closing out on the poppers.

If you take away that second quarter, the Rainmen would have won, but that’s not how things work.

It wasn’t a total loss however. Kavon Jones really came into his own in front of the home crowd. He is proving to be the emotional heart of this year’s Rainmen team. He is fired up no matter what the game situation is and has been playing with great energy.

It’s surprising to watch Jones because he is a big man with incredible ball handling skills. Not many power forwards will face up their man to do a few size-up dribbles before taking it to the hoop.

On Saturday night against the Stallions it was clear that Halifax was playing with a chip on their shoulders. They had something to prove to their fans and to themselves.

They did that and then some in the first half. The Rainmen were playing as a team. Everyone was getting touches and contributing. By the end of the first half, all but one player on the roster for the Rainmen had scored. They were revved up and playing at a pace that no one saw against the Cavs.

Taliek Brown ran a very good offense in Saturday’s game. He can push the ball up the floor fast or play slow and use the clock. What is surprising about him is how quietly he seems to rack up points. In this past week he has scored 36 points without much flash – he simply plays good fundamental basketball and plays within himself, avoiding tough shots.

The same cannot be said for his backup Tajuan Porter however.

Porter is a proven three-point marksman but has not been able to find his groove in the Rainmen offense. He scored only sick against the Cavs and only three against Kentucky.

Part of this might have to do with his position at the point. He can handle the ball but it might help the Rainmen to experiment with Porter playing off the ball more and coming off screens to spot up. He is simply too small of a guy to be shooting with a defender in his face. Hopefully Porter’s offense will come as the season progresses.

HECKLER’S ROW BURN OF THE WEEK
“Hey 50, Strick said finish your breakfast, not everyone else’s”


Peter Clarke is a graduate of Kings with a degree in Journalism. Check out his blog at http://rainmen.kingsjournalism.com/ and follow hom on twitter @rainmenblogger.
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