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Wednesday April 16th, 2014

Posted at 6:56am

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The Windsor Express are back. After a tough sequence of games in P.E.I., the Express returned to Windsor for Game 6 Tuesday night, at the WFCU Centre. They certainly regained the composure they lost out east, because they made up for the losses in a powerful way. Each player on the team scored for the Express. An all-around team effort for Windsor led them to a 107-88 victory over the Island Storm. The championship series is now tied at 3, with one game remaining.

Chris Commons led the way with 19 points. Quinnel Brown put up 18 points. Stefan Bonneau had 17 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, while Darren Duncan and George Goode scored 15 points.

In the first half, three Express players were in double digits in scoring, while they held the Storm’s scoring leader to only 7 points.

Defensively, on the game, Windsor forced 10 turnovers, had 9 steals and made 6 blocks (3 of those blocks were by Kevin Loiselle).

Playing three straight games out east had both teams playing slow basketball, trying to adjust to the bright lights of the WFCU Centre and trying to find their groove. Nerves were high as well in the important game. It took a little bit but Darren Duncan started the scoring with a free throw. Then, the teams slowly got back into their usual game flow. The Storm hit a three-pointer to break a tie, but Windsor retaliated with a pair of baskets. Frustration took over early as the Island’s was handed a technical foul. Later, George Goode hit an unexpected three-point shot, which was answered by the Storm with one of their own. The Express were up by 7 after the first quarter.

Windsor got back-to-back three-pointers from Goode and Bonneau early on. Goode followed that up with a monstrous dunk. And soon after, Bonneau hit another three-point shot, giving the Express a 13-point advantage. That lead would soon develop into a 17-point lead because of Windsor’s ongoing offense. The Island recovered enough to sink a couple of consecutive threes in the bottom half of the quarter, but those baskets were almost all they could muster. Chris Commons and Darren Duncan sank some last-minute shots to give Windsor a 48-32 lead at halftime.

And the Express just kept rolling forward, pushing their engines to the max. After Thomas started the second-half scoring, Commons hit another three-point shot. Windsor soon went up by 21 points, and forced the Island into a timeout. The Express were taking control of the Storm. They held the visitors back with a strong defensive game from Loiselle, Thomas and Goode, while punishing them offensively with fast-paced scoring. One more three-pointer from Commons extended Windsor’s lead to a monumental 30 points. In the late stages however, Express fouls cut the lead to 22. With one quarter to play, Windsor was ahead by 24 points.

Onward they went, as the Express picked up points from all over. Windsor’s offense landed continued to hit big-time shots as it maintained a significant lead over the Island. To highlight the quarter, Loiselle stole the ball and dunked it, while Goode drilled a three-point shot with less than a minute. R.J. Wells also entered the game and scored both of his foul shots to the roaring delight of the crowd. The Express fought off elimination and tied the series at 3 games apiece, beating the Storm 107-88.

At the conclusion of the game, Darren Duncan was congratulated by NBL Commissioner Paul Riley, Windsor Express CEO Dartis Willis and coach Bill Jones for winning the WESPY Award for Male Basketball Player of the Year.

Duncan and the rest of the Express players will be back on the court this Thursday, April 17th for Game 7 at the WFCU Centre at 7pm. The winners will be crowned the 2014 NBL Champions.

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