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Wednesday April 2nd, 2014

Posted at 7:13am

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The tracks are laid. And the train is rolling. All aboard! The Windsor Express punched their ticket to the finals when they defeated the London Lightning 110-95 Tuesday night at the WFCU Centre in Game 7 of the NBL Central Conference Championship.Papa Oppong was back in the lineup for the Express after recovering from an injury in Game 5.

DeAndre Thomas may have played his best game of the season. He fought through the jeers and fouls and played his style of basketball. He scored 26 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Meanwhile, Darren Duncan also put up 26 points and grabbed 11 assists. Quinnel Brown had 18 points and 8 rebounds.

The Express hit 13 of 15 foul shots in the second half to ensure the victory.

London seemed to have Windsor’s number early in the game. They hit a pair of three-pointers to start the quarter. Windsor quickly tied it and gained advantage with eight straight points, including a one-hand jam from Kevin Loiselle. The teams soon battled back and forth for the lead. At the end of the quarter though, the Express were down by two.

Dominique Buckley gave Windsor the upper hand with a three-point shot in the second. The Express could’ve pulled further ahead but couldn’t capitalize on the London turnovers. Again, the Express and Lightning fought for the lead. And the former began to take off. Setting the train in motion was an alley-oop from Darren Duncan to Stefan Bonneau. Duncan later hit a three-pointer and coach Bill Jones was fired up. Windsor took control and led 49-45 heading into halftime.

The second half began with a battle between DeAndre Thomas and Elvin Mims, who exchanged baskets at either end of the court. But, it wasn’t long before the Express regained their momentum and built an 8-point lead. The Lightning closed to within 6 points after three quarters.

The lead had coach Page riling up the already rowdy crowd as he bought them to their feet. The WFCU Centre was rocking, and for good reason. The Express were rolling fast and continued to put up points. A Duncan three, and a Quinnel Brown dunk brought the fans up. Loiselle helped when he motioned for the 2503 fans to get up and make some noise. Windsor’s offense just kept rolling and forced London timeouts. It built a 20-point lead over the opposition late in the game. And for good measure, Loiselle slammed the ball down in statement fashion to solidify his and his team’s role.

The Windsor Express defeated the two-time reigning NBL Champions London Lightning 110-95 Tuesday night.

The Express move on to face the Island Storm in the NBL Finals. Game 1 takes place Friday, April 4th at the WFCU Centre.

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