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Monday April 13th, 2015

Posted at 1:49pm

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Game three, the Express went down by 40 points and were easily handed a loss. Game four, they had to fight through every Brampton play, but it wasn’t enough. Game Five, with their playoff lives on the line, they survived a tough game and pulled out a win. Game Six, Windsor overcame the obstacles laid in front of the team and beat the A’s for the first time at the Athlete Institute.

Game Seven, with all the momentum on their side, and everything on the line, the Express believed, and achieved. They punched their ticket to the NBL Finals for the second straight year with a dominant performance from all players. Inside the WFCU Centre, Windsor defeated the Brampton A’s 120-101 to rally from a 3-1 series deficit and clinch a berth in the Finals.

Leading the Express charge was Chris Commons who scored 26 points. Tony Bennett wasn’t far behind with 24 points. Quinnel Brown scored 17 points and picked up 8 rebounds. Gary Gibson had his best game of the season, playing hard at both ends and going 3-out-of-5 with his threes. He also picked up 11 assists.

Right from the opening tip-off, it was clear that the Windsor Express were still building off of the momentum gained from their Game Six win. They had drive and passion, and struck early and quick. Tony Bennett opened up with three foul shots and soon after, Gary Gibson and Quinnel Brown landed three-pointers. Chris Commons, following a steal, ran down the court for a thunderous one-handed jam. The reason that the A’s stayed close and didn’t let the Express take full control of the game was Zane Johnson. Throughout the quarter, he scored Brampton’s first 15 points with five consecutive three-pointers. Windsor began playing harder defense and pressuring the shooters to make bad shots. In response to Johnson’s threes, Commons landed three straight of his own. At this point, the Express were increasing their lead in a big way. Brampton went over three minutes without a point in the late stages of the opening quarter. With the first 12 minutes gone, Windsor was up 37-22.

It was nonstop for the Express. Kirk Williams Jr. had a giant block early on in the second quarter, and then Windsor sank a pair of three-pointers that really put them up. The constant offensive power allowed the Express to build an enormous 35-point lead. The team clicked together and connected on key plays. After two quarters, the Express led 75-41.

The train wasn’t slowing down just yet. To kick off the second half just right, Bennett landed a big three-pointer. Throughout the quarter, Brampton inched closer, but still had quite a ways to go. The A’s were able to pull within 20 points, and kept pushing for more. As the quarter went on, the play became more physical, with the A’s trying to do anything they could to catch up. at the end of the third, Windsor was on top 92-70.

The Express were fighting, but the visitors were fighting harder. Windsor, who at times, has given up a major lead, was on the verge of allowing it to happen once more. Brampton got within 16 points, but Windsor had enough. The team put up a wall and took it to another level. Gibson hit an important three, Brown slammed the ball down for a dunk, and Bennett sank another three-pointer. The team came together and put up a 23-point lead with only minutes remaining. The train was too fast, and the tracks were paved. The A’s couldn’t catch up. the final seconds ticked off to the sounds of roaring cheers and excited players as the Windsor Express fought back in the series to win Game Seven 120-101.

Following the game, Ryan Anderson made his way to centre court where he thanked the fans for their support.

Games One and Two of the NBL Finals are scheduled for Wednesday, April 15th and Friday, April 17th at 7pm at the WFCU Centre.

 

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