posted by Josh MacDonald
Windsor’s first weekend of professional basketball was an exciting one as The Express experienced their first victory followed by their first loss at the WFCU Centre.
The first test came against the Halifax Rainmen. With a home crowd of over 3,000 people, Windsor controlled Halifax for the majority of the game and sealed the win with less than three minutes to go in the fourth.
Guard Mike Helms was a beast for the Express netting 25 points and dishing out seven assists to go along with four rebounds and a block. The Oakland University guard is not shy when it comes to pulling the trigger taking a team high 19 shots including nine bombs from downtown.
Windsor led by four at half and can credit stingy defence to their opening night success. Halifax shot under 50 percent from the field and 27 percent from three point land. The Express struggled shooting, but not from behind the arc making 10 threes in the game on their way to scoring 31 points in the fourth quarter.
Victor Morris was two for three from long range and Raymond Kraemer chipped in with 17 points. Banging three triples and going four for four from the foul line. Former Windsor Lancer Greg Surmacz was eight for 10 from the charity stripe and finished with 16 points. Anthony Johnson had 20 points on five of seven shooting from the floor.
Eddie Smith dropped 27 for Halifax shooting over 50 percent from the field and prefect from the line. Brandon Robinson was a rebound shy of a double, netting 22 and snatching nine rebounds for The Rainmen.
Shot selection seems to be Windsor biggest issue shooting 48 percent from the field, missing more shots than they made. Work must be put in on the offensive glass as well. A rebound on offence means easy put backs or wide open shots.
Seven offensive rebounds will not cut it if Windsor wants to get some gravy points.
In the second game of the weekend Windsor took on The Oshawa Power. The Express were monsters on the offensive glass with 21 rebounds compared to eight by their opponents. But this stat may be tainted considering the amount of shots Windsor missed. In the first half they shot 27 percent from the field, going an astounding 14 for 51.
All was almost forgiven as Windsor made a miraculous fourth quarter comeback. After trailing by 16 to end the third quarter, the Express came within one of Oshawa losing 84 -83. Surmacz had 16 points, 11 rebounds, a steal and a block in the loss. Anthony Johnson got his double double snatching 11 boards to go along with 12 points.
Windsor seems to be working the rust off and considering this is a new franchise there has to be time for growth. It’s shocking that Windsor turned the ball over 20 times in the contest, shot five for 10 from the foul line in the second half and only lost by one.
Leading scorer from game one Mike Helms netted 15 in the game but struggled percentage wise like the rest of the team, shooting three of 11 from behind the arc and 5 of 19 from the floor. Windsor looks to get back on track with a rematch in Oshawa on November 11.
(photo via the Windsor Star)
Josh MacDonald is a converge journalist from Fall River, Nova Scotia. Since the age of five a basketball obsession has fed his brain the knowledge needed to form opinions and allows him to continue to live his hoop dreams. Follow him @WexpressJMAC and check out his YouTube channel Sackvegas23