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Sudbury Five scores the first win in a new basketball league



The Sudbury Five has joined the new Basketball Super League this season, and the team’s home opener Thursday night against the London Lightning served as the league’s inaugural game.

Thousands of fans packed Sudbury Community Arena for the Sudbury Five’s season-opening win over the London Lightning. (Supplied/Sudbury Five)Thousands of fans packed Sudbury Community Arena for the Five’s season-opening win – with the home team eventually triumphed over the Lightning 124-113.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Five head coach and general manager Logan Stutz, after the game.

“I have got to thank Sudbury for showing up – they made it fun, the guys made it fun. We stuck together. I was very very happy with it.”

Both teams are former members of the now-defunct National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) and the Lightning hold the distinction of being two-time NBLC champions.

London came out strong, led by Ben Mockford, leading 33-26 after the first quarter.

Mockford scored 22 points over 33 minutes of play leading the Lightning in scoring with teammate Jeremiah Mordi a close second putting up 20 points over 37 minutes.

Landon Kirkwood with a slam dunk in the Sudbury Five’s season opener and his first game at Sudbury Community Arena on Dec. 28/23. (Supplied/Sudbury Five)The Five bounced back in the second quarter with help from power forward Sam Daniel and shooting guard Landon Kirkwood, both playing in their first season with the Five, who scored 21 and 19 points respectively throughout the contest.

“Obviously London is a really good team, really good history and a really good coach,” said Daniel in the post-game press conference.

“(They) have been together for a while… and we have a new bunch – this is our first time taking court together.”

The power forward said it was a slow start for Sudbury but they stuck together and stayed focused on the next play.

“Doing whatever we got to do to get back into the game,” said Daniel.

Sudbury held London to just 21 points in the second quarter while scoring 35 points of their own, to lead 61-54 heading into halftime.

The Lightning stormed out with a strong offense to start the second half, scoring a total of 38 points in the third quarter, and holding the Five to just 34. Despite London’s surge, Sudbury still held a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“We kind of took off in the fourth like we did in the second,” said Stutz.

“I got to give a lot of credit to the guys buying into the systems we have put in place.”

The Five hammered down on defense again in the final quarter to close out with the first win of the inaugural season of the Basketball Super League with a score of 124-113.

Sam Daniel was Sudbury FIve’s leading scorer in their home opener against the London Lightning on Dec. 28/23 with 21 points, four rebounds and two assists. (Supplied/Sudbury Five)Daniel said he had heard a lot of hype about the crowd and fan base in Sudbury and was glad they were able to get a win for them.

“It was an amazing crowd,” he said.

“They really came in and showed out… It is amazing to start a season off with a win for sure.”

Sudbury will play their next three games on the road visiting the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans on Dec. 30 followed by a pair of games against the Montreal Toundra on Jan. 6 and Jan. 7.

The Five’s next home game is Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. and will be a rematch against the Lightning.

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