The Canton Charge, presented by SecureData 365 and powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers, came back from a 29-point deficit but ultimately fell short to the Maine Red Claws in their season opener, 106-99. A near-capacity crowd of 3,650 were on hand at the Memorial Civic Center to see the Charge (0-1) take the Red Claws (1-1) to the brink.
Maine jumped out to a lead that stretched to as many as 29 in the first half thanks to a strong all-around team shooting effort. The visitors hit 22-of-40 shots (55%) from the field as a unit in the first half while limiting Canton to 37% shooting defensively. Boston Celtics assignments Jordan Mickey and Terry Rozier each netted 16 points in the first half to lead the Red Claws to a 60-42 advantage.
The hosts made their adjustments at the break to come out the gates for a 12-0 run in the first 2:13 of the third to pull within 60-56. Canton scored 38 points in the third overall on 15-of-25 shooting (60%) after the 42-point first half. Joe Harris netted 15 points himself in the period on 5-of-7 shooting. Canton’s defense held Maine to 37% shooting in the third, limiting the Red Claws to just 3-of-9 from beyond the arc (33%).
Trailing 82-80 entering the fourth quarter, the Charge continued to fight their way back into the game the entire period. The Charge defense buckled down, limiting Maine to just 25% from the field on 5-of-20 baskets. Harris paced the Charge again with nine fourth quarter points. A Mickey three-pointer with 3:55 remaining in the fourth put Maine ahead 95-92 and the Red Claws never relinquished the lead. Maine proved to be the aggressor in the fourth, getting to the foul line 12 times and connecting on 11, while the Charge failed to reach the charity stripe in the quarter.
Harris finished with 31 points on 11-of-25 shooting and 5-of-11 from three-point range with nine rebounds in 38 minutes. Nick Minnerath posted a double-double in his season debut with 17 points and 10 rebounds in 39 minutes. Quinn Cook netted 15 points in 37 minutes. Sir’Dominic Pointer scored 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished eight assists in 29 minutes off the bench.
Rozier paced Maine with a team-high 29 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in 38 minutes. Mickey added a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds with seven blocked shots in 38 minutes. Fellow Celtic assignment James Young supplied 14 points in 33 minutes. Levi Randolph came off the bench to score 15 points and grab two steals in 25 minutes of relief for the Red Claws.
The Charge will hit the road for their next game to face the Delaware 87ers on Tuesday, November 17th at 7:00 p.m. Canton returns home on Saturday, November 21st to take on the Westchester Knicks (New York Knicks affiliate) at 7:00 p.m. The first 1,500 fans in the Civic Center will receive a Charge replica jersey presented by Ecovacs Robotics. For more information and to purchase tickets, head to www.CantonCharge.com.