Charge eliminated from playoffs
CANTON, Ohio -- Brady Morningstar’s potential series-winning shot hit the iron as the Canton Charge had their season end at the hands of the Tulsa 66ers in a 100-98 defeat at the Memorial Civic Center on Sunday. Tulsa advances to the semi-final round against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers with the 2-1 series victory.
Trailing 10-8 midway through the first quarter, Canton quickly assembled an 11-0 run by scoring on five-consecutive possessions over a span of 2:05 to take a 19-10 lead. Tulsa bounced back thanks in part to 13 first quarter fast break points and tied the game at 23-23 heading into the second.
After three ties and four lead changes in the first 4:16 of the second quarter, the 66ers went on to outscore the Charge 21-13 to take a 52-44 lead into the intermission. Tulsa got their spark in the second from creating high percentage opportunities with 16 points in the paint that contributed to their 61% efficiency from the field in the quarter.
Brady Morningstar scored 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the third to help chip away at the Tulsa lead, but the visitors surged back strongly. After the Charge tied the game at 72-72 with 2:58 left in the third, DeAndre Liggins hit three-consecutive three-point attempts for the 66ers while Canton missed three of their final four shots from the field and Tulsa led 81-74 heading into the fourth.
Canton went on a quick 9-0 run of their own to start the fourth and took an 83-81 lead with 8:23 to go. Four more ties and two lead changes ensued before the Charge found themselves up 98-95 with 1:15 to go. On the next possession, Rasual Butler took a Liggins pass on the shoulder and buried a three-point jumper to tie the game with 58.9 seconds left.
Kyle Weaver then drove into the lane to his right to try and pull back ahead with a four-foot floater that hit the iron and fell into the hands of Liggins, who then sprinted down the left sideline and was fouled by Weaver trying to get back. Liggins buried both free-throws to give Tulsa the 100-98 advantage.
With 10.3 seconds left and a full timeout, Canton drew up a play to try and extend their season. The ball worked its way around the entire perimeter and back before it ended up in Morningstar’s hands. He double-clutched to draw space from his defender on the right wing and fired from 26-feet, and the ball hit the right portion of the rim and off to end the game.
Morningstar surpassed his regular season high by finishing with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including 6-of-10 from three-point range, with three rebounds and two steals in 33 minutes. Weaver poured in 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds with four assists and two blocks in 42 minutes. Micheal Eric came off the bench to provide 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting with seven rebounds and a block in 26 minutes. Canton’s bench outscored Tulsa’s 50-9.
Three Tulsa players finished with 20+ points, led by Liggins’ 24, including 5-of-6 from the three-point line, with seven rebounds and three assists in 37 minutes. Rasual Butler netted 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting with five rebounds in 35 minutes. Perry Jones scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 41 minutes. Jeremy Lamb added 14 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 40 minutes.