ORLANDO, Fla. – Canton edged Fort Wayne 99-94 on Thursday in the day’s early game at the Advent Health Arena. The Charge got 28 points from Brodric Thomas in the win.
Canton hit 41.9 percent of their shots to Fort Wayne’s 35.9 percent while the Mad Ants controlled rebounding (58-47) and points in the paint (48-30).
Fort Wayne pushed out early on the hands of Amida Brimah, who secured the team’s first six points and paired that with four rebounds and two blocks before four minutes had been played. An Oshae Brissett dunk with 8:18 left in the first pushed Fort Wayne ahead 8-4. With 5:34 left, a Ty-shon Alexander three moved Canton back within two at 14-12, followed by a Marques Bolden dunk to tie the game. Canton led 27-23 after one.
A 6-0 run to start the second pushed Canton’s lead to double digits. Rayshaun Hammonds scored on a second chance basket with 6:54 left in the second to close the gap to 39-32. Josh Gray’s three pointer with 4:04 left cut the Mad Ant deficit to four but a Malachi Richardson’s finish after a move around a defender on the other end pushed Canton’s lead back out. Levi Randolph’s three pointer with 1:28 to play in the half gave Canton a ten-point advantage again at 52-42. At the half, Canton held a 54-46 lead.
At the 10:24 mark of the third, a Brissett three for Fort Wayne made the game 54-52 as the Mad Ants started the half on a 6-0 win but Thomas again stopped that with a three of his own the next Canton trip up the floor. With eight minutes to play, Cassius Stanley picked off a pass and took it the length of the court for a lay in to again pulls the Mad Ants within two at 61-59. A Gray three with 7:11 to play in the third gave the Mad Ants back a lead at 62-61. Canton took the lead back with 4:44 left in the quarter on a Thomas three pointer, only to lose it back on a Gray reverse layup for the Mad Ants. Canton would lead at the quarter break, 76-73.
Brimah’s back down basket with 7:24 left in the game extended Fort Wayne’s fourth quarter lead to 83-80. The two teams would play at a stalemate for the next several minutes until 3:31 left when Sir’Dominic Pointer’s three pointer evened the game at 85. A Brimah block led to a Stanley breakout and dunk with 2:21 to play to give Fort Wayne the lead back 89-87, something that was evened up the next trip down by Randolph at the free throw line. With 1:41 left, a Thomas pull up jumper put Canton back on top 91-89.
Behind Thomas, Canton was paced by Randolph’s 21 points and 13 from Sheldon Mac. Bolded added eight points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
Fort Wayne’s Brimah moved into a tie for sixth all-time in G League blocks. His five against Canton give him 295 for his career. He also finished with eight points and a season high 13 rebounds. The Mad Ants were led by Brissett’s 21 points and 16 rebounds while Gray matched a season high with 23 points.