London Community News
The London Lightning picked up their fifth loss of the season Saturday (March 2) after falling to the Summerside Storm 107-103 and the out-of-conference matchup finished with five L’s of its own for the black and yellow.
The first big L is losing in front of 4,759 home fans packing Budweiser Gardens.
The near 5,000 mark was a regular season record for the Lightning after surpassing the team’s all-time total of 4,092 set last week (Feb. 21).
The crowd absolutely squashes London’s average attendance of 2,554 on the year and is the largest crowd in the National Basketball League of Canada (NBL-C) this season. It’s the second biggest regular season game in the two years of the league.
The second L is the Lightning losing their home closer.
London will play their final four games of the season on the road and all within only seven days, starting Friday (March 8) and ending March 14.
There could be worse things, though. The Lightning don’t let up much on the road.
Sure they score about nine points less in an opponent’s gym, but they also give up about four points less.
Their field goal percentage stays about the same at 46 and any jet leg or calves getting cramped in the bus has been proven otherwise with London averaging 47 rebounds in every arena.
“We’re just a tough to team to beat and that’s why we’re 31-5,” said Adrian Moss, leading the Lightning with 21 points Saturday. “We’re a veteran team, a championship team.”
The next L is losing in the fourth quarter.
The Lightning used to be a team feared in the final 12 minutes of a game and most often would just completely put the game away at the end.
In the 18 games the Lightning played in 2012 they were only down headed into the final frame in one of the matchups. They also put up more points than their opponent in the fourth quarter alone in 13 of those games.
In the 18 games London played in 2013 they were leading in 13 of the matchups going into the final frame, which is still pretty good. However, they haven’t scored more points than their foes in the fourth in 11 of those games.
“Basketball is two halves,” said Lightning Tim Ellis, after his team dropped a 14-point lead in the third quarter to go into the final frame tied Saturday. “It’s not about how you start, it’s about you finish.”
Maybe the biggest L the Lightning picked up Saturday was another lose to what’s turning into an out-of-conference rival.
With just one game left between London and Summerside — the final game of the regular season — the Storm now have an edge up 2-1 in the season series.
Saturday’s game might have meant for Summerside. With a 31-5 record the Lightning know they can beat any team when they’ve had a target on their back all season, where the 21-14 Storm now know they can beat the NBL-C’s best team. The win also puts the Storm closer to securing the Atlantic Division.
One win against London could be considered lucky, striking the Lightning twice is a legitimate threat and Summerside did it in just three games nonetheless. That’s a confidence boost any team would want with playoffs just over a week away.
“You live and you learn and we will see (Summerside) again,” Ellis said, both teams leading their conference and possibly meeting in the final. “We just got to get better for next time and watch the film, look at our mistakes and know what we got to do better.”
The fifth L for the Lightning is the fact they just flat out lost.
After rattling off seven wins though, you can’t call London much of a loser.
But, if London can’t figure out their fourth quarter woes or consistently solving Summerside, than fans might not be calling them winners in the postseason either.
“Right now we just need to focus on the next team,” Moss said. “When (Summerside comes we’ll worry about it then.”