(Greater Sudbury, ON) The Five and the Edge met Friday night at the Sudbury Arena for game 4 of their first round, best-of-five series.
With a win Friday, the Five would advance to the Central Division Finals in their inaugural season, a feat completed just last season by the 2017-18 expansion Edge.
The game got off to a quiet start, with either team looking to stay tight defensively and not give up any high-quality scoring chances. After the Edge took a quick 6-point lead to start the game, the Five quickly got back into the game, taking the lead half-way through the opening frame. Both team’s struggled to get calls on offense, with Isaiah Tate taking the only trip to the foul line in the first. After 12 minutes, the Five were down four, 30-26.
After an intense opening quarter, both teams settled in for the second. Recently named NBL Canada MVP Braylon Rayson led all players in the second with eight points and two rebounds. The over 2,000 Sudbury faithful in the stands begged for an offensive outburst from the Five, but responsible defense from the Edge stopped any offensive streak. Moving into the half, the Five were down three, 53-50.
The Edge came out flying in the third quarter. Starting the quarter on a 13-3 run, the Edge temporarily silenced the Sudbury crowd to extend their lead. The Edge extended the lead to as many as 21 points with just under two minutes remaining in the second. A small run from the Five at the end of the quarter, including a commanding two-handed dunk by Mamadou Gueye would get The Five back in the game, and the Sudbury crowd on their feet. Moving into the final frame, the Edge were up 14, 88-74.
The Five continued to push the offense in the fourth, holding all of the momentum early in the quarter. The Five started the quarter on an 8-0 run, after a pair of triples by Braylon Rayson and Gueye were followed by Dixon slam. With just over two minutes remaining the Edge lead was gone, after a long jump shot by Cory Dixon found the net. A pair of offensive drives for the Edge led to trips to the foul line. After perfect shooting from Burnatowski and Davis, the Five were down four with the clock not on their side. The Edge held the lead, forcing game 5, winning 107-104.
Both teams now travel to Newfoundland for a deciding game five Sunday afternoon, with the winning team moving on to the Central Division Finals. Game time is 12:30 PM EDT. Fans can catch the game on the league’s streaming platform NBLC LIVE, www.nblclive.ca