(SYDNEY, NS) Travelling over 2,000 km to begin the team’s last road trip of the year, the Five certainly didn’t show any signs of jet lag to start Sunday afternoon’s contest against the Highlanders.
The Five received a much-needed boost Sunday with Jaylen Bland slotting back into the lineup for the first time since February 13thafter missing time with a lower body injury.
The Five came out flying to start the first quarter. Generating most of their offense from behind the three-point arc, the Five shot 57.1% from the field, including five three-pointers to score a season high 41 points in the first quarter. The five were led by Braylon Rayson who had 10 points and 4 assists in the first. Jaylen Bland had nine points fueled by three, three-pointers. Yohanny Dalembert also had a strong start to the game, finishing the first quarter with six points, five rebounds, and two blocks. After 12 minutes the Five were up 41-29.
The offense and the three-ball continued slowed to begin the second quarter for the Five. Opening the quarter on a Francis Kiapway triple, the Five offense was halted, allowing the Highlanders to go on a 13-0 run midway through the second. Fuelled by a trio Jaylen Bland triples, the Five responded with a 13-2 run of their own. Bland finished the second with 14 points including four three-pointers, Rayson added in seven, and Jones Sr. scored five to guide the Five to a 77-65 lead at half.
Both teams attempted to start the second half quickly, with the game play shifting to fast break offense. The Highlanders cut into the lead in the third, fuelled by 14 points from Landon Atterberry. The Five’s seven turnovers in the third led to costly additional possessions for the Highlanders. The Five scored 29 in the third, led by Jaylen Bland’s eight points. After the third, the Five lead was cut down to three, 106-103.
The Highlanders needed just two minutes to take the lead in the fourth quarter. However, it was short lived, with the Five regaining the lead after a Braylon Rayson jumpshot, followed by a jump back three-pointer. After six straight points by Jamal Reynolds, the Highlanders would once again take the lead. After fouling the Highalnders to regain possession, the Five turned the ball over, leading to a Devin Sweetney lay-up as time expired to seal the victory for the Highlanders 138-133.
Jaylen Bland finished the game with 34 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds, being named BOSS Supplements Sudbury BOSS of the Game. Braylon Rayson finished with 31 points and 9 assists, whiel Yohanny Dalmebert finished two points shy of the double-double with 8 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks.
The Five are back in action Tuesday as they take on the league leading Moncton Magic. Game time is 7:00 PM ADT. Catch all the action live on www.nbclive.ca.