After a sloppy 80-69 loss to the Maine Red Claws, the Raptors 905 were looking to rebound offensively against the Erie Bayhawks. That did just that as they came away with 95 points which was a decent effort offensively. Unfortunately, it was in a losing cause as the Erie Bayhawks came away with the 99-95 victory. Aside from turning the ball over 24 times, the Raptors allowed two 30 points scorers. Both Gabe York and Anthony Brown had 31 points for the Bayhawks. This was something that Raptors 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse was not too pleased about. “I mean you look at Gabe York, their starting point guard, (he went) 13/20 (from the field), that is unacceptable.” Said coach Stackhouse on the play of the 905 from a defensive standpoint.
The story of the game was a sloppy first quarter from the Raptors 905. For the first 5 minutes and 30 seconds of the game it looked as if those offensive woes would carry over from their last outing. The Bayhawks jumped out to an early 14-3 lead in the first quarter. Coach Stackhouse commented on their sluggish first quarter starts.
“We got to have more energy to start games and I’m not happy with the energy that we have starting games as a whole. Not one or two people in particular but as a whole were not coming out and setting the tone the way we were early in the season.”
Another cause for concern is the Raptors 905’s third quarters. In the third frame, the Erie Bayhawks shot the lights out. The Bayhawks found their rhythm in the third to the tune of 36 third quarter points. For the 905, that is their second bad third quarter in as many games. The North side have been outscored in the third quarter by a score of 54-27 in their last two games. While two games does not mean it is time for 905 fans to panic, it is cause for concern.
If there was a positive that the 905 can look at for this game, it was their aggressiveness going to the rim. During that first quarter, it seemed as if the 905 decided to their approach instantly after going down 14-3 early in the first. They decided to look for layups and were able to get 15 first quarter free throws. As a result that cut the Erie Bayhawks’ that early lead down to 26-21 by the end of the first quarter. The 905 ended up with 36 free throw attempts. Coach Stackhouse was pleased with the 905 going to the free throw more. One 905 player who used the free throw line early and often was Axel Toupane. Toupane had 22 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. 10 of Axel’s points came from the charity stripe as Toupane went 10 of 14 from the free throw line. “I love the aggressiveness. Axel was aggressive going to the (Free-throw) line.” Said coach Stackhouse on the play of his guard.
Other players who showed out was Will Sheehey, CJ Leslie, and Jarrod Uthoff. Each of those three joined Toupane as the 905’s double digit scorers. Sheehey had 17 points, Uthoff pitched in with 14 points and CJ Leslie had 10 points.
Unfortunately even that positive came with a negative as the 905 missed 13 free throws. Overall they finished the game with a free throw percentage of 63.9 percent. “When you throw it away 24 times and you miss 13 free throws, that’s the game right there.” Said coach Stackhouse. Interestingly enough that is something that while the club is not necessarily bad at but would like to do much better. For the season, the 905 are 11th at free throw percentage so far.
The 905 play again at home January 4th against the Canton Charge. Tip-off is at 7:30.