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Photo Cred: Charlie Graham (@offglass)

It was one of those nights for the Raptors 905 against the Canton Charge. It seemed as if everyone on the 905 was feeling it. The ruckus 2861 crowd at the Hershey Centre got to witness the 905 put on a clinic to a 118-88 victory over the Charge. Five 905 players scored in double figures, with the points leader being Brady Heslip with 18. Both Edy Tavares and Jared Sullinger had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“I thought we set the tone early and we moved the ball. We found Edy (Tavares), I think for three dunks in the first three minutes and that kind of set the tone to let them know that we’re moving the ball.” said Jared Sullinger on the team’s performance. The offensive fluidity was noticed from first quarter to the fourth, when the 905 jumped out to a 10 lead and did not look back. “I thought tonight we fought for 48 straight minutes.”

Sullinger was key in setting the tone as he was in a pass first mentality for most of the game. Sullinger finished with 5 assists and when asked about his passing touch, he harkened back to his days as a youth.

“Growing up I had two older brothers who played guard and my dad used to make me play the guard when our point guard got denied and forced the big man to guard me full court. It was something that has been beaten in my head at an early age.”

While it was just one game where we saw Sullinger play the role of distributor, it is clearly something he is capable of doing on a consistent basis. It will be interesting to see if Sullinger will use this pass first mentality with the Raptors going forward. One negative with the Raptors is their assists totals. While that has not affected the raptors offense negatively, the Raptors could use a couple more assists per game and Sullinger’s performance tonight shows he can be that guy.

From a team perspective, it was a great performance all around from an offensive standpoint but also defensively as well. This is a Canton Charge team that features two all-stars in Quinn Cook and Eric Moreland. It also features talented scorer John Holland. However, the Charge were held to 88 points on 41% shooting. This was something that the Raptors 905 Head Coach Jerry Stackhouse was almost giddy about.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this group, we held them to under 90. I looked up at the clock, I was thinking 85 for a minute but then the guy (Canton Charge guard Kevin Olekaibe) hit a three so we’ll settle for 90 but just a great group of guys, great effort.” said coach Stackhouse when talking about his team’s defense. Individually, the two Canton Charge All-Stars each had tough nights respectively. Quinn cook had 12 points on 5-17 shooting from the field, while Eric Moreland had 8 points, 9 rebounds and had a +/- of -28 on the night. Canton’s guard John Holland was the leading scorer with 22 points.

However, the highlight of the night was Bruno Caboclo getting a technical foul. The 905 resident good guy finished with 11 points and showed some intensity. When arguing with a ref about a call, he was assessed a technical foul. To be honest, it was a rather harmless technical foul, as the game was out of reach. Nonetheless it was indicative of Cabcoclo intensity throughout the game, which is a good sign for the Caboclo fans. Coach Stackhouse had some fun about Bruno’s tech and was pretty impressed with his performance.

“Bruno was good again tonight wasn’t he? He’ll take a bad shot or two every now and then but I think he’s always active. He even got a technical foul tonight. So I think that shows that he was engaged and had a ton of energy.” Said coach Stackhouse.

The 905’s next game is a Valentine’s Day tilt against the Westchester Knicks, inside the Hershey Centre. Tip-off is at 7:30.

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