The Raptors905 were back in action Saturday afternoon as they took on the visiting Delaware 87ers. This wasn’t going to be an easy one of the 905 as the 87ers roster featured guys like James Michael McAdoo and Emeka Okafor who have a ton of NBA experience. The 905 roster looked a bit different for today’s game as they made a trade with the Lakeland Magic to acquire the rights for new starting centre Shevon Thompson in exchange for the player rights to Scott Suggs. The 905 would also be without Lorenzo Brown and Alfonzo Mckinnie as they were recalled by the Toronto Raptors. With their absence we would see guard Kethan Savage and forward Malcom Miller inserted into the starting lineup. The home team started out the game looking more focussed and ready to play, Thompson lead all scorers after the first quarter with seven points and grabbed three boards while being a real presences in the paint effecting a lot of the 87ers shots early on. Despite the early efforts the 905 trailed 27-26 after the first.
In the second quarter the 87ers begin to pull away as they hit a barrage of three balls forcing 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse to call a timeout as his team was trailing 45-33. 87ers forward James Webb III went off for 10 points in the quarter and lead all scorers at the half with 16. Once again the 905 dug themselves a hole turning over the ball nine times in the first half leading to 14 points for the 87ers. The score at half time was 65-39 for the visiting team. The 905 trailed big but this is a game of runs and they hoped they would see their big run come in the second half.
The 905 stepped up their defensive intensity in the third quarter trying to make sure they didn’t let the game completely slip away. They began to feed their newly acquired big man, Thompson, the ball in the paint where he dropped in 9 points but he picked up his fifth foul at the three minute mark forcing Coach Stackhouse to sit him on the bench with a team high 16 points. At the end of the third the 905 continued to trail 87-66.
The defensive intensity would carry over into the fourth and final quarter as the run the 905 have been looking for all game finally came. After trailing by as much as 29 the 905 made it a game cutting the 87ers lead to 15 forcing their head coach Eugene Burroughs to call a timeout just three minutes into the quarter. Both teams continued to battle and the 905 kept chipping away at the lead forcing some turnovers and scoring in transition bringing the crowd to their feet chanting, “Defense! Defense!” as they came to within 4 points. Centre Andre Washington stepped up and gave his team some really good minutes with Thompson in foul trouble. Guard Davion Barry showed a tremendous amount of heart trying to lead his team to victory with a game high of 24 points to finish the contest. In the end it would be a few mental errors that caused the 905 to fall short in this one losing by 6 with a final score of 98-92.
After the game Coach Stackhouse talked about the continued changing roster and his team’s effort. “We have enough. It’s not about who’s not here, who’s not playing. We have enough in this locker room to get it done and until it starts to hurt a little bit and we start to feel a little bit of discomfort from coming in with our heads hung like they are right now it will continue. We’ve got some guys with pride and that showed in the second half and if we can try to put that together for 48 minutes I’ll be able to live with the results a little better than I am now.” The Raptors 905 continue their title defence tomorrow as they take on the Grand Rapids Drive, the G-League affiliates of the Detroit Pistons.