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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants center Ike Anigbogu and Canton center Kendrick Perkins get tied up under the basket in the third quarter at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants guard Walt Lemon Jr. steals the ball from Canton guard Marcus Thornton in the third quarter at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants guard Stephan Hicks sets up a play in front on Canton forward JaCorey Williams in the third quarter at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants forward CJ Fair drives the ball in the third quarter against Canton at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants guard Walt Lemon Jr. scores over Canton center Kendrick Perkins in the third quarter at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants forward DeQuan Jones scores over Canton guard Akeem Springs in the third quarter at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants guard Walt Lemon Jr. gets tied up under the basket by Canton guard Mike Williams, left, and forward Ante Zizic in the third quarter at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants forward CJ Fair scores over Canton center Kendrick Perkins in the third quarter at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants guard Walt Lemon Jr. gets fouled on a drive by Canton guard Marcus Thornton in the third quarter at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants forward Jarrod Uthoff scores over Canton forward JaCorey Williams in the third quarter at the Coliseum on Monday.  

Monday, November 20, 2017 11:10 pm

Analyzing Mad Ants' victory over Canton

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Mad Ants’ 91-78 victory tonight over the Canton Charge brought their record to 5-1 and extended their winning streak to five games. That’s their best run since they opened last season with six straight victories.

-- This speaks to just how well the Mad Ants are playing at both ends: Tonight, they had their second best defensive performance of the season and it came on the heels of their best offensive game – a 127-115 victory over Delaware.

-- This was the first game in which Walt Lemon Jr., who came into the night with a G League-best scoring average of 27.6 points, didn’t lead the Mad Ants in scoring. He had 13 points, well behind the 26 of C.J. Fair. “Just seeing my first couple shots fall, I got confidence from there. My coach and my teammates, they got confidence in me and I was just trying to be aggressive,” Fair said.

-- Fair had to come off the bench the last couple of games, too, because Ike Anigbogu was down from the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. Anigbogu looked solid with 11 points going against two NBA-caliber center, Ante Zizic, a first-round pick, and Kendrick Perkins, who has a championship ring with the Boston Celtics. Anigbogu, in fact, faced double teams at some points. “It’s great to win five games in a row, obviously,” Mad Ants coach Steve Gansey said. “It’s extremely difficult to do in this league. Our schedule early on, with us playing so much at home, it’s an advantage, and we have to continue taking care of home court. Canton is a big, physical team and we wanted to go smaller.”

-- Even in perhaps his least impressive game of the season, Lemon stood out. His play in which he went the length of the court, scurrying through three defenders to make a basket off the glass before the buzzer, was the stuff scouts would drool over. I hope general manager Brian Levy has a plan in place because I cannot imagine Lemon doesn’t get called up at some point. Of course, working against Lemon is the fact that he’s a guard and those aren’t exactly at a premium and it’s not like he was an unknown commodity coming into this season.

-- Fort Wayne and Canton only play four times this season. That sure doesn’t seem like enough for pretty close geographic rivals.

-- Because of problems with both the internet and the computers, the Mad Ants weren’t able to keep track of statistics with anything other than pencils and paper. That meant fans in the building didn’t get statistics on the scoreboard, fans couldn’t track statistics from afar, coaches couldn’t get numbers they’re used to getting at stoppages and scouts left without their usual paperwork, too. It also meant a lot more work for the staff and it could mean they have to watch the entire game again for the historical data, depending on if the NBA says they prefer that to the diligent note taking that took place during the game.

-- The announced attendance was 1,918.

jcohn@jg.net