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The Journal Gazette

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Ben Bentil, of the Made Ants, keeps an eye on the ball as Canton's John Holland brings the ball down the court in the third quarter of Tuesday's game at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants' Jordan Loyd goes up to the basket in the first half of Tuesday's game against Canton Charge at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Stephan Hicks, of the Mad Ants, drives the ball down the court in the first half of Tuesday's game against Canton Charge at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Trey McKinney Jones, of the Mad Ants, works to drive the ball past the defense of Canton's Jonathan Holmes in the first half of Tuesday's game at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants' Trey McKinney Jones is fouled by Canton's Quinn Cook in the third quarter of Tuesday's game at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Travis Leslie, of the Mad Ants, looks past the defense of Canton's Roosevelt Jones in the first half of Tuesday's game at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Julyan Stone, of the Mad Ants, drives the ball down the court in the first half of Tuesday's game against Canton Charge at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Trey McKinney Jones, of the Mad Ants, drives the ball down the court in the first half of Tuesday's game against Canton Charge at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Rakeem Christmas, of the Mad Ants, looks to drive the ball throught Canton's defense in the first half of Tuesday's game at the Memorial Coliseum.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 7:06 pm

Mad Ants lose their cool, game

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

The Mad Ants were feeling anything but warm and fuzzy on Valentine’s Day, not after a 120-109 loss tonight to the Canton Charge that gave them their first three-game losing streak of the season.

“I don’t know if everyone is just upset because it’s Valentine’s Day and no one has anyone to go home to or something,” coach Steve Gansey said, trying to draw a chuckle after a game with more frustration than fun.

His team uncharacteristically lost its cool with the officials – Jonathan Sterling, Ryan Sassano and Natalie Sago – after they gave Fort Wayne four technical fouls for arguing calls and one for delay of game, along with two flagrant fouls, with all but a Stephan Hicks technical coming in the fourth quarter.

The Mad Ants (19-13), who were led by Hicks’ 19 points and 15 apiece from Jarrod Uthoff and Ben Bentil, didn’t trail until Quinn Cook’s 3-pointer with 6:18 remaining in the game. The Mad Ants, who are off for the all-star break until Feb. 22, when they play at Westchester, New York, squandered a 14-point third-quarter lead in front of 1,912 fans at Memorial Coliseum.

The Charge (19-15), who is trying to catch Fort Wayne for second place in the Central Division, was paced by Cook’s 36 points and Eric Moreland’s 24.

Rookie Alex Poythress, who had just four points, will compete in the All-Star Game and the Dunk Contest on Saturday in New Orleans.

As the Mad Ants struggle to find their killer instinct, Julyan Stone, who had 12 points and 10 assists, said the onus falls on the leaders, himself and Trey McKinney Jones, to get them headed in the right direction.

“We’ve got to go back to basics, at the end of the day,” Stone said. “We started out hot at the beginning of the season. We were playing our style of basketball, we were playing just basic basketball, and I think we’ve got to get back to that and get that chemistry back. We’ve got to be able to close out games. But it’s hard right now. We’re going through a rough patch, losing two out of three and stuff like that. That’s not what good teams do and I think we’re understanding that now.”

Video highlights are above.