(Windsor, ON) -- The Windsor Express invited the Orangeville A's into the WFCU Centre Wednesday night. This was Orangeville's first trip to Windsor since early February when they defeated Windsor 97-92. Windsor was looking to go a perfect 3-0 in their three game home stand before hitting the road for six straight.
The first half was played almost entirely in transition. Windsor did an excellent job of getting stops defensively and capitalizing on the other end. Wally Ellenson made some noise early with a 2-on-1 reverse dunk in transition, assisted by Warren Ward. Juan Pattillo also found success in transition while Ward did most of his damage from beyond the arch in the first half, going 2-4 from deep. Despite being a typically three point heavy team, those were the only two threes Windsor hit in the first half. Windsor held a 51-43 lead going into half time.
There was an obvious emphasis on three point shooting during the halftime locker room talk. Ward continued to hit from deep with Ellenson and Darren Duncan joining a third quarter three point brigade. A Nick Evans block party broke out in the third quarter as well. The Express big man had possessions with multiple blocks to begin the third, playing extended minutes due to DeAndre Thomas' early foul trouble.
A lack of concentration was Windsor's biggest detriment in the fourth quarter. Despite leading for the better part of 3 and a half quarters, Orangeville took advantage of some trips to the charity stripe late. With just over two minutes left, Orangeville's Anthony Harris hit an equalizing three to tie the game at 93. Roughly 60 seconds later, Orangeville's Stefan Nastic hit the front end on a trip to the foul line, giving the A's a one point lead. That lead was protected by Nastic on the other end with an emphatic block of Juan Pattillo's go ahead layup attempt. Two possessions later, Darren Duncan was fouled, resulting in a 1-for-2 trip to the line, evening the score again with 17 seconds to play. Duncan grabbed a rebound and was again fouled following an unsuccessful trip to the line for Orangeville's Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson. Duncan went 50 per cent on that trip as well, giving Windsor the late one point lead.
With one second left, Orangeville's Anthony Harris attempted a prayer of a shot at the top of the arch. The shot missed, but the officials called a foul, sending Harris to the line for three shots. Harris hit only one of his three attempts, sending the game to overtime. Windsor and Orangeville went 7-10 and 7-15 respectively on free throws in the fourth quarter.
A flurry of post buckets were traded to begin overtime. An uneventful first overtime period settled nothing, leading to a second overtime period after Nastic's game winning three point attempt rimmed out for Orangeville.
The second overtime began with a 6-0 Orangeville run. That's all it took for Nick Evans to get going, hitting a pair of elbow jumpers. Down five, Warren Ward hit his most clutch three of the game, cutting the lead to two. But that would change. Maurice Jones was able to generate a turnover giving Windsor the ball down two with 16 seconds remaining. Ward's late game heroics continued as he drained a game winning three at the buzzer.
Ward's three gave Windsor a 111-110 double overtime victory in their first overtime home game of the season. It also cemented him as player of the game.
This exciting finish capped off a 3-0 home stand for Windsor. The Express now hit the road for six games over the span of two weeks.
Windsor returns home on Wednesday April 5th for a home game against the Niagara River Lions.
Warren Ward: 33 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 6-12 3PT, 12-21 FG
Nick Evans: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 8-17 FG
Juan Pattillo: 15 points, 3 assists, 16 rebounds
Stefan Nastic (Orangeville): 31 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist