London was shorthanded Thurday night and it showed.
Head coach Keith Vassell served a one-game suspension. So did usual starters Ryan Anderson and Kirk Williams Jr.
Joel Friesen-Latty and Julian Boyd sat out due to injury.
That being said, the Central Division leading Lightning still competed with the visiting Cape Breton Highlanders. The two teams ended regulation tied at 112 after Garrett Williamson’s put back two-pointer with 7 seconds remaining.
He finished with 30 points and was named player of the game for the Lightning. After the game Williamson wasn’t interested in talking about his performance. “Not good enough. I need something else, give me another question.”
He would open up a little more about the team’s preparation for their next game on Sunday. “Go to work tomorrow and get better. It’s all about peaking towards playoffs. Hopefully this is a wake up call that we can never relax, we’ve been relaxing too much recently. Every team has been giving us their best shot.”
Royce White also had a big night for London in a losing cause. He dropped 42 points, grabbed 21 boards and added 9 assists. Unfortunately for the Lightning, White turned the ball over 13 times.
Assistant coach Elliot Etherington took over Vassell’s bench duties on Thurday. He wasn’t happy with the team’s effort despite getting to overtime. “They wanted it more than us. We came in just a little stagnant, we never put runs together. We never got stops when we needed to get stops.”
Running a short bench caused plenty of fatigue and mental mistakes especially in the 4th quarter. Etherington felt like his late game performers weren’t making the necessary plays to close out their contest against the Highlanders.
Looking ahead to their next game, the Lightning will work on challenging each other to raise their intensity. With playoffs right around the corner they need to be tougher and create some much needed momentum.
They take the court next on Sunday when they visit the KW Titans. Tip-off is at 2pm.