The St. John’s Edge play their first-ever road playoff game in Windsor, Ont., tonight, but you can forgive the Edge in they feel a little at home.
St. John’s will be looking to finish off a sweep of the Windsor Express in their first-round National Basketball League of Canada playoff series at the WFCU Centre, where the Edge have had some success in their inaugural season.
St. John’s leads the best-of-five affair 2-0 after a couple of wins at Mile One Centre.
The Edge went 3-1 in four games in Windsor, which was better than they did against the Express at Mile One, where the teams split their four-game regular-season series.
But St. John’s made the most of home-court advantage over the weekend as it downed Windsor 123-120 in double overtime in the series opener and followed up with a more decisive 119-107 in Sunday’s Game 2.
If Windsor is looking for a positive as it teeters on elimination, it could be in the fact it was a winner the last time the teams met up at the WFCU Centre, prevailing 108-95 in a St. Patrick’s Day get-together. But recent history aside, the Express know they might have to pay particular attention to Edge forward Charles Hinkle, who averaged nearly 32 points per game in four contests in Windsor.
Hinkle didn’t score fewer than 23 points in any of those games, with his best performance coming on Dec. 15, when he put up a prodigious 53 points in a 103-99 victory over the Express.
At the time, it was the second-highest single-game scoring output in league history and stood as the best of the season until teammate Carl English set a new league all-time record with 58 points in a March 3 home-court win over the KW Titans.
If the Express extend the series tonight (8:30 p.m. NT start), Game 4 will be Friday in Windsor and if it needs to go the limit, Game 5 will be Sunday in St. John’s.
The winner will advance to the Central Division final, where they will face either the London Lightning or Niagara River Lions. The defending champion Lightning led that series 2-0 heading into Game 3 in St. Catharines, Ont., Tuesday night.