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Lewis benches another star as Rainmen slip from first

Halifax Rainmen head coach and general manager Rick Lewis has benched another high-profile scorer.

Halifax Rainmen head coach and general manager Rick Lewis has benched another high-profile scorer.

Lewis sat former American Basketball Association all-star Cordell Jeanty for the entire game Sunday in the Rainmen’s 104-92 road loss to the Manchester Millrats.

Earlier in the season, Lewis benched Eric Crookshank, the face of the franchise, for half a game, a move that predicated the 6-foot-8 forward’s season-long suspension.

“The things Cordell’s been giving us in the past few games did not call for him to be on the floor at this time,” Lewis said. “There are some things we need to address (with Jeanty), and we’ll address those things in practice this week.”

The 6-foot-5 Jeanty was among the Rainmen’s most productive players through eight games, averaging 13.5 points and 5.6 rebounds. But he had just one point in 19 minutes in Saturday’s 122-110 loss to the Vermont Frost Heaves and six points in 14 minutes in Thursday’s win over Manchester.

Lewis has come under fire from two of his players this season. Crookshank publicly questioned Lewis’s decision to bench him, while SirValiant Brown lashed out after being released, calling Lewis’s decisions on floor time “crap.”

The Rainmen opted to play most of the weekend with just eight players. Centre Tyronne McNeal didn’t see the floor in either game, while point guard Kevin Hammack and guard Rodney Mayes combined for eight minutes.

The losses push the Rainmen (6-5) out of first in the Premier Basketball League’s Atlantic Conference behind the Frost Heaves and Millrats, who are tied with 6-3 records.

Halifax is a combined 1-4 against the two teams this season.

“We can’t afford to have lapses and drop games like this down the stretch and in the last half of the season,” Lewis said. “We have to battle and fight and win these close games.”

Lewis said turnovers and second-chance points cost his team.

Newcomer Tony Bennett had a productive weekend, piling up 27 points yesterday and 20 more on Saturday. Jimmy Twyman (47 total points) and Rob Sanders (37 points and 21 rebounds) were the other standouts for the Rainmen.

Brian Silverhorn’s knee acted up so his time was limited yesterday. Glen Dandridge (ankle) also barely played.

 
 
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