The Halifax Rainmen squeaked by in the fight for first and wiped out the New England curse in the process.

The Rainmen edged the Manchester Millrats 123-119 last night at the Metro Centre, climbing atop the Premier Basketball League’s Atlantic Conference and beating a New England PBL team for the first time in their brief franchise history.

It had been 14 games of futility for the Rainmen against the Millrats and the Vermont Frost Heaves.
“I had a bad taste in my mouth since last year about this,” said small forward Brian Silverhorn, who is the only inaugural member of the Rainmen still on the active roster. “It felt really good to finally get a win against those guys.”

It was a blowout-turned-nail-biter. Halifax led by 24 points going into the fourth quarter and barely hung on as the Millrats scorched them for 50 points in the final frame.

Silverhorn enjoyed a heroic return to the lineup after missing five games with a sprained knee, scoring 22 points.

Rainmen forward Rob Sanders, meanwhile, played a huge role in ending a curse he started as a member of the Millrats last season, posting a game-high 30 points and 16 rebounds against his former team. Glen Dandridge added 23 points.

The Rainmen (6-3) visit Vermont (4-3) on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Manchester (5-3) on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

“We can’t celebrate now,” said Sanders, who averages a double-double.

“It’s going to be two more tough games with all that travel, but we’ll pull together and get it going.”