The Halifax Rainmen’s first foray into the playoffs has ended with a thud.
The Rainmen’s third season came to a close last night in Oklahoma as the club was swept from the Premier Basketball League best-of-three semifinals in jarring fashion with a 135-104 blowout loss to the Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry.
The Rainmen were never really in it, falling behind 59-44 at halftime and then getting walloped 39-23 in the third quarter as things got out of hand.
Rainmen head coach Les Berry said the Cavalry got too many “easy looks” in the second and third quarter and that it cost his team.
“With how fast they are in transition and how hard they push the pace, it’s really, really hard,” Berry said. “They hit some big shots at big times and when they push the lead on you and keep going, it’s just so tough.”
The first-place Cavalry, which won back-to-back Continental Basketball Association championships before joining the PBL last summer, went unbeaten at home en route to an 18-2 regular-season record. They now have won 17 straight games.
Rainmen point guard Gary Ervin continued scoring at a torrid pace, lighting it up for a team-high 19 points along with eight rebounds and seven assists. Greg Plummer was next with 15, Desmond Ferguson 14, Larry Turner 11 and John Strickland 10.
“Our guys kept playing and never stopped,” Berry said. “They gave us everything they had when they were out there and we did everything we could.”
Elvin Mims, with 24, and Brandon Dean, with 22, were among six members of the Cavalry who hit double figures.
The Cavalry advance to face the two-time defending PBL champion Rochester RazorSharks, who knocked off the Puerto Rico Capitanes in two straight in the other semifinal. Former Rainmen small forward Glen Dandridge piled up 22 points on six-of-eight three-point shooting yesterday as the RazorSharks beat the Capitanes 132-108.
Although the Rainmen are done for the year, the Metro Centre will play host to PBL all-star weekend on May 1 and 2.
Ervin, Ferguson, Tony Bennett and Eric Crookshank will represent the Rainmen at the event.