The Halifax Rainmen may have been deprived of sleep, but they didn’t get caught napping on the court.
The Rainmen snapped a three-game losing streak on the weekend by sweeping a home-and-home with the Buffalo Stampede, wrapping things up yesterday at the Metro Centre with a 105-94 victory before a crowd of 2,308.
The wild weekend started on Saturday at 4 a.m., when the Rainmen left Halifax and flew to Buffalo. They beat the Stampede 112-108 that night, caught a few hours sleep, then flew back to Halifax at 3 a.m. yesterday morning.
“Two games in less than 24 hours … That’s a lot,” said Rainmen forward Cordell Jeanty, who had enough left to post a team-high 18 points. “It was a rough weekend.”
The Rainmen had surprising jump yesterday, grabbing the lead late in the first quarter and never letting go. They improved to 5-3, a game behind the Manchester Millrats (4-2) for first in the Premier Basketball League’s Atlantic Conference. Glen Dandridge equalled Jeanty with 18 points, while Jimmy Twyman capped a strong weekend with 15 points. Rob Sanders, nursing a calf injury, added 14 points.
When it came to getting some shut-eye, the Rainmen had to be creative, hitting the pillow at every opportunity.
“I slept in the hotel, during the drive, on the plane … Add it all up, and I slept about six, seven hours,” Jeanty said.
“That’s not enough for a regular person, but you’ve got to make do.”
Twyman, who played for the Harlem Globetrotters for three years, said it’s all part of professional basketball.
“We played every day with the Globetrotters,” the hard-nosed point guard said. “We’re a little beat, but this feels great. We worked so hard in practice and to get these two victories boosts our confidence. We’re ready to roll now.”
Suspended Rainmen star Eric Crookshank was in the crowd, sporting a red Air Canada T-shirt in his court-side seat. He interacted with his teammates during the game and even caught an errant pass in the third quarter.
John Strickland had 12 points in his debut at the Metro Centre and hammed it up for the crowd all game. He also grabbed the microphone after the game and told the fans they were the best he’d seen in his 14-year pro career.