Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-February 10, 2018; Shinnston, West Virginia-February 11, 2018-The Philly Cannons travelled to Pittsburgh Saturday for a rematch with the nationally ranked Steel City Yellow Jackets, who defeated the Cannons two weeks earlier. The Yellow Jackets, number 7 in the national ABA poll, and the Cannons fought a closely contested joust back and forth and found themselves knotted up at 55 at the half. “I had to debut some new players today who were not present during the first game with Steel City but I knew that we would compete and not lay down,” said second year Head Coach, Roger Beckwith.
Newcomer Shafeek Taylor, a 6’4” wing guard, led the upset minded Cannons with 39 points off the bench. Guard Malcolm Richardson added 27 points and the reliable Kassim Green contributed 23. Unlike prior games, the Cannons made the plays down the stretch to pull out the victory. “I have been saying that we are due for a breakthrough and today was as good a time as any to show some growth and get a W,” said Beckwith. “We have been trying to get players to play unselfish and for each other, and no matter the lineup, if we do that, we have a chance in most ABA games.”
The Cannons found themselves in a dog fight during the first half in West Virginia Sunday against the Warlocks but were able to get some steals and easy transition points in the 2nd half leading to their largest margin of victory this season. “I liked how we were able to get control of this game and win convincingly,” offered Coach Beckwith. “West Virginia played us almost even in the first half and made some big shots.” Statistics for this game were not available at the time of print, but Beckwith noted strong performances from Richardson and Rell Harrington. “Rell has seemed to shoot himself out of his slump but I was most impressed with how he pressured their guards.”
The Cannons were on a four (4) game losing streak prior to this weekend but now find themselves on the winning side plus two (2) and sit with a record of 5-7 with the final month of the regular season left in play. ABA action resumes for the Cannons this Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Cannons home gym (Lindenwold High School) versus division rival, the Pottstown Flames. Tip-off is at 12 noon. “This will be a tough outing for sure and Pottstown, in their first year, is very similar to the Cannons,” said a cautious Coach Beckwith. On Sunday, February 18, 2018, Philly journeys to Baltimore for a 4:00 PM tilt versus the DMV Warriors at Woodlawn High School.
The ABA consists of over 100 teams nationwide, and the Cannons compete in the Chesapeake Division with the Baltimore Hawks, Pottstown Flames, NEPA Stars and Stripes, Prince George County Valor, York Buccaneers, Reading Wizards, Scranton Shamrocks, the Lancaster Wolfpack and the Western Maryland Bulldogs. Please visit www.phillycannons.com & www.abaliveaction.com for more information.