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Raptors 905 play the College Park SkyHawks

Dial 905: College Park Skyhawks sweep injury-plagued Raptors 905

The shorthanded Raptors 905 couldn’t hang with the healthier and, perhaps, better, College Park Skyhawks, as they get sent down to the bottom of the standings with a 0-3 record.

Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

When it rains, it pours.

The Raptors 905’s Showcase Cup part of the season is off to a terrible start, and injuries play a big part. They were already missing two key players, Kevin Obanor and Justise Winslow, who have yet to debut for the Raptors 905. Worse, Two-Way contract player Javon Freeman-Liberty, who scored 26 points against the Long Island Nets, turned his ankle during that game and missed the series against the College Park Skyhawks. Ron Harper Jr. also injured his shoulder, forcing him to miss these two games as well, and to add insult to the injury, David Morsell, their best player on the front end of this series, turned his ankle late in the game and ended up missing the second game against the Skyhawks.

The Raptors 905 struggled against the bigger and better College Park Skyhawks, who punished them on both ends of the floor. However, turnovers, offensive adjustments, and overall defense (effort, scheme, and lack of adjustments) derailed their hopes of making it even more competitive in both games.

Despite being shorthanded, a couple of 905ers stepped up. Darryl Morsell recorded a career-high 22 points and seven assists during the first game. Myles Burns showed up in the second game with 21 points.

Markquis Nowell was the only Raptor for this series, posting 15 points and eight dimes. Still, he’s shooting 33.3% from the perimeter and the field overall. The team’s lack of backup point guard play put much pressure on Nowell to make things happen. While he was able to do a good job facilitating and managing the first game, the Skyhawks concentrated on limiting his impact offensively in the second game.

Makur Maker and Mo Gueye both alternated flashes of brilliance and frustrating play. Gueye averaged 15 points and 8.5 boards but also had 4.5 assists. Similarly, Maker had 15 points, hitting 46.2% in 6.5 attempts from the perimeter while grabbing 6.5 boards in two contests. However, he only played 25 minutes per game, as he was in foul trouble for the most part.

Showcase Cup Game 02: Shorthanded Raptors 905 drop their home opener vs College Park Skyhawks, 118-101


Raptors 905: Markquis Nowell, Darryl Morsell, Omari Moore, Makur Maker, Mo Gueye

College Park Skyhawks: Keaton Wallace, Tyson Etienne, Miles Norris, Seth Lundy, Chris Silva


Raptors 905: Markquis Nowell (TW)

College Park Skyhawks: Seth Lundy (TW), Miles Norris (TW)

It wasn’t the home opener that the Raptors 905 and their fanbase were hoping for as the Raptors 905 fell to College Park Skyhawks, 118-101. It was a tight game for the most part – there were 15 lead changes, and the team was tied ten times, but all of these happened during the first 33 minutes. The Skyhawks turned on their jets late in the third and the entire fourth period, outsourcing the Raptors 905 43-24 over the last 15 minutes of the game.

Daryll Morsell had a career game with his first start of the season, posting career-highs in points (22) and assists (seven). Markquis Nowell had a decent game, putting up 16 points and seven dimes. However, he (and the rest of the team) couldn’t buy a bucket in the fourth period – perhaps due to a turned ankle early in the second half, as they watched the Skyhawks pull away.

Makur Maker had a good start for the Raptors 905, putting up all 16 points in the first half. Unfortunately, he was in foul trouble for most of the second half, including a 10-second cameo in the fourth, where he came in and picked up his sixth in just a matter of seconds. Mo Gueye had a relatively quiet 18 points and eight boards for this game.

Former Miami Heat player Chris Silva led all scorers with 27 points and 10 boards, while Keaton Wallace looked solid on both ends of the floor, adding 19 points, five assists, and four steals.

The Skyhawks’ bench did plenty of damage against the Raptors 905, outscoring their counterparts 44-18. It’s a little bit skewed as the Raptors 905 were missing some firepower, as Ron Harper Jr. (shoulder) and Javon Freeman-Liberty (ankle) missed the second game of the season, while Kevin Obanor (calf) and Justise Winslow have yet to debut this season. However, that was a missed opportunity for the Raptors 905’s deep bench to show what they can do.

Eye test suggests that the Skyhawks carved the Raptors 905 in the paint, as the Raptors 905 had plenty of trouble guarding Silva’s and MiKyle McIntosh’s post-ups. Still, the Raptors 905 won the battle in the paint, 48-44, despite being down initially 30-12 at the half. However, the Skyhawks were able to show their size advantage elsewhere, with a +10 rebounding difference, resulting in a favourable possession battle.

The Raptors 905 looked good early, behind Morsell’s aggressiveness, transition game, and the team’s ball movement, leading by as much as eight points for most of the first period. However, unforced turnovers and bad decision-making defensively allowed the Skyhawks to make an 11-3 run to tie the game after the first period.

The Skyhawks turned up their defense a notch, with stout on-ball defense and immediately packing the paint as soon as the ball entered the three-point line, causing stagnation on the Raptors 905’s offense. To make it worse, Skyhawks coach Ryan Schmidt was the first to make a big chess piece move, going with “mismatch basketball”, utilizing Silva and old friend MiKyle McIntosh on the post, helping the Skyhawks build a 10-point lead. Morsell willed the team back with his hustle and playmaking, joining hands with Maker to take a 57-56 lead at the half.

The third period was an ugly back-and-forth affair, with Chris Silva showcasing what he can do offensively, and Raptors 905’s Jaysean Paige finally finding his rhythm. Paige’s trifecta gave the Raptors 905 their last lead at 77-75 before the Skyhawks ended the last three minutes of the quarter on a 7-0 run.

Maker opened up the fourth with two quick fouls in less than two minutes, earning a trip to the bench by picking up his fifth personal foul. During the period, the Raptors’ lack of point guard play reared its ugly head, and their defense was just as bad, allowing the Skyhawks to go on a 9-0 run to take a commanding 91-77 lead. Putting the starters back, the Skyhawks picked apart the Raptors 905’s defence just enough to keep them away from a striking distance for the rest of the game.

Showcase Cup Game 03: College Park Skyhawks lock up shorthanded Raptors 905, 108-85


Raptors 905: Markquis Nowell, Jaysean Paige, Omari Moore, Makur Maker, Mo Gueye

College Park Skyhawks: Keaton Wallace, Tyson Etienne, Miles Norris, Seth Lundy, Chris Silva


Raptors 905: Markquis Nowell (TW)

College Park Skyhawks: Seth Lundy (TW), Miles Norris (TW)

The Raptors 905 and the College Park Skyhawks were back at it again Tuesday night. Still, the College Park Skyhawks came back looking more prepared for this game than the hosts, locking up the Raptors 905 the entire game for an easy 108-85 drubbing.

The game was almost unfair for the Raptors 905, as they were already missing two of their starters from the previous match. Still, they also missed Darryl Morsell for this game, as he suffered an ankle injury on their first meeting. Jaysean Paige drew the starting assignment in place of Morsell. The result was expected, but the process of how they lost was disappointing, as the Skyhawks came back with a much better game plan on both ends of the floor.

Raptors 905 reserve Myles Burns was the only bright spot for the home team, putting up 21 points and four boards. Markquis Nowell added 14 points and eight dimes, but most of his points came in the second half when the team was already down big. Makur Maker had a Jekyll and Hyde game, where he showcased what makes him both an intriguing and frustrating prospect. He also fouled out again but probably had his best outing with 14 points and 10 boards.

Skyhawks’ Seth Lundy bounced back with 22 points and 10 boards, while Chris Silva’s physical presence down low was too much for the Raptors 905, finishing with 28 points, seven boards, two blocks and a game-high +28 +/-.

The Skyhawks pretty much got what they wanted, but the frustrating part was the Raptors 905 giving them free possessions like a swag giveaway. It’s expected for the visitors to dominate the paint. The Skyhawks carved the Raptors 905 inside with a 44-32 advantage, but they made it very difficult for the hosts to get the ball inside the paint and do something with it. The Raptors 905 coughed up 21 turnovers to the Skyhawks’ 10, which led to a +23 possession advantage for the visitors. As expected, the Skyhawks’ bench continued their excellent play, putting up 46 points versus the Raptors 905’s 31 points, which came primarily from Burns.

Seth Lundy and Omari Moore started the game early, but the Skyhawks made their point-of-attack defense felt early and often as they raced to an early 13-6 lead. What compounded their half-court offense execution woes was their subpar defense and unforced turnovers in the first period. Fortunately for the Raptors 905, the transition lineup late in the period showed some fight, especially Maker, as they cut an early 15-point lead to 23-30 after the first frame.

Skyhawks’ Chris Silva started to impose his will in the second quarter, dominating the paint on both ends of the floor. In this period, the visitors locked up not just the point-of-attack but also clogged the passing lanes and the paint. There was a point where it felt like all the Raptors 905 could do was just try to get a shot up before the shot clock expired or turn the ball over, forced or not. Myles Burns was the only one with a pulse for the Raptors 905 in this period, scoring nine points on 4-for-5 shooting as the Skyhawks built a 62-43 lead at the half.

The Raptors 905 maintained the script to start the second half, turning the ball over twice and missing shots over their first four possessions, prompting coach Khoury to call for a timeout 90 seconds into the 3rd quarter. Nowell got the team going for a bit, assisting or scoring the team’s next 11 points, but they could barely cut into Skyhawks’ lead. Porous defense and poor communication allowed the Skyhawks to build a 24-point lead midway through the period, compounded by Maker’s fourth personal foul around the same time. Coach Khoury was faster to go back to his bench this time. The five-man unit of Jaylen Morris, Keith Williams, Burns, Gueye, and Nowell came back with a better effort on defense, turning defense into offense with a 14-7 run to head into the final period trailing the Skyhawks 68-85.

Maker picked up his 5th foul 90 seconds into the fourth period, but coach Khoury decided to roll with him for however long he could last. Maker rewarded him with good effort, showing fight on both ends of the floor. However, that was short-lived, as he picked up his sixth foul with less than eight minutes left in the game, but the game was pretty much over before this point.

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