The Windsor Dukes put in a 40 minute blue collar effort and surprised the Sutherland Sabres in front of a boisterous Sutherland crowd winning 59-53 to force another sudden death game in the Howe Sounds.
Windsor was able to control the tempo slowing the ball down to a pace that favoured the Dukes and they established a 12-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. Windsor extended the lead midway through the second quarter and then Sutherland went on a run as Graddy Zubaidi scored the first 16 points for the Sabres. Sutherland took at 27-23 lead at the half and it looked like they were back on track but somebody forgot to tell the Windsor Dukes !
Windsor was able to stifle the talented Sabres by packing the middle with big bodies and forcing the Sabres to earn their points from the perimeter.Sutherland was up 3 at the end of the third quarter but it was clear that this one was going down to the wire. The Dukes put the hammer down in the fourth quarter and took a 5 point lead with 4:37 to go, and it looked like the Sabres were done, but a steal by Cole Keffer in the open court with a minute and a half to go got the Sabres to within 2 points much to the delight of the Sabres fans. Player of the game Khalil Shivji answer right back with a spectacular drive and lay-up of his own and the Dukes were headed to victory.
Shivji finished the game with 17 points and backcourt teammate Braden Snelling chipped in with 15 points. Graddy Zubaidi led all scorers with 31 points while Cole Keffer had 15 in a supporting role for the Sabres.
The sudden death final game will be played on Thursday night at 8pm at Sutherland.