HIDALGO – With all eyes on Scott Machado, it was Kyle Fogg and Mike Singletary who quietly stole the show in the Vipers’ 110-102 overtime win Friday night over the Canton Charge.
It was a tough night throughout for the Houston Rockets product Machado, and it seemed to really have an effect on the rest of the team. But at halftime, Vipers coach Nick Nurse made a move.
“The pace that we want to play is really attributed to what the point guard does and his influence,” Nurse said. “He really has to get the ball moving quick. Part of it was him (Machado), part of it was (Canton point guard Jorge) Gutierrez and he just couldn’t get going. I think Gutierrez really won that matchup.”
“We didn’t want to play a half court game. Porter came in and loosened things up.”
Machado only played five minutes after halftime, with Nurse electing to go with Tajuan Porter. Porter headed the Vipers offense for much of the night and tallied nine points and four assists.
However, it was the duo of Fogg and Singletary that really kept the Vipers afloat during troubling second and third quarters, when the Vipers were outscored by 12.
Singletary finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, with most of his damage coming in the paint. That was key, especially with big man Tim Ohlbrecht in foul trouble most of the night.
“It hurt us a little bit,” Nurse said about the early foul trouble. “Tim (Ohlbrecht) is such an offensive target for us, and with him sitting much of the second and third quarters it was hard to really search for the right lineup.”
Even though Ohlbrecht was limited to 27 minutes on the court, his production was felt. The big man from Germany finished with 19 points and five boards in his limited time.
“Coach kept saying that we have to play our game, our roots,” Ohlbrecht said. “We started playing our pace and switched things around. I was really just mad at myself. I took myself out of the game and I think I could’ve helped the team more when I was out there, but we fought through it.”
“The team played pretty good without me out there, but it was great to be out there in the end.”
With Singletary carrying the load inside, Fogg commanded the perimeter. The Arizona product finished with 17 points, six assists and six rebounds. He also won a huge jump ball with 17 seconds left and hit two free throws in the closing seconds of the fourth to extend their lead 99-96.
The Vipers (5-6) outscored the Charge 11-3 in overtime to secure the victory.
“We just started to play defense again,” Singletary said. “We went through a few stretches when we played extremely good defense. We knew we didn’t want to go home for Christmas break with a loss in our belt. That would just leave a bad taste in our mouth.”