The Niagara Knights men's basketball program (9-3, 3rd OCAA West) got some help offensively from a familiar face on Friday night as they took on the Redeemer Royals on the road.
Lequan Hylton (Mississauga) and Sympho Ilunga (St. Catharines) both joined the Knights for their second stints with the program. Hylton, who previously played for the Knights from 2014 to 2017 over three season, saw 30 minutes of action on the court.
The Knights got off to a scorching hot start in the first quarter, shutting the Royals offense down. With two minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Knights lead stretched to 16 with the score at 29-13.
The Royals would fight back in the second quarter and make things interesting, narrowing the Knights lead as the time went on, ultimately cutting it down to just five points at the half.
The score would go back and forth for the remainder of the game, but a well-rounded effort offensively by the Knights kept them just inches ahead of the Royals as they closed out the 89-85 victory.
"Tonight we played a tough team in a tough environment and stayed strong and together to pull out our first victory of the second half of the season," said Knights head coach Phil Mosley. "Our defensive intensity is developing and we are combining that with a well-rounded offensive attack."
Hylton had a strong game in his return to the Knights, scoring 18 points while also adding five assists and two rebounds. Most of his offensive contributions came from long-range as Hylton flashed his shooting ability all night long by scoring five three-pointers.
Van Hutchinson Jr. (Bahamas) had an outstanding fourth quarter in which he scored 11 of his 21 total points to close out the win. On top of the 21 points, he added 12 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.
The Knights will have a double-header weekend coming up as they host the Lambton Lions (6-7, 6th OCAA West) on Saturday at 3pm and the St. Clair Saints (4-7, 8th OCAA West) on Sunday at 3pm. Both games will be played at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre.