Heading into Tuesday’s decisive Game 3 between the Salem Capitals and Seattle Super Hawks, the two teams had played six consecutive games decided by one possession, but a slow start and the second lowest point total of the season for the Capitals brought their season to an end.
The Capitals never led in the 109-96 loss, though they were able to close the gap and tie the game throughout.
The 96 points is the lowest from Salem since Feb. 24, the second game of the season where they lost 134-86 at Newfoundland.
Allen Billinger Jr. and Preston Whitfield, the team’s leading and third leading scorers, combined for just 15 points on 3-for-17 shooting. The two had averaged nearly 40 points combined during the season, but Tuesday was a different story.
All six of Whitefield’s points came from the free throw line as he shot 0-for-5 from the field.
Isaiah Gentry had a team-high 26 points for the Capitals on 50% shooting from the floor.
Meanwhile Mauricio Smith was one rebound shy of his second straight double-double for the Capitals with 16 points and nine rebounds.
For the Super Hawks, Alphonso Anderson had his way inside again. The Capitals’ postseason run had been marred by an inability to stop their opponents inside, being outscored 206-102 through three games.
Anderson came away with a double double, with 23 points and 13 rebounds. In game 2, Anderson had 38 points in the losing effort.
The Super Hawks shot 93% from the free throw line, and outrebounded the Capitals 53-42.
Seattle, the top-ranked team in the West, will now play Long Beach in the Western Finals.