Elam Ending provides immediate intrigue as CEBL Summer Series begins
Niagara, Guelph earn opening day victories as professional sports returns to Canada
The Elam Ending was on display as the Niagara River Lions defeated the Hamilton Honey Badgers 97-85 in the opener of the Canadian Elite Basketball League Summer Series on Saturday.
Tiipoff between Niagara and Hamilton marked the first professional, non-exhibition team sports action in the country since COVID-19 shut leagues down in mid-March.
Daniel Mullings, who poured in 22 points overall, helped the River Lions reach and surpass the target score of 96 with a layup.
The Elam format began at the first stoppage after the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Niagara led 87-71, at which nine points were added to the lead to establish the target of 96.
Kassium Robertson added 18 points while going 4 for 9 from the three-point line, and Trae Bell-Haynes had 16 for the River Lions (1-0), who went on a run in the second quarter for a 14-point lead at halftime.
WATCH | CEBL Summer Series - Niagara vs Hamilton:
Star guard Briante Weber led the Honey Badgers (0-1) with 22 points. Owen Klassen chipped in 15 points and 10 boards for the 2019 CEBL finalist.
Mullings scored 14 points in the first half as Niagara took a 48-34 lead into halftime.
Guelph tops Ottawa
Action continued with the Guelph Nighthawks beating the expansion Ottawa Blackjacks 89-71 to conclude the tournament's opening day doubleheader.
Tre'darius Mccallum, who led the Nighthawks with 16 points, scored the final basket of the game on a putback layup to reach the target score of 89.
WATCH | CEBL Summer Series - Ottawa vs Guelph:
Jonathan Arledge had 14 points and 10 boards while going 7 for 7 from the free-throw line for the Knighthawks.
Thomas Scrubb played a game-high 31 minutes, led all scorers in the contest with 18 points and added eight rebounds for the Blackjacks, who got 17 points from Shaquille Keith off the bench.
Ottawa trailed by four heading into the final quarter but were outscored by 14 in the final frame.
Live coverage continues on Sunday, July 26 with another exciting doubleheader on the CBC network that begins with the Niagara River Lions and Saskatchewan Rattlers at 1:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Fraser Valley Bandits against the Edmonton Stingers at 4:00 p.m. ET.
All games are being played at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ont., — the home of the River Lions.
CBC Sports has live coverage of the entire tournament, through to the final on Aug. 9.
With files from Canadian Press