Defending champion Edmonton Stingers narrowly edge Hamilton Honey Badgers
Fraser Valley Bandits handle business in blow out of Saskatchewan Rattlers
Marlon Johnson scored the game-sealing shot, capping off a team-leading 27-point performance, as the defending CEBL champion Edmonton Stingers defeated the Hamilton Honey Badgers 91-87 on Saturday.
Edmonton (1-0) looked every bit the part of reigning league champions as they opened up the first quarter looking to make a statement.
A 12-5 run over a four minute span in the middle of the first quarter put the Stingers up by 11 and catapulted them to a 30-15 lead heading into the second.
The second quarter was not any better for Hamilton (0-1) as the team struggled to figure the Stingers out.
WATCH | Johnson lifts Stingers to close win over Honey Badgers:
Edmonton steadily maintained its lead, eventually pushing it to 19 before the half. The Stingers went up 49-30 and dominated the paint while outscoring Hamilton 34-14 inside.
But Hamilton did not let its disappointing first half play dictate how the second half would go.
After the Stingers opened the half by increasing their lead to 21, the Honey Badgers went on a remarkable 7-0 run within a span of 53 seconds.
After an Adika Peter-McNeilly three ball for the Stingers, Hamilton responded with another run. The Honey Badgers went on 12-3 run, cutting the deficit down to six with 3:31 left in the third.
Following a continuous trading of baskets from both sides, Edmonton closed out the third quarter leading 67-59.
That was as close as Edmonton allowed Hamilton to get until the Elam Ending, as the fourth quarter saw a continuous battle for the lead.
Going into the Elam Ending up 81-77, Edmonton managed to hold off the Honey Badgers, despite reigning Player of the Year Xavier Moon missing one of two free throws late that could have sealed the game. After Hamilton failed to capitalize on the comeback opportunity, Johnson iced it for the Stingers with a contested floater off the backboard.
In addition to Johnson's 27 points, Moon added 25 points, with six rebounds and 11 assists for the Stingers.
Lindell Wigginton led the way for the Honey Badgers with 30 points and nine assists on the day.
Hamilton will face the Saskatchewan Rattlers next on June 28, while the Stingers will play the Niagara River Lions on July 2.
Fraser Valley Bandits blow out Saskatchewan Rattlers
Alex Campbell scored a game-high 25 points coming off the bench, sparking the Fraser Valley Bandits' 92-74 blow out victory over the Saskatchewan Rattlers on Saturday night in Abbostford, B.C.
Fraser Valley (1-0) came out of the gates sluggish going 1-9 from three-point range and being on the wrong end of a 13-2 run that allowed the Rattlers to establish a 10-point lead.
The Rattlers (0-1) built on the early lead and held a 25-16 advantage after one.
The Bandits managed to shake off the cobwebs and find their way back into the game in the second. An 11-3 run by Fraser Valley within the first four minutes of the quarter cut the deficit down to a single point.
WATCH | Glisbeck caps off Bandits' big win over Rattlers with slam dunk:
An 11-2 run, capped off by a three-pointer at the end of the half from Campbell, put Fraser Valley up 38-33 and shifted the momentum for the rest of the game.
The third quarter proved the notion that basketball truly is "a game of runs", as both teams exchanged run after run throughout the quarter with Fraser Valley managing to bounce back each time.
That run proved to be the nail in the coffin for the Rattlers, as they never managed to find their way back into the game. The Bandits pushed their lead to as high as 25 points and capped the night off when Brandon Gilsbeck slammed home two of his 17 points on the night to end the game.
Jakeenan Gant led the way for Saskatchewan with 22 points, followed by Devonte Bandoo who finished with 17 points and seven rebounds on the night.
Saskatchewan will play the Hamilton Honey Badgers next on June 28.
Meanwhile, Fraser Valley's next opponent will be the Niagara River Lions on June 29.
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