Expansion BlackJacks eliminate defending champion Rattlers in blowout victory
Bandits secure quarter-final bye with 2nd-half push past Nighthawks
In their first big game in franchise history, the Ottawa BlackJacks did not disappoint.
The expansion CEBL club stomped the Saskatchewan Rattlers 87-68 on Wednesday with a playoff spot on the line at the Summer Series in St. Catharines, Ont.
The Rattlers' loss means the defending champions are the first team eliminated from the tournament-style season.
The other quarter-final will see the Hamilton Honey Badgers square off against the Niagara River Lions, while the top-ranked Edmonton Stingers and No. 2 Fraser Valley Bandits await their foes for Saturday's semis.
Former Carleton star and Team Canada mainstay Thomas Scrubb led the BlackJacks with 20 points, while team captain Olivier Hanlan added 10 points and five rebounds. Forward Tajinder Lall's lone field goal of the night was the game-winning three-pointer to send the Rattlers home.
Saskatchewan's Kemy Osse posted 21 points and five rebounds in the losing effort.
WATCH | BlackJacks stun Rattlers:
Bandits beat Nighthawks to secure bye
The Fraser Valley Bandits turned on the jets and earned some time off.
Guard Jahenns Manigat led with 20 points as the Bandits defeated the Guelph Nighthawks 84-70 on to secure second place and an automatic semifinal entry.
The Nighthawks (3-3), meanwhile, now face a do-or-die quarter-final game on Thursday against the BlackJacks.
Starting point guard Malcolm Duvivier also contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds to the Bandits' cause, and Oluseyi Ashaoulu poured in 17 points combined with a terrific defensive effort.
Nighthawks guard Kimbal McKenzie scored 12 points as one of four Guelph players in double digits.
Live coverage continues Thursday with quarter-finals, where the Honey Badgers face the River Lions at 5 p.m. ET before the Nighthawks square off against the BlackJacks at 7:30 p.m. ET.
CBC Sports has live coverage of the entire tournament, through to the final on Aug. 9.
WATCH | Bandits storm past Nighthawks to earn bye: