The unbeaten streak continued for the Crusaders in the North of the Border Basketball League.
Despite the absence of current leader of the NBBL’s most valuable player race, Victor Raso, the Crusaders improved to 7-0 with a 61-54 decision over Mohawk (4-2) in the league’s Feature Game of the Week on Friday (June 28).
The Crusaders illustrated their balance as a team once again and were able to grind out another impressive victory while Mohawk simply couldn’t find its rhythm. Player of the Game Calvin Turnbull helped carry the Crusaders to victory with his double-double of 17 points and 18 rebounds to go along with 2 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal. He was a force down low and the Gaels couldn’t find an answer for him.
Zachary Angus played a superb game en route to 15 points, 7 assists. 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block. Paul Hart registered 13 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 steal. Hart and Angus controlled the tempo of the game and set their own pace.
Mohawk was unable to establish its up-tempo style of play and struggled getting easy baskets. Alex Reis and Aron Campbell led Mohawk in scoring with 11 points each.
In the Battle of Burlington, the Halton Region Stars came out on top, 81-67, over the Burlington Elite.
Halton was led by record setting performances by Teddy Tochev (most three pointers) and Nolan Gooding (double-double-double). The Elite, meanwhile, struggled overall with their shooting and the barrage of threes made by the Region Stars was simply too much for the Elite, who are on a three-game losing streak.
Tochev eclipsed the NBBL record for threes made in a game with 9. He finished with 33 points, 1 assist and 4 rebounds. In his league debut, Gooding (12 points, 10 assists, 11 rebounds and 1 steal) registered the first triple-double in league play. As a result they shared Player of the Game honours.
Sean Nickel recorded yet another double-double of 12 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists. Kyle Hankins chipped in with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Ostap Choliy (16 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block) carried Burlington. Jordan Clarke registered 11 points, 6 assists and 8 rebounds.
Terence Licorish had an impressive night for Team Braves. (Photo: Randy Smith, randysphotos.ca)
The 1-5 Braves and 1-6 Jayhawks squared looking to make late pushes for a playoff position. After leading by 10 at the half, the Jayhawks were narrowed the lead to three with 2:48 remaining, however, the Braves survived, 59-55.
The Braves were led by Terence Licorish’s dominate performance of 19 points, 20 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. His effort translated into NBBL Boston Pizza Player of the Week. Licorish enforced his will throughout the contest and set the league record for rebounds in a game.
Jelani Deliovsky added 27 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds.
The battling Jayhawks just didn’t have enough left in the tank to steal away the win. Xzennis Brereton (25 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks) played another brilliant game and Tevon Edwards chipped in 10 points.
The Lakehead tandem of Dwayne Harvey and Jamar Coke propelled the Gaels to a 55-43 victory over the Jaguars. Members of the Gaels and Jaguars have played each other countless times in high school and renewed an exciting rivalry Friday night.
The Jaguars difficulty to score ultimately did them in and has been the theme of their struggles this season. With the win, the Gaels move into seventh place and a playoff position. The Jaguars sit in eighth clinging onto the last playoff spot.
The pace that Harvey (Player of the Game) and Coke and able to instill provides the Gaels with a force that other teams will have a tough time defending against. Coke is arguably the quickest guard in the league and was electrifying in his debut. Harvey finished with 16 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals while Coke registered 16 points, 4 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals.
For the Jags, the return of Ryan Christie wasn’t enough on Friday night and they need a more balanced scoring attack or risk falling out of playoff position. Tresor Kalambay led the Jaguars scoring with 13 points. Jimmy Bilenga chipped in 11 points and Christie registered 9 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hamilton All-Stars went into their contest fighting for the eighth and final playoff seed and came close to pulling off an upset against the third place Badgers. The All-Stars came out hungry and seemed to control the tempo of the game in the first half but fell, 68-57.
Oliver McMayoni (10 points, 4 rebounds and 4 turnovers) had the All-Stars clicking early in the game racking up a season high 10 assists. Ali Askarov (21 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 turnovers) was a huge spark again for the second straight week for the All-Stars offensively. Askarov was deadly from beyond the arch with five threes in the first half. Martell Stamenkovic registered another double-double of 13 points, 11 rebounds to go along with 4 assists, 1 steal and 2 turnovers.
Entering the second half, the All-Stars had built a 16-point lead before the Badgers found their stride. Meshack Lufile and Player of the Game Tshing Kasamba seemed to be the spark for the late game rally. The Badgers, down 10 with just five minutes remaining in the game, chipped away at the All-Stars lead. The entire Badgers team seemed to turn up their defensive intensity and limited the All-Stars to only six points in the remaining five minutes.
Cedric Kasongo (13 Points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds) made some key plays down the stretch that gave the Badgers the victory.
In play this week (Friday, July 5), the Crusaders have the bye while Mohawk will meet the 1-5 Braves. The 3-4 Burlington Elite will face the 1-6 Jayhawks and will look to snap their three-game losing streak. The 4-2 Halton Region Stars will square off against the 1-5 Hamilton All-Stars. The Gaels will go up against the 5-1 Knights. The 2-5 Jaguars will have their hands full as they square off against the 5-1 Badgers.
All games will be played at Redeemer University College beginning at 5.45 p.m.