Burlington Elite snapped a three-game losing streak with an all-around team performance that produced a 75-67 North of the Border Basketball League win against the Jayhawks in one of five games played on Friday (July 5).
The Jayhawks kept the score close throughout the game but just let it slip away in the final minutes of the game. This win was integral to the Burlington Elite if they wished to hold onto their playoff ranking.
Burlington Elite look more like the group which jumped to a quick start early in the season before their struggles in recent weeks. The Elite currently hold onto the sixth playoff position in what will be a tight race down to the finish. Player of the Game Patrick Donnelly led Burlington and played his best game of the season, registering a double-double of 18 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. Ostap Choliy continued his strong play, tallying 15 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block.
Malik Diaz provided some much needed stability and finished with 10 points, 6 assists and 8 rebounds. Jordan Clarke and Deon Scott both chipped in with 10 points.
While the Jayhawks received balanced scoring with five players registering double-digits, it wasn’t enough to pull out the win. Defensive mistakes and mental lapses have plagued the team all season and emerged again. Tevon Edwards led the way with 18 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Daniel Williams tallied 12 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Xzennis Brereton registered 11 points, 8 assists and 3 rebounds. OJ Watson and Matt Brown both chipped in with 10 points.
The Elite (4-4) face off against the Gaels (2-5) in a must win game for both sides as they vie for the final playoff positions. The two square off Friday (July 12) at Redeemer University, home court for all NBBL games.
With the 1-7 Jayhawks post-season hopes slipping through their fingers a win on Friday is essential for any chance of making the playoffs. They will have their hands full against the (5-2) Mohawk team.
Mohawk 77, Braves 66
The 5-2 Mohawk team faced off against the 1-6 Braves in a contest that the Braves almost stole. Mohawk led 31-29 at the half, and the game stayed close until Mohawk was able to break away in the final three minutes. The team balance of Mohawk proved to be too much for the Braves.
Manny Campbell led Team Mohawk to be named NBBL Player of The Week (Photo: Randy Smith, randysphotos.ca)
The NBBL Boston Pizza Player of the Week – for the second time this season – Manny Campbell led Mohawk. Campbell registered 29 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals. Andrew Cicuttini (15 points and 12 rebounds) played another great game, and registered his third straight double-double.
Mohawk currently sits third in the league standings.
The Braves pushed Mohawk but faltered in the final minutes. They were led in scoring by Player of the Game Jelani Deliovsky, who finished with 21 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Eric Weekes registered 16 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds. Terence Licorish tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds and Roland Gaulton chipped in with 11 points.
The 1-6 Braves go up against the 5-2 Badgers on Friday.
Jaguars 64, Badgers 59
The 5-2 Badgers have been plagued with slow starts throughout the season but have been able to pull out late game victories. Their luck ran out as they fell to the 3-5 Jaguars. The Jags led, 38-32, at the half and never let the lead slip away, pulling off the upset.
This game was one of the Jaguars most balanced this season. Ryan Christie led the team and registered a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Sam Hattin, Player of the Game, tallied 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Jimmy Bilenga and Elvis Momat chipped in with 14 and 12 points respectively.
The Jaguars are currently seventh in the league standings.
The Badgers played without dynamic Meshack Lufile, whose absence was missed in this contest. Cedric Kasongo (17 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds) did everything he could down the stretch but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit the Badgers had built for themselves. Tshing Kasamba registered 16 points, 3 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. The Badgers sit fourth in the league standings.
The (5-2) Badgers will look to regroup and bounce back against the (1-6) Braves this Friday at 9:45PM @ Redeemer University.
The Jaguars have a bye week.
Hamilton All-Stars 63, Halton Region Stars 61
The 4-3 Halton Region Stars squared off against the 2-5 Hamilton All-Stars in a thrilling contest that came down to the last 0.1 second of the game decided in favour of Hamilton, 63-61.
The seesaw affair featured several lead changes with runs from both sides. Martell Stamenkovic hit the turnaround jump shot with 1.8 seconds remaining to put the Hamilton All-Stars ahead 63-61. Halton used its final timeout and advanced the ball to half-court when they found Sean Nickel down low. He quickly drove to the basket before being fouled with 0.1 seconds left on the clock but his free throw rimmed out and Hamilton escaped with the huge victory.
Hamilton needed the victory to move into playoff contention. Oliver McMayoni (15 points, 11 assists and 3 rebounds) and Player of the Game Martell Stamenkovic (15 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists) led Hamilton playing superb games. Ali Askarov continued his strong offensive play registering 15 points to go along with 4 assists and 4 rebounds. Hamilton sits ninth, one spot away from the final playoff position.
Halton missed some key free-throws late in the second half which ended up being their downfall. Nolan Gooding’s 16 points, 5 assists, 9 rebounds and 2 steals led them in this contest. Nickel registered yet another double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds. Troy Stevenson and Teddy Tochev both chipped in with 10 points. Halton is fifth heading into Week 9.
Halton will look to rebound against the undefeated 7-0 Crusaders while Hamilton will have its hands full against the 6-1 Knights on Friday.
Gaels Knights 75, Gaels 65
In the NBBL’s Game of the Week, the Gaels and Knights rekindled a long standing Hamilton basketball rivalry. This game had everything you look for in an exciting basketball contest. The an up-tempo affair offered several highlight reel plays and superb offensive play.
It has been the same theme from the Knights throughout the season – their ability to make three-point shots at a blistering rate. This has been an unwavering attack and something teams have had great difficulty controlling.
Arun Kumar, Player of the Game, posted 21 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Tyrell Vernon tallied 19 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Jerome Smith added 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks.
The Gaels were again led by the Lakehead tandem of Dwayne Harvey and Jamar Coke. The two love playing at a blistering pace and right from the opening tip instilled this pace. Harvey registered 22 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal, while Coke had 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
The Gaels currently hold onto the final playoff position with three games remaining.
The NBBL’s five-game card begins at 5.45 p.m. at Redeemer University College gym.