The Edmonton Stingers hosted their final home game of the CEBL season Thursday night. Looking for their tenth straight win, the Stingers looked to solidify their hold on first place. Unfortunately, their opposition, the Saskatchewan Rattlers, had different ideas.
Rattlers Bite Inside
Right off the bat, the Rattlers turned this game into a fight, taking the ball inside and letting big men Shaquille Keith and Chad Posthumas go to work inside. Top that off with both teams shooting 9% from three-point range for the half (1/11 for the Rattlers, 2/22 for the Stingers), and the Rattlers created a 48-33 lead going into half-time.
With the Stingers being without their energy man Grandy Glaze (rest), the Stingers appeared to need a spark. That came in the form of a half-court three against the shot clock by Akeem Ellis. The Stingers seemed to pick up momentum, with potential Most Outstanding Player Xavier Moon starting to heat up from the outside. The Stingers came within a point with two minutes remaining, but it seemed the Rattlers had a response at every turn. In the end, the Rattlers came out with a 85-81 victory.
Xavier Moon lead the Stingers with 24 points, with Akeem Ellis contributing 16 points and 7 rebounds. Jordan Baker was a rebound short of a double-double, with 12 points and 9 rebounds. However, it was a complete team effort by the Rattlers, as seven players hit double-figures in scoring, with Alex Campbell leading the way with 15.
Coach Jermaine Small on the Rattler’s Performance: “We have to give them a lot of credit. They got the lead on us early, and they hung onto it. That’s a team that is playing well, playing free, and they are a long and athletic team. They are playing well, they are playing together, and their new additions are making an impact.”
Coach Small on adjustments going into Friday: “First and foremost, protect that paint. (Points in the paint 50-30 SASK) We got to make sure we rebound the ball. All five guys need to get on the glass. As well, this may have been our lowest assist total of the year. (17) Less dribbling, more passing, so we can get some easier looks. I just think after the game today, we will be prepared for tomorrow.”
With the Stingers finishing their home schedule with an 8-2 record, they head on the road for their remaining two games. They still hold their destiny in their hands, but after Niagra winning Thursday in Fraser Valley, the Stingers temporarily fall one-half game back of first. With the head-to-head tie-breaker with Niagra in the Stingers favour, all they need to do is win out, or hope Niagra loses their final game against Hamilton next Wednesday.
Up first is the second half of the home-and-home with the Rattlers, this time from the Snake Pit in Saskatchewan. A win by the Rattlers Friday will almost assure the Stingers will have to face the Rattlers another time in the 2/3 semifinal in Saskatoon August 23. Tip off is 7 pm, and is available to watch on the CBC Sports App.
For a complete breakdown and analysis of Thursday’s game, check out our friends at dunkindhooma.com
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