The Bandits Go Home Empty Handed.

The Fraser Valley Bandits were on pace to win their first game of the season, however, failed as they underestimated the home court of the Edmonton Stingers. The Bandits put up a fair fight as they managed to come back from a 16 point deficit to make this game more hopeful. Despite the impressive comeback, the Stingers managed to defeat the Bandits with the final score of 93-88. With another home court win, the Stingers have put themselves in a good position as they have continued their incredible streak. This win puts the Stingers 4-0 at home, which is also the only wins that Edmonton has managed to obtain. Although the Bandits were close to disrupting their streak, they were no match against the dedicated fan base of Edmonton. This win by the Stingers was a necessary one for them due to their previous upsetting defeat against the Saskatchewan Rattlers. With the Stingers barely winning this game as they managed to blow a 16 point lead, what disrupted their flow?

During the first quarter, the Stingers managed to display an aggressive, offensive approach as they managed to have a 7-0 scoring run. However, that lead would quickly disappear as the Bandits endured to answer back very slowly throughout the first quarter. This was accomplished by the incredible performance of, Diego Kapelan as he scored 7 of his 24 points. He supplied momentum as well as a passion during the quarter despite coming off the bench. The Stingers had an incredible performer as well with Mamadou Gueye as he managed to hit 2 three-pointers. He was a spot-up shooter in the first quarter while playing astonishing defence which made him more versatile in this game. Although both teams had their highlight players, the Stingers still achieved to take the edge while the Bandits were still suffering a deficit. Earlier in the game, the Stingers were up by 7 points yet, they only managed to finish the quarter by only being up by 2 points. The final score at the end of the quarter was 24-22.

The second quarter was by far the most momentous quarter in the entire game. The contribution of Mamadou Gueye sparked a lot of energy in the arena as the Stingers had trouble missing shots. Gueye set the tone for this game as he scored back to back threes to start of the quarter. However, for the remainder of the first half, the player that really took over was Deondre Parks. Although Parks only had 5 points in this quarter, those points ended up being huge for the Stingers to increase the lead to double digits. The Bandits struggled in the quarter with no player really taking over. The balanced scoring that the Bandits had was not enough of a contribution to outscore the Stingers. Despite the lack of scoring the Bandits possessed, the real issue that arose was the number of turnovers they had. The Stingers managed to steal the ball 4 times in just the second quarter compared to the Bandits 1. This statistic was the game changer for the Stingers. With those 4 steals, Edmonton managed to gain even more momentum as they finished this quarter with a double-digit lead with the final score of 52-40.

In the third quarter, things looked bright for the Stingers as they entered the second half with a double-digit lead. With the incredible defence to the high volume shot selections, the Stingers were on pace to blow out the Bandits. However, Levon Kendall and Diego Kapelan unleashed havoc on the Stingers as they combined for 12 points. With all of their shots coming from the 3-point line, the Bandits started to make an impressive comeback. Although the Stingers would answer back during the most crucial times, the Bandits overall took over as they scored a whopping 26 points as a team compared to the Stingers 17. The Bandits had heart in the third quarter as they refused to give up in this game. The reality is, the Bandits have not won a game yet in this season hence why they are so hungry for a win. Despite the impressive comeback, the Stingers still managed to be ahead of this game with the score being 69-66.

Going into the fourth, the Stingers needed to change something to redeem their poor third quarter performance. Out of all the quarters in this game, the fourth felt the most equal as both teams managed to land high volume shots. In fact, the Bandits took their first lead in this game despite being down double-digits in the first half. Kapelan and Klassen continued to take over in the second half as most of the Bandits points came from them. Although the Bandits made an impressive run and even managed to take the lead, the Stingers still managed to answer back when it mattered the most. Starting center Travis Daniels was the most consistent player on the court. Even though he never took over any quarter, Daniels contributed enough throughout the entire game. With his outstanding strength in the paint to his post scoring, Daniels was everywhere in this game. With only being 6’8, Daniels plays as if he is 7 foot tall as he is hungry to score the basketball.

Defensively, both teams played equally in this quarter. This game could have been anyone’s game as both teams managed to produce equally well by the fourth. The leading edge that the Stingers had in this game was the fan base. Especially in the fourth, the fans of Edmonton wanted to show the Bandits why they are undefeated at home. The Bandits managed to lose this game with the final score of 93-88.

Concluding Thoughts

The Bandits played well in this game despite not getting the victory. Defensively, the Bandits were disappointing; however, their impressive offence allowed them almost to win this game. With the Bandits only having 5 steals compared to the Stingers 13, their turnovers are what ended up costing this game. If the Bandits had better ball control in the game, they would have defeated the Stingers. Overall, the Bandits played well in this game as they hit multiple three’s and managed to commit many foul shot opportunities.

The Stingers managed to start the game with a 7-0 lead however managed almost to lose this game. With the Stingers being up by 16 points at the beginning of the third, there was no reason why they should have made this game into a close one. Defensively the Stingers displayed an incredible performance, in fact, the best they ever played all season. With players such as Mamadou Gueye, Jordan Baker, Travis Daniels and even Brody Clarke who had 12 points of the bench, the Stingers had better talent than the Bandits. Overall, the Stingers played decent in this game on both sides of the court; however, this victory should not be celebrated as they did almost lost this game. The impressive performance by Mamadou Gueye was the highlight of this win with 22 points as he reminded the CEBLeague why they are undefeated in their hive.