Will The Stingers Gain Advantage?
The Badgers entered the Edmonton Expo Center with an advantage against the Stingers. The last time both teams met, the Badgers ended the Stingers hot streak at home with a cold-hearted victory. The disappointing loss the Stingers suffered sets the tone for this game considering that both teams have almost identical records. Before this game, the Honey Badgers were 7-4 while the Edmonton Stingers were 6-4. This game is not only a revenge story for the Stingers, yet it is also an opportunity for the Stingers to gain an advantage record-wise against the second-seeded Honey Badgers. The Expo Center had a different atmosphere compared to previous home games as this was a back to back match-ups where the Stingers were facing a team that is a higher seed than them. Now that we understand how crucial this game was, what was the outcome of this game?
The Badgers started this game with a mindset of playing aggressively with no regards for human existence on the court. The tone, the Badgers, possessed once tip-off began quite rare to see. Although the Badgers were aggressive through-out this game, they also kept their composure on the court for most of the game. Unlike the previous home game that the Stingers played against the Lions, the Badgers focused on winning instead of trying to aggravate their opponent. However, the Stingers had a different mindset entering this game as this game was more of a revenge story than ever. Instead of playing aggressive, Edmonton focused more on just communicating as a team on both ends of the court. Even though some players had their moments to shine, the main priority was, to avenge themselves from the previous meeting. From the very beginning, the Stingers possessed impressive ball movement on the offensive end and were also playing terrific defence with their half-court press. Their defence was incredible in the first quarter; however, offensively, the Stingers made a more significant impact. Edmonton Stinger’s Grandy Glaze was the main story in this quarter as he managed to score eight points with perfect shooting while also grabbing an astonishing six rebounds in just the first quarter. The same thing can be said for Honey Badger’s Ricky Tarrant Jr. and Justin Edwards as they both scored 7 points apiece. The first quarter set the tone for the rest of the game, considering how crucial this game was for both teams. Despite the late start by the Edmonton Stingers, they managed to take the lead with the score of 21-19.
The Stingers started the quarter with a quick three by Mamadou Gueye, which was a crucial shot for them to nail. His three allowed the Stingers to carry their lead throughout the entire quarter. Although there were moments the Badgers were close to even the score, Travis Daniels of the Stingers had a different opinion. Daniels was dominating in this quarter as he carried this team with consistency. The production that Daniels supplied on both ends of the floor provided confidence for the Stingers as they new that they can rely on him for anything on the court. Even though Daniels is only 6’8, his strength that he possesses makes the competition look hopeless on both ends of the floor. The Badgers struggled in this quarter as they were unable to catch a lead. Whether it was a contested three or a flashy lay-up, the Stingers were always answering back with a shot of their own. The frustration the Badgers had would increase every time the Stingers made a basket which led them to take untimely shots. However, the Badgers were consistent in keeping their deficit below ten points due to Sampson Carter shooting phenomenally for Hamilton. Whether it was shooting high volume shots in the paint or making all of his free-throws, Sampson was a critical piece to the offence in the second quarter. Despite Sampson’s contribution, the Stingers managed to carry the lead as the score ending the quarter was, 51-46.
Xavier Moon was the story for the third quarter. His seven assists elevated the Stingers throughout the game as he was the primary facilitator for the Stingers. Even though the first half was rough for Moon with only two points recorded, Moon ended up having ten points at the end of this quarter. Despite Moon having a terrific quarter, the Stingers at the beginning struggled tremendously to score any points. Demetrius Denzel-Dyson and the Badgers started this quarter hot as they had a 5-0 lead against the Stingers. The Badgers were very close to taking the lead; however, Travis Daniels decided to destroy their chances. Both Daniels and Grandy Glaze were contributing on both ends of the floor. The Stingers managed to maintain their lead to increase it throughout the entirety of the third quarter. Although Ricky Tarrant Jr. and Demetrius Denzel-Dyson had stellar performances in the third quarter, the Stingers entire roster managed to make a more significant impact than the two guards. Edmonton, as a result, managed to finish the quarter with the score of 73-63.
The fourth quarter seemed to continue the similar streak as the previous quarter. Demetrius Denzel-Dyson was the main player for the Badgers as he scored an astonishing nine out of his twenty points in just the fourth. Whether it was deep three-pointers or hard acrobatic lay-ups, Denzel-Dyson was doing it all for the Badgers. However, as far as the rest of the team goes, the Badgers overall struggled, especially in the fourth. Even though the Badgers were down by ten points, they still had a chance to make this game competitive. Hamilton gave the impression that they gave up in this game even though they still had a chance. However, the Stingers continued to ice the Badgers whether it was three’s, playing tight defence, or laying up the basketball. Picking out one player that stood out for this quarter is hard due to the entire roster producing terrific numbers. The incredible play style the Stingers operate with is unbelievable as they are an unselfish team. The aspect of isolation basketball does not exist when it comes to the Stingers; hence, why they have been the hottest team since the start of the summer. The Badgers did possess an intensity and good plays as well; however, they gave up on themselves to early in this game, which made them suffer a loss to the Stingers. The final score of this game was 102-92 as the Stingers proceed to attain their fourth win a row.
Overall, both teams played well. Even though the Stingers did defeat the Badgers, Hamilton played solid basketball. For the most part, they were in this game and should have made a more significant impact; however, towards the end of the game, they lost their composure. The Stingers, however, played team basketball for the entirety of the game. Travis Daniels, Xavier Moon, and Grandy Glaze were by far the story of this game. Travis Daniels finished the game with 21 points and seven rebounds, Xavier Moon finished the game with 14 points and 11 assists, and Grandy Glaze with a monster stat line of 20 points and 14 rebounds. Grandy Glaze was undoubtedly crowned as the player of the game with this incredible stat-line as he led the Stingers with one of the best revenge games in this entire season.