The Fraser Valley Bandits five-game winning streak came to an end on Friday night, July 1, as the visiting Scarborough Shooting Stars knocked off the first-place Bandits 93-86 in Canadian Elite Basketball League action at Langley Events Centre.
With the Shooting Stars needing just a single point in the Elam Ending to reach the target score of 92, the Bandits were called for goaltending, with Isiaha Mike’s shot counting as the winner, handing Fraser Valley its first loss since June 7.
Fraser Valley fell to 8-3 and a share of first place in the CEBL while Scarborough improved to 6-5 on the season.
“At the end of the day, tip your cap to Scarborough. Our game goal is to hold them to 42 per cent – they end up shooting 52 (from the field),” said Fraser Valley coach Mike Taylor.
The Bandits struggled from the field early on in Friday’s game, shooting just 31.8 per cent in the opening 10 minutes as they fell behind 25-20.
The lead was down to one point for the Shooting Stars at the end of both the second and third quarter before Scarborough came out racing to start the fourth with an 13-2 run in the first five minutes to go up a dozen points.
The Bandits would cut the deficit to nine points heading into the Elam Ending and had it down to five points at 91-86 before Mike won the game on the goaltending call.
Taylor liked his team’s effort, pointing out the fact they won the rebounding battle, especially on the offensive glass with 13 boards to Scarborough’s six. But their finish was not there on the night as those offensive rebounds resulted in just 13 points.
“There was a lot of points we left out there because we can do a better job finishing,” he said. “(Scarborough’s) athleticism, their size, their physicality, we need to do a better job of converting those boards and those opportunities into finishes at the rim.”
Shane Gibson returned to the Fraser Valley lineup after a one-game absence and picked up where he left off, scoring 27 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists.
James Karnik also continued to play well since joining the team three games ago, finishing with 20 points and nine rebounds. Alex Campbell scored 18 and Kyle Adnam added 12.
Next up for the Bandits is another home game as they welcome the Niagara River Lions to Langley Events Centre on Sunday, July 3 for a 1 p.m. start.
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