For those of you new to this team, and this league; the Stingers are a professional basketball team in the CEBL (Canadian Elite Basketball League). There’s six teams in the CEBL and it’s considered Canada’s highest level of basketball play. Today we’re recapping the Edmonton Stingers game against the Hamilton Honey Badgers. The Badgers came out with the win in a nail-biter over the Stingers, 90-87.
The game started off really fast; lots of shots were dropping, the speed and intensity were high, and the crowd was into it. Initially a battle of three pointers took place, with the Stingers and Honey Badgers responding to each others three pointers. Following this initial stretch of threes, the Stingers struggled to get any three pointers to drop. The starters for the game (Gueye, Baker, Smith, Parks, Daniels) shot a combined 1/16, with the only three coming from Mamadou Gueye early on in the game. Despite their outside scoring woes, the Stingers stayed on top of the Badgers for the majority of the game. Leading all the way through three quarters, the game seemed to be in a good spot going into the last 8 minutes of the fourth quarter. Unfortunately a scoring run and series of tough calls resulted in a Badgers lead that ended up claiming the win.
What went right?
A lot of good things happened here, the inside scoring was once again special, and the Stingers showed us why they should be considered the best inside scoring team in the league. Travis Daniels, Brody Clarke, Grandy Glaze and Mamadou Gueye all had great games. All four of these players put up double digits on the scoreboard and led the team to a near win. Rebounding was great towards the end of the game, Deondre Parks despite measuring in at only 6’1, scooped up 6 boards and really exemplified the heart over height saying. Jordan Baker also notched 10 rebounds, leading the way for the team. The Stingers also had some major success through big runs which gave the Stingers as much as a 9 point lead. Possibly the best thing that happened in this game though, was Brody Clarke’s full court heave at the shot clock buzzer. With the ball tipped into the back court, Clarke was forced to throw a desperation shot from 3/4 down the court. To the crowds surprise, it was a clean swish, and electrified the crowd. Certainly one of the most memorable plays of the season.
What went wrong?
This was definitely a flawed game. The first thing that needs to be mentioned, is free throws. The Stingers only scored 10 of their 21 free throw attempts, even half of those would’ve given the Stingers a point advantage. The Stingers finished with a season low 47% free throw percentage, compared to a 90% free throw percentage from the Honey Badgers. Certainly difficult to watch free points fall off the board, especially in the late portions of the game, a trend Stingers fans have begun to notice. Regardless, despite these shooting woes, the Stingers impressively kept the game so close. Another issue was the three point shooting, mentioned earlier, no need to dive into that once again. The final issue that cost this win was the lack of offensive rebounding in the early minutes of the game. In the first quarter the Badgers received what seemed like hundreds of second chances, the Stingers ended up turning it around later in the game, but it certainly hurt them on the scoreboard.
I think the first thing we can takeaway from this game, is that the Stingers thrive on driving cuts, feeds into big men, and feeding off of high energy runs. While the shooting continues to lack, this was just an off night that proved just how good the Stingers could be. If player like Travis Daniels, Jordan Baker, Brody Clarke and Grandy Glaze continue to push the ball on the interior, the Stingers could find great success and have a very realistic shot at winning the CEBL inaugural season championship.