Following an incredible 9 game win streak, the Stingers had a rough week. Edmonton’s pro team dropped two games, today and yesterday to the red hot Rattlers. Neither of these games were run away victories however, but more or less a result of streaky scoring and poor luck in the final seconds.
Despite the loss, Mathieu Kamba led the way for the Stingers, dropping a season high 17 points, a season high 8 rebounds, and also a season high 7 assists! Kamba had an excellent night and in some ways really picked up the slack of the struggling Stingers. Kamba was also an excellent defensive matchup, as he was really the only one who could stop the Rattlers big men such as Chad Posthumus and Marlon Johnson. Behind Kamba was Adika Peter-McNeilly who recorded 15 points and 7 rebounds. Adika went on a streak of 4 threes in the middle portion of the game, however outside of this incredible stretch, McNeilly shot 1/11. The last two players to record double digits scoring were Xavier Moon and Travis Daniels, both of whom finished with an unusually low 10 points. Daniels also scooped up an impressive 13 rebounds, however Daniels and Moon both struggled to find their shot, as they both shot only a combined 20 shots, despite an average combined 25 shots per game.
Jordan Baker finished with more rebounds than points tonight, as he may have had an off shooting night going just 3/11 from the field, however scooping up a solid 10 rebounds. The rest of the Stingers saw very limited playing time. Akeem Ellis, Mamadou Gueye, Kenny Otieno and Zac Overwater all received 11 or less minutes in the game, with Mamadou leading the way from that bunch with 6 points.
One thing I want to mention is regarding Zac Overwater. I really think Overwater needs to be on the court more against Saskatchewan especially. Despite his clear issues with three point shooting, Overwater provides the defensive size that we need to stop Posthumus and Johnson. Overwater towers over the rest of the team and would be a great relief player for Travis Daniels and Grandy Glaze, both of whom are asked to guard players way bigger than them on a regular basis. This is especially relevant while Grandy Glaze takes time to recover before the playoff tournament begins.
What Went Well?
Defensively, the Stingers were in tune. Many of the Rattlers points came off of questionably poor shots from beyond the three point line. If the Stingers offense could’ve gotten going, the victory would be easy, as the Rattlers were held to just 74 points when they average over 90. Mathieu Kamba also shone bright tonight, and really stepped up when his team needed him most. Kamba has been a great spark for the Stingers, and his explosiveness is constantly appreciated.
What Didn’t Go Well?
Following a promising 14 point lead going into the half, the Stingers found themselves struggling to get good looks on a tenacious Rattlers defense. It seems like whatever the Stinger have been trying, the pass and cut that is, is simply not as effective on the Rattlers as it has been with the other 4 teams in the league. This is something the Stingers will need to figure out, as Saskatchewan is beginning to shape up as a likely opponent in the first round of Championship weekend. As well, the Stingers were bullied in the paint, the lack of Grandy Glaze was quite frankly evident all night long as the Rattlers went to Chad Posthumus over and over. Any time the Stingers put a body on Chad, the Rattlers always found a way to get Alex Campbell a good shot. This is eventually what caused the game winning shot with just four seconds to go.
The Stingers will be looking to bounce back next week, as they finish the season off in Fraser Valley, hoping to go into the postseason on a victory high.