In a very highly anticipated matchup against two very strong teams, and two very strong point guards in Xavier Moon and Briante Weber, the Stingers faced off against the Honey Badgers in a battle for the ages. But it wasn’t Moon nor Weber who led the way for their respective teams. A full team effort from both teams made for an epic duel with an incredible finish.
The first half of the game was all Stingers. No Stinger blasted off and carried the load. Brody Clarke and Jordan Baker came in with 9 points at the half, Travis Daniels came through with 8 of his own. Shots were falling for the Stingers early, and quite the opposite for Hamilton. The Honey Badgers couldn’t buy a bucket to the start the game. The highly anticipated matchup between Xavier Moon and Briante Weber hadn’t really gotten going at this point. Both Moon and Weber were quiet and let Duane Notice and the variety of Stingers run the show.
The second half went a little differently. The Honey Badgers snapped and woke up, and made the game very interesting. By the time ELAM rolled around, the Honey Badgers had brought the game within 1 point. Back to back threes from Mathieu Kamba and Xavier Moon willed the Stingers to a relieving victory after an incredible storm by the Badgers. Part of the reason why the Honey Badgers couldn’t complete the comeback was because of a scary injury suffered by Duane Notice in ELAM time. Notice was holding his ankle/achilles area, and remained on the court for an extended period of time. We at League Alerts are hoping for Duane’s injury to be as minimal as possible, and wish him all the best.
The leader for the Stingers was Jordan Baker. Baker finished with 17 points, 9 rebounds (4 of which were offensive rebounds) as well as 2 steals on 66% shooting. Baker proved that he is one of the top rebounders yet again. He crashed the boards on nearly every possession, and made a serious impact on both ends of the floor. Xavier Moon matched Baker’s elite play with a nice game of his own. Moon struggled with his mid range shot a little bit, but ended up hitting the game winning three pointer to secure the victory for the Stingers. Moon finished with 11 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds.
Brody Clarke had an extremely underrated game. Clarke finished with 14 points on 6-8 shooting from the field. Clarke also grabbed 3 rebounds, but demonstrated his highly skilled footwork in the post. Travis Daniels had a solid bounce back game after struggling a little in the first two games. Daniels finished with 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. Daniels’ defensive presence was certainly felt, however, foul trouble kept him on the bench late in the game.
Both Mambi Diawara and Mathieu Kamba struggled from the field. Diawara shot 2-7, but finished with 7 points and 8 rebounds. Diawara’s surge came in the first quarter, where he looked solid. Kamba started to play like himself in the second half. He shot just 2-9 on the night, but continued to solidify his case for defensive player of the year, bringing in 4 steals (Summer Series record). Adika Peter-McNeilly also struggled from the field, shooting 3-14 for 6 points. Much like Kamba, Adika substituted his poor offense for spectacular defense, bringing in 3 steals himself.
Zac Overwater and Kareem South played very well in limited time. Overwater finished with a career high 8 points in his best ever game with the Stingers, South finished with a career high 5 points with the Stingers. Overwater brought in 3 rebounds while South brought in 1. Sascha Kappos was the lone Stinger player who played and recorded no points. Kappos looked solid, but didn’t contribute to the stats column. Xavier Ochu and Kirk Williams Jr. didn’t see any court time.
Overall, this was a nail biter, and definitely the most entertaining game of the Summer Series so far. Edmonton looked really good throughout the entire game, but fell off big time once ELAM struck. Some late game heroics from Xavier Moon and Mathieu Kamba helped the Stingers overcome this cold streak, and secure their second win of the tournament.