In a battle of two expansion franchises, the Montreal Alliance came out on top with a 80-70 comeback win over the Scarborough Shooting Stars on Sunday in Montreal.
Led by Dominic Green's 20-point second half, Montreal (1-1) worked its way up from a 45-37 halftime deficit to lead 70-61 at the start of the Elam Ending, where they easily closed out the game with Scarborough (0-2) needing 18 points to win.
The Alliance were led by Green's 36 points, Kemy Osse's 12 points, and Hernst Laroche's 10 points and six assists.
Kyle Alexander scored a team-high 22 points, with Jalen Harris contributing 18 points for the Shooting Stars.
Jermaine Cole was scoreless in just under five minutes of play for Scarborough.
The Shooting Stars came out of the gates in control and led for much of the way in the opening frame, going up 22-17 as they aimed for their first win of the season.
In the second, Scarborough was able to bump its lead to nine, scoring the first four points of the quarter before the Alliance attempted to make a push of their own.
A Laroche three cut the lead down to just 39-37 late in the frame, but a 6-0 run from the Shooting Stars to close the half kept Montreal from taking the lead for the first time in the game.
Montreal's push eventually paid off in the third, as a gradual closing of the gap led to them taking a hold of their first lead at the 3:11 mark behind a Green jumper to go up 53-51. After back-and-forth action that saw the Alliance try to cling on to their lead, an Alexander layup with 10 seconds remaining allowed Scarborough to go up 56-55 entering the fourth.
The final frame was all Green as the forward scored the first nine points of the quarter on three consecutive three-point shots to put Montreal up 64-56.
A dunk from James Jean-Marie and another jumper from Green put the Alliance up 68-56. From that point forward, Scarborough was unable to cut the deficit to any less than seven points as Montreal controlled the game all the way through to the buzzer.
The Alliance will next play the Ottawa BlackJacks on Tuesday, while the Shooting Stars will also play Ottawa on Thursday. Both games will be streamed on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.
Stingers bounce back with win over Rattlers
The Edmonton Stingers bounced back from their season-opening loss in a big way, defeating the Saskatchewan Rattlers 84-71 on Sunday in Edmonton.
Going into the Elam Ending up 73-71, the Stingers (1-1) locked in defensively and outscored the Rattlers (1-1) 11-0.
Only needing to score 82 points to win and up 80-71, a technical foul by Rattlers guard Scottie Lindsey put the Stingers' Adika Peter-McNeilly on the free throw line to pad the lead by one.
On the following possession, Edmonton forward David Pekarek hit a three-pointer to seal the victory.
Forward Brody Clarke led the way for the Stingers with 22 points, in addition to a strong all-around effort from Jordan Baker who recorded 11 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists.
Lindsey led all scorers with 24 points, while forward Tony Carr and guard Devante Bandoo pitched in 19 and 14 points for Saskatchewan, respectively.
The opening frame was tight for much of the start, with the largest lead being six for the Rattlers, who closed the quarter on a 7-2 run after being down 9-8 through the first six minutes of the game.
In the second, Edmonton returned fire, starting out the quarter on a 7-0 run before Saskatchewan called a timeout after scoring just one point. A 9-3 run for the Stingers, with Clarke scoring four of the points, pushed the lead to 27-19 — the largest lead of the game up to that point.
Minutes later while trailing 30-22, the Rattlers were able to deliver another strong finish to a quarter, closing the half on a 13-5 run to go into the break tied 35-35.
The Stingers were again able to push the lead to eight in the third, going up 50-42, with Baker scoring six of the team's first 15 points of the quarter.
Saskatchewan was slowly able to close the gap as the frame progressed but were unable to regain the lead or tie the game up going into the final period.
In the fourth, the Rattlers continued their push, eventually being able to take the lead behind a Lindsey three to go up 69-68. A Jahmal Jones layup put the Stingers back up one on the next possession, before Lindsey scored a layup to put them up one.
Pekarek scored a three to put the Stingers up 73-71 going into the Elam Ending, where the Rattlers ran out of any offensive steam to keep up with Edmonton.
Edmonton will next play the Newfoundland Growlers on Friday. The Rattlers will next play the Fraser Valley Bandits on Wednesday. Both games will be streamed on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.