Nighthawks dominate Elam Ending to hand 3rd straight loss to Bandits

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The Guelph Nighthawks edged host Fraser Valley Bandits 87-79 on Friday to extend the home side's losing streak to three games in CEBL action. (@GNighthawks/Twitter - image credit)
The Guelph Nighthawks edged host Fraser Valley Bandits 87-79 on Friday to extend the home side's losing streak to three games in CEBL action. (@GNighthawks/Twitter - image credit)

The Guelph Nighthawks limited the Fraser Valley Bandits to just two points in the Elam Ending to secure an 87-79 road victory in CEBL action on Friday.

The dominating effort from the away team in the final sequence wrapped a hard-fought game that saw Fraser Valley start the fourth quarter with an eight-point advantage.

Giorgi Bezhanishvili led Guelph (8-8) with 19 points. Cat Barber and Stefan Smith added 15 each. Former Toronto Raptors centre Lucas Nogueira grabbed seven rebounds.

Shane Gibson had 16 points to lead Fraser Valley (9-7), while Alex Campbell — 15 points and 10 rebounds — and Thomas Kennedy — 10 points and 11 rebounds — posted double-doubles.

"This is one of the toughest teams in the league, so I feel like our guys came here and did what we had to do," said Barber, who also had six rebounds and two assists for Guelph, also adding the final basket of the game.

"Sometimes things don't go in our favour with the referees and we let them get in our heads, but coming into Elam [Ending], we blocked the refs out and we hooped."

Both teams are still in the hunt for the final playoff spot at the Championship Weekend from August 10 to 14 in Ottawa.

The Hamilton Honey Badgers (13-3) and the Niagara River Lions (11-4) have already punched their ticket. As hosts, the Ottawa BlackJacks (5-10) have a secured place in the four-team tournament.

Fraser Valley will host the BlackJacks on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET. The Nighthawks will take on the Saskatchewan Rattlers on the road on Thursday at 8.30 p.m. ET.

River Lions rally past Growlers

Earlier on Friday, Khalil Ahmad scored 19 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Niagara River Lions erase a 16-point deficit in the final frame and defeat host Newfoundland Growlers 95-87.

Antonio Davis Jr. had 19 points of his own for Niagara (11-4), which is now on a four-game win streak. His teammate Daniel Walden-Mullings posted a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double.

"From the beginning we came off really slow, but we knew we just had to find ourselves defensively. We found it, and started getting buckets on offence," said Ahmad, who also recorded three assists and five rebounds, in a post-game interview.

Shaquille Keith and Blake Francis each posted 19 points to lead Newfoundland (2-12), which sits at the bottom of the 10-team standings.

After going winless in the first ten games in franchise history, the Growlers have now concluded a four-game homestand that saw them pick up two victories.

Niagara remains second in the standings, having already secured a playoff berth.

The Growlers will visit the BlackJacks on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Niagara will play the Scarborough Shooting Stars on the road on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

All CEBL games are streamed live on CBCsports.ca, the free CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

WATCH l CEBL: Guelph Nighthawks @ Fraser Valley Bandits:

WATCH l CEBL: Niagara River Lions @ Newfoundland Growlers:

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