The Edmonton Stingers haven't dominated the Canadian Elite Basketball League season without reigning MVP Xavier Moon, but new addition Trahson Burrell might be the solution.
The recent signing, who had played with Edmonton in BCL Americas, scored 37 points in his CEBL debut as the Stingers defeated the Guelph Nighthawks 101-100 on Saturday at the Edmonton EXPO Centre.
The two-time defending champion Stingers captured their 10th win of the season and held onto fifth place in the CEBL standings, keeping their form and spirits high with just a week remaining in the regular season.
Meanwhile, Guelph would have clinched a playoff spot with a win, but it proved challenging without leading scorer Cat Barber in the lineup. The Stingers began slowly, and Guelph's Ahmed Hill stepped up in the first quarter, but his contributions wouldn't be enough.
Hill led the opening frame with 11 points and had 26 by the end of the game, but his strong performance couldn't push the Nighthawks over the line, despite a late charge in Elam time.
Edmonton began the afternoon slowly, trailing Guelph after the first quarter 25-24, but a 29-point third-quarter effort proved to be the difference for the Stingers, as they pushed toward setting the Elam Ending score at 101. Mathieu Kamba won the game on a free throw, sealing the slim victory.
While the Stingers leaned on Burrell for much of their offence, they also looked to familiar faces in Jordan Baker, who had 10 rebounds, and Peter-Mcneilly to see out their win. Edmonton is back on the victorious side after dropping their previous game to the Scarborough Shooting Stars.
The Stingers sit among the Shooting Stars (10-7), Hamilton Honey Badgers (13-4), Niagara River Lions (12-5), and the Fraser Valley Bandits (10-7) on the list of teams with playoff berths locked up. Meanwhile, the Nighthawks find themselves battling the Saskatchewan Rattlers for the final spot.
The Ottawa Blackjacks (5-12), host of the 2022 CEBL Championship Weekend, receive a bye into the four-team tournament. The team with the best regular season campaign will join Ottawa along with the two victorious quarter-final sides.
Guelph now moves on to host the Saskatchewan Rattlers in a critical game on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, while the Stingers welcome the Ottawa BlackJacks to the Edmonton Expo Centre later on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.
All CEBL games are streamed live on CBCsports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.
WATCH l CEBL: Guelph Nighthawks @ Edmonton Stingers: