Bandits guard Marek Klassen drives against Guillaume Payen-Boucard during CEBL action on Thursday. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Fraser Valley Bandits win streak stalls at three

Niagara River Lions down Bandits 104-94 inside Abbotsford Centre

The Fraser Valley Bandits three-game win streak came to a crashing holt after a fourth quarter collapse to the Niagara River Lions on Thursday.

Niagara dropped 40 points in the final frame to walk out of Abbotsford Centre with a 104-94 win.

The Bandits were out-rebounded 42-31 by the River Lions, and Fraser Valley gave up 15 offensive rebounds to Niagara. Second chance points saw Niagara outscore the Bandits 17-12.

Bandits head coach Peter Guarasci said some of the team’s mistakes built up as the game went on and cost the club the game.

“Niagara is a very good team and they’re well coached and if you make mistake against them then they make you pay,” he said. “They shoot a lot of three’s so there are a lot of long rebounds and we struggled trying to corral some of them in. We also had some careless outlet passes that I know our guys would want back.”

The River Lions dagger came with 35 seconds left when guard Nem Mitrovic hit a wide open three to put Niagara up 98-84. The Bandits never recovered from that crucial shot.

“We left a shooter in the corner and over rotated – that was a tough one,” Guarasci said. “We did a really good job on Mitrovic the whole game but he got two or three open looks late and it cost us.”

Abbotsford’s Marek Klassen had a strong game for the Bandits, collecting a team-high 23 points and four assists. Forward Levon Kendall contributed with 13 points and seven boards, while Abbotsford’s Joel Friesen provided a spark off the bench with nine points and was a +9 on the floor.

Despite the loss, Guarasci has liked his team’s play in recent weeks. The Bandits win streak saw them hold teams to under 90 points each game, and he said that type of defensive intensity is needed for the club to pick up more wins.

“Defensively we’ve been pretty good,” he said of the club’s past month. “We’re making it difficult for the opposition and sharing the ball more.

He added that additions to the roster like Jelan Kendrick and big man Chris McLaughlin have fit in well.

“Kendrick finds a way to impact the game without demanding too much,” he said. “And McLaughlin is a force out there. Both of those guys were strong for us tonight.”

The Bandits record drops to 3-10 with the loss, and they remain tied for fifth in the Canadian Elite Basketball League. Niagara (11-3) made history last night as they became the first-ever team to qualify for the playoffs.

Fraser Valley returns to action on July 18, when the Hamilton Honey Badgers come to town. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Abbotsford Centre. For more on the team, visit thebandits.ca.

Just Posted

Grieving South Surrey mom ‘disappointed’ province not moving quicker to fix recovery homes

Min. Judy Darcy says new regulations, effective Dec. 1, follow ‘many horror stories’

B.C.’s health, addictions ministers to announce changes to recovery-house rules

Safety, quality of care targeted; South Surrey parent whose son overdosed ‘curious’ about amendments

Surrey school district unveils its first rainbow crosswalk

Superintendent Jordan Tinney says colour crossing ‘a statement that everyone is welcome in Surrey’

Potters’ House of Horrors sets date for opening weekend in Surrey

The ‘Death Valley Motor Inn’ is an all-new haunted house this year

Date set for complete closure of North Surrey Recreation Centre

Users will be directed to programs and services within a four-kilometre radius of the site

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

BREAKING: Body found believed to be missing Chilliwack senior with dementia

Police says case is now in the hands of the coroner

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Liberals block hearings into scathing ethics report on SNC-Lavalin affair

Dion concluded in his report last week that Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act

Retired Richmond fisherman wins record-breaking $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

‘Unsubstantiated’ bomb threat against CP Rail in Revelstoke

On Aug. 18, a bomb threat was made against CP Rail in Revelstoke

Victoria father charged with double murder of his daughters takes the stand

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Most Read

l -->