It’s official, Nighthawks knocked out of playoff race
HAMILTON – The Guelph Nighthawks had their playoff aspirations in the Canadian Elite Basketball League come to an end Saturday when they were dropped 118-99 by the Hamilton Honey Badgers at FirstOntario Centre.
With the win, Hamilton secured the final spot in the CEBL’s inaugural final four championship weekend in Saskatoon later this month.
As is their habit, the Nighthawks fell behind in the first quarter. They did close the gap in the second quarter before the Honey Badgers pulled away in the second half.
Kimbal Mackenzie’s layup midway through the first quarter put Guelph ahead 14-11, their biggest lead since Myles Charvis hit a three-pointer to open the game’s scoring 45 seconds into the contest. However, Hamilton responded to Mackenzie’s bucket with 17 consecutive points to grab a lead they would never relinquish.
Charvis finished the game with 25 points while Olu Famutimi had 22, Mackenzie 20 and Tyrell Corbin 13. Charvis and Jermel Kennedy also hauled down six rebounds apiece while Mackenzie had five assists and Michale Kyser had two blocks.
Demetrius Denzel-Dyson connected for 31 points for Hamilton while Ricky Tarrant Jr. had 30, Murphy Burnatowski 17, Joe Rocca 15 and Xavier Rathan-Mayes 11. Mike Fraser grabbed 14 rebounds and had two blocks while Tarrant Jr. had eight assists.
The Honey Badgers scored 60 points in the paint, 26 more than the Nighthawks. They also had 18 second-chance points to Guelph’s six and 35 fast-break points to Guelph’s 27.
Edmonton Stingers lead the league at 13-4 and are followed by the Niagara River Lions at 13-5, Saskatchewan Rattlers at 9-8, Hamilton at 9-9, the Nighthawks at 5-13 and Fraser Valley Bandits at 4-14.
Top four have qualified for the championship tournament although the Rattlers were already assured of one of the four berths as tournament hosts.
The Nighthawks have two games left on their season. They’re to host Hamilton Friday at 7 p.m. at the Sleeman Centre and play Saskatchewan at Saskatoon Aug. 15 at 9 p.m.
Games in the championship tournament are set with the semifinals slated for Aug. 24 and the final for Aug. 25.
Honey Badgers 118 Nighthawks 99
- Guelph Sports Journal