Nighthawks nipped by Honey Badgers in Wood’s debut
GUELPH – The debut of Guelph native Connor Wood couldn’t knock the Guelph Nighthawks off their usual path.
The Nighthawks were edged 104-103 by the Hamilton Honey Badgers Saturday night in Canadian Elite Basketball League play at the Sleeman Centre. Wood, the Nighthawks first-round draft pick who signed with his hometown team this week after returning from Europe where he completed his winter/spring season playing in France, hit for 17 points and he had four assists.
Hamilton had a 12-point lead, their largest of the game, early in the second quarter after leading 27-18 at the end of the first quarter. The Honey Badgers were ahead 43-33 at halftime and 64-61 after the third quarter.
The Nighthawks did grab an eight-point lead (89-81) with just over six minutes to go in regulation time, but they couldn’t hold on to the lead. The Honey Badgers battled back and pulled ahead for good with 37 seconds to play.
Myck Kabongo led Guelph with 23 points while six other Nighthawks hit double digits in scoring – Wood with 17, Marcus Lewis with 14 and Chadrack Lufile, Zeke Marshall, Jamal Reynolds and Joel Kindred with 10 apiece. Kabongo grabbed eight rebounds while Lufile and Reynolds each had seven. Lewis also had six assists and three steals.
Sampson Carter led Hamilton with a game-high 25 points while Demetrius Denzel-Dyson netted 24. Justin Edwards and Ricky Tarrant Jr. each had 14 and Ryan Ejim had 11. Ejim hauled down six rebounds while Tarrant had 10 assists and four steals.
The Nighthawks might have given the game away as the Honey Badgers scored 30 points off of turnovers while the hosts got 16. Guelph turned the ball over 22 times, six times more than Hamilton.
The hosts also collected most of their points in the paint as they scored 58 points from inside the key, 22 more than the Honey Badgers.
The loss leaves the Nighthawks fifth in the six-team league at 3-7. They completed their second quarter of the season at 1-4, the lone win coming over the winless Fraser Valley Bandits (0-9).
Niagara River Lions lead the league at 8-2 and are followed by the Honey Badgers at 7-3, Saskatchewan Rattlers at 6-4, Edmonton Stingers at 5-4, Nighthawks and Fraser Valley.
The Nighthawks are to play Fraser Valley at the Abbotsford Centre July 4 at 7 p.m.
Honey Badgers 104 Nighthawks 103
- Guelph Sports Journal