Scarborough Shooting Stars advance to the semifinals with huge playoff victory
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Monday, August 8, 2022
In their inaugural season, the Scarborough Shooting Stars hosted their first-ever playoff game against the Saskatchewan Rattlers, which resulted in a 108-96 victory. This was the third time these teams have met this season, as they faced each other two times in the regular season splitting the season series one game apiece.
Saskatchewan got off to a great start offensively. To the surprise of Scarborough, Scottie Lindsay and Malik Benlevi were the ones to provide the offensive spark early on. The Rattlers jumped out to an 8-2 lead, while the Shooting Stars relied heavily on isolation on their offensive possessions.
However, despite seemingly being outplayed the three-point shooting for Scarborough really came along. Marcus Anderson knocked down a tough shot from beyond the arc while being smothered with contact, providing much-needed momentum for the home team.
The star-studded backcourt for Saskatchewan really struggled in the first half. Tony Carr who is a nominee for the CEBL Player of the Year award had only five points heading into the half. However, despite shooting 1-6 from the field, he tallied seven rebounds and five assists, impacting the game in other facets. Devonte Bandoo also struggled to score just six points on under 40 percent shooting from the field.
Meanwhile, a balanced attack from the Shooting Stars gave them the advantage going into halftime. Jalen Harris tallied nine first-half points, while both Kameron Chatman and Kassius Robertson added eight points apiece to give Scarborough a 43-39 lead going into the half.
The energy to start the second half was electric for the Shooting Stars. During the third quarter, Scarborough outscored Saskatchewan 33-21 to give themselves a convincing 15-point lead thanks to a half-court heave from Teddy Allen. Kyle Alexander added a pair of electric dunks that seemed to suck the life out of the Rattlers.
If there was any doubt whether it was a playoff game, the physicality resembled that of a playoff game with both teams getting into it with each other. A late addition to the roster, Robertson, was the sharpshooter the team lacked for the majority of the season, as he finished with 24 points while connecting on 3-4 from three.
Harris was crucial in scoring yet again with 24 points. Tony Carr despite struggling early finished with a triple-double with 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 15 assists. However, it wasn't enough for the Rattlers to overcome.
The Shooting Stars move onto the semifinals in Ottawa to take on the Niagara River Lions for a spot in the championship game on August 12th at 4 PM ET.