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

Abbotsford couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

PHOTOS: Fraser Valley Pride Celebration kicks off in Mission

The Stage hosted two events, including the fundraising dinner and talent showcase

Search continues for missing elderly woman in Chilliwack

RCMP, Chilliwack Search and Rescue and community members combing area for Grace Baranyk

Big Chill a hot event in Langley

Flight Museum holds “ask the pilot panel” and demos flights for young pilots over the weekend

VIDEO: Fire crews rescue horse stuck in ditch in Abbotsford

Incident took place Friday afternoon on Bates Road

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

Too much time on social media can hurt teens’ mental health: study

Researchers conducted a four-year survey of more than 3,800 adolescents between Grades 7 and 11

Advocates want charges in horse deaths during Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

Chuckwagon races are a nightly spectacle during the Stampede, a 10-day annual celebration of western life

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Health Canada revokes licences of B.C.-based pot producer Agrima Botanicals

The agency said it notified the company of a suspension in November due to non-compliance with regulations

Deals, protests during Amazon Prime Day

The Seattle-based e-commerce behemoth says it is offering more than a million deals

VIDEO: Hiker airlifted from Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park Sunday

Park east of Chilliwack popular with tourist and B.C. residents who walk up to the falls

Most Read