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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

Rude awakening: 1.6-magnitude earthquake rouses residents from their sleep

The quake was detected 3 km east-northeast of Agassiz

Chilliwack Visual Artists Assocation calling for artists to display

Works will be on display at O’Connor Group Art Gallery

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Most Read