Saskatchewan vs. Hamilton
In a back and forth game, the Hamilton Honey Badgers qualified for the playoffs with a 86-73 win over the defending champion Saskatchewan Rattlers.
Hamilton exploded offensively with 30 first quarter points, but Saskatchewan played harrowing defence in the second. They only allowed five points in the entire quarter.
After a close third quarter, Hamilton got back into a groove in the fourth outscoring them by ten points.
Player of the Game was given to Jean-Victor Mukama for his 28 points, six rebounds and four assists. Briante Weber and Kalif Young both had 13 points.
Most statistics were close, but the biggest factor in this win was points in the paint. Hamilton had 34 while Saskatchewan had 24.
For the Rattlers, Negus Webster-Chan had 18 points and Kevin Bracy-Davis had 13.
Saskatchewan is now set up with an important matchup with the Ottawa BlackJacks on Wednesday, with most likely the winner making the playoffs and the loser not qualifying at all.
Ottawa vs. Niagara
In a must win game for both teams, the Niagara River Lions qualified for the playoffs with a tight 81-79 win over the Ottawa BlackJacks on the backs of Kassius Robertson and Trae Bell-Haynes.
After a rough first quarter for the River Lions, they won the next 3. But going into Elam Time, it was a tie game.
Niagara’s Tyrone Watson made a layup, then Grandy Glaze split a pair of free throws. Then Watson made two free throws, giving them a five point lead.
Ottawa’s Johnny Berhanemeskel got to the free throw line in consecutive possessions, making all of them. Munis Tutu made a layup and then Thomas Scrubb made two free throws, giving them a three point lead and only needing one score to win the game.
Bell-Haynes of the River Lions had other ideas. He made a tough layup and was fouled by Lloyd Pandi, sending him to the line. Tie game at 79. Next basket wins. He would also end the game with another layup, another one heavily contested.
Player of the Game was given to Kassius Robertson for his 28 points. He also went 7-12 from three. Trae Bell-Haynes also had 15 points.
For the BlackJacks, Johnny Berhanemeskel had 18 points. Lloyd Pandi also had 12 points and seven rebounds.
Ottawa is now set up for a do or die game against the defending champion Saskatchewan Rattlers. Whoever wins will get the last spot in the playoffs, and will play either Hamilton or the loser of the Guelph/Fraser Valley game.