Koby McEwen’s 28 points led the Brampton Honey Badgers (2-2) to the wire-to-wire 94-82 win against the Montréal Alliance (2-2) on Sunday afternoon in the CEBL.
McEwen finished the game with 28 points, four rebounds, and four assists on 53 per cent shooting from the field. His scoring outburst helped his team win their second straight game getting back to an even 2-2 on the season.
He was helped by Zane Waterman who put up 18 points and seven rebounds, doing so on an equally efficient 50 per cent from the field.
Christian Vital had a quiet night relative to his usual output, but the guard still nearly managed a double-double with 11 points, five rebounds, and eight assists. He also knocked down three triples on the night which helped him take the franchise record for three-pointers made all-time. He’s now made 61 total, surpassing the mark of 60 previously set by Demetrius Denzel-Dyson.
“I honestly didn’t even know,” said Vital with a grin after he was notified of the record post-game. “Feels good to win, to get that accomplishment and the win.”
“I’m appreciative and grateful, and I have to keep it going so no one else can break it.”
Montréal was led by Blake Francis who put up 25 points and four assists. He was aided by Treveon Graham who notched his third double-double in four games, with 13 points and 18 rebounds.
This game began with a frantic pace as both teams struggled to get things going offensively, committing careless turnovers in the process. There were just five combined baskets made within the first five minutes of this game, an anomaly for two teams that rank in the top four in the league for field goal percentage.
Brampton did get things going in the back half of the quarter on the heels of Kyle Johnson’s eight points. He shot an efficient 3-5 from the field while knocking down two triples. His strong start helped the Honey Badgers get out to a 23-19 lead after one.
The guard’s team seemed to feed off his strong play as Brampton caught fire to start the second quarter. The Honey Badgers went on a 12-0 run in the first four minutes of the frame, sparked by Zane Waterman who scored nine of those points on route to his 13 in the first half.
As cliché as it sounds, basketball really is a game of runs, sparked by moves and countermoves. After being down 16, Montréal responded by going into a 2-3 zone, hoping to trouble Brampton’s playmakers. The adjustment worked as the Alliance immediately went on a 17-5 run to get back into the game, down 40-36 going into half-time.
Montréal came out of the half missing one of their best scorers in Ahmed Hill (19.6 points per game). The guard suffered an injury late in the second, hobbling off the court and did not return. Francis made sure to do his part to make up for Hill’s absence as he took over for the Alliance, scoring 11 points in the quarter to keep his team in it.
“Blake’s a shot-maker,” said Alliance head coach Derrick Alston post-game on Francis’ offensive responsibility. “He’s been great, but the only thing I worry about is putting too much on his shoulders early in the season.”
“Every challenge I’ve given him so far he’s accepted, and he’s working his butt off...I just have to make sure I don’t wear him out before we hit 10 games.”
Not to be outdone, McEwen notched 16 points of his own in the frame, helping Brampton take a 71-63 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Honey Badgers extended their lead through the fourth quarter and went into Target Score Time up by 11 points, where the guard once again took over.
He scored Brampton’s first seven points in the final period and the team never looked back. Waterman iced things with a corner three, one of his four on the night, 94-82 the final.
Both teams are now streaking in opposite directions as Brampton have won two in a row and Montréal have lost two.
The teams will switch venues and return to action on Wednesday in Brampton to face-off once again. The game will be at 11:00 am ET, as part of the Honey Badgers’ “school day” event. It’ll be one of three school day games to happen in the CEBL this season.