Fraser Valley Bandits fall on road to Hamilton Honey Badgers

It may have been the best game yet for the Bandits, but the end result was their fourth loss.

The bounces aren’t going the way of the Fraser Valley Bandits in their first season in the Canadian Elite Basketball League.

A 106-99 overtime loss to the Hamilton Honey Badgers dropped the Bandits to 0-4.

Three of the losses have been by a combined 11 points, so the locals are playing competitive basketball. But with a season that’s not terribly long, the Bandits need to start posting Ws to get in the playoff chase.

Fraser Valley was poised to get off on the right foot against the Honey Badgers thanks to the recent additions of two British Columbia born sharpshooters, Abbotsford’s Marek Klassen and Vancouver’s Diego Kapelan. Rodney Pryor (Evanston, IL) faked a backdoor cut and got open for an elbow jump shot to give the Bandits an early 6-4 lead in the first quarter. But the Honey Badgers responded with a run of their own, capped off by a Ryan Ejim dunk and a Justin Edwards three-pointer that pushed Hamilton’s lead to 14-6.

Klassen checked in for his first game in a Bandits uniform and immediately stabilized the offence. His steady ballhandling and distribution helped bring the Bandits to within 20-25 at the end of the first quarter.

Hamilton buckled down defensively in the second quarter thanks to tight rotations and great help-side defence, which thwarted several Bandits drives to the basket. Kapelan recorded his first points as a Bandit when he nailed a three-pointer at the five-minute mark of the second quarter, but it was all Honey Badgers for the rest of the frame. Back-to-back threes by Ricky Tarrant Jr. and Demetrius Denzel-Dyson pushed the lead to double digits, and a late drive by Tarrant Jr. resulted in an and-one that sent the Honey Badgers into half-time with a 48-35 lead.

The Bandits opened the third on a strong run that was finished by a Dallin Bachynski (Calgary, AB) dunk that brought the score to 56-47. Tate brought the Bandits closer with a three-pointer that drew Fraser Valley to within 61-57. With the Bandits threatening to take the lead, Tarrant Jr. calmly sunk two free throws with eight seconds left in the third quarter to restore a 70-63 lead for the Honey Badgers.

With the game in the balance, the Bandits and Honey Badgers traded blows in the final quarter. The Honey Badgers maintained a six-point lead in the opening minutes of the final quarter, but two free throws by Anton Gill (Raleigh, NC) trimmed Hamilton’s lead to just 82-81 with less than three minutes left in the game. Bachynski followed up Gill’s efforts by tying the game at 86-86. A late three by Denzel-Dyson gave the Honey Badgers a lead in what appeared to be the game’s closing moments, but Tate showcased great leadership and converted a difficult left-handed lay-up to send the game to overtime at 89-89.

The Bandits were unable to scrape out the victory in the extra frame as Hamilton went on a decisive final run that helped cement victory for the home side.

“The guys were putting it all out on the line tonight,” said Fraser Valley head coach Peter Guarasci. “This is the type of game we have been working towards since the beginning. Given the effort level that we saw tonight, I thought the team deserved the victory because they left it all out on the court and showed a lot of heart and grit.”

The Bandits take on the Niagara River Lions Friday at Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, ON.

“Niagara is a team that has proven that they have been able to win big at home and on the road. They have some great shooters, and we’re just going to have to learn from this quickly, regroup tomorrow, and be ready to compete,” Guarasci said.

Just Posted

Chilliwack’s oldest school, Central elementary, celebrates 90 years

Historic photos, scrap books, the school song all part of upcoming 90th celebration

The Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk strolls into Chilliwack next month

Photographers meet up to spend a few hours socializing, capturing images, and sharing with like-minded people

Libraries call on reading buddies, dads to take part in literacy programs in Chilliwack

The annual Reading Buddies program and the brand-new Man in the Moon story time start this month

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Chilliwack Chiefs blow out Prince George Spruce Kings in home opener

Ethan Bowen scored three goals as the Chiefs dumped their Mainland division rivals 6-2.

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Over 200 Hotel Georgia hospitality workers join ‘open-ended strike’

Unionized workers at Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront have also walked out

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Hiker rescued after spending night on Crown Mountain

North Shore Rescue spotted the woman by helicopter over Hanes Valley

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read