River Lions come up short
The Niagara River Lions returned to the court for the first time in nine days Friday, dropping a 92-90 decision to the Saskatchewan Rattlers in Canadian Elite Basketball Action at the SaskTel Centre.
With the game tied 90-90 and the target score 91, the Rattlers won the game when guard Ali Sow drove into the lane and hit an off-balance shot.
It was a close back-and-forth game. Saskatchewan was ahead for most of the fourth quarter but Niagara made a late comeback, with Elijah Mitrou-Long tying it up before Sow’s game-winner.
Both teams were missing key players: Tony Carr for Saskatchewan and EJ Onu, Phil Scrubb and Jaylen Babb-Harrison for Niagara.
“We were short-handed and we played hard but didn’t finish possessions on the defensive end and made some unforced mistakes,” Niagara coach Victor Raso said. “I was disappointed with how we rebounded the ball, especially in the second half. That cannot happen. We cannot expect to win on the road while losing the 50/50 and rebounding battle.”
Niagara assistant coach Danielle Boiago filled in as head coach for Raso who was home with his newborn son.
Khalil Ahmad led all players with 35 points as well as nine rebounds and four assists. Daniel Walden-Mullings (19 points, six rebounds) provided deep shooting (two-for-three) while Antonio Davis Jr. (16 points, eight rebounds) filled in for Onu.
“I think we didn’t really finish plays that well defensively,” Ahmad noted. “We didn’t finish with rebounds. We kind of bailed them out a couple of times.”
The River Lions, 7-4, play the Fraser Valley Bandits Sunday July 3 before returning home Wednesday to face Edmonton.
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