The Scarborough Shooting Stars are still in search of their first win after falling 80-70 to the Montreal Alliance, who secured their first win in franchise history on home court at the Verdun Auditorium.
The game was delayed by 20 minutes, but it became a marquee matchup between Scarborough’s and Montreal’s stars once the teams took to the court.
Jalen Harris came on late in the first quarter to kick start his 18-point performance, showing his touch and ability to finish at the rim while talking trash to Montreal’s home crowd. Harris also showed off some improved ball-handling early in the game to get his teammates involved, a promising sign for the Shooting Stars, who will rely on Harris as a point guard throughout most of the year.
The Shooting Stars emphasized running in transition with multiple players bringing the ball up the court and initiating the offensive sets, including Kyle Alexander, who had a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Jean-Victor Mukama.
While Scarborough’s big names thrived, Montreal started the game shooting one-of-eight from deep until Dominic Green, who scored 36 points on the game, began to take control of the offence and dragged Montreal back into the game at the end of the first half.
A 10-0 run from the Alliance allowed Montreal to take their first lead of the game and the two teams would trade baskets until the start of the fourth quarter, where back-to-back threes blew the lead wide open for Montreal. The Scarborough ballhandlers began to get frustrated by the increased defensive pressure and Kemy Osse, who had 12 points and five rebounds, brought the home crowd to its feet with a dazzling fallaway shot to seal the victory in Elam time.
Despite the loss, The Shooting Stars had some promising performances from Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who bounced back from an unusual poor outing in the season opener vs. the Guelph Nighthawks, with eight points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Isiaha Mike, a new signing for Scarborough, debuted with seven points off the bench. For the second game in a row, the Shooting Stars have shown an ability to trot out multiple looks in their frontcourt around solid play from Harris but will need to put it all together in the final 10 minutes of the game to secure their first win.
Before the Shooting Stars make their first appearance on home court on June 4, they’ll have to make a final road stop in Ottawa to take on the BlackJacks at TD Place. Ottawa dropped a close 90-87 loss to the Kadre Gray led Fraser Valley Bandits in their opening game, but the defensive matchup between Maxime Boursiquot and Harris will be one to keep an eye on, as Boursiquot continues to show his chops as an on-ball defensive threat. Boursiquot was recently named MVP of the Pro Canadian Invitational Canadian Pro Prospects Game.
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