Thomas Kennedy secured the third straight win for the Scarborough Shooting Stars on Tuesday night with a dramatic 85-83 victory over the visiting Ottawa BlackJacks.

Ottawa mounted an early lead on the Shooting Stars, but Scarborough came out of halftime and locked down Deng Adel, who had a game-high 23 points, and Kadre Gray, who had 17 points. The BlackJacks responded in Elam time with a comeback of their own, but the reigning U SPORTS Player of the Year stripped the ball from Adel and took it to the rim for an empathic walk-off dunk over Gray.

“I’m feeling good just to get the win!” said Kennedy, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

 Although Kennedy tried to downplay the moment after the game, stating the team would quickly be looking forward to the next game, but the dunk that saw the Scarborough bench empty on the floor to embrace the young forward was heard across Canada on the national broadcast for TSN and has already been featured in several CEBL social media posts.

“This was the first time I was at the bottom of a dogpile for a celebration, so this was kind of crazy for me,” said Kennedy.

The Shooting Stars were also lifted by two recent additions to the rotation, with Kyree Walker posting 17 points and U SPORTS draftee David Walker scoring 14 points, grabbing five rebounds, and recording four steals. The double-Walker lineup was key to Scarborough’s massive 27-17 third quarter and was also featured in Elam time. 

Kadre Gray (#25) Of the Ottawa BlackJacks

Throughout their time on the floor, Kyree was often seen taking David aside for instructions. The duo fed off each other’s energy. David joked after the game that the connection was an obvious one due to the shared last name, but Kyree said he hoped to pass on some of the mentorship he received early on in his career.

“You always want the young guys to be successful,” said Kyree. “Greg Monroe was my OG when I was with the Wizards; he taught me a lot. Kyle Kuzma, and Bradley Beal, taught me how to be a mentor…now I can help (David). He’s a monster.”

The win catapulted the Shooting Stars back into first place in the eastern conference, where they’re tied with three other teams with a 4-4 record. Scarborough will look to keep the winning streak alive on Thursday night when an equally hot Edmonton Stingers team comes to the Toronto Pan Am Centre on a three-game winning streak.

“We’ve got one more at home, and we didn’t show well in our first few games at home, but we’re back on track with two straight (wins). Thursday night, we’re looking to make it three,” said Kennedy. “We’re excited to go on our west coast trip and get way above .500, not just at .500.”

Scarborough Shooting Stars vs. Ottawa BlackJacks boxscore click HERE.

Photos by Shaun McLeod

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