The BlackJacks battled for a lead in the second quarter, with defence leading to a 13-2 run to end the half. Jakeenan Gant led Ottawa in scoring with 21 points, six rebounds, and three assists off the bench and set the tone for the evening with usual standouts, Deng Adel and Kadre Gray’s efficiency being stifled. Adel had 13 points on 29 per cent shooting, and Gray had 18 points on 31 per cent.
After a record-breaking performance in the eastern conference play-in game, Cat Barber was slowed by the presence of defensive pest Maxime Boursiquot. Barber had 16 points and contributed nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
In the second half, Isiaha Mike came to life and led all scorers with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Kalif Young also had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, but another 10-2 run from the BlackJacks saw them mount a 12-point lead before the final quarter.
In the fourth, the signature Shooting Stars crunch-time urgency came into play. A quick 6-0 run would force a BlackJacks timeout, and another 7-1 run prior to Elam time saw the score at 67-63 with the target score set at 76. Gant kept the BlackJack’s hopes alive, but the Shooting Stars continued to roll, and it was a beautiful reverse lay-up from Cat Barber that stamped the Shooting Stars’ ticket to the championship weekend.
The Niagara River Lions await in the eastern conference finals for the Shooting Stars, in a match-up that many expected when training camp rosters were announced. The River Lions, who finished atop the CEBL’s eastern conference with the best record in the league, pose an interesting threat with two CEBL Defensive Player of the Year nominees, EJ Onu and Khalil Ahmad manning the wings. The game will take place at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C. on Friday, August 11, at 8 p.m.
Scarborough Shooting Stars vs. Ottawa BlackJacks boxscore click HERE.