The slow start to the Scarborough Shooting Stars’ second season continued Sunday night as the Saskatchewan Rattlers came to town and earned a 96-84 victory as the defensive woes for the Shooting Stars showed up once again.
After giving up a CEBL record-tying 42 points to Teddy Allen (Winnipeg Sea Bears) on Friday, Rattlers’ guard Justin Wright-Foreman exploded for 36 points, six rebounds, and four assists in a performance that saw an away team player dancing at half-court at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre for the second straight game.
“We need to refresh, man,” said Cat Barber, who led the Shooting Stars with 27 points. “It’s tough losing like this (twice) in a row…all we can do is come back and try to win the next one.”
Cat Barber (12) scored a team-high 27 points for Scarborough with Jermel Kennedy (10) of Saskatchewan
Beyond the standout showing from Wright-Foreman, the Rattlers got several contributions throughout their lineup. Malik Benlevi had 16 points, Michael Nuga had 14 points and Jermel Kennedy had 13 points.
Tempers also appeared to flare throughout the second half of the game, with Barber getting involved in a slight altercation after pushing Drake Jefferies to the floor on defence. However, Barber said he was already moving past the incident in the post-game press conference.
Jalen Harris was held to an unusually quiet game with just nine points and four rebounds, but the Shooting Stars did begin to find some depth in their lineup throughout the final quarter. Kassius Robertson had 17 points as Scarborough looked to spur their signature Elam time comeback, Kalif Young had 10 points and five rebounds in limited action, and Thomas Kennedy had another solid performance with 12 points and six rebounds, including several dunks.
“I think it’s just time, and unfortunately, in this league, you don’t have time because it’s so short,” said Shooting Stars head coach Chris Exlius of Kennedy’s first few games. “But you can see guys are getting a little bit better each game, and Kennedy is finding his stride right now.”
Scarborough will get a brief chance for that refresh with a three-day break before their next game on Thursday against the Niagara River Lions, and Exlius has already begun considering what the team needs to do with that time – starting with reviewing film on how they’re guarding opposing teams’ top scorers, where he said they had not done a good job over the past two games.
“We need to get some good practice sessions in, look over the film and review all that we’ve done,” said Exlius. “We’ve got a lot of good players. We just need to put them in better position, offensively and defensively.”
For Barber, it’s simple. Whatever’s asked of him to get back into the winning column, he’ll do.
“I’m just trying to win, man,” said Barber.
Scarborough Shooting Stars vs. Saskatchewan Rattlers boxscore click HERE.