The Scarborough Shooting Stars are back in the win column, improving to 9-7 on the season, with a 97-74 victory over the Edmonton Stingers on Tuesday night.
The win comes after a pair of big point losses for the Shooting Stars after losing their lead guard Jalen Harris to an injury during the game against the Hamilton Honey Badgers on July 14. Isiaha Mike said the team was “humbled” by the disappointing losses, and he dropped 30 points while leading the new look Shooting Stars to their first win without Harris.
“We kind of got a monkey wrench thrown at us, trying to navigate playing games without a major ballhandler…we went back to the drawing board and came home with the victory today,” said Mike.
Isiaha Mike directs the Shooting Stars offence (Photo courtesy Shaun McLeod)
Two U Sports products also lifted the Shooting Stars off the bench as David Muenkat added 10 points to the total, continuing his run of good play for the Shooting Stars, and his play has not gone unnoticed by his head coach.
“He’s hungry, and you can see that he’s playing for more than just himself. He’s playing with a level of pride in the opportunity to wear this jersey,” said Shooting Stars head coach Chris Exilus. “You can see how much it means to him if he gets five minutes, two minutes, three minutes, ten minutes, throughout this season, you’ve seen a young man really rise to the occasion.”
Former Ottawa Gee-Gees star, Calvin Epistola joined the team as a practice player and has gone from someone who was checking into the game with no name on the back of his jersey to a valuable contributor to the Shooting Stars’ offence as he scored 12 points with two assists.
“I’ve always prided myself on (being) the guy who has already been ready and always worked my way up,” said Epistola. “I’m just here to help the team.”
Calvin Epistola receives instruction from SSS Head Coach Chris Exilus (Photo Courtesy Shaun McLeod)
With Harris, Xavier Rathan-Mayes playing in The Basketball Tournament (TBT), Kyle Alexander playing in the NBA Summer League with the Portland Trailblazers, and J. Cole still touring the world, the Shooting Stars have a lot of big names out of the lineup as they prepare for the CEBL Playoffs, but Exilus is remaining silent about the potential re-addition of anyone to the roster.
“We’ll see. I’ll talk to the GM. Whoever is here, I’ll have to coach,” said Exilus with a laugh. “I can’t speculate on who’s coming, who’s not coming, who’s not here. Whoever we’re going to go to war with is who we’re going to go to war with.”
The Shooting Stars will get a few days off before kicking off their final stretch of four games. They’ll travel to the Meridian Centre on July 22 at 7 p.m. to take on the Niagara River Lions as their first stop, and they’ll have the chance to play spoiler in Niagara’s quest to claim the top spot in the CEBL.
Jalen Harris and SSS react to a big play (Photo Courtesy Shaun McLeod)
Scarborough Shooting Stars vs. Edmonton Stingers boxscore click HERE.
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