Bandits guard Marek Klassen attacks offensively during CEBL action at the Abbotsford Centre on Thursday. Klassen and the Bandits won for the first time on home court by posting an 85-72 win over the Guelph Nighthawks. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Fraser Valley Bandits record first home win

Bandits stifle Guelph Nighthawks offence in 85-72 victory

After a disastrous start to the Canadian Elite Basketball League regular season, the Fraser Valley Bandits are heating up.

The Bandits recorded the team’s first-ever win on home court at the Abbotsford Centre on Thursday night, and have now won two straight games.

Fraser Valley held the Guelph Nighthawks to just 34 per cent shooting, in a dominant 85-72 win. The victory was the biggest win margin in team history by the Bandits.

The locals took over in the second quarter, outscoring the Nighthawks 23-13 and controlled play from that point.

Debuting player Jelan Kendrick made an excellent first impression picking up 18 points (8 for 10 shooting), 10 rebounds and three steals. The Georgia native previously played college basketball at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and last season averaged 10.2 points per game with the NBLC’s London Lightning.

Kendrick also played on the 2010 McDonald’s All-American Boys Game with NBA champion Kyrie Irving.

The Bandits also got solid games from Jamal Ray (17 points and six rebounds), Yale Secondary grad Marek Klassen (15 points and four assists) and a 10-point night from Abbotsford’s Joel Friesen.

“This was a great win for the group. We didn’t always execute the way that we’d like to offensively, but we were able to put together a solid game defensively that allowed us to limit Guelph’s chances and get out on the run in transition” said Bandits forward Levon Kendall, who celebrated his 35th birthday tonight and collected eight points and six rebounds off the bench.

Fraser Valley’s record now moves to 2-9 on the season.

The Bandits next travel to Hamilton to take on the Honey Badgers this Saturday. After the road trip, the Bandits next home game is Thursday against the Niagara River Lions. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

For more on the team, visit thebandits.ca.

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