Ottawa BlackJacks had another efficient performance in a 100-79 home victory over the Fraser Valley Bandits.
BlackJacks have won two games in a row and four of their past five. Like their previous win against the Saskatchewan Rattlers, they got out to an early lead and didn’t let it up. Jackson Rowe scored a layup and Bernard Thompson hit a jump shot to give Ottawa a 10-4 lead.
Marek Klassen and Alex Campbell hit threes to respond for Fraser Valley. The Bandits went inside to James Karnik, who was able to draw fouls. However, Ottawa also shot the ball well as they were ahead 29-17 after one quarter.
Shane Gibson hit an outside shot as the Bandits cut the deficit down to 29-23. Meanwhile, Karnik finished inside against Chad Posthumus. BlackJacks guard Walt Lemon Jr. took charge offensively by driving into the lane while his teammates did the same.
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Ottawa hit free throws in Elam time to move closer to victory while the Bandits missed their outside shots. Chad Posthumus added a dunk and Walt Lemon Jr. sealed the win with a three.
Campbell (20 points, six rebounds), Karnik (17 points, eight rebounds) and Gibson (17 points, seven points) led the way for Fraser Valley, who fall to 9-5. They were out-rebounded 48-36.
“We did not do a very good job finishing in the paint,” Fraser Valley head coach Mike Taylor said. “When they switched, we did not recognize the mismatch, attack the mismatch, establish in the paint.”
He credited Ottawa’s performance and said the focus is on improving Fraser Valley’s defence.
“We definitely just need to clean up our defence,” Karnik added. “To be a championship calibre team, we have to play defence. That’s five guys on the floor talking, making sure that we’re in tune with each other, we’re all connected. I think a big thing we kind of missed today is we had spurts where we’re all connected together but it broke at times.”
Next, Fraser Valley heads to Montreal for the final game of their three-game road swing on Monday, July 11.
The Bandits return to Langley Events Centre for a two-game homestand against the Guelph Nighthawks on Friday, July 15 and the Ottawa BlackJacks on Sunday, July 17.
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