Abbotsford (Matthew Winick) – Xavier Moon scored 39 points, breaking his own CEBL record for points in a single game as the Edmonton Stingers (10-1) continued their dominant season with a 91-77 win over the Fraser Valley Bandits (5-5) on Tuesday night at the Abbotsford Centre.
The third straight sellout or close to sellout crowd in Abbotsford. Capacity is 2250 with COVID configuration.
After Moon set the previous record of 38 points back on July 2nd against Niagara, he one-upped himself in a dominant performance against Fraser Valley. Just two nights after being held to only 12 points and five turnovers against an aggressive Bandits defense, Moon carved them up on Tuesday. He shot 15-24 from the field, hitting eight two-pointers and seven three-pointers.
In a scrappy affair with 49 total fouls called, it was the speedy, skilled guard in Moon who made the biggest difference. Each run made by Fraser Valley was matched with a pure jump shot from the only Player of the Year the CEBL has ever known. He even added four assists to his tally, meaning he scored or assisted on 19 of Edmonton’s 34 field goals in the win.
“I just came out more aggressive. I watched the film, I saw spots where I could go and get my shots off,” said Moon after the game, “I just executed tonight.”
“What’s a word beyond comforting? I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen him do this for three years now,” said Stingers’ head coach Jermaine Small, “I can just tell when the first two go in, you just know the rest are going in. We’re so fortunate to have him.”
Moon’s offensive success was only one part of the Stingers’ victory on Tuesday. The team rebounded well, put pressure on Fraser Valley with 11 steals, and frustrated the Bandits all night long. For a team that already has its spot in the semifinals secured, the motivation and effort from Edmonton never wavered.
“We’re never satisfied. We have something to prove, and for us that’s the main thing,” said Small, “For us, it’s about us. We’re trying to get better, we know we can get better, and we just take it game by game.”
The loss marked another tough result for Fraser Valley, who have now lost five of its last six games to push what was once a 4-0 start to the season into a middling 5-5 record. It was a frustrating night for the Bandits with the aforementioned 19 turnovers, along with 25 total fouls called including two technicals on head coach David Singleton which led to his automatic ejection from the contest.
“We have a lot to clean up in regard to turning it over,” said acting head coach Tanner Massey, “We have to be able to handle pressure in tough situations.”
A bright spot for the Bandits was the offensive play from big man Brandon Gilbeck, who scored a season-high 20 points. Oddly though, the league’s leading shot blocker only added one rejection to his tally, with many of his swat attempts leading to fouls. Still, Gilbeck’s surprise offensive performance was a welcome sight for Fraser Valley.
“It’s mainly just my coaches and teammates. They’ve been wanting me to be more aggressive all year,” said Gilbeck, “It’s finally starting to click a little bit.”
The reeling Bandits will get a much-needed break from game action after playing three games in five days. Fraser Valley won’t see the floor again until next Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT as it once again sees the Stingers for the third of four straight games.
Edmonton will have a game before that rematch, as it will take on the Saskatchewan Rattlers at home on Monday at 9:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. local time.