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Alex Campbell Hits 1000 Career Points, Wins Sea Bears Home Opener Over Shooting Stars

It’s hard to say if I’ve ever been inside a building with more energy than the one on Friday night in Winnipeg. Tied at 106, Jackson Rowe of the Scarborough Shooting Stars has a chnace with two free throws to win the game, as the Target Score was 107. With the noise of the crowd, whether that was boos, boom sticks, or just plain yelling, somehow Rowe missed both free throws and the game stayed tied. A rebound from Teddy Allen saw him push the ball in transition, draw two defenders in the paint and hit Alex Campbell in the corner for a three, which of course he drained. That three put Campbell over 1000 points for his CEBL career and made him the first Canadian to eclipse thag mark. It was an incredible moment that was the perfect cap for a home opener that was a little up and down for the Winnipeg fans. Both teams led by 10 or more at multiple points in the game and neither really took control. Both CEBL stars and newcomers had their moments in this one and it was most definitely a show. Here are the three keys from this game!

Out Of This World Allen

Look, I normally don't have singular players as a key to a game, but after two outstanding performances, Teddy Allen deserves it. In both Wednesday's and Friday's game, Allen was unbelievable in just doing whatever he wishes. This season in particular it isn't just his scoring he is showcasing, he's doubling down on the rebounding as well as playmaking. His defence is still a little shaky at times, but he's jumping into passing lanes even better through two games. The Sea Bears would not have been in that game in Saskatchewan or come back at home without his efforts. While Allen can't do it all by himself, he may have done enough for the rest of the guys around him to start getting up to speed.

Inconsistent Defence

One of the aspects of Winnipeg's game they are still working on is their defence. While it wasn't as bad as it was in Saskatchewan, they still need to figure out what they want to do in the pick and roll. Kadre Gray was banged up and came off the bench in this one for Scarborough, but still had any options he wanted when he had the ball in his hands. You could extend this to Shamar Givance or any of the other players who took a ball screen. Three point defence at times was also a little shaky, leaving a couple guys wide open. Lob in transition defence that was leaky as well and you have some of the problems that plagued Winnipeg in this game. Of course they win the game and tightened up on that end of the floor, which ended up being a reason they got back into it. Still a work in progress, but at least there were flashes in the home opener, which was much different than the season opener.


This isn't going to happen often with a professional team (unless your the Houston Rockets of the late 2010's) where you miss your first 15 THREES of the game. It took until two and a half minutes left before the half for Teddy Allen to put the Sea Bears on the board in that category. Even with Scarborough hitting many of their threes in the first half, the game was tied at 48 going into the break. Winnipeg bounced back and hit 50% of their threes in the second half, which ended up helping them stay with the Shooting Stars. I don't expect another 0-15 game at any point in this season with how good their shooters are, but it really dried up their offence for a while when they didn't hit. Good to see that they bounced back in the second half, but a game like that can't happen again. On another day, they would have gotten buried.

With those keys out of the way, let's move onto the individual player performances!

Teddy Allen

Averaging 40.5, 10.0, 5.0 with 1.5 steals through two games is unreal. The MVP gonna MVP. That's really all there is to say.

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson

Overall this was a better game for Ogungbemi-Jackson than his CEBL debut. While the first have was beginning to look eerily similar to his first, he went on his own little seven point run and with that he seemed to find his footing. He looked much more calm, poised and found his rhythm in the second half. He really looked like the player we had hoped he'd be in this one.

Darius Days

This one is a little harder to formulate a full opinion on. This was another game in which I thought Days looked good at times, but also made some interesting decisions that led to not so great plays. A double double was solid and he finished well inside once more. Defending was still a question mark and his shot selection was still a little puzzling. At times it also felt like he disappeared from the game. Took him until the second half to also hit a three, which was his only one of the night. The Sea Bears need him to hit at least two a night to really be effective. Days still has tons of time to get things going and I'm sure he will.

Byron Mullens

Mullens seemed to be a step behind in this one. It was a tough matchup to begin with for him, having to guard the extra mobile athlete Hason Ward. He struggled in pick and roll defence, and just could not be a net even by hitting his three point attempts. He got a couple post looks early on in the third quarter, which I thought he did decently well with. I think the struggle for coach Mike Taylor is, he wants to establish Mullens down low early, it just hasn't happened yet. Hoping that gets going because I think it would add another layer of offence Winnipeg can go to when they're jumper is cold. He did have two big blocks, but that was the most of his impact.

Alex Campbell

The man who almost fouled out. You can blame JOJ for that one. Both of them got their foul counts mixed up, but it got sorted out by the referees. While it wasn't the best night for Campbell overall, he did hit two important threes and obviously one of them was the game winner. Hoping the end of the game is a springboard for him because his defence wasn't always there. Great moment and congratulations on 1000 career CEBL points.

Simon Hildebrandt

Another solid game for Hildebrandt. Had a very nice and one early on in his stint on the floor, hit a three (would have had two if he didn't step out of bounds) and made some really nice plays on defence. I will admit that he gets moved around sometimes down low, but he is so good at drawing charges whether with a players back to the basket, or driving at him. Hildebrandt has looked so solid for Winnipeg off the bench in these first two games, which should give coach Taylor even more confidence to play him a ton of minutes.

Mason Bourcier

I asked coach Taylor after the game what he thought of Bourcier's performance and he was super pleased with his play and hoped that would continue. I will second that motion as I thought he had a great game. He was aggressive driving to the hoop, making a couple of tough finishes, he hit a three and played great defence. He got a lot of minutes down the stretch of the game in place of Campbell, and I do hope that happens from time to time. It really felt like he and Hildebrandt at times turned the game around with their play and that's what you hope you can get from a good bench.

Chad Posthumus

Once again Posthumus did not play very much in this one, but his fresher legs made a couple of plays, cleaning up a few rebounds and even had a post score. His energy and hard work is nice to have as a change of pace off the bench. Hard to play him over Hildebrandt though when the young Bison offers more.

Shane Osayande

Not a great game from Osayande, even though he grabbed three offensive boards. Coach Taylor just didn't get what he hoped from him on the night, but it was good that Hildebrandt made up for it. I would assume that it'll be tough for him not to follow this up with a better game, especially with his play style.

Overall the first half of the game was as close to a nightmare as it could have been, safe for it being a tie game at the break. The second half for Winnipeg was much much better and showcased what they were really about. Hopefully this is the game that gets them going, as we see looking at the standings, the West is really strong. Their short turn around becomes a week long break for the Sea Bears, as they aren't in action until Saturday June 1st at home against the Ottawa Blackjacks.

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