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The Guelph Nighthawks

Shelby Vilneff Director,
Marketing, Communications & Events

1100 - 7/7/2021 11:16:03 AM  

Honey Badgers Ground The Nighthawks In Their Fourth Straight Victory

For Immediate Release - July 5, 2021

By Justine Jones

Trevon Duval had his best game so far in the CEBL with 21 points, including the Elam Ending winner to lead the Hamilton Honey Badgers (4-1) over the Guelph Nighthawks (0-3), 101-89, on Monday night at the FirstOntario Centre.

Duval stole the ball off a Nighthawks in-bounding play and laid it in to seal the Honey Badgers’ fourth consecutive victory. The former Duke Blue Devil was able to get into the paint and finish, but was also impactful on the defensive end and was tasked with guarding Guelph’s dynamic backcourt. Duval also showed his playmaking abilities in the third-quarter with a full-court stretch pass to teammate Thomas Kennedy. 

“Trevon hadn’t played a basketball game in 18 months since the pandemic hit. I just told him, game one, game two, game three, it might not be pretty but just keeping showing up to work, keep doing the little things, and you’ll find your rhythm,” said head coach Ryan Schmidt. “We are five games into this thing and he’s just scratching the surface. I think we’re on the verge of seeing the Trevon that a lot of people were used to seeing two or three years ago.”

For the second straight game, it was a back-and-forth affair between the Hamilton Honey Badgers and Guelph Nighthawks. Hamilton came out with great energy, looking to build momentum and stay a perfect (7-0) against the Nighthawks all-time. 

U SPORTS guard Keevan Veinot made the first start of his CEBL career and finished with 19 points on 66 per cent shooting. The Dalhousie Tigers guard made a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter to help the Honey Badgers overcome a six-point deficit, Guelph’s largest lead of the game up to that point. Perhaps his most impactful moment was a three-point play late in the game that brought the Honey Badgers within one point of the 101 target score. 

“In the first four games, I kept looking at the stats sheet and seeing seven minutes, eight minutes and I just had a gut feeling that we could get more out of him,” said Schmidt. “What I liked the most was just Keevan being aggressive, regardless of the shots that went in, I just liked the fact he was looking for his shot.”

Hamilton was also able to get forward Kalif Young involved in the team’s offence early on, as the former Providence Friar finished three alley-oops within the first five minutes of the game. Young then had an emphatic put back jam which ignited the team’s bench. He finished with a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds), and also recorded three blocks.

Cat Barber led the way once again for the Guelph Nighthawks with 19 points and seven rebounds.

Though the Nighthawks fell short, Ahmed Hill had a bounce back performance, finishing with 14 points on 57 per cent shooting. The six-foot-five guard recorded 18 points on opening night, but only eight points in Saturday’s loss to Hamilton.

A strong effort in the second quarter from Hill helped the Nighthawks build momentum heading into the second half. Hill hit a pair of three-pointers and was able to get to the free-throw line twice in a matter of seconds after grabbing the rebound and putting it back up while taking contact. A strong defensive effort on the next possession forced Hamilton into a turnover and allowed the Nighthawks to take a two-point lead heading into the third-quarter. 

“He works hard, he really just competes and gets after it, sometimes it’s too much energy and he gets into foul trouble and stuff but you know what, you can’t knock him for that because his energy is so great,” said head coach Charles Kissi. “He competes hard which is good and I expect him to continue to do that.”

Justin Jackson was solid for the Guelph Nighthawks once again, contributing 13 points while continuing to show his versatility. The former second-round draft pick of the Denver Nuggets ran the floor and was able to finish at the rim and from the three-point line in transition. 

The Guelph Nighthawks (0-3) will look for revenge when they face off against the Hamilton Honey Badgers (4-1) in their third and final contest of the week on July 9 at 7:00 p.m. ET at the Sleeman Centre. 

All CEBL games will be available for live streaming on the CEBL’s new OTT streaming service, CEBL+,, the free CBC Gem streaming service, the CBC Sports App for iOS and android devices, and on Twitch.

The Guelph Nighthawk is a nocturnal species, taking off at the crest of nightfall from its nest in the conservation lands, gliding smoothly and gracefully through the air before swooping in upon its prey at the Sleeman Centre.

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