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Guelph Nighthawks rally late for first home court victory

Guelph rallies from 24-point deficit in the second half at the Sleeman Centre

Malcolm Glanville didn’t get on the court for the Guelph Nighthawks in Canadian Elite Basketball League play Saturday night at the Sleeman Centre, but he played a big role in Guelph’s come-from-behind win.

Glanville was one of Guelph’s U Sports picks in the CEBL’s inaugural draft a couple of months ago. A member of the Guelph Gryphons varsity men’s team, Glanville figured he’d learn how to be a professional player with the Nighthawks.

At the end of pretty bleak first half for the hosts, Glanville wasn’t overly impressed by what he saw from his teammates as he kept his spot on the bench. He told them so during the halftime intermission.

“One of our young guys spoke up,” Guelph guard Aaron Redpath said. “Malcolm, he spoke up and he called us out. He called all of us pros and it was unacceptable to be playing the way we were playing out there. I think a lot of the guys took that to heart and came out in the second half with a change. I credit that to Malcolm.”

The Nighthawks upped their record to 2-1 as they rallied from a 24-point deficit in the second half to record a 95-94 victory. Fraser Valley led 26-23 at the end of the first quarter, 51-35 at halftime and 78-64 after the third quarter.

“When we stay in the quarter court and we try to out-execute people at times, we don’t look very fluid,” Nighthawks coach and general manager Tarry Upshaw said. “But when we release our athleticism, we start to run and we make defence our priority, I think we can play with anybody. It’s just that we have so many athletes that I can’t ball them up. I’ve got to say ‘unleash’ and let them go and when they go, they can really, really go.”

“The first half we came out flat,” Redpath said. “It felt like it was just an add-on to last game (a 130-110 loss to the Saskatchewan Rattlers in their home opener last weekend). We were just really flat and I feel like as soon as we came out in that second half, we had a sense of urgency.”

The Nighthawks had five players hit for double digits in scoring led by 24 from Jamal Reynolds, 16 from Redpath, 13 from and 12 from and Myck Kabongo and 12 from both Zeke Marshall and Chadrack Lufile.

Tyrell Tate had 22 points for Fraser Valley and was followed by Rodney Pryor and Dallin Bachynski with 13 apiece.

Marshall had 13 rebounds for Guelph and Bachynski had 10 for Fraser Valley.

“Aaron Redpath came on. He didn’t have a very good first half and I didn’t play him much,” Upshaw said. “He came out the second half and he came in angry. He changed it for us just because his energy was so high.”

His energy and Guelph’s comeback after trailing 67-44 early in the second half helped get the crowd of 1,028 into the game.

The result leaves Guelph at 2-1 and Fraser Valley at 0-2 with both losses for the Bandits coming against the Nighthawks.

Next up for the Nighthawks is a game against the Edmonton Stingers (1-2) at Edmonton’s Expo Centre Friday night.