top of page

CEBL TAKEAWAYS: Shooting Stars improve to 5-4 with victory over Honey Badgers

A photo of a game between players in black and yellow on the court at Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre from the media area in the top corner


The Scarborough Shooting Stars took the second round of the GTA rivalry in 2024, defeating the Brampton Honey Badgers 105-92 Friday night at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

Undefeated at home, Scarborough looked to continue that streak against the 3-8 Honey Badgers after suffering back-to-back road losses. 

Members of the Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball team and NBA pros RJ Barrett, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Andrew Nembhard were in attendance and saw a fast-paced and high-scoring game.

After one half of play, the Shooting Stars were up 52-37. Brampton made it a lot closer at the start of the fourth, bringing the Shooting Stars’ lead down to just 79-69. Scarborough kept the Honey Badgers at bay before Kadre Gray hit the Target Time game-winning free-throw to seal the 105-92 win. 

Here are three takeaways from the Shooting Stars’ home win.

Cat Barber stands out in return to CEBL

After missing Scarborough’s first eight games due to playing overseas, the CEBL’s all-time leading scorer made his long-awaited return to the Scarborough team he won a championship with last year. 

The 6’2 guard was a driving force in last year’s playoff run but with a roster that only returned four players from last year, there was lots of interest around how he would mesh. 

The 2023 CEBL All-First team member answered those questions with a strong season debut, dropping 18 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds.

Barber gave his team a lot of credit when asked about his role with the roster.

“We got a lot of great guys, I don’t gotta do too much. Just playing my role and helping us win a championship,” he said.

Donavan Williams is looking like a top CEBL talent

Through his first three games, Williams was averaging 20.3 points and 5.7 rebounds, an already impressive scoreline. On Friday night, he added 28 points and 8 rebounds.

He’s scoring efficiently and athletically, shooting a fantastic 50% this year with his versatile package of layups and dunks.

Coming over from the NBA G-league, Williams has only played in 4 career CEBL games now, but he seems to be adapting quite well.

“My mindset is, there’s no one out there that can stay in front of me,” he said post-game. “My teammates, my coaching staff, they all believe and have that same confidence in me.” 

If head coach Devan Blair is any sign, they certainly do.

“Donavan’s always in attack mode. He walks in the gym, he’s ready to go get a bucket,” he said of the spark plug wing.

Championship ring celebration night can be a sign of things to come, but only if Scarborough can up their consistency

Scarborough celebrated their 2023 championship with a pregame ring ceremony for the 2023 roster. After going to the finals in their first season, and winning it in their second, there are expectations in year three. This is a talented roster, but one that’s had its share of hills and valleys so far. 

With a run-and-gun three-point shooting attack, Scarborough can build leads quickly and dominate you. But, if the shots from deep aren’t falling, they can struggle. The roster boasts great shooters and athletic finishers around the rim, but if they aren’t hitting shots, defences sag off and clog up the paint, making that finishing aspect of their game difficult. 

Also worth mentioning are the roster and role changes that have taken place in the past two weeks as Williams and Barber have joined. 

“We talk about it every day, how much talent we have, but with talent comes sacrifice,” said Blair. 

While the offence seems to be humming pretty well, rebounding and defence have been Blair’s focus all year.

“We can be moons better defensively. We’re all over the place right now,” he said.

Ultimately, this has resulted in an extremely fun, fast-paced, skilled team with a record of 5-4. That’s a record Blair expects to improve once the roster finds some continuity. 

NEXT: The Scarborough Shooting Stars take on the Montreal Alliance on Sunday, June 23, 2024, at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. Stay tuned for more from Intermission Sports.


bottom of page