ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - Johnny Berhanemeskel scored 19 points, while hitting the winner from the free-throw line, as the Ottawa BlackJacks beat the Fraser Valley Bandits 78-76 on Thursday for their first win in the Canadian Elite Basketball League Summer Series.

Olivier Hanlan added 17 points and Thomas Scrubb had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the BlackJacks (1-2), who shot just 39 per cent from the field while playing without leading scorer Phil Scrubb.

Jahenns Manigat led the Bandits (2-1) with 18 points, shooting 5 for 9 from beyond the arc, as Cameron Forte, the tournament's leading scorer at 24.3 points per game, added 15 on 7-of-20 shooting.

Marcus Capers had 12 points and 11 boards to help Fraser Valley nearly pull out the victory despite trailing for much of the night.

Ottawa opened the game with a 14-0 run and held a 10-point lead at halftime before the Bandits started chipping away.

Marek Klassen, who finished with 13 points off the bench, gave Fraser Valley its first lead of the game four minutes into the fourth quarter when he hit a three for a 66-65 edge.

The CEBL uses the Elam Ending scoring format, meaning every game produces a game-winning shot. At the first stoppage of play in the final four minutes, nine points is added to the leading team's score. The first team to hit that mark is the winner.

Fraser Valley and Ottawa were tied 69-69 at the first stoppage, making it a race to 78.

Berhanemeskel went to the line with the BlackJacks ahead 77-76.

Elam scoring was used for the NBA all-star game, which also ended in free throws.

The CEBL Summer Series is a 26-game, round-robin competition being held at the Meridian Centre and will decide the second-year league's 2020 champion. Games are being played with no fans in attendance.


This report was first published by The Canadian Press on July 30, 2020.

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