March 7, 2020
Between these lines …
by Glenn Tillett
The Belmopan Bandits must be asking themselves as Paul Simon did in the song “You can call me Al”, why am I soft in the middle, now? It made their on-court life in tonight’s joust between the NEBL’s cellar dwellers so hard.
Their hosts, the Belize City Benny’s Hurricanes had no compassion and showed no sympathy in running away with a 104 – 60 victory tonight at the Belize City Center in a game that never seemed in any doubt 5 minutes or so after the opening tip. The Canes scored the first 2 baskets and kept that four-point lead until Gregory Buckley started smashing the boards and Ashton Edwards heated up from distance.
In the second quarter Shuler Dominic took over from where Buckley had left off. One of the few players in the L capable of playing above the rim, he was dominant on the glass on both ends. His game high 18 rebounds, 8 offensive and 8 defensive, punishing paint patrols and swooping attempts at the rim proved too much for a Bandits krispy kreme interior that consistently failed to even block out.
On the other side of the ball they also consistently failed to set screens or run plays. The discordant jumble meant being outscored 35-6 in the second quarter and so it was a 55-20 laugher at the half. They were outscored in every quarter and outplayed in nearly every single aspect of the game.
The Hurricanes may have been boosted by the news that their horrendous crash in Griga last week may have been overturned on appeal. The Bandits have no redeeming news to look forward to and may have to begin planning for next season now.
Tonight’s victory on the court as well as a successful appeal off the court will vault the Canes from being tied for worst to playoff contention. The mountain they must climb to get there however, looms in the form of their league leading stadium mate Digi Defenders whom they host next Friday at the Civic by da Riva.
After a promising 1-1 start against Griga Dream Ballers and the Punta Gorda Panthers, the Belmopan Bandits have skidded to the cellar with 5 consecutive losses. They could right their listing ship and chart a course to a possible playoff spot, after all stranger things have happened but it is not likely. Their schedule of remaining games all point to extremely rough seas ahead.
In the pics, a triumphant Dominic Shuler and Jamell Harris were hailed as conquering heros as they exited the game for good in the fourth quarter under the watchful eye of veteran coach-manager now ‘Canes consultant Marshall Nunez.
Down on the other bench Belmopan’s head coach tried to rally his dejected and disenchanted team. He must hope that losing does not become a habit.