Two streaks were snapped on Friday in Montreal.

The Alliance beat the Sea Bears 80-73 at Verdun Auditorium to erase a five-game win drought, while Winnipeg suffered its first loss in five contests.

Montreal improves to 4-10 with its first victory since June 16, while Winnipeg falls to 7-6 after its first defeat since the same date.

“We wanna build on this,” Alliance guard Ahmed Hill, who scored a game-high 31 points, said. “We just went 0-5 so now we can try to get 5-0. We just want to build, have a lot of confidence, have our fans come in here and we just want to light it up on (August) 9.”

On the court on which Championship Weekend will be held, Montreal and Winnipeg provided a back-and-forth battle in which both teams saw leads evaporate.

The Alliance led by as many as 15 points in the first quarter and held a 32-18 advantage at the end of 10 minutes.

Ever so slowly, though, the Sea Bears chipped away, narrowing the gap to nine points at halftime and, on the back of its stingy defence, taking a lead of its own into the fourth quarter.

Winnipeg stretched its advantage as large as six, but Montreal responded right back to go up 71-68 in Target Score Time.

“Our main thing was to just stay poised, not get rattled, because that’s when things start to snowball,” Hill said.

Alliance guard Jordan Bowden showed that poise not long after, faking a dribble handoff above the arc and diving to the basket for the winning layup.

For Montreal, whose five-game losing streak did not include a loss greater than eight points – including a one-point defeat against Ottawa on Thursday — the victory may have provided a sigh of relief more than anything that it could close tight games.

“We fought, which was great. Coming off a back-to-back, team sitting here waiting for us, having scouted us really well. To come out and compete like that, it’s impressive,” Alliance head coach Derrick Alston Sr., said.

Bowden, Montreal’s leading scorer for the season, took a step back in this game and acted more as a distributor with six points, six rebounds and eight assists.

Instead, it was Hill who made six of his nine three-pointers to pace Montreal. But Alston Sr., said Hill’s biggest contribution may have been off the court.

“All week he’s just been so positive, and in the locker room today he was amazing, just the way he was talking in the huddles, not letting the guys get down on themselves and basically refusing to lose,” he said.”

Forward Chris Smith added 18 points on the strength of 11 free-throw attempts, of which he converted nine.

Despite sitting last in the Eastern Conference, the Alliance already know they’ll be in the semifinals playing at home as hosts of Championship Weekend.

A win over the surging Sea Bears may provide confidence that that automatic spot is more than just a courtesy.

Winnipeg, meanwhile, finds itself in a tight race just to book a return visit to Montreal amid the loaded Western Conference, as both Calgary and Saskatchewan lurk.

The Sea Bears, whose winning streak came fully at home, dropped to 1-5 on the road with Friday’s loss.

“We’ve played several games in a row at home and we knew that Montreal has a great environment here in Verdun Auditorium, great fans and great support, lots of energy,” head coach Mike Taylor said. “We knew the [Alliance] would be really motivated after some of the slow results lately, so we expected the team to jump on us and they did.”

Two nights after going off for 34 points, Justin Wright-Foreman managed just 16 on six-for-22 shooting. Emmanuel Akot and Mason Bourcier added 15 and 13 points, respectively, off the bench.

Wright-Foreman expressed frustration with the officiating but said blame for the loss ultimately lay with the team.

“I feel like we just missed shots. I feel like we just weren’t in rhythm to start the game and again I don’t wanna say it was this fault, that fault. It was mostly our fault because we dug ourselves that hole,” he said. “We’re the ones that control our emotions, we can control some of the things that we can personally do with our talent, so I just feel like we didn’t do that today and all the outside stuff got to us.”

The next task for the Sea Bears is to begin a new winning streak – and, eventually, get back to Montreal.

What’s next?

Both teams are back in action on Thursday when Winnipeg visits former teammate Teddy Allen and the Saskatchewan Rattlers while Montreal heads to East-leading Niagara.