Men suffer defeat to Carleton in Capital Hoops Classic
A HARDWOOD SHOW DOWN Wednesday evening resulted in disappointing results when the men’s Gee-Gees (8-5) basketball team suffered a 74-34 loss to the Carleton Ravens (13-0), currently ranked first in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East.
The first half started out with a lack of offence from both teams. This changed quickly in the second half as shots from Carleton players rained into the basket.
“If you are going to win a championsh
ip in this
country, you are going to have to figure out a way to beat [Carleton],” explained head coach James Derouin after the game. “This is new for them and maybe a little bit of a wake up call. We’ll go back to the drawing board and hopefully we can see what we learn.”
The first quarter saw both teams get off to a slow start, but Carleton put the first points on the board. As Carleton picked up play, the Gee-Gees matched them with their defence, but let a lot of the rebounds go to the Ravens.
With 7,022 people in the crowd, the atmosphere was pretty quiet in the second quarter—there wasn’t too much to cheer about. As it came to a close, the Gees managed to keep the Ravens to a six-point lead, 16-22.
“They’re tough, they play hard, and they’re young,” said Dave Smart, head coach of the Carleton men’s basketball team, commenting on the Gee-Gees. “I think both teams were a little tight in the first half [and] they did a really good job of making [us] do the things they wanted us to do.”
The third frame hit the Gee-Gees hard and fast. Carleton started with 15 unanswered points before second-year guard Johnny Berhanemeskel put in a basket to stop the drive. Although the Gee-Gees were playing hard defence against the Ravens, the birds man
aged to fly through small gaps and capitalize with baskets—Carleton’s lead had grown from six to 26.
“We were satisfied with the
halftime score and they just took it right to us,” said Derouin. “They came out pissed off because it was a six-point game, as it should be. We came out relaxed—totally two different energies out there.”
The Gee-Gees played the game without their star guard, fourth-year Warren Ward, although he was on the bench offering encouragement and itching to play. The loss of Ward allowed the Carleton defence to target some key Gee-Gees players on the court to shut down opportunities for points.
The fourth quarter saw some improvement by the Gees, but the momentum of the third continued to swing in favour of the Ravens.
“Once they get that momentum going and the crowd got into it and the calls started to go their way—everything was just a wave of momentum and that’s what they are capable of [being] the best team in the country,” said Derouin. “By the time I looked up, we were down 24.”
Players like third-year centre Shamus Ferguson maintained a strong defence, grabbing multiple rebounds and blocking countless shots.
“Composure is the number one thing [needed] coming against a team like Carleton,” said Ferguson, when asked how he play
ed in the face of the Carleton run up. “You can’t lose it. You have to play hard every minute on the court. We have to bring our work ethic to the court next time.” The Gee-Gees remain second in the OUA East despite the devastating defeat and prepare to play their next four games at home taking tonight as a learning experience.
“We just have to shake it off and move forward,” said Derouin. “We have Queen’s and RMC on the weekend. We go to get two wins and just put this behind us. The danger here is how our confidence is affected by this game moving forward.”