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First time in CIS final results in Gees’ loss to reigning champion Ravens

Photos by Marta Kierkus

A historic season for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men’s basketball team came to a close Sunday afternoon.

Pitted against their archrivals the Carleton Ravens in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) final, the Gees came up just short, losing by 12 points with a final score of 79–67.

There’s no shame in a hard-fought loss, and the Gee-Gees certainly did not go down without a fight. The thrilling game was incredibly close until late in the fourth quarter when Carleton pulled away.

The Gees were led by Johnny Berhanemeskel (19 points, five assists), Caleb Agada (15 points, five rebounds) and Terry Thomas (14 points, seven rebounds).

Foul troubles and difficulties in execution ultimately led to the Gee-Gees’ demise. Carleton’s stars were on display with forward Tyson Hinz scoring 30 points and grabbing six rebounds. Hinz would go on to be the MVP of the tournament.

The silver medal marks the highest finish for the men’s basketball team in U of O history.

But the W.P. McGee Trophy will stay perched in the Ravens’ Nest at Carleton University for the time being, now the 10th time Carleton has won the title.

The exciting finale came after the Gee-Gees made history by defeating the Victoria Vikes in the semi-final on Saturday with a score of 78–70. The win marked the team’s first trip to the gold medal game.

The Vikes were the number one defensive team in the country, so the Gees had to give credit to their opponents; the University of Victoria was the best possible team to play before the Ravens.

Gees’ fourth-year Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue said after Saturday’s game they would “go in with a chip on our shoulder and give everything that we got” to win the championship.

“We stuck together all year long, we got Terry (Thomas) in the second half of the season, that really helped a lot,” said Gonthier-Dubue, who was named MVP of the semi-final game. “He’s the guy with really good intensity, that’s our advantage.”

Second-year Matt Nelson said the team sticks together, and that’s what helped them get so far this season.

“Obviously we’re a big family, that’s why we gotten this far,” said Nelson. “The guys on the bench were supporting and loud. The guys on the floor can hear us and know we got their full support. That makes them more confident on the court.”

The Gee-Gees will look to top this year’s showing with hopes of winning gold at next year’s national championship hosted by Ryerson University.