Women’s game | 68-50
Maclaine Chadwick | Fulcrum Staff
TWO EVENLY MATCHED teams were pitted against one another when the women took the court during the Capital Hoops Classic. Both the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and the Carleton University Ravens have 10-3 records and were tied for first place in the Ontario University Athletics East division. Both teams are relatively young, and both were on winning streaks.
In the end, it was the Carleton Ravens squad who triumphed 68 points to 50 over the Gees.
The first quarter of the game proved challenging for the Garnet and Grey, who struggled to get comfortable playing in the open space of Scotiabank Place. It wasn’t until the seventh minute of play that either team began to sink shots—a habit the Ravens caught on to faster than the Gees.
The second quarter of the game proved to be a more even playing field, with the score going up to a tight 28-30 in favour of the Ravens at halftime. Rookie guard Julia Soriano led the Gee-Gees on the scoreboard with seven points, followed by third-year forward Tatiana Hanlan and fourth-year forward Alyska Lukan, who scored four points each in the first half.
By the end of the third quarter, the Ravens solidified their lead by pulling the score up to 53- 42—a lead they maintained consistently throughout the fourth quarter.
U of O head coach Andy Sparks, whose emotions ran high throughout the night, was disappointed with the performances he saw during the game.
“It wasn’t very good basketball… It really didn’t surprise me,” he said. “We knew coming into the game that Carleton was going to be good defensively.”
Sparks knew exactly where his team went wrong.
“We play really well for ten minutes of a 40 minute basketball game,” he said. “With a lot of teams, you can get away with that, but against Carleton—they are just going to limit the length of those runs. That’s really what happened today—we are used to going on a 20 point run and Carleton is just not going to allow that.”
The Gees were playing their second game in a row without the on-court guidance of veteran player Jenna Gilbert, who is out with a foot injury.
“I don’t think we played our best today at all,” said Gilbert. “I think we have a lot to work on, but I know that we can come back and play a lot better and beat them the next time that we play.”
Second-year Gees forward Maddie Stephen—who topped the rebound statistics with four offensive and ten defensive rebounds—explained what the team had to do in order to beat Carleton in their upcoming rematch on Feb. 15.
“We just have to play our game—we were really frantic on offence; we didn’t really know what we were doing,” said Stephen. “I think if we had stuck to our plays and tried to pick up the defensive intensity, because obviously they are going to play tough against us, so we have to be equally tough—if not tougher—on the defensive end.”
Men’s game | 63-58
Darren Sharp | Fulcrum Staff
IT WAS A tale of two halves for the Gee-Gees men’s basketball team, as a strong first half and a flat second led to a disappointing 63-58 loss to the Carleton Ravens in the 2013 Capital Hoops Classic.
The first quarter of the game saw the Gees come out of the gate with a ton of energy. Third-year guard Johnny Berhanmeskel led the charge with 10 points on four free throws and two three-pointers. Veteran guard Warren Ward started cold, going 0-8 from the floor, but he managed to contribute more as a facilitator and rebounder with seven first quarter boards. Solid outside shooting and a few sloppy Gees passes allowed Carleton to hang around, but the U of O finished the first quarter up 19-15.
The Gee-Gees stormed out to a 27-17 lead in the second quarter on the strength of great defensive pressure and efficient outside shooting, especially from second-year forward Vikas Gill, who knocked down two three-pointers in the frame. However, the Ravens really began to lock down the court soon thereafter, as some solid defense and an increased focus on getting buckets inside allowed them to narrow the lead to three. But the U of O didn’t fold, as they turned it up a notch on their own end to close the quarter, allowing them to head into the half with a 34-28 lead.
“We were just moving the ball, and everyone was being a threat,” Berhanmeskel said, describing his team’s strong start. “When everyone’s a threat, it opens up a bunch of stuff for each player and our team.”
During the third quarter, the Ravens slowly began to chip into the lead. The U of O looked a step slow throughout the quarter, and together Ravens guard Philip Scrubb and forward Thomas Scrubb—yes, they’re brothers—scored seven early points to set the tone. The Gees were cornered into several late clock situations that forced them to turn the ball over and take too many contested shots. By the end of the third, Carleton had a 47-44 lead and looked like they were playing at warp speed, scoring at will behind the strength of Thomas Scrubb’s nine points in the frame.
The Gees began the final quarter looking lost on offense, but good defense allowed them to stay within striking distance. Even with Ward continuing to struggle—he finished 2-17 for the night—the U of O mounted a furious comeback in the game’s final minutes, culminating in a three-point shot from Berhanmeskel to bring the game within three points. But the fairytale wasn’t meant to be, as a missed inside bucket in the final seconds sealed the deal, leaving the Gee-Gees to suffer a heartbreaking 63-58 loss.
Despite the final score, Ward was happy with the team’s play overall.
“I thought we executed our game plan exactly the way we wanted to,” he said. “I thought we defended and we competed. It was close the entire way.”
Gees head coach James Derouin praised the team’s effort, but acknowledged that it was the little things that killed them in the end.
“I thought defensively we really worked hard,” he said. “I thought on the glass we did a great job competing. I was really happy with our effort defensively.
“Our execution on the offensive end could’ve been better,” continued Derouin. “We missed four straight free throws in the fourth quarter and lost by five… Just some simple mistakes that would’ve given us a better chance to win the game.”
Berhanmeskel viewed the game as a benchmark for where the team needs to be by the end of the season.
“[Scotiabank Place] is where nationals is going to be,” he said. “If we want to hang here, we’ve got to keep playing 40 minutes of good basketball.”
The Gee-Gees will get a chance for redemption when they head to Carleton for a rematch on Feb.16.
Where the heck were the Gee-Gees?
Maclaine Chadwick | Fulcrum Staff
IT WAS AN all too familiar scene. Basketball fans trickle into the Scotiabank place sporting their school colours—pairings of garnet and grey or red and black—between 7:00 and 8:00pm. As the women’s game winds to a close, Gee-Gees fans cheer when their teams score—but during the rest of the game are focused on cell phones, trying to blow up their bam-bams, or simply figuring out where they will be getting their next beer.
Carleton’s Red Zone—the equivalent of our Jockey Club—consistently brings out a louder, prouder crowd than the U of O does. And it’s not for a lack of trying—Gee-Gees promotion staff handed out loads of noisemakers and t-shirts to fans and the Gee-Gee himself danced up a storm.
Masters student Maxime Mireault has consistently attended Capital Hoops games since his first year, and thought that the U of O could have brought a stronger presence to the games.
“Carleton was a bit more into it, and they had strength in numbers,” explained Mireault. “They had a lot more students though, whereas we had a lot of families and clubs.”
Halftime entertainment for the women’s game was provided by the Gee-Gees dance team, who frisked along to a predictable Ke$ha-Rihanna mash-up. While the Ravens dance squad wasn’t much stronger during the men’s halftime show, it was their presence throughout the entire game that made a difference to fans.
“I noticed that they had cheerleaders and we just had the dancers. I think I could have done a better job than they did. It would have been cool to see something more organized,” said Mireault.
Blame it on our garnet and grey being camouflaged by the burgundy and charcoal colour scheme of the Scotiabank place seating if you’d like, but it was clear that the Ravens dominated the battle of fandom the stands.