Silver-medalist men’s basketball Hawks moving on to nationals

Mike Furtado
Sports Reporter

It may not have been the outcome the men’s basketball Hawks were looking for, but they live to fight another day.

“We missed some good shots we normally make, these things happen, but it means a great deal to have an opportunity to play at Nationals,” said Humber’s head coach Patrick Au.

Humber’s men’s basketball team took home a silver medal at the OCAA Championships hosted by Niagara College last Saturday. In the process, Humber booked their ticket to the National Championship tournament and their quest for gold continues.

The Hawks managed to exact some revenge on their way to the finals by beating the Redeemer Royals in the semis. The Royals were favourites to win the match and were a team that handed Humber a loss in their last game of the regular season.

“We played some close games with them throughout the season and we were very confident we could win the game,” Au said. He mentioned his team rising to the occasion is credited to the players dedicating themselves and following the game plan set out by the coaching staff.

Unfortunately, the Hawks ran into the red-hot Seneca Sting in their final game of the tournament. In this defensive matchup, the Hawks fell just short of a gold medal, losing by a score of 74 to 63.

The Sting’s head coach Jay McNielly wanted his team to play a more defensive matchup against the Hawks, showing recognition to the multiple scoring threats in the Hawks lineup.

“We knew we could not take away all of their scoring, so we tried to limit them in some areas,” he said.

McNielly said his team never took Humber for granted and knew it was going to be challenging game from start to finish.

“We have a serious respect for the Humber program, to win as much as they do and have the history they have, we are grateful to be able to play against them,” he said.

Despite the outcome the Hawks get another shot at proving themselves as a force to be dealt with at Nationals. The gold and silver winners get an invitation to the nationwide championships.

Au understands there is still a lot of work to be done in accomplishing their goals, as the Hawks turn their focus towards the National Championships taking place March 14 to 17 in Laval, Que.

“We’re going to go there and compete to the best of our ability, that’s the only thing we can control at this point, if we do that then good things will happen,” he said.

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