You sank my longship: Huskies down Vikings 83-70 in home opener

Head coach believes George Brown has “the best backcourt in the country”


George Brown’s men’s basketball team delighted the home-opener crowd on Friday, with a strong 83-70 victory over the St. Lawrence Vikings.

The match was a seesaw battle between Huskies dominance and Vikings pushback. Under intense pressure after tip-off, St. Lawrence weathered the storm to pull within six points after 10 minutes of play.

So far as full quarters go, the second may have been George Brown’s strongest. But St. Lawrence narrowed the Huskies’ 14 point halftime lead to seven by the fourth quarter, before George Brown surged to their final margin of victory.

Though George Brown was in front at every stage, it wasn’t always easy. Rather than respond with fury when the game tightened, the message was to trust in what the team knows.

“Coach told us to slow down, breathe and just execute and run our plays,” said Huskies guard Ajahmo Clarke. “Go over the stuff we do every day in practice, and just try to take it easy.”

According to Huskies head coach Jonathan Smith, the Vikings had changed their offensive system from when George Brown defeated them 77-67 at last month’s Durham College Invitational. Smith credited his side with a quality team win, saying that “our guys played off principles, not off a scouting report tonight.”

St. Lawrence head coach Barry Smith and the Vikings players declined to comment after the game.

The Huskies head coach wants his team to play up-tempo, transition basketball up and down the court. While more time and work is needed, especially defensively, Smith sounds confident he has the players to accomplish this vision.

“I think we have the best backcourt in the country,” said Smith. “When we can put Ajahmo Clarke, Kevon Mascoe who you saw hitting threes all day today, and Dejazmatch James together, and they’re all playing in sync, I think it’s very special.”

Ranked 11th nationally by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association, these Huskies aren’t shy about setting goals. With a check beside their first objective of a 2-0 Ottawa road trip, the team is now halfway to its second target: a 5-0 start to the season.

An accomplished collegiate veteran, Clarke thinks the squad’s chemistry is coming along at the right time. And if he’s to be believed, George Brown may have still more to give.

“I think we have a lot of potential, because we have guys on our team that haven’t reached their peak yet, they haven’t realized what their potential is,” said Clarke. “We have a really deep team this year.”

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You sank my longship: Huskies down Vikings 83-70 in home opener