Men’s basketball rivals require extra time yet again
At season’s end, let no one say that Casa Loma’s gymnasium failed to excite and entertain.
George Brown’s men’s basketball team once more had those attending on the edge of their seats, after a thrilling 92-91 overtime win against the Algonquin Thunder. The final score accurately portrayed what was a hard-fought, close battle throughout, albeit one where Algonquin held a slight advantage for the first two quarters.
While the Thunder carried a slim 40-36 lead into halftime, the third quarter saw both guard Ernest Tolete and forward John Wilson suffer game-ending injuries. Tolete especially had been driving Algonquin’s offence, and so while the score remained tight, George Brown was able to press the visitors more effectively than before.
After the game, with mind already on Saturday’s match against Georgian, Thunder head coach Trevor Costello saw the injuries as both challenge and opportunity.
“We’ve got to go up to Georgian after getting beat up tonight; it’s going to be tough for us tomorrow,” said Costello. “Those guys will be out tomorrow for sure, so other guys are going to have to step up.”
George Brown opened the 2016-17 season with a 106-99 overtime victory over Algonquin, and the two sides required extra time once more. Tied 79-79 after four quarters, heroics from Huskies players Matthew Bukovec, Ajahmo Clarke and Arash Dusek saw George Brown take the W.
Given the opponent, Huskies point guard Teshayn Gayle was unsurprised by the tight finish.
“It’s all mental at the end of the day,” Gayle said after playing the entire match, racking up 10 assists along the way. “Two teams that don’t like each other, two teams that always battle. We have similar types of players on each team, so I think it’s always going to be a close game”.
George Brown assistant coach Mark Guiam had nothing but respect for the Thunder, remarking how Algonquin’s record doesn’t reflect its quality. “They’re a tough team, they have a great coach, Trevor (Costello), and the guys played well,” said Guiam. “You’ll see down the stretch in the second semester of basketball, they’ll be a team to beat.”
Though citing the team effort, Guiam singled out Bukovec and Clarke as players who made a difference and played big for George Brown. With that said, arguably the game’s best stat line came from Huskies guard Arash Dusek. The rookie’s night may have read just 2:38 minutes played and four points, but it came after having missed most of the season with a torn ACL, an injury he’s now playing through.
“I feel good,” said Dusek, whose basket clinched the win for George Brown. “I’m happy that I contributed to the team, even if it’s just one shot. I’m just happy to be back and help the team win.”