Huskies control their playoff destiny

George Brown needs to win both its remaining games


In order for George Brown’s women’s basketball team to make their Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Championship hopes a reality, they’ll need to embrace a daunting challenge.

With a record of 4-11, George Brown must leapfrog the Georgian Grizzlies (5-12) to earn the East’s sixth seed, which comes with an OCAA Championship qualifying game. Georgian holds the tiebreaker against George Brown, meaning the Huskies will have to win both their remaining games: a 6 p.m. date tonight against the Loyalist Lancers (2-12), followed by the St. Lawrence Vikings (15-0) tomorrow afternoon.

A back-to-back on the road, with the back half featuring the East Division’s lone undefeated team. George Brown couldn’t have taken a tougher road if they tried. That doesn’t mean their season’s over.

Case in point: the Georgian Grizzlies. On Feb. 12, the Huskies got the job done, soundly defeating the Grizzlies 58-42 at Casa Loma. It was a major boost to George Brown’s playoff hopes, and a significant blow to Georgian’s. Rather than give up, Georgian proceeded to upset the Durham Lords 61-56 on Feb. 14, placing the Huskies in the run the table position they’re in now.

While George Brown can look to Georgian’s unexpected win and say “Why not us?”, they might first take confidence in their own development over the season.

“They’ve grown a lot as a team,” Grizzlies head coach Andrew Broeren said after the Feb. 12 loss to George Brown. “They’ve certainly added some players as well, particularly Aprille (Deus). She’s a great player.”

Broeren is right. George Brown has played .500 basketball (3-3) in the new year vs. a 1-8 record in 2016. And the aforementioned Deus contributes well beyond her 2.8 assists per game and 12.8 points per game; the point guard has also been a crucial veteran communicator.

George Brown needs to take these two remaining matches one game at a time. They’re not in a position where they can take Loyalist for granted, or any opponent for that matter. When everything’s said and done, the Huskies must find inspiration within themselves. But if they want a mentality to model, they should look no further than their nemesis, the Seneca Sting.

“Coach always says, ‘Next patient, same treatment,'” Sting guard Sarah Givens said after a 98-53 rout of George Brown on Feb. 10. “This is a matter of record; once we get the W beside this game, then that’s out of our memory and we’re just focused on the next game and getting the job done.”

If the Huskies take that same lunch-bucket attitude on this road trip, they’ll have a real shot at making “Why not us?” a reality.

Update

So far as George Brown’s improvement goes, the proof is in the pudding. The Huskies kept their OCAA Championship dreams alive with a convincing 77-48 Friday night victory over the Loyalist Lancers. Loyalist had previously defeated George Brown 59-58 on Nov. 30 at Casa Loma.

The Huskies must now ready themselves for a quick turnaround against the division’s best,  a 1 p.m. match tomorrow in Kingston against undefeated St. Lawrence. When these two teams last met on Nov. 4, St. Lawrence took the 88-61 win in George Brown’s home barn. In the ebbs and flows of sports, that tilt is a lifetime ago.

Needing to beat an unbeaten, division-leading opponent in the regular season finale to make the playoffs? These Huskies couldn’t ask for a better story, as long as they believe.

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Huskies control their playoff destiny