LANGLEY — Toronto’s Humber Hawks may be out of the hunt for gold here at the CCAA men’s basketball championships, yet there was more than enough evidence to suggest Friday that the plane ride back east Sunday morning will be a lot more palatable with a cache of bronze medals.
“It’s always tough losing that quarterfinal game and then getting your guys to respond,” Hawks’ head coach Samson Downey explained Friday following Humber’s 90-82 win over Calgary’s SAIT Trojans in the day’s first consolation round game.
“We realize that it’s not the medal we want, but we still have a shot at bronze,” he added. “We have a lot of support staff out here cheering us on, so hopefully we’re just going to go out and win our next game (Saturday, 12 noon vs. Loser of Friday’s Sheridan-Holland semifinal).
A victory there would send them to the bronze-medal final.
On Friday, the Hawks withstood a pair of charges from the Alberta champion Trojans and their explosive guard Ian Tevis, who rained down second-half threes and finished with 24 points.
Leading 67-63 heading into the fourth quarter, Humber determined that its ticket to a win was to stop shooting from the outside and concentrate their efforts inside.
It couldn’t have worked any better.
The Hawks scored 20 of their 23 fourth-quarter points in the paint, including back-to-back baseline layups by Jordan Francis for an 83-76 lead with 1:21 remaining.
“That was the message,” said Downey. “They were allowing us to get to the paint and then all the way to the rim, so I told the guys ‘Stop settling for threes’ even though we like to shoot threes. But we were just taking what they were giving us. They were aggressive so they were over-playing us real tight, so the message was, when that happens, go downhill and make a play.”
Jaylan Morgan led the winners with 20 points, DeQuon Cascart added 18 and Francis 10.
Charlie Conner led the Trojans with 24 points, Rahsaan Chambers added 15 and John Smith 13.
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