The Algonquin Thunder Men’s Basketball team are going to the OCAA provincial championships in Etobicoke Ont. after defeating the St. Clair Saints 74-71.
In what first appeared as a one sided tilt for the Thunder being ahead 50-30 in the third quarter, the Saints managed to gather together a comeback. .
However, a late foul by the Saints, led to two points for Algonquin, sealing the deal. St. Clair would later net a three pointer but it wasn’t enough. The early Algonquin lead was too much to catch up to.
Algonquin lead 12-0 with in the first three minutes and it took St. Clair 5:02 into the first quarter to net their first two points.
Thunder Guard Owen Powers was content with the team’s effort.
“In the first half we played well,” said Owens. “In the second half we let up, we let them back in the game, we were up by 20 and only won by three and that has to change. It’s nice however after a long season to be rewarded and go to provincials.
Algonquin ended the 2015-16 regular season defeating the Fleming Knights on Feb. 20 by a score of 91-67.
The Knights led the game 37-36 after the first half, but the Thunder men stormed back in the second half almost doubling Flemings score with 55 points.
Murphy Beya led Algonquin with 21 points and successfully shooting 40 per cent of his three-pointer attempts.
The Thunder visited local rival La Cité Coyotes on Feb. 17. The Coyotes defeated the Thunder 78-75.
The game came down to the final five seconds when Algonquin missed a three-point shot to tie the game and force overtime.
“We would have liked the make the last shot,” said Jim Langis, an assistant coach for the Thunder. “It’s simple, we have to win, there’s nothing else that we expect and nothing else that we want. We did a few good things tonight but not enough.”
Langis was not happy with the team’s effort after the game either.
“We left 25 points out on the table,” said Langis. “We are not happy at all, we should have won this game.”
Algonquin outscored La Cité in the fourth quarter 25-24 but it wasn’t enough.
With six seconds left in the game, trailing 76-75, Algonquin took a direct foul resulting in two points for La Cité.
The Thunder’s worst quarter was the first, falling behind 23-15. Algonquin won the second and tied the third.
Despite the loss, some players felt content with the game.
“I don’t think there was anything we could have done differently,” said Denis Dervisevic who plays forward for the Thunder. “We stuck to our game plan, we had a shot at the buzzer to tie the game to go to overtime. I thought we executed pretty good defensively against one of the higher scoring teams in the league.”
Algonquin assistant coach Charly Spurr saw the game as a confidence boost.
“It’s very encouraging to know this is the best team in the division,” said Spurr. “We were able to hang around and almost sneak out the win tonight, were right in the mix with St. Lawrence and La Cité for the top two spots.”
The Algonquin Thunder defeated the Durham Lords 61-59 on Feb. 13 in a game that required overtime. Murphy Beya led the Thunder with 21 points.