Algonquin’s men’s basketball team left the OCAA championship finishing in a disappointing eighth place.
The tournament marks the second year in a row where Algonquin did not leave with a medal.
The Thunder lost both their games at provincials against the Mohawk Mountaineers and the La Cité Coyotes.
The Coyotes defeated Algonquin in the consolation round 85-76.
Algonquin held an early 21-14 lead over La Cite, but failure to close yet another game forced a 69-69 tie at the end of regulation time.
The rest is history. Algonquin only managed to muster seven points in the five minute overtime, being outscored by nine.
“La Cité simply executed better than us,” said Algonquin forward Denis Dervisevic. “Offensively they got to their spots, they got the shots they wanted. We were just dashing and chucking up shots that weren’t part of our offence so as a team they played better down the stretch.”
The Thunder lost every game against the Coyotes in the regular season.
Thunder assistant coach Jim Langis believed the offence late in the game wasn’t the only problem.
“We broke down defensively and gave up too many offensive rebounds,” said Langis. “We allowed penetration to get to the basket, and we fouled a ton.”
Murphy Beya was named player of the game for Algonquin versus the Coyotes.
Algonquin lost its first game of the tournament to the Mohawk Mountaineers 75-68.
If Algonquin had won, they would have advanced to the semi-final.
Algonquin had an early lead in the first quarter up 11-7 and held the lead until Mohawk was able to tie the game at 40, just seconds before half time.
The Thunder were unable to hold on to the tight game and the Mountaineers pulled away within the final minutes.
“We didn’t execute in the fourth quarter,” said Thunder head coach Trevor Costello. “We had trouble scoring, which is the story of our season. But we were there the whole game. We turned the ball over a few times late and we knew it was coming. I’m disappointed we didn’t react to that.”
The emotions in the Thunder locker room were not positive after the loss.
“It sucks, we were beating them, we were ahead of them,” said Thunder guard Owen Powers. “We just went cold, we lost the game, and it sucks.”
Though the year is now over, the coaching staff take great pride in coaching for the Thunder.
“It’s a privilege to coach here,” said Langis. “And when you see the development in the young men on and off the court that is what makes you proud as a coach.”
Langis and Costello both plan on returning to the coaching staff next year.
All three eastern division teams that qualified for the OCAA championships finished in the bottom four.
The Humber Hawks won the gold medal and will be advancing to nationals.