By: Andrew DiRienzo

Romaine Lawrence made his season debut as he and the Algonquin Thunder men’s basketball team embarked on their first road trip of the season Nov. 16 and 17.

Lawrence, one of last year’s East Division All-Stars, gave a gutsy performance, helping lift the team to an 80-67 victory over Georgian College.

“He was just getting into it, but he had about 22 minutes and scored about 25 points,” said head coach Trevor Costello.

He added that although Lawrence can have a big impact in games “he’s not the make or break on the team.”
The game saw contributions from everyone on the Thunder – including the bench.

Costello says the bench is key to the team and that it was just one part of a well-balanced game for them.
“We had a lot of productivity from a lot of guys,” he said.

Once bench player in particular who Costello pointed out as being a spark in the game against Georgian was Matt Gillis who he said “gave an edge” to the team.

He said while the bench is important, it can be difficult to include them in the game.

“It’s tough to get 14 guys in. We have a lot of depth, but it’s hard to get everyone in,” he said.
Their game the next day against George Brown College didn’t go as well.

Mistakes were big for the Thunder and in the end cost the team a win, falling by a final score of 71-58.
“Our mistakes cost us,” Costello said. “Sometimes when you turn the ball over it doesn’t hurt, but our turnovers seemed to lead to fast breaks and points.”

Costello says being on the road for the first time was something he and the team addressed because it’s something that can have an effect on them.

“It’s tough to be on the road,” he said. “You’re not used to the gyms or the feeling of being away from your home court.”

While there may have been some road jitters, Costello wasn’t taking anything away from his team’s opponent.

“George Brown is a good team,” he said. “They have some good players and they beat Seneca who are usually one of the better teams in the league.”

The loss could prove costly later on in the season as teams fight to get into the playoffs.

The tiebreaker format of points-for and points-against is also a big factor and one Costello says is important to keep in mind.

“No matter what the situation, you want to keep scoring because the points can help,” he said.

“I’ve had a couple of experiences in this league where the points-for rule was used as a tiebreaker and actually benefited us.”

Moving forward, Costello says there are a few things that need to be improved on.

“We need to work on dribble penetration, we need to execute and we can’t give them open looks.”