By: Sophie Desrosiers


Thunder guard Njuguna Waiganjo runs past Montmorency players as he brings the ball up court in exhibition action on Oct. 5.
Thunder guard Njuguna Waiganjo runs past Montmorency players, bringing the ball up court during exhibition action Oct. 5.


The Algonquin Thunder men’s basketball team is off to a great start for the 2013-14 season after a convincing 79-48 win at home over the Montmorency Nomades on Oct. 5.

While the game was not only an exhibition game, but also their first game of the year, the team’s need for victory was obvious throughout the gym with intense action and no shortage of encouraging chants from the bench.

“This is our first exhibition game so our guys were really hungry,” said Trevor Costello, head coach of the Thunder men’s basketball team. “If tonight’s an insight, there are good things to come.”

The Thunder wasted no time putting themselves ahead, ending the first quarter with a score of 22-8 and holding on to a strong lead for the remainder of the game. Star guard Njuguna Waiganjo put up 18 points, while forward Patrick Lumumba followed him with 16 points.

“Njuguna played well but his name’s on the wall as an All-Canadian so it’s not surprising,” said Costello.

“Our main strength was our defence,” said Ryan Bradley, a second-year player on the Thunder squad. “We really pressured Montmorency hard and forced them into a lot of turnovers that led to easy buckets for us, especially when our starting lineup was in there.”

Last season the Thunder tied for third in the OCAA with the George Brown Huskies and the Mohawk Mountaineers. The three teams were mere points behind the Seneca Sting and the Sheridan Bruins. With a good fleet of returning players and some new talent, the team is expecting to be even better this year.

“We have a strong team this year with a good mix of young guys as well as some strong veterans. We have a lot of key pieces back from last year’s provincial bronze-medal team and we have also added some key guys,” said Bradley. “We are expecting big things this year.”

“Our goal as a team is to win a championship,” added Bradley, a sentiment Costello agrees with.

Costello expects the team’s strong defence will be one of the key factors to achieving the Thunder’s goal of a championship.

“We’ve just got to play some tough D, and we’ll be alright,” said Costello, though he would like to see more shooting in future games.

While the Thunder feel they are in a good position to battle for a championship title this season, coach Costello knows there are worthy opponents in the league who will give the Thunder a good challenge every game.

“In our division I would probably say maybe George Brown will be tough, St. Lawrence is always tough, Seneca’s tough. There are a few teams that are always tough,” he said. “They give us good runs.”

But if the exhibition game was any indication of the season to come for the Thunder men’s basketball team, Algonquin can expect an exciting season jam-packed with action.

“We were all very happy with the result of the game and the direction we are heading in this season,” said Bradley. “We all know that this game is just the starting point and we have not yet reached our potential. If we keep working hard week after week, I am confident that we will achieve our goal.”