The Algonquin Wolves men’s basketball team faced off against the St. Lawrence Surge at home on Oct. 28 and won the season opener 70-59.
The Wolves had an intense start as guard Nathan Garcia drained a three-pointer to set the tone for the game. He put up a strong performance, notching 14 points, four assists and a rebound.
Garcia also shot 66.7 per cent from both the three-point line and in midrange from the field. He was a defensive powerhouse, putting up three steals and a block to lead the brick wall that the Wolves formed as their interior defence.
Forward Ted Braden was a big help with getting the ball in the Wolves possession throughout the game. He made 15 rebounds, in addition to his nine points and four assists. He also contributed heavily to the defence with five steals.
Other standout performances were guard CJ Gallaza, who came off the bench to put up 16 points, and three rebounds, and guard Irvan Yacinthe, who had 13 points, including three rebounds and two assists.
At times, the Wolves struggled to defend the perimeter and sink their shots from the three-point line, but they found a way to secure their first victory of the season.
“Defensively we are trying to be better, but tonight we were good on defence,” coach Trevor Costello said after the game. “On offence, we need to be better. We turned the ball over a lot, we need to work better against the zone as we had some trouble with that, but our identity is that we play tough D and we only gave up 59 points so that was good.”
There were a couple of injuries during the game to Wolves players Garcia and Chris Lachapelle.
“Hopefully, Chris only sprained his ankle but in 24 hours, we will know for sure,” Costello said. “(Garcia) got a charley horse so that usually lasts until the next game but hopefully they will be there.”
Guard Carter Normand spoke about how starting with a win impacted the team.
“On Friday nights, you celebrate for three seconds then you head to the next game and have a quick turnaround,” Normand said. “The team loves getting a win but we have to focus on what’s next after we are done. Starting with a win is a step in the right direction, especially at home because you do not want the other team to come into our camp and take over to start the season.”
Normand went on to talk about what it felt like to start the season off at home.
“It was great because last year, we had COVID restrictions and then fans came in halfway through,” Normand said. “The energy felt great as I think we have one of the best fanbases in the league. When we get rolling, they are loud and cheer to support us and that type of crowd is truly the sixth man on the court.”