Published on March 22, 2017 | by Rob Jowett Photography by Rob Jowett0
Hawks beat Vikings to advance to OCAA basketball championship
With a score of 100-75, the Humber Hawks men’s basketball team are going to provincials.
The Humber Hawks hosted the St. Lawrence College Vikings in a do-or-die game to determine who would continue in the post-season on Feb. 25. The top two teams in each of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association’s two divisions and the tournament host receive a bye into the championship while all others must play qualifying games. The top teams this year were Sheridan College and George Brown College.
St. Lawrence burst out from the start with an eight to two lead, but the Hawks quickly raced ahead to a six-point advantage by the end of the first half. Hawks point guard Gibson Eduful said it was game over from there.
“We picked it up throughout the game, in the second half we played really well, and we were able put them away.” Eduful scored 24 points against the Vikings, and was named the Hawks Nation Player of the Game.
Tyrone Dickson, a forward for the Hawks, agreed. He said that the Hawks had done well to scout their opponents. “We out-rebound pretty good, we eliminated their [offensive],” he said. Dickson scored 10 points during the game.
The Hawks faced a huge challenge from the Vikings in the form of Jaz Bains, the OCAA Basketball Player of the Year. “Our job was to tire him and hold him back,” Dickson said.
“He leads the league in scoring on the East,” said Eduful, “And we cut him down to about ten points less than his average.” Bains’ scoring average is close to 25 points per game.
Head coach Patrick Au said the team still has more work to do. “There was a few things defensively I think we could have done better,” he said. “They put up a lot more points than we normally give up.”
Under coach Au, the Hawks have built the number one defence in the OCAA west division, giving up around 69 points per game. Winning teams usually still allow over 70 points.
Being from opposite divisions, the Hawks rarely play the Vikings. The last time these two teams met was during the 2016 playoffs, when the Hawks beat them 80-68.
The Vikings went into the game having just lost one of their star players, Jermaine Edwards. Though additional details were not made public, Edwards passed away suddenly Friday night. There was a moment of silence for him at the start of the game.
The Hawks will play the Seneca Sting at 3 p.m. on Friday at the Centennial College Athletic Centre in Scarborough.