The second half has been an adventure for the Mohawk men’s basketball team a few times in the early stages of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association season, but it was a different story against Niagara at the Fennell Gym on Tuesday (Nov. 20).
The Mountaineers took a 42-30 lead into the second half and while they’ve shown a propensity for allowing the opposition to come back, they didn’t this time. In fact they put the hammer down, and knocked off the West Region leading Knights 95-72.
“Tonight we had a bit of a killer instinct in the last 12 minutes for the first time all year,” said Mohawk coach Brian Jonker. “We’ve been in a position, other than the Algoma game, to win every single game this year, so we’ve got to close these types of games out.”
And Jonker was encouraged with how scoring was spread out. Five players scored in double figures. Tyrone Berry from London’s Beal Secondary School led the way with 22 points. Mackenzie Milmine from Brantford Assumption scored 18, Alen Beader, out of Hamilton Glendale, had 16, Marko Gacic from Hamilton Sir John A. MacDonald contributed 14 and Jerome Smith of Hamilton St. Thomas More scored 13.
The top scorer for Niagara was Ian Harriette with 18 points. Mohawk improved it’s record to 4-3. For Niagara, it was the Knights second loss in eight games.
Meanwhile, it was just an old fashioned heartbreaker for the Mohawk women’s basketball team, as they bowed 63-58 to Niagara.
The Mountaineers led for a good portion of the game, including a 34-32 margin at halftime. They battled tooth and nail with the visitors in the second 20 minutes and the game was basically up for grabs until the final minute when the Mountaineers had to foul numerous times to keep their hopes alive.
“They played well for the whole game, said Mohawk coach Kelly Dunham.” They came to play. They were so ready for this game. It was fantastic.” Despite the loss, Dunham thought her charges would come away with a positive attitude. “They are in such great spirits because they know now that this is the level they can play at. They know they can play a 40-minute game now.”
Stacey Bourque from Hamilton Westmount led Mohawk with 16 points. Lisamarie Iavarone out of St. Thomas More scored 14 and Angela Brown from Brantford North Park added 12.
Kaitlyn McKenna of Niagara led all scorers with 29 points. Mohawk is now 1-4. Niagara improves to 4-1.