Mohawk cagers split twin bill in weather-delayed Windsor trip

Mohawk’s basketball teams battled through a stormy trip to Windsor on Friday and for the men’s squad, their delay came with a reward. For the women, the long trip – Mohawk’s team bus arrived two hours late – only added to their Ontario Colleges Athletic Association frustration.

As the second half of the OCAA doubleheader, the men found themselves playing after midnight. But the delay was worth it as the Mountaineers won 78-76 over St. Clair and kept their hopes alive for being host a home playoff game.

“That was a first for me,” joked Mohawk coach Brian Jonker, happy to get out of Windsor with two points. “We started the game on one day (10:20 p.m. Feb. 1) and finished the next day (12:01 a.m. Feb. 2).”

It didn’t look good for the Mountaineers to start as the Saints stormed to a 13-2 lead after the tip-off. However, Mohawk finally got in gear and led 38-35 at the intermission. They upped their advantage to 12 points with less than nine minutes to go, then had to hold off a late bid by St. Clair, now 5-9. Ricky Heath was on fire for the Mountaineers, now 8-5, with six 3-pointers en route to a 20-point effort. Big Alen Beader was in fine form as well, getting a double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Earlier, the Mohawk women dropped a 67-49 decision to the Saints. It was a disappointing defeat for the 2-8 Mountaineers, who definitely came to play and actually led by two points at half time. But in the second 20 minutes it was a different story.

“We beat ourselves”, said coach Kelly Dunham. “We made mistakes on offence, too many passing errors and we continue to struggle on the boards.”

Still, Dunham was proud of her players, some of whom were under the weather, perhaps because of the trying trip to Windsor. Angela Brown led Mohawk with 12 points. Melissa Zwolak had 11 points and Lisamarie Iavarone scored nine.

With the win, St. Clair improved its record to 6-5.

The basketball teams get back into action Tuesday (Feb. 5) when Sheridan Bruins visit the Fennell Gym for a twin bill. The women will play at 6 p.m., followed by the men two hours later.