The new look Mohawk Mountaineers thrilled the home crowd by knocking off the top team in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association men’s basketball Tuesday (Nov. 4).
The unranked Mountaineers powered their way to a 105-95 victory over the Sheridan Bruins at the Fennell Gymnasium. Mohawk, which shattered the single game record for three-point baskets when they scored 21 in their first game of the season, hit for that number in this game, including 14 in the first half, after which they trailed 57-54.
In the second half, the Bruins made defensive adjustments, going from a lot of zone coverage to more man-on-man. That meant Mohawk wasn’t able to generate much from outside the arc and was playing catch-up for several minutes.
But, with less than seven minutes remaining the Mountaineers started hitting from the outside again and when Sheridan struggled with its own shooting, Mohawk took advantage.
Mountaineers’ head coach Brian Jonker said his club never went away. “The ‘three’ is a great equalizer,” said Jonker. “I think they are just starting to realize and believe that. So we don’t ever feel that we are out of anything.”
The game with Sheridan was a very physical one, much like the previous Saturday’s loss to St. Clair. But Jonker felt the difference in this game was that his players kept their composure. He said beating Sheridan was very important to the team’s psyche.
“Our guys now have to believe we’re capable of beating anybody. We just beat the best team in the province.”
Once again, Ricky Heath (Glendale) paced Mohawk with 27 points. All of his field goals were three-pointers and he was a perfect six-for-six from the foul line. Alen Beader (Glendale) had 18 points and played a fierce game on the boards, with 10 rebounds. Jerome Smith (St. Thomas More) scored 17. Mohawk is now 2-1.