The Redeemer Royals men’s basketball team entered the weekend with one goal in mind: To position itself for a push to the playoffs.
Not only did the team meet that objective, but they set a school record in the process. In sweeping Algoma University and Sault College the Royals picked up wins five and six of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association season, surpassing the previous high of four for the men’s basketball team.
The Royals defeated Algoma University on Friday night (Jan. 18), 61-59, set the record for the most wins in a season by a Redeemer men’s basketball team. The next day, Redeemer won its sixth game of the season, defeating the Sault Cougars, 68-61, to break the day-old record.
The previous high for the basketball program that began in 1990-91 was four wins. The Royals achieved that mark twice, once in 1997-98 and in 1999-2000. Since then, Redeemer teams have managed to secure only 20 wins in the past 12 years.
With the record behind them, the Royals can now focus on making the playoffs. The perfect weekend has positioned the team back in the hunt. Defeating Algoma University on Friday was arguably the biggest win of the season for Redeemer – a loss would have almost eliminated the Royals as the Thunderbirds currently sit sixth – the final playoff spot.
The Royals are seventh and only two points behind Algoma. The top six teams in the OCAA West and East divisions advance to the playoffs.
On Friday, two players for Redeemer had double-digit points in the win over Algoma as Calvin Turnbull had 15 points and Chris McFadden-Martin had 13. Turnbull also added 14 rebounds for the double-double.
The Royals trailed by one point at the half (30-29), but outscored Algoma 32-29 in the second.
Joseph Tubbs had a team-high 12 points for the visiting Thunderbirds.
On Saturday, Turnbull once again had a double-double, his ninth straight, with 17 points and 17 rebounds. McFadden-Martin had a game-high 18 points for Redeemer and Benn Ibrahim added 14.
Redeemer got off to a huge start with a 21-8 run to start the game and entered the half leading 41-23. Sault College clawed back in the second half and outscored the Royals 38-27 but the deficit was too much to overcome.
Jason Ledgister had 14 points for Sault College in the loss.
The Royals (6-8) are back in action Saturday (Jan.26) when they visit Humber College (8-4).