It was a bit of a seat-squirmer in the first Ontario Colleges Athletic Association regular season men’s basketball game at the new David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre, but Mohawk got by visiting Redeemer, 97-92, Wednesday (Oct. 23).
The Mountaineers led 28-15 after the first quarter, but the Royals turned the tables in the second quarter, outscoring their arch rivals 28-18, which left the score 46-43 Mohawk at the half. The Mountaineers outscored Redeemer 25-23 in the third quarter, and the teams each scored 26 in a very competitive final period.
While Mohawk led for most of the game, the Royals put the issue in doubt when they pulled ahead 85-82 midway through the fourth quarter. But the Mountaineers were able to keep their composure in the final two minutes to get the narrow victory.
Mohawk was led by Matt Fennell who scored 29 points. Then the points were spread out. Patrick Iavarone had 17, Andrew Cicuttini scored 14, while Xzennis Brereton and Alex Reis added 13 apiece. Cicuttini also had 19 rebounds and Taylor Dowhaniuk had 18 boards.
For Redeemer, Calvin Turnbull scored 34 points and had 10 rebounds. Ben Ibrahim scored 24.
Mohawk head coach Brian Jonker said his team scored just enough. “We gave up a whole lot but we scored a lot,” said Jonker. “Ultimately, we got out with a ‘W’ but we have a lot to clean up defensively.”
Jonker said Redeemer never went away. “They work hard and they’re a good group,” said the coach. “They made some shots that kept them hanging around.”
Reis and Fennell both had some key buckets in the game’s latter stages.
“Alex is sneaky,” said Jonker. “When we need him to score, he scores. Matt never stops moving, so he’s almost a mismatch for anyone that’s going to guard him with a guard. We got a break for a couple of late possessions when he was matched up with a guard and he took advantage of it and scored.”