Despite early struggle, Humber wins in last home game of the season

by | Feb 25, 2019 | Sports, Varsity

Pirasanth Gunaskaram, Sports Reporter

Humber Hawks guard Jordan Rose wasn’t impressed with the start of the last game of the regular season.

Rose and the team beat the Mohawk Mountaineers in 92-84 win on Feb. 13 on home court, keeping Humber’s undefeated home streak alive.

“We came out in the beginning a bit sluggish tonight because that’s how we are sometimes but at the end of the game played good,” Rose said.

Curwin Elvis, also a guard, said this was the bounce back win the team needed after losing to Redeemer on Feb 9.

“Our loss from last game was (devastating), but at the end of the day it’s all about how you bounce back for the next game and the experience help us win the championship,” Elvis said.

Mountaineers coach Brian Jonker praised the Hawks for playing well this season.

“They’re athletic, they shoot the ball very well, and they only lost once this season,” Jonker said.

Despite the Mountaineers size, Jonker said his team have to play better to win.

“We might have a little bit of size on them, but the reality is that we have to play harder than them, and we have to shoot it really well to beat them,” he said.

Guard Trevon Mollison trying to stop Mohawk guard Aaron Case from scoring during the Hawks-Mountaineers game on Feb 13, 2019. (Pirasanth Gunasekaram)

Hawks coach Samson Downey expected a desperate Mohawk team to start the game playing well.

“We knew Mohawk was coming in here with their playoffs on the line because they have to win to be in the playoffs, so we know that they were going to come out and charged up,” Downey said.

The Hawks struggled to make some shots early this game. Humber tried to make a come back, but Mohawk didn’t let that happen as they took a 25-15 lead at the first quarter.

Humber turned it around in the second quarter and went into halftime with a two-point deficit.

“They ended that first half on a run, and we allowed them to continue that run at the third quarter,” Downey said.

Guard Kevin Otoo scores the bucket while getting the and-one during the Hawks and Mohawk Mountaineers game on Feb 13, 2019. (Pirasanth Gunasekaram)

The Mountaineers started the third quarter on a 14-2 run. After that, they took another double-digit lead. Humber managed not to let the lead get by trailing 71-62 at the third quarter.

Before the fourth quarter started, coach Downey said his team held themselves accountable and they began to play better.

“We started to play our brand of basketball again, which is just being aggressive and attacking,” he said.

Guard Trevon Mollison picked up Kevin Otoo after he scored the bucket while getting the and-one during the Hawks and Mountaineers game on Feb 13, 2019. (Pirasanth Gunasekaram)

The Hawks were down nine points at the start of the fourth quarter. Guard Jordon Francis hit back-to-back threes that cut the Mountaineers lead to one.

guard DeQuon Cascart gave Humber its first lead of the game with 7:45 remaining with a two-point bucket and a foul shot.

Downey credits the teams defensive stops for their fourth quarter comeback.

“Trying to get spots where we saw gaps in their zone which i believe is the key to our fourth quarter explosion,” Downey said .

After exchanging buckets, the momentum shifted towards Humber when the crowd erupted after a big two-handed dunk by forward Jimmy Rich that put them up one with three minutes remaining.

The Hawks then went on a run, taking a 12 point lead to finished the game.

“Mohawk gave us a battle,” said Hawks forward Jaylan Morgan, who had a double-double performance with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

Forward Jaylan Morgan looking to pass the ball during the Hawks and Mountaineers game on Feb 13, 2019. Morgan had a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds. (Pirasanth Gunasekaram)

“We played kind of stagnant in the first half, but we came back in the second half being aggressive,” Morgan said.

Downey said the Feb. 9 loss at Redeemer did factor in this game.

“It was a humbling loss, and they definitely felt it and it carried over in the first half then they were playing freely in the second half,” he said.

They took this home win streak and continued it Feb. 23 on home court with a 83-68 crossover playoff win St. Lawrence Vikings from Kingston.