Men’s basketball team rallies for mid-season turn around

by | Dec 9, 2019 | Sports, Varsity

Jonathan Frasco and Francis Commey, Sports Reporters

The Humber Hawks men’s basketball team continued its victorious a roll winning taking its seventh game in a row beating the Conestoga Condors 105-86.

The Hawks had a rocky start to the season losing their first four games, but things have turned around as they head into the holiday break.

Head coach Samson Downey said the reason behind the tepid 0-4 start is that the team hadn’t been steady. Winning requires stability.

“It’s a matter of being consistent,” Downey said. “We’re just not consistent throughout a 40-minute game.”

The Hawks started the Dec.5 game against Conestoga with a 19-4 run, forcing the Condors to take a time out to try and regroup.

The timeout worked for Conestoga as Humber’s consistency became an issue. They were outscored throughout the rest of the first quarter and the Condors tied the game at 25.

They barely held on to the lead by halftime, as the Hawks headed into the break 46-45.

Coming out of the half the Hawks were able to put it together.

Humber’s size, speed, and depth became overwhelming for the Condors as the Hawks were able to crack the game open with a 10-0 run to cap off their 27 points in the third quarter.

It was the same result in the fourth as they got off to a 20-point lead. The Hawks never looked back scoring 32 points in the fourth for their seventh straight win.

It was an overall contribution from the team that got the Hawks the win with Jaylan Morgan leading the way with 22 points, Kevin Otoo was second in scoring with 16 and Cy Samuels who had 11 points and a career-high 19 rebounds.

Humber Hawks second-year guard, Kevin Otoo, slams it home late in the fourth for two of his 16 points versus the Conestoga Condors on Dec.5. (Jonathan Frasco)

Six-foot-eight forward from Qatar, Khalid Adam, who got his first start of the season playing the centre position, had his best showing so far by putting up 13 points and six rebounds.

“Coach told me about the players that are the key to the other team and said to keep the focus on them,” Adam said. “So I just tried to keep myself engaged the whole time.”

Downey hopes the team can retain the consistency he’s looking for as the winter semester goes on.

“As we start peaking into March, we got to be able to play 38-minutes of basketball where we just don’t break down,” he said.

This game came after a weekend road trip to Sault Ste. Marie against the Sault Cougars on Nov.30 and Dec. 1 where sharpshooter point guard Fowzi Mohamoud had five three-pointers and 17 points.

First-year forward Shae Phillips suited up for the first time this season and chipped in with six points and eight rebounds.

“I felt good out there for the first time, I was really comfortable,” Phillips said. “Hopefully I can give our team a boost and positive impacts throughout the season now that I’ve made my debut.”

“We have high expectations,” he said. “I think we’ll achieve everything we’re aiming for.”

Humber also took the second game by a convincing margin, trouncing the Cougars 96-60.

“We’re playing really well after starting off poorly,” said DeQuon Cascart, who had a career-high seven assists in the opener. “It’s about continuing our success and building.”

Assistant coach Chad Bewley said the Hawks always had faith Downey would find a way to get the season back on track.

“We have the utmost belief in Sampson.” Bewley said. “There’s a reason he won 24 games and the coach-of-the-year honours in the West last year.”

First-year forward Shevon Noël said the poor start has transformed from a weight on their shoulders to a motivator for the Hawks. 

“I came to play for Humber to win and contribute to the winning environment Humber is,” Noël said. “A lot of us want to prove everyone wrong after starting so bad.

“We’re hungry for wins,” he said.

The Hawks will go back on the road Jan. 11 to take on the Canadore Panthers in North Bay to kick off the second half of the season.