Spartans collect win and loss on weekend.
Men’s basketball team loses to Cougars; defeats Bobcats.
Cats can be annoying— especially when they’re walking on your keyboard when you’re trying to write an article. But the Spartans recently discovered that cats can be annoying in basketball as well. The Spartans had one cat lovin’ weekend as they went on the road to face the Regina Cougars and the Brandon Bobcats. The Spartans came into the weekend with a mediocre 2-6 record, not where they were hoping to be. Although it has been a rough start to the season, the team has remained optimistic, knowing they have the talent to compete.
The Spartans were in Regina on Friday to face the Cougars, and did not prevail. The Cougars had an identical record to the Spartans, looking to improve as well. Although the Cougars opened with a bang with a Connor Burns dunk and an early 8-2 lead. But it was Trinity’s 11 consecutive points that put them right on top with point contributions from Justin Bakuteka, Mara Eli, Mark Perrin and Kurtis Osborne to give them the advantage after the first quarter. The Spartans played a great second quarter as well, continuing to use their momentum to make plays and hit the basket. The Spartans finished the first half with a 43-41 lead after a Perrin buzzer beater.
In the second half, the cougars took over. The Spartan lead was immediately taken away as Frank Brown nailed a 3-pointer, giving the Cougars a 49-46 lead. The Cougars continued the lead throughout the third quarter, playing good offence and defense. The Spartans did not give up as they stayed right behind points throughout the quarter; however they were not able to capitalize on turnovers and free-throws, which hurt them in the game. The Spartans really started to struggle in the fourth quarter, as they only drained for nine points. The Cougars, on the other hand, had a great quarter and ran off with their lead to win it 88-69. Spartans coach Scott Allen commented on the game saying, “Our touch around the hoop just isn’t there right now. We are getting lots of shots and easy looks as well as doing a solid job rebounding and keeping our turnovers down. But were short on our number of assists, which means were squeezing the ball a little tight and guys are trying to do too much on their own. We need to learn how to share the ball a little more and be patient.”
On Saturday the Spartans were in Brandon to face the Bobcats. Although they were coming off a little disappointed from their loss to the Cougars, they kept their game plan and managed to create an impressive comeback for the win. In the first half, the Spartans started playing a bit dull, as they gave up rebounds and missed opportunities to score points. Mark Perrin and Justin Bakuteka had an impressive first quarter, as they supplied the majority of the points for the Spartans. Being down by one at the start of the second quarter, the Spartans seemed to have lost their momentum as James Elias started with a good 3-pointer. The Bobcats then started to take off offensively, while the Spartans struggled to drain points. The first half ended with the Spartans being down 24-36.
Encouraging words must have come out of Scott Allen’s mouth during halftime because the second half was a completely different story. The Spartans showed that they meant business right away as Bakuteka nailed the jumper seconds into the quarter. The Spartans started to play more like a team as they started to pile up assists along with their points. By the end of the third quarter the Spartans were down by five, as the dramatic comeback ensued. In the fourth quarter the Spartans were nailing jumpers, layups and free-throws flawlessly. Although they were playing great, the Bobcats were playing just as good, keeping the lead for the majority of the second half. With just two minutes remaining, Bakuteka made two good free-throws to tie the game 69-69. The Spartans then took the lead with a Denny McDonald layup. It was now the Spartans up by one and with the lead for the first time since the second quarter. But this time the Spartans did not give up the lead, winning the game 75-73. It was a good, exciting basketball game between the Spartans and the Bobcats but the Spartans ended up with the well-deserved victory.
The Spartans are now 3-7 and sit in 7th place in the Pacific conference. There is still a lot of work to be done by this team to put them on top of the standings. With the talent that is on the team, the Spartans are certainly capable with hard work and discipline. The Spartans will return playing regular season hoops after a string of exhibition games.
Regular season will start again in the New Year, starting with the Alberta Golden Bears on January 11, 2013 at the Langley Events Centre.