The Men’s Basketball team swept the Langara Falcons in this weekend’s double-header, winning Saturday night 70-61. Alex Roth was named the East Side Mario’s Player of the Game with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
The atmosphere may have been less than Friday night, but the fervor and intensity of the home team was not. Friday’s Player of the Game Mack Roth opened Saturday night’s game still feeling his stroke as he drained an open 3-pointer from deep in the corner. Together the team shot 4 out of 9 3-point attempts in the first half alone, and shot a tremendous 53.6% from the field for the first 2 quarters. The Heat’s collective hot hand is what kept them ahead 34-28 going into the half, as it was a rough stalemate in every other stat column.
Despite early foul woes (accumulating 10 in the first half alone) the Heat continued to play a physical game with the Falcons down low. They out rebounded their opponents 42-40, although they did allow 16 offensive boards that turned into 17 second chance points. Taking care of the ball was also a problem for the Heat, as they turned the ball over more times than they assisted (16-15). They were colder in the second half, but still shot a good 42.6% from the field for the game, including 35% from the land beyond. The game wasn’t as close as the night before, and the Heat managed to keep making smart shots and pull away to win 70-61. “They had 39 at the end of 3 [quarters], and we said that if we can get to 70 then there’s no way they’re going to have a 30 point quarter,” Alex Roth said.
“We’re in pretty good shape out there,” he continued. “Thanks to our strength and conditioning coach [Gabe Tobias], our legs feel good.” Alex, as Team Captain, has consistently played the role of leader, though mostly by example rather than vocal. “I’m one of the quieter guys... [But] I think I expect a lot of our guys, and they expect a lot of me, and I think it’s just a natural transition from point guard to leader. But I think we have leaders top to bottom. We have rookies that step up and make good plays.”
Both he and younger brother Mack Roth (who is in his rookie season) were in the spotlight this weekend, each winning a Player of the Game award. “He had a great game [last night]. It’s good to see him playing well.” Other than his opening 3 pointer, Mack went scoreless the rest of the game. Micah Cockrill filled the spot, however, scoring 20 points on 7/14 shooting. Forward Dave Mackay also finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds, going to work in the post with several nice baby-hook shots.
Having extended their win streak to six games and with tonight’s win the Heat have clinched a berth in the Provincial Championships March 3-5 in Abbotsford. After back-to-back weekends at home, the team is going on the road next weekend in a double-header against the top ranked VIU Mariners. “I’m super excited,” Alex said of the upcoming trip. “That’s the toughest team I’ve played in my 3 years in the league. They come out fired up and we’re going to come out all business.” The game times this upcoming weekend in Nanaimo are Friday night at 8:00pm and then a quick turnaround as they play again Saturday at 3:00pm.
The team’s next home game is February 12th against UNBC.