Men’s Basketball (Exhibition)
McGill University Redbird Classic
October 21-23, 2016
MONTREAL, QC — For the first time this year the UBC Okanagan men’s basketball team travelled to Quebec, where they competed in the Redbird Classic Tournament at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.
The three-day event on the men’s side featured the Heat, McMaster, Laurentian, and host McGill.
With the men competing in the final three games of their preseason, the Okanagan squad was eager to improve and find their rhythm before heading into the regular season.
The first of three games for the Heat was played on Friday night, when they took on McGill. McGill came out strong, and were able to widen the gap early and take a (42-26) lead into half-time. Leading the way at the half for the Heat was third year guard Aldrich Berrios with six points. As McGill was quick to take the lead in the first half, they continued in a similar fashion through the second and were able to beat the Heat (79-59).
The Heat had three players hit double digits in the Friday night loss. Leading UBCO was Aldrich Berrios with 13 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Following Berrios was David Manshreck with 12 points and an impressive 55 percent from the field (5-9). Rookie Matt Lafontaine was also able to contribute 11 points and two assists.
On Saturday, for their second game at the event, UBC Okanagan played McMaster. As the Heat fought back and forth with the Hamilton squad, the score at half-time was tied (41-41). In a similar style, the Heat battled for the duration of the second half, and the game was ultimately lost in the final two seconds of the game when a dunk by Rohan Boney pushed McMaster ahead (84-82).
Although this was a tough loss for the Heat, the Okanagan squad was able to shoot 50.9 percent from the field (28-55) compared to McMaster’s 38.7 percent (27-70). Leading the way for the Heat in Saturday’s match-up was senior Mitch Goodwin, with 29 points and six rebounds. Following him were Ryan Morck with 15 points, and Berrios with 10 points.
On Sunday the Heat played their final game of the preseason against Laurentian. As the Heat have battled in a similar style all weekend, the Sunday matchup was no different with UBCO and the Voyagers in a low scoring affair. With a one or two point differential at multiple points during the game, the Heat were unable to gain the lead in the second half as the Sudbury squad held on to defeat UBCO (79-66).
Both teams in the Sunday matchup were able to effectively shoot the ball. Laurentian shot 46.7 percent from the field, compared to the Heat’s 41.7. The Heat were able to win the battle of the boards with 29 rebounds next to Laurentian’s 28.
Buzz Truss was the leading scorer in the game, as he claimed 26 points for the Heat. Behind Truss was Goodwin with 20 points.
“Attending the Redbird Classic at McGill University in Montreal was a great experience for our team,” said UBC Okanagan Heat’s head coach Pete Guarasci on his return from Montreal. “We played very good competition from teams of different conferences in Canada. Although we were unable to notch a win we learned more about our roster and how to best prepare our group for upcoming Canada West conference play.”
As the Heat finish the weekend with a team that has potential to effectively score and distribute the ball, the UBC Okanagan men will now prepare for the regular season as their first games will be at home against Trinity Western on November 4th and 5th. The first game will start at 8 p.m. in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium, and the second will tip-off on Saturday at 7 p.m.
~ Tia Sadler, UBC Okanagan Heat