Carleton turns up intensity

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Top Performers

Carleton: Willy Manigat  Pts: 24, Reb: 3, Ast: 5, Stl: 1, Min: 29                 

Windsor: Monty Hardware Pts: 21, Reb: 1, Ast: 2, Stl: 2, Min: 32

OTTAWA, ON–Back on the court after one win each, the only two teams without a loss on the second day in the House-Laughton Hoops Classic. Carleton is packed and the fans chant “One: We are the Ravens, Two: A little bit louder, Three: I still can’t hear you, Four: More more more…” while some clever vuvuzelists drown out the opposing coach’s voice during time-outs with the team trying to maintain focus. Simply put the crowd must hold some sort of advantage.

For Ravens coach Dave Smart, “it’s not a major advantage to the home team itself, it always helps, but more of a disadvantage to the opposing team. It’s always hard to go into somebody else’s gym.” It doesn’t help that the Ravens are one of the most fundamentally sound teams in the nation.

The Ravens once again get out to a fast start with Elliot Thompson heating up early again to open the game with a three pointer. Phil Scrubb, a BC native, hit a three pointer of his own to go up 8-0 and the Ravens would rack up 13 points before Windsor got on the board with a three. By the end of the first half the Ravens are up big 22-13.

It seems the Ravens always get off to a fast start, something that is not explicitly part of the game plan according to coach Smart, “no, it’s not, it’s just happened for us, we’ve had a couple of slow starts, the game against Laurentian (earlier this year), but it’s more about just being sound and ready to play.”

The second quarter opened with Monty Hardware from Easter Commerce H.S. and Willy Manigat from Montréal trading three pointers. Close to the end of the quarter the Lancers have an offensive breakdown and have to force up a shot which Carleton rebounds and gets out on the break before Windsor can get back. Carleton looks to be the more organized, patient team. Carleton’s Greg Faulkner also hits a three pointer and they finish the half with good defense and a 41-24 lead.

Elliot Thompson gets an early start again out of the half with a three pointer, before Icaac Kuon hits one of his own followed by a breakaway one-handed dunk. Cole Hobin gets involved with a pair of threes before Kuon and Monty Hardware hit one each. The shots were flying and the teams settled down to then the third quarter Carleton up 58-48.

Monty Hardware is trying to motivate his team and play to the crowd shouting “Let’s go!” and staring into the crowd after a three-pointer, but the Carleton crew isn’t rattled. Lien Philip, who finished the previous game with a 26-20, was held to 4 points and 5 boards in the first half and makes his presence felt in the fourth with an offensive rebound and two points to narrow the gap to 5, 58-53.

Down the stretch, Carleton plays exceptional team and helpside defense while Manigat hits a shot and fouled. Hardware hits another three and plays it up before Elliot Thompson hits another three as if in answer. Willy Manigat sealed the game with another basket for a 76-61 win, in one of the most volatile games of the tournament.

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