Carleton: Willy Manigat Queens: Matt Baker
Pts: 16, Reb: 4, Ast: 2, Stl: 1, Min: 20 Pts: 11, Reb: 2, Ast: 2, 3FG: 3-5, Min: 19
OTTAWA,ON— The last time these two teams met in Kingston, Carleton won 86-73. Tonight’s tilt marked the last regular season home game, and Carleton looks to finish their final two-game homestand with another strong win. After winning Friday 101-24 against the RMC Paladins, Carleton came out strong once again and put the Gaels behind them with a final score of 81-41.
Prior to the game, Carleton head Coach Dave Smart delivered a speech for the graduating seniors of the team in possibly their last home game. Only one player fit that job description in a Ravens uniform; senior point Mike Kenny.
Smart said of Kenny, “if you need a role model and you’re looking for a role model, you can’t find a better one,” and praised Kenny’s selfless attitude. Once a starter for Carleton’s national title team, he now comes off the bench and teaches the teams rookies the ropes of CIS basketball. Smart praised Kenny for doing a “wonderful job with the young guys, he has been selfless beyond belief” for “for teaching with me, leading with me.”
Early in the first quarter, the Queen’s team is able to stay in the game with distance shots and offensive rebounding. On fast breaks and offensive sets, Carleton is able to take a decisive lead. Cole Hobin and Tyson Hinz played well in the post, while the strength of Willy Manigat allowed him to penetrate all the way to the basket and score on numerous occasions. Carleton led 17-8 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter Carleton maintained their defensive pressure, keeping Queen’s away from the basket and forcing outside shots with their length. Carleton also used teamwork and passing to get the ball deep and get good looks from close to the basket. They were also able to make good passes and free up Mike Kenny for the open three-pointer to take a 33-12 lead. The combination of Thomas and Phil Scrubb also force an eight second violation in the half-court with defensive pressure. After the first half, the Ravens took a 40-14 lead.
The second half began with a barrage of 3-point shots for the Ravens who earned several extra possessions with good positioning for offensive rebounds. When Timothy Boyle scores in the third quarter he becomes only the fourth Gael to mark the scoresheet in the game, as only three Queen’s players were able to score in the first half. Senior guard and Gaels leading scorer on the season, Dan Bannister starts the game 1 for 10 from the field and ended with only four total points. A Cole Hobin 3-pointer stretched the lead to 49-16.
Ahead and in the comfortable lead, Carleton builds upon their earlier success with their strong bench. Many players play and contribute and although Queen’s manages to score 27 second-half points, ultimately they cannot come close enough to question the Ravens win.
After the game, Mike Kenny reflected on his time (a 54 win, 3 loss tenure) in a Raven’s uniform saying, “I know it won’t be the very last [home game], hopefully we’re going to get in a playoff game here.” He appreciated and was humbled by Smart’s recognition but joked “I’ve heard his other speeches with other players so I tried to prepare myself and not be too emotional, especially before a big game.”
After this last home game of the season, Carleton plays away games at Laurentian, York, Toronto, and Ryerson before coming back to Ottawa to play their rival Ottawa U Gee-Gees on Feb 18, the final game of the regular season. Mike Kenny believes that the season-ending road trip will define the team heading into the post-season: “It should be a good test and get us ready for the playoffs,” because, after all “It’s always nice to go out on top.”