Surprise, Surprise…Carleton Ravens Enter Break Undefeated with Win over Laurier
NPH Top Performers
Phil Scrubb – Pts: 21, Ast: 1, Stl: 1, Min: 28
Tyson Hinz – Pts: 19, Reb: 4, Ast: 1, Min: 29
Kale Harrison – Pts: 10, Reb: 7, Ast: 3, Stl: 1, Min: 31
OTTAWA,ON- The Carleton Ravens completed the first half of their schedule undefeated (8-0) after a strong 84-68 win over the Laurier Golden Hawks, who suffered their first loss of the season.
It was a grind-it-out, half-court type of game, a pace of play the Ravens are not best suited to play at.
Speaking with NPH after the game, Coach Dave Smart of the Carleton Ravens said “We’re not built for that type of game, especially on the offensive end so we have to get stops so we can get out in transition and get the other team on their heels defensively.”
Carleton is a team that thrives in playing transition basketball, and playing in the open-court. Laurier prefers a set, half-court offense that if very effective and is the best in the country according to Smart; “That’s the best offensive team in the country, we have to keep them on their heels defensively so that they’re on their heels offensively because they’re being forced to defend.”
Carleton’s go-to guys Phillip Scrubb and Tyson Hinz played well in the opening minutes, giving Carleton points and open shots in the half-court. The Ravens a had a couple turnovers, but were shutting Laurier down defensively as well, and took an early 18-9 lead after an Elliot Thompson three-pointer.
Matt Buckley of Laurier and Carleton’s Kevin Churchill battled in the post, and Hinz displayed his usual portfolio of post-moves, but for Carleton rebounding was a team effort. For the Ravens, eight players brabbed between three and five rebounds. No more, and no less.
Sophomore guard Phil Scrubb told NPH, “Laurier’s a pretty physical team, and they crash the boards pretty hard. We’ve just got to get a body early and guards have to pinch down on the bigs to get the rebound.”
“It all comes down to defensive rebounding. We did a really poor job this semester rebounding. We’ve got to rebound and defend so we can get out in transition,” echoes Dave Smart. “If we give up second chance opportunities, even if they don’t score, it hurts our transition and and gves them confidence. It helps keep our guys out of foul trouble.”
Willy Manigat and the rest of the Ravens executed on offense, and broke Laurier’s pressure defense. Following two three-pointers for Laurier’s Maxwell Allin, Carleton still led 31-19, and 47-36 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Laurier’s Kale Harrison showcased some talent with a block on defense, and a reverse lay-in on the other end. Travis Berry also had a chance to shine with three three-pointers for Laurier in the fourth quarter.
For the Ravens, Tyson Hinz got where he needs to be to get open looks at the basket and finished 7 for 11 for the game. Carleton was effective, but what won the game for them, according to Scrubb, was “defending and rebounding. Taking the other team out of their comfort zone on offense and limiting their second-chance opportunities. Offensively we just have to make shots and that comes from getting the best shots possible.”
Phil Scrubb had the highlight of the game when he completed a 4-point play, and the Ravens opened up a 20-point lead before the start of the fourth quarter.
Laurier outscored Carleton 19-14 in the final quarter, but it was too late for the Golden Hawks to mount a comeback and the Ravens coasted to the 84-68 win.
For the Ravens, the Christmas break is a chance to refocus and rest while waiting for the new year.
Phil Scrubb says “We’ve got a full month to prepare. We’re still going to be working hard in December. We’re motivated for the second half of the season and for March. We’ll be ready for that day.”
Head Coach Dave Smart reminds that Carleton will be playing before the regular season restarts; “We play a tournament in Florida so we’ll be awful there, which we always are, and hopefully that will motivate us to get back to what we need to do. They’ll be in the gym, working on fundamentals, but exams are the focus right now.”
The Ravens open 2012, with games against York and Laurentian on January 6th and 7th, while Laurier hopes to continue their strong start when they play January 4th against Waterloo.