Always forward

Men’s basketball reflects on the season

By Courtnie Martin, Sports Reporter

After a bit of a bumpy road this year, the men’s basketball team has much to look forward to next season. At the start of the season, they were looking far from connected. However, after finishing with a 7-14 record and a Provincial berth, the young team certainly has some good moments to look back on.

One such moment was when they secured a “W” against Capilano University in week nine when terrific plays from Ryan Hopson and Andrew Baron in the last 30 seconds of the game gave the Royals a one-point win. The Royals also fell just short of victory against the powerhouse Vancouver Island University Mariners 83-79 in week five, proving that the team can hold their own with the big boys.

“Overall the season was positive. It was the most rewarding year of coaching I’ve had yet, and the guys were great to coach,” said coach Denis Beausoleil. He added, “I thought we grew a lot as a team and everyone showed flashes of how good they can be in the years to come.”

Two players were recognized for their hard work and tremendous talent by not only the Douglas College community but the PACWEST community as well. Andrew Baron was in the top 10 for all three categories of points, assists, and rebounds per game. Baron was also nominated as PACWEST second team All-Star. Baron averaged 15.85 points per game, 8.85 rebounds, and 3.6 assists.

“It was an up-and-down ride for sure. I think we surpassed some of the external expectations placed on us, but we also didn’t come nearly as close to our personal goals as we wanted. It was by far my best experience as a part of the DC basketball program. I think with such a young core, if we add some pieces here and there we could really make some noise in the next few years to come,” said Baron.

Rookie Grant Campbell was no slouch himself, as he put up more than 30 points on more than one occasion. Campbell was nominated to the All-Rookie team with 16.48 points per game.

“This year exemplified a roller coaster. We’ve had ups, downs, comebacks, and blowouts. We started off with 16 guys and finished with nine. It’s tough finishing the way we did knowing the potential we had starting off the season,” remarked Campbell. He continued, reflecting on his personal feelings: “It went by way too fast. I can remember my first game in November like it was yesterday. As a first-year I didn’t know what to expect; I wish I savoured it more.”

Alongside Baron and Campbell there have definitely been other impact players. Ethan McKean made numerous clutch three-pointers to swing the momentum into Douglas’ favour; one of the team captains, Kristian Hildebrandt, also had a gorgeous three ball; and Bradyn Norris made some tremendous moves to the basket. With another year of experience under their belts, this squad is ready to take it to another level next season.