Bring the house down

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Royals basketball teams win in thrillers at home

By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter

Things are in full-swing here at Douglas College. For the Royals, each week brings them closer to the provincial playoffs. There has been a constant drive to improve from all, and this week the basketball teams got to show the home crowd how much progress they’ve made. However, they faced some stiff competition from the Capilano Blues.

The women started the night off on the wrong foot. A handful of errors and a pinch of bad luck put the Royals in a bad spot, coming out of the first quarter down 20-7. They fought back in the second to end the first half down by 10 points.

The third quarter set the pace for the second half as both teams came out firing on all cylinders. But it was the fourth that was the highlight quarter for the Royals. Down by 9 points going in, things were beginning to look grim. Then it was as if someone flipped the “go” switch.

The girls went on tear in the fourth, scoring left, right, and centre. The crowd exploded as point-by-point, the Royals made the comeback a reality. Midway through the quarter, an offensive foul by the Blues sent Nanaya Miki to the free-throw line. She sank both shots and gave the team their first lead of the night.

From there, the Royals just unloaded on the Blues. They gave Capilano a total of 4 points in the fourth while proceeding to drop 21 of their own. The crowd was electric as the final seconds ran down. The thriller ended with a final score of 59-51 in favour of the Royals.

Several players had notable nights in the defensive department, but it was Amber Beasley’s hard driving style that won the hearts of the fans, and ultimately, the game. Her constant pressure and offensive positioning led to her being sent to the free-throw line for a total of 10 opportunities. She made the Blues pay, sinking 6 of those 10 on her way to her season high total of 18 points.

After the game, coach Courtney Gerwing spoke about her team’s thrilling victory. “I feel really good about that game. There was a weird energy at the beginning, like we were just try to hold it together until halftime. The flow and energy Capilano had was cut after halftime and it allowed us to get back into the game.”

The win helps the team maintain their vice-like grip on first place in the conference and brings their win streak to a total of 12. They end January with a record of 7-0.

After a thriller like that, it’s nearly impossible for any game to match that energy level. The men, however, came out and did just that. Like the ladies, the men started the game off at a much slower pace than anticipated. Several missed chances and giveaways gave the Blues a 7-point edge coming out of the first quarter.

The men would eventually battle back in the second and head into halftime trailing by a single point. That, however, marked the end of the tight competition. Coming out of the locker rooms to start the third, the men looked like a different squad.

Constant driving and quick breaks made the Blues take bad fouls and by the end of the third, it was as if the Royals spent the entire quarter at their free-throw line. The fourth was an offensive show for the fans.

They wrapped up the game with a score of 90-56. Fifty-eight of those 90 points came during the second half breakout that the Royals experienced. Royals’ guard Grant Campbell finished the game with a season high of 20 points, shooting for over 50 percent from all over the court. His 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals helped his team steamroll the Blues. Bradyn Norris also had a great offensive night, finishing with 15 points, while teammate Malcolm Mensah put 14 points on the board for the Royals.

Coach Denis Beausoleil was happy to provide his input on his team’s victory, “It was a really good win tonight. We started the game with good energy and at halftime, we made some offensive changes that caused the Blue to get into some foul trouble. From there, it opened up other offensive options which we exploited.”

The win gives the men a game up in the standings to tie them with Camosun. They also put themselves within striking distance of fourth place in the conference, which is currently held by the Blues. They end the month of January with a record of 4-3.