Men’s basketball falls short against Kwantlen
By Courtnie Martin, Sports Reporter
The Royals hosted Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) for the second time this season on January 17. Having won the first matchup 81-66, Douglas had high hopes heading into their second. Douglas was tied for fifth place with Camosun College going into the game and would remain in fifth after losing 66-61 against the visiting Eagles.
“Some days shots just don’t fall, and shooting 14 per cent from the three makes that obvious. We need to learn to keep shooting even when the shots aren’t falling,” said player Bradyn Norris.
Douglas knew they needed to play a strong 40 minutes as KPU was going to come out hard since they needed to upset some teams to have a shot at the playoffs. The first quarter was play-for-play. Douglas was up 5-0 after a big charge by Grant Campbell, but the momentum shifted when Douglas broke down defensively, allowing Kwantlen to score immediate points off the transition. The Royals found themselves in a seven-point deficit, entering into the second quarter down 23-16.
The second quarter was intense. KPU was laid out in a soft full-court man and Douglas was having a difficult time breaking the press. On a possession change, Dan Ghag dove on the ball and made a beautiful pass to Campbell for a fast-break layup to bring Douglas within 5. While Campbell was lighting up the scoreboard, teammate Andrew Baron was a beast on the boards, snatching an unheard of 18 rebounds by the end of the game.
In the third quarter Douglas brought the heat. Norris made big plays in the paint, followed by Kristian Hildebrandt with two big threes. KPU were unsuccessful from the field in the last few minutes of contest, allowing Douglas numerous opportunities. They couldn’t capitalize, however, and began to commit unnecessary fouls, losing their momentum and allowing KPU many opportunities at the free-throw line.
With less than six minutes left on the clock, Baron and Campbell stopped Kwantlen from scoring with two huge charge calls back-to-back. Douglas could still pull out a win, but they would need two threes to tie the game. Douglas called a timeout to go over a quick scoring play. With Hildebrandt on fire from the three-point range, it was obvious where the ball was going. He successfully hit the three, but it was called back for stepping out of bounds. They would attempt several three pointers but none were successful and it was too late in the game. KPU left with a 66-61 win.
“We’ve been going through some growing pains lately. We just haven’t been putting in the effort. We only have nine eligible guys for the second term and I had zero touch so I tried to do whatever I could to contribute in other ways to give us a better chance to win,” commented Baron.