C/O Yoohyun Park
It’s been quite the season so far, but which McMaster sports team impressed the most?
What a year it has been in the Marauders return to sport! After a long period of inactivity, in September the Marauders got back on track with their varsity schedules when most of the teams finally resumed their competitive runs. This season, McMaster students were lucky to see many teams perform well on the big stages, such as the Ontario University Athletics championships and even out of province competition to test their abilities.
As the end of the school year approaches, it seemed appropriate to look back and determine which teams impressed our community the most. The following rankings are based on how far teams made it through the OUAs or any other championship and the competition that they had to face before achieving their spot. Without further ado, let’s look through the Sil’s five most impressive varsity performances of the season, counting down from five.
5. Men's and women’s wrestling
It’s safe to say that this season has been very successful for both the men's and the women's wrestling teams. Last November the teams competed at a tournament hosted in Hamilton, where they collected a total of six medals — three silvers and three golds.
Their success did not stop there. Just over a month ago, both of the teams competed at the Brock open, where they took on some of the best teams in Ontario. The event proved to be a very successful one for our wrestlers. The men’s team came out as champions and the women’s team placed third. Additionally, Francesco Fortino, a player on the men’s wrestling team won the Marauder of the Week accolade.
The grind doesn't stop there for the wrestling teams. Their next challenge will be on April 2, when they will take part in the OUA championships in St. Catherines.
4. Women's basketball
This season the women’s basketball team really made a name for itself in the OUAs. Despite having won the national title just two years prior, the team was widely viewed as being in a transition year due to so many early year players. Despite knowing that the competition was going to be rough and that it was going to take a lot of work for such a young team to make it to the OUA playoffs, they made it happen.
Although there were ups and downs along the way, the team showed a lot of character in all of their games, managing to finish with a record of 10-7. When they started the OUA playoffs, they swept the Waterloo Warriors 63-45, which guaranteed them a quarterfinal spot. Unfortunately, their luck ran out in the quarters, where the Brock Badgers just narrowly came on top with 49-45.
Overall, it was a season full of character for the Marauders, which is something which they wish to build on for next season after their exciting first year back.
3. Men’s soccer
The men’s soccer team started playing their competitions in September and finished off near the middle of the first semester. Although it has been a while since we got to see the players in maroon, we can’t forget their astonishing run throughout. During their season, they played eleven games, of which six were wins and only two were losses.
Much of the effort it took to make it that far came from their star striker, Dusan Kovacevic. The OUA athlete of the week accounted for just over 30% of the team’s goals. Furthermore, Kovacevic scored four times in a game against the Algoma Thunderbirds, which ended 7-0 for the Marauders.
Although the team did make it to the quarterfinals of the OUA championships, they unfortunately fell 3-1 to the Carleton Ravens, which ended their eventful season.
2. Men’s basketball
The men’s basketball team has been very impressive this season. They consistently achieved good results and were even on a five-win streak in the OUA season.
Throughout the season, they won 12 out of the possible 18 games, which took them to the OUA championship knock-out stages. It wasn’t going to be easy, but the Marauders started strongly with their 12-point win against the Lakehead Timberwolves, thus guaranteeing them a spot in the semis. Unfortunately, that is where their journey ended as they were knocked out by the Badgers, 75-88. Regardless, the fantastic performance of the men’s basketball team this season deserves to be recognized near the top of this list.
1. Men’s volleyball team
Where do we start? The men’s volleyball team has been inspiring to watch, to say the least. They have fought their way through the OUA championships with ease, winning the title and making sure that they were the team to be feared, even far away from home.
The men’s volleyball team played 18 games between the regular season, the OUA playoffs and the national playoffs. Of these games, they won 17. In their first 12 games of the season in the group stages of the OUA, they did not lose a single game. Furthermore, the Marauders went on to glide through the OUA knockout stages against teams like the Windsor Lancers, the Brock Badgers and the Toronto Varsity Blues. The latter was the opponent the Marauders played against in the finals, where they clinched their first OUA title in three seasons.
Things didn't end there for the team, as they went on to play in the U Sports championships in Winnipeg. Although the team did not start well, losing to the University of Calgary, they bounced back and achieved fifth in all of Canada, winning against Queens Gaels and the Manitoba Bisons in the consolation play-offs.
Despite a strong season for the men’s basketball team, it wasn’t quite enough for a finals run
McMaster’s men’s basketball team saw their season come to an end on March 23 following an 88-75 loss to the eventual champion Brock Badgers in the semi-final round of the Ontario University Athletics championship. Despite the somewhat underwhelming finish, it was a really strong season for the team from start to finish, with several notable achievements along the way.
The team finished the season with a record of 11 wins and five losses, good for the second seed in the OUA West. They started the season red hot winning five of their first six games leading into the winter break, but just couldn’t maintain that high standard in the second half, accumulating six wins and four losses, in part due to stronger competition.
One of the most “under-the-radar” accomplishments of the team this season was their Feb. 19 win against the Badgers, splitting the two-game series. This was the Badgers’ only loss, preventing them from a perfect 15-win record.
Although they weren’t able to bring home the championship trophy, the team still managed to finish the year with some serious hardware. Ares Culley-Bremner was named to the league’s all-rookie team, Mike Demagus made the second team all-star and team superstar Jordan Henry impressively earned his way onto the first team all-star.
As hungry as the team was for a provincial title, it’s hard to be upset over the promising results they earned this season. With no graduating players this season, the team has an opportunity to build on the success they’ve already had and just keep on pushing forward into next year.
C/O Markus Spiske, Rawpixel
After starting their season hot with a 5-1 record, the men’s basketball team has cooled off, going 5-4 since their return to the court
This year, the Marauders men’s basketball team has gone on an absolute tear. They started the season with a ridiculous record of five wins and one loss and were sitting with one of the top records in Ontario University Athletics. Upon returning from the winter break, the team has been unable to find that same level of success.
l help us get back to where we want to be and get back to [winning] is just continuing to communicate, staying together as a team, playing tough on the defensive end, just being confident on offense [and] finding good shots instead of shots that we don’t need to take. Things of that nature will help us continue to win big games,” explained Lindo
Tristan Lindo, a guard on the team, suggested that although the team appeared to be struggling on paper, they were still playing rather well, as recently they had been tasked with fending off some of the stronger teams in the league.
“We had a pretty easy first half of the season. We have a harder second half. We got Brock, we got Windsor [and] Laurier — some tougher teams . . . I think the main thing that wil.
In the second half they will have to face off against the Western Mustangs, Brock Badgers, Windsor Lancers, Waterloo Warriors and Laurier Golden Hawks. They remain the only team to have defeated the Badgers through 15 games.
“I’m really confident in my team . . . I think we mesh very well together. We have a very talented team — a very deep roster. When we pull things all together I’m really confident in our chances. I think we’re one of the deepest teams in the country,” said Lindo.
The team led by star Jordan Henry, who was recently named OUA Athlete of the Week, will need to pull themselves together and play as a unit to ensure they are able to make waves in the playoffs as the season nears an end. With a strong team culture, the Marauders might just be able to.
C/O Jessica Yang
Not quite the average basketball game as tensions flare following a win, but what does this say about our athletics department?
The McMaster men’s basketball team has made quite the journey this season, winning 11 of their Ontario University Athletics league games, which ultimately qualified them for the OUA Championship. Over the course of the season, they played against some top-flight teams, such as Western Mustangs, Guelph Gryphons and most recently, the Laurier Golden Hawks.
At their recent game against the Golden Hawks, the Marauders had a very unlikely ending that surprised many on stands and in the wider community. Nearer to the end of the game, when the Marauders were leading 75-70, a verbal conflict occurred between the two teams. The groups were shouting at each other just as the game was about to end, with the crowd spectating a very rare occurrence from the stands. It was a stressful experience with an unclear cause. Hopefully, with time, more details surrounding the event will emerge, although this will be difficult given that the conflict was censored over live streams.
Although the OUA censored the visual conflict between the teams on their stream, shouting could still be heard from both sides, proving that there was genuine outrage after the last whistle on the court on behalf of the players. As the conflict died down, the Marauders claimed their eleventh win in the last game of the 2021-2022 regular season. However, this did not erase the serious conflict that had occurred.
This incident raises the issue of censorship within varsity sport as a whole. The censorship of the event by OUA highlights their motivation to maintain a positive public image. While McMaster was not responsible for the OUA stream censoring the fight, when the Sil attempted to contact the basketball team for comment regarding the conflict, the team refused to speak until further notice.
We have seen examples of similar practices in the past at McMaster, for example the allegations of racism within Marauders athletics. Many will remember the 60-page review released by McMaster University regarding racism faced by Black student-athletes. The review also showed that, throughout recent years, many athletes of colour have been ignored when asked for help. Indeed, many concerns regarding racism faced by students were disregarded, which only exacerbated the issue. This raises the concern that issues worthy of attention and discussion are too often tucked away in varsity athletics.
There are other examples of similar behaviour within the athletics department at McMaster. Earlier this year, the Sil documented the unequal allocation of resources and attention towards less popular sports amongst student-athletes within the school. Many at McMaster believe that students on less popular sports teams should not be forced to pay to represent the school. However, McMaster has not addressed this issue or indicated that they will be altering athletics budgeting and allocation of resources to sports teams.
The aforementioned issues in varsity athletics, including the censorship of the fight that occurred in the game against the Golden Hawks, deserve attention not only from the McMaster student community, but also from the athletics department itself. By ignoring issues worthy of attention, we risk contributing to pre-existing problems rather than finding solutions together.
C/O Enokson, Flickr
McMaster athletics kirks off their events and awareness campaigns to honour black history month
Every February in Canada, people participate in Black History Month events and festivities to celebrate and honor the legacy of Black Canadians and their communities. McMaster also took the time to partake in these activities, as did the Marauders.
The Marauders posted quotes from Black Canadian leaders, such as Masai Ujiri, the President of Toronto Raptors and Jean Augustine, the first Black woman elected in parliament.
Additionally, the McMaster Black Student Athlete Council organized a special panel that is dedicated to the Black community in which Hamilton legends shared their experiences within sport and the way they navigated throughout their careers.
Given past reports of anti-Black racism in McMaster athletics, it is an important step for the Marauders to honour Black athletes that have inspired and influenced the sporting community.
C/O Wikimedia, Keith Allison
Kobe Bryant’s impact on Marauders basketball athletes is still strong two years after his passing
Jan. 26, 2020, it seemed like a normal day. Until it wasn’t.
At 9:47 a.m. in Calabasas, California, the police department received an emergency call about a helicopter crash into the mountainside. It was shortly after 10:00 a.m. that phones would start buzzing around the globe.
The world would soon learn that the helicopter belonged to National Basketball Association legend Kobe Bryant. On the helicopter were nine people, including Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and youth basketball sensation Gianna Bryant, famed college baseball coach John Altobelli and six others, all of whom would pass away on impact from the crash.
Fans worldwide mourned the lost NBA legend. Hours turned into days. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months.
Bryant, an NBA hall of famer, was an 18-time all-star, 15-time all-NBA recipient, five-time NBA champion and was the 2007-2008 NBA MVP. He even went on to hold the position of third all-time in points scored, although he now holds the position of fourth. Despite all of his success on the court, it was his mentality that drew the respect of millions — the Mamba Mentality.
Bryant’s unmatched work ethic was well documented and countless athletes looked up to him for that very reason, including several McMaster athletes. As the two-year anniversary of his death passes, many students, including Mia Spadafora of the women’s basketball team, still look back on the day.
“I’ll never forget going to morning practice [on] Monday morning . . . No one wanted to talk about it, no one wanted to believe that it was true. It was one of those things that if you don’t say it [then] it isn’t true and if we don’t talk about it [then] it didn’t happen,” said Spadafora.
It wasn’t an easy time for any basketball fan. His passing wasn’t something that wouldn't pass over quickly as he was such an idol and role model for many.
“It was heartbreaking because it felt like one of those things that never ended. This horrible day happened and you’re taking it with you. You’re trying to embody and encompass Kobe Bryant every time you’re stepping on the court,” explained Spadafora.
Point guard Arianne Soriano also felt that this news was a big shock for the team. It’s something she is still unable to let go of years later.
“You can tell even though it was just through messages that everyone was pretty upset by the news. It definitely was a game changer and it opened our eyes as a team. I still carry that news with me especially with the anniversary [having recently passed],” said Soriano.
The impact that Bryant had on the individuals and on their team were significant. He touched the lives of many people and inspired both women to continue pushing the limits.
“Maybe I’m not the best player on the team, but the work ethic is there. I’m a team player and that leadership style is there. That’s something he’s taught me . . . When I looked at Kobe Bryant I saw his leadership and his commitment to people on and off the court. As I noticed his attachment to women’s basketball, that was the extra inspiration I needed,” explained Spadafora.
Several members of the team were able to embrace the legacy that Kobe left behind, using it as a method of motive rather than simply mourning his loss.
“The death of Kobe was really inspirational because it reminded us of the kind of player Kobe was. He’s the one that influenced Mamba Mentality. He’d have a three hour practice, for example, and would stay afterwards putting up extra shots, so that was the type of mentality that made us go harder that year . . . He made me want to put more work in,” Said Soriano
Bryant was an especially large figure for women in basketball. With five daughters of his own, he would quickly become an ambassador for women’s basketball, spurring interest through his own daughter, Gianna Bryant. This was just another reason why he meant such a great deal to the members of McMaster’s women’s basketball team.
“He was a huge ambassador for women’s sports, especially women’s basketball. With his daughter Gianna, he put in so much work after his career just to put more attention towards women’s basketball,” explained Soriano.
Spadafora not only felt a significant impact from Kobe on women’s basketball, but also from Gianna Bryant, despite just being 13 years old at the time of her passing.
“It breaks my heart to think about Gigi, his daughter, and how he was paving the way to put women at that standard that we never thought we’d be at in sport. I always think about where she would be now,” said Spadafora.
Despite being two years removed, it’s still a difficult pill for many to swallow. Bryant was always viewed as much more than just an athlete and to have such a tragic ending is why so many people have such a hard time moving on from his passing.
“It feels like a lot longer. It’s still hard to believe he’s gone . . . It really makes you realize how [you have to] play every game like it’s [going to] be your last because you never know. Playing basketball really is a privilege,” said Soriano.
Bryant might not be with us any longer, but the mentality that he lived for and passed on to so many will live on forever. Go chase that lifelong goal. Go put in the work and do what it takes. Never stop. Be like Kobe. Be legendary.
Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.
C/O Travis Nguyen
An in-depth look at the Marauders basketball teams after years of success
Anyone who has been following Ontario University Athletics basketball recently would be quick to note the Marauders as one of the powerhouse teams in the league. Not only have the men’s and women’s teams started their 2021-2022 seasons strong, with both holding a five and one record, but recent history also sits in their favour.
Over the past decade, the men’s team holds a strong record of 122-73 in regular season play. The women’s team holds an even stronger 144-55 record with a championship victory from the 2018-2019 season to top it off, their first since the dominant 2000s run, which saw four championships in a 10-year stretch.
Having attained sustainable success, a rare and difficult to achieve outcome in sports, a deeper analysis into McMaster’s basketball program was completed to understand how the school can continue pumping out strong results year after year.
In reviewing the men’s team, it is an offense-heavy squad which has begun to improve its defense as well. They’re capable of scoring 90+ points on any given day, and find several scorers in double digits each game. On the defensive end, the team has begun to find great success in poking the ball away and racking up steals.
MBB | After bouncing back in the second half, the Marauders brought home the win 96-78!— McMaster Marauders (@McMasterSports) November 20, 2021
Check it out⬇️
Despite a slow defensive start to the season, the Marauders quickly picked themselves up and have become much more alive on the defensive end. Last time out against the Algoma Thunderbirds they tallied together to set a single game season high of 22 steals, defying their typical reputation as an offense first team.
The team is primarily based around offensive menace Jordan Henry, who holds a season statline of 22.7 points per game while shooting 54.1 per cent from the field and averaging 5.5 assists. The team is very top-heavy, but has a very strong group up top, including Sefa Otchere, Christian Bentley, Mychael Paulo and Mike Demagus, who commonly finish the game among the best performing leaders in several categories (minutes, points, assists, etc.).
When asked about the early season success, Demagus commented on the brand of basketball the team has played and the culture found within the organization.
“We all have one goal in common and that’s to win. Everyone on our team knows their role. Everyone on our team knows what they have to do for us to win and that’s where we come as a collective. No one outshines anyone else because everyone knows what they’ve got to do to win,” said Demagus.
Demagus would later shift his focus to head coach Patrick Tatham, a highly respected coach in the league. Prior to coming to McMaster, Tatham was an assistant coach of the Maine Red Claws of the NBA’s G-League, where he coached future and former NBA players including (but not limited to) Malcolm Miller (NBA champion), Damion Lee, Abdel Nader and Ryan Kelly.
“It’s great knowing we have someone with that type of experience that’s under our wing. He’s constantly trying to prepare us for the next level,” explained Demagus.
Finally, Demagus explained the close culture within the team and how comfortable each player feels with one another. When asked to choose one word to describe the culture of the team, Demagus chose “brotherhood,” describing the closeness of the team and how the lack of anonymity provides an advantage to the Marauders.
The rich culture was one of the most discussed reasons for success in the interview with Demagus, which soon became a common theme with the women crediting similar reasoning for their success.
The highly successful McMaster women’s team is a highly balanced squad with significant depth up and down the roster. They revolve around star point guard Sarah Gates, who holds season averages of 25.5 points and 7.7 rebounds, while shooting 52.6 per cent from the field. She also holds a season high of 38 points, which was significant in her achieving the OUA player of the month.
Beyond Gates, the team has a very deep rotation, where it’s common to see nearly every single player get minutes. Individual game point leaders regularly rotate through and many members of the team can step up when needed. Rebounds and assists are dispersed through the entire lineup and this has become one of the team's biggest strengths.
Tori Rigas-Didomenico, a point guard for the Marauders, discussed the chemistry of the team and the drive that they show in always wanting to be the best that they can be.
“From day one I could tell this was a cohesive group. It’s a “one team, one heartbeat” kind of thing. We’re working together on the court and off the court to have the most successful team possible . . . Our team is always ready to learn. We have that collective mindset and are pushing ourselves to the limit. I think that’s where our success comes from,” said Rigas-Didomenico.
When asked about the impact the coaching staff has had on the team's success and development, Rigas-Didomenico was very quick to praise the job of coach Theresa Burns and staff.
“We have such amazing and committed coaches that care about us as players and people and that starts with coach Theresa Burns. She really knows how to connect with us on an individual level and make us the best players and people we can be. We all look up to her and see her as a role model, on and off the court,” explained Rigas-Didomenico.
Just as Demagus was asked of the men's team, Rigas-Didomenico was asked to provide a one-word description of the culture within the organization and the answer she provided was very similar to that of Demagus.
“It would have to be ‘home’ or ‘family’ — those two words really stand out to me,” said Rigas-Didomenico.
Although there is no definitive answer, the culture of both teams seems to be a strong reason for their success. The men and women both feel extremely strong connections with their teammates and always try to work as a collective unit, pushing the boundaries both on and off the court.
With a strong culture and coaching staff in place, it makes sense as to why the Marauders can recruit such high-level talent. It also makes sense that they can translate their relationships off the court into on-court chemistry and overall success.
C/O The Canadian Press
How lockdown conditions affect indoor sports athletes
After it was announced that Ontario University Athletics sports will be put on pause until at least Jan. 27 due to a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, many athletes and others involved in these sports were understandably upset. This decision not only meant that they wouldn't be able to compete, but also that their preparations for the seasons ahead were also halted due to gyms and other amenities being forced to close.
In particular, the indoor sports were hit the worst. Volleyball and basketball had their seasons immediately postponed, which created a major interference. In particular, the men’s volleyball team dreaded the break the most, as they had won all their games throughout the season and still had the second half to go.
All four of McMaster’s volleyball and basketball teams had found significant success going into the break, amassing a total combined record of 18 to four.
The men’s basketball team had won five and lost only one of their OUA games, whilst going into the new year on a five win streak. Thomas Mastell, a second-year varsity basketball athlete expressed his disappointment with the season being postponed halfway through.
“Honestly, it’s just really disappointing at this point. The whole team has worked so hard this season to do well in the championship and to have it all halted all of a sudden really was stressful,” said Matsell.
When asked about how he feels about OUA being labeled as an amateur league by the Ontario government, Matsell defended the organization and described how this decision does not consider the diligence and care invested into varsity athletics.
“I feel that we’ve all been diligent in following all the COVID protocols so far this season. We have had a clean record throughout. Furthermore, to find out that the real reason why we cannot play anymore is due to not being “elite” makes me feel as if all our hard work so far wasn’t appreciated by the government,” said Matsell.
Although the OUA is meant to resume its games on Jan. 27, there have been rumors circulating that the lockdown may be extended for even longer. What effect will this have on the players moving forward? We will have to wait to find out.
C/O McMaster Sports
The women’s basketball team hits the ground running in the first month of play
As many McMaster students have become used to seeing, the women’s basketball team is once again finding themselves in the midst of a strong season. Despite a fairly inexperienced roster full of athletes making their university debuts, the team went into the winter break with a record of five to one, their only loss having come to the Guelph Gryphons.
Through the course of the season it has become very obvious that the Marauders have done a great job at playing team basketball, which has played a big part in their success. They regularly beat the opposing teams in assists by wide margins, and commonly find themselves sharing the load when it comes to scoring. It isn’t uncommon for the team to have several scorers bunched up around the leading individual point totals.
With such a young team, it’s rare to find such strong chemistry so early on, but according to forward Amy Stinson, that’s exactly what the team has been able to create.
“This year is very special for us. We have a lot of new girls, it’s a big new group. Going into the season in November we were really finding our chemistry, so as [games] went on, we were learning more and more about each other and our strengths . . . We were confident in each other and we were confident in ourselves,” said Stinson.
Stinson, a jack of all trades, frequently finds herself making a difference in the box score, whether it be by way of scoring, rebounding, or anything else. Stinson discussed the importance of being an all around player and how much focus she puts on scoring compared to all else.
“I like to look at the little things, like positioning on defence, rebounds, assists. It’s the stuff I look at when I [evaluate] my all around game. I’m happy with what I’ve been doing, but I think there’s a lot more I can do,” said Stinson.
Through the season Stinson has become a fairly consistent scoring option for the team, regularly finding herself among the teams top scorers. Despite this, she stressed that scoring isn’t actually a major focus in her game and is rather something that just comes as a result of the way the team has played.
“Scoring has actually never been something I’ve made a priority and I think that’s why I’ve had this success I’ve had this season; I don’t put much pressure on myself. I find that when I’m just in the game and playing for my teammates, sometimes it’ll just come,” explained Stinson
This season Stinson and [Sarah] Gates have been the only players on the team to find themselves scoring double digits on multiple occasions. Despite sharing this achievement, Stinson considers Gates to be on a whole different level.
“Sarah [Gates] is just another story, she’s just [incredible] . . . To her that stuff just comes naturally because she’s just outstanding,” said Stinson.
After several strong performances in November, Gates was named the Ontario University Athletics female player of the month, putting up a league leading 25.5 points per game while shooting to a 52.6 per cent field goal percentage, accompanied by per game averages of 7.7 rebounds, two assists and two steals while shooting 38.6 per cent from three point range.
“It was my first time ever getting that award, so it was really nice! I was a little bit shocked to get it, but honestly, this will sound pretty cliche, but that’s not my focus. My focus is just to get to that national level and compete from there. We have the team to do it . . . I just see good things to come,” said Gates.
Gates, despite her own consistently strong performances, praised the efforts of her team, suggesting that they are going against the grain in what is stereotypically a “rebuilding year” in university sports.
“We have such a unique group this year, especially since it’s such a young team. The amount of work ethic and drive our team has is pretty awesome . . . When so many new [players] are coming in, people usually say it’s a rebuilding year. I wouldn’t say that — we’re definitely really good. I like being the underdog and we’ll take that to our advantage," explained Gates.
One of the most notable games of the season was against the Gryphons on Nov. 13. After losing by a 28 point spread on Nov. 10, the team was able to refocus and pick themselves up before their next game on Nov. 13. Gates paved the way, having scored 38 points while shooting 67 per cent from the field and from three. She also put up 11 rebounds and five assists in the redemption game, which the Marauders would win by a final score of 74-70.
Gates suggested that the loss was just a part of being a young team and facing their first “strong” opponent of the season. With the nerves out after the first game, they were able to play their way in the second of the two game matchup.
“We just went in with confidence and knew that if we just played our game that we could dictate the outcome. It all came with our team's confidence,” said Gates.
With a confident and hardworking team of young players, the Marauders have a chance to make a strong push once the season resumes. Originally scheduled to start on Jan. 12, games up until Jan. 22 have been postponed, with their next scheduled game coming against the Laurier Golden Hawks in Waterloo on Jan. 26.
Travis Nguyen/Photo Editor
With three wins under their belt, the men’s basketball team has set their goals high
While many Canadian University teams have needed time to get back into the swing of things after a year off from playing, the Marauders Men’s basketball team has found themselves in the midst of a four game winning streak, starting the season blazing hot.
With their most recent win against the Algoma Thunderbirds on Nov. 19, the Marauders have found themselves sitting in second place with a four and one record, with their lone loss finishing with a one point spread.
Sefa Otchere, a third-year guard for the team, spoke about the team’s recent performance and the success they’ve had over the last stretch of game. In an interview Otchere discussed an event relating to an injury affecting a member of the team, emphasizing the optimism the team has regarding their future.
“I feel very good about the team's performance. I still feel like we have a lot more to go because right now we don’t have our full team. Some people are injured, but hopefully by the second half of the season we can get them back,” said Otchere
Discussing his own performance, Otchere felt that he could’ve played better for his team, despite averaging a relatively strong 10.4 points, 5 rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting to a 41.9% field goal and an 84.6% free throw.
“Subpar honestly. I feel like I can do better to help the team win more. I feel like I can be better and hopefully I can pick it up a little bit in our last two games in Algoma and pick it up in the second half as well,” explained Otchere.
As he had hoped, he did pick it up in their first game against Algoma, extending their winning streak to four after an 18-point victory. Otchere scored 15 points, good for third most on the team, while hitting all his free throws, grabbing five boards and raking up three steals.
With so much time off from their previous season, it’s a challenge for teams to start themselves up again so quickly. Otchere credits the team’s success to their high standards and coach, Patrick Tatham.
“Training-wise, we pushed each other. We worked hard and worked with a common goal of getting to nationals. I think with that goal in mind we came in as a collective unit. Since Sept. 1, since [coach Patrick Tatham] came back from [coaching] team Canada we’ve all had the same goal: one mind, one body [and] one big family just working together,” said Otchere.
With a significant portion of their schedule still ahead of them, the team will look to continue their success down the stretch and into the new year. After completing their final game of 2021 against the Thunderbirds on Nov. 20, the team won’t see the court again until Jan. 12, 2022, when they will return for 10 more games leading up to the playoffs.
With championship aspirations on their mind, they will have a real opportunity to take the crown if they can keep up their recent performance and continue closing out important games into the new year.