Those who were at Loyola Gym last Friday will remember Dwayne Buckley’s two free throws with six seconds left on the clock. They will remember that five-foot-seven Chris Blackwood played bigger than his height, scoring a team-high 11 points in the first half and pestering Laval’s six-foot-seven Marc-Antoine Horth throughout the second. They will remember how hard it was for them to finally step outside after the game, wanting to remain wrapped up in an atmosphere that hadn’t been experienced there in many a year. More than any of those things, however, they will remember that Philippe Langlois finally won his Provincial Championship.
When Langlois joined the Stingers three years ago, everyone that was around then knew he would one day likely have the chance to lead the team back to this point. Back then, however, the team belonged to a guy named Gavin Musgrave and Langlois was still just a sharp-shooting rookie. Then again, he was a sharp-shooting rookie who had played for Kentucky the year before.
But as Langlois embraced his mother after the victory, received a framed Stinger’s jersey with his number five on it, and finally helped cut down the mesh off the basket, there was no denying it. It will be a long time before this team belongs to any single player as much as it did to Langlois.
The Concordia men’s basketball team will now travel to Halifax to take part in the National Championships this weekend. It would be great if the Stingers could march in there and dethrone the defending champion Carleton Ravens. Are they capable? Anything is possible in sport. I look forward to taking the 15-hour bus ride to see if that’s the case for the Stingers.