John Dore and his Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team knew that winning the first three games of 2003 was critical to their overall season.
Instead of fading away after falling into the bottomless pit known as a losing streak, the men’s team won a close one at Bishops 68-67, and last Friday at home took care of the McGill Redmen 96-86 with Rastko Popovic’s 26 points leading the way.
Saturday clinched it as the Stingers walked right into Quebec City and went home victorious over Laval Rouge et Or 73-64.
The Stingers took a 31-22 lead in the first half and stood their ground against a strong Laval team.
The dependable rookie Patrick Perrotte led the charge. He scored 19 points and added seven rebounds.
The wily veteran Gavin Musgrave chipped in with 13 points, while Dan Lacasse, who is beginning to show signs of maturation, had 10 points.
The biggest difference was the free throw percentage with Concordia completing 21 of 29 for 72.4 per cent, while Laval was just 13 of 26 and 50 per cent.
The players have been saying it all year.”We’ll get there with hard work,” said rookie Dan Lacasse.
“We practice game situations,” said point guard Philip Langlois. “Hard work always pays off.”
The unranked men’s team is playing 500- basketball and is sitting in the second place position.
The Lady Stingers remain baffled by their inconsistency, starting the New Year with one win and two losses.
Last weekend, the women’s team defeated McGill 58-53, but the game seemed to close for comfort.
“We played 34 minutes,” said Head Coach Keith Pruden. “They played well. We only did in spurts.”
“We certainly didn’t play as well as we should have,” said co-captain Jennifer Neil. “I think the team is just having trouble getting all five players on the floor on the same page at the same time. We played a little too sloppy, and had a couple of mental breakdowns, but we did win so we are happy about that.”
“It was a case of preparation and luck in equal amounts,” Pruden said.
As for Laval, the women’s team played with them for 35 minutes before bowing at 57-45 last Saturday.
“We had a lapse in the second half around the 10 minute mark where we backed off on defense and let them get a few easy buckets,” said Neil.
That and the inability to run an effective offense cost them the game. “We recovered after that lapse, but it wasn’t enough to bring us the win,” added Neil.
If Concordia plays as a team for the full 40 minutes and follows the coach’s game plan, then this weekend’s match against Laval will be an exciting game.