A confident Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team opened the Nike Centennial Tournament this year by defeating the Toronto Blues 92-77 in game one.
Both teams started by checking each other out. It was a case of testing each other’s defence and offence, and both teams played a cautious first half.
Where the teams differed was in speed. Concordia just had more speed and that caught the Blues flat footed and eventually it was their undoing.
“It was a fast game at the start,” said Concordia Head Coach John Dore. “We had the lead early and then we inserted some of our rookies. They played well for what we expected from them.”
“The game against Toronto went pretty well if we consider that it was our first CIS game and that we have a lot of newcomers,” Langlois said. “They [Toronto] were pretty good but couldn’t match our speed on the transition.”
The Stingers came out of the half leading 47-45. In the second half the Stingers adjusted offensively by playing more of an inside, outside game, which provided more opportunities to score. “We didn’t shoot that well from the foul line and that’s why it was only a two point lead at the half,” Langlois said.
As the game went on it was the Stingers who took control. Patrick Perrotte took over the inside game in the second half by scoring eight baskets and hitting four foul shots in a row. After that Concordia just kept running and left Toronto behind.
“Last year Perrotte was feeling his way through,” Dore said. “This year I think he is going to be more aware of what is going on and it showed in this game.”
“The match against Toronto was special for us because it was the first time this year we put on our uniform after a long off-season,” Perrotte said. “It was also the first time this year we competed.”
“It was a very good weekend,” Langlois said. “I feel like we have a very dedicated group of guys this year and that the rookies are ready to step in and play good minutes for us.”
“I am very satisfied with our team’s performance,” Perrotte said. “The season ahead of us looks to be promising and I am looking forward to showing everyone in the conference who is the best.”
Dore was cautious after the victory. “We still have a long way to go,” he said. “We can see the differences between the veteran players and the rookies, but this first game against Toronto was good for us as a team.”