Concordia lost to a powerful Brock Badgers team in the finals of their home tournament
After winning their first two games, the Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team lost to a talented Brock University squad in the finals of the Concordia Classic tournament. Led by fourth year forward Dani Elgadi, the Badgers defeated all three opposing teams and put on a shooting display every time they set foot on the court. Elgadi also took home the most valuable player trophy.
Despite the loss, Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic was proud of his team’s effort, although he said the team had issues when it came to starting games off slow.
Popovic added he was happy with the performance of rookie forward Olivier Simon, who was named to the tournament’s all-star team.
“I think the world of Olivier Simon. He just comes in everyday works hard and listens,” Popovic said. “I always tell our players you got to be a hundred per cent coachable. The effort and the attitude is there. He’s just showing how good he can be.”
Fourth year guard Ken Beaulieu was also named to the tournament’s all-star team. Beaulieu, who maintained an average of 15 points per game in the tournament, explained how he got his points.
“I’m just trying to find the easy buckets, find the open guy and go to the basket, stuff like that,” Beaulieu said. “Sometimes my teammates tell me to take more shots.”
The Stingers started their tournament against the Nipissing University Lakers. Both teams started out sluggish and neither could get an offensive game going. By halftime, both teams had combined for a 39.34 shooting percentage from the field. Going into halftime, the Stingers trailed by four points, 35-31.
“I don’t think the energy was there at the beginning of the game,” Popovic said.
The Stingers were a different team in the second half. They outscored their opponent 40-31 with 10 of those points coming from turnovers. They were able to pull away and won the game 81-69.
In the second game, the Stingers played Cape Breton University. Cape Breton came out of the gate hard, as the team scored the first 10 points of the quarter. However, the Stingers were able to answer back in a wildly contested half that saw several lead changes. Both teams had the lead at times and exchanged baskets. The Stingers came out of the half on top with a 38-37 lead.
In the second half, the Stingers managed to hold the visitors to a field goal percentage of 16 per cent to secure their second win in a row. The final score was 75-53.
In the final game against Brock University, the Stingers were no match for the team’s powerful offence. Elgadi made 15 out of 20 shots from the field and scored 36 points en-route to a 95-78 victory over the Stingers.
“He’s one of the best players in Canada and he showed why today,” Popovic said. “We didn’t defend him how we were supposed to defend with what we had in the scouting report.”
After finishing as runners-up in the tournament, Popovic explained what his team needs to do to be better in the future.
“We got to defend better for 40 minutes. We got to play harder for 40 minutes,” Popovic said. “We have to execute the gameplan. We got to make other guys beat us instead of the top scorers.”
The Stingers next game is on Oct. 14 in the first game of the University of Prince Edward Island tournament.