Carleton Drops Concordia in Nationals

Concordia Takes a Hard Loss to Carleton in CIS Nationals

  • Concordia forward James Clark voices his frustration. Photo Greg Mason Of The Charlatan

In the week leading up to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Final, Concordia head coach John Dore said that going up against the “mighty Carleton Ravens” in the first round would be the toughest challenge for his team in Halifax. Carleton was stronger, more skilled and more experienced.

After Friday’s quarterfinal matchup between the Ravens and the Stingers, the only assertion the Ravens can lay claim to is the last one.

The number-two seed was pushed to the brink by a determined and disciplined Concordia squad, and it was only some veteran poise down the stretch by the Ravens that kept the Stingers from pulling off the upset of the tournament. Despite an off-night from star Kyle Desmarais, the Stingers were in a good position to challenge Carleton before eventually falling 73-66 in a fast-paced game filled with fouls and turnovers.

Concordia came out motivated to prove it belonged in the national championship after being written off by every sports analyst in the country as a first-round Carleton casualty.

Fourth-year guard Decee Krah hit a bevy of deep threes early and off-balance runners in the lane to keep the Stingers close to the Ravens. Despite winning the battle of points in the paint, Carleton didn’t seem to be comfortable offensively at any point throughout the game.

“I feel we did everything we could do and had a chance to win down the stretch,” said Dore. “I’m really proud of what this team has accomplished this year.”

‘I feel we did everything we could do and had a chance to win down the stretch.’
—John Dore,
Stingers Head Coach

Concordia did a good job of protecting the key against Tyson Hinz and Aaron Chapman and dared the Ravens to beat them from range. Sinking big baskets normally wouldn’t be a problem for the top three-point-shooting team in the country, but since the OUA conference playoffs, Carleton has been on a long-ball slump, shooting 11-51 over the past three games.

However, the Ravens stuck in with a strong showing on the offensive glass, scoring 40 points in the paint off of second-chance opportunities.
“We had 21 offensive rebounds and that saved us,” said Ravens coach Dave Smart. “If we don’t work that hard and get to the offensive boards, we’d have no chance in that game. We just shot the ball very poorly.”
Dore said that despite Desmarais’ offensive woes, the team is excited for its young guard’s future.

“With Kyle [Desmarais], it’s his first year playing point guard,” Dore said. “Things are just going to get better. He’s improved throughout the year. He’s second-team all-Canadian, his first year with us. We expect big things for him in the future.”

—with files from Julia Johnson
of The Charlatan

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