First Place All but Secure

Making Playoffs No Problem for Stingers

Photo Amanda Laprade.

Concordia 80 Laval 59

Despite a slow first half, Concordia’s men’s basketball team eventually proved to the near-capacity Friday night home crowd why they deserve their top 10 ranking in Canada.

The Stingers relied on speed and ball movement to secure a 80-59 win over the visiting Laval Rouge et Or, boosting their season record to 9-1.

Coming off of their first regular season loss last weekend to the McGill Redmen, Stingers’ assistant coach David Bloom noted it was the practice time and effort put in by the players this week that contributed to the win.

“Tonight was really important for us,” said Bloom. “There is not that much space between us and the number two team and we’re trying to make as much space as possible, so it was a good win for us.” Until Friday’s game, the Redmen were only two points behind the Stingers.

Concordia and Laval exchanged buckets early, but going into the final minutes of the second quarter Concordia made some electric plays to grab a 39-30 lead going into half time.

At the start of the second, the crowd witnessed first-hand what all the buzz about the Stingers has come from. Their full-court speed and ability to consistently find the open man simply overmatched the Rouge et Or.

“After the first half, our coach [Bloom] just told us that we are tougher to guard when we push the ball because we have speed, said Stingers guard Kyle Desmarais. “Pushing the ball does two things. For starters it keeps them on their heels and it also tires them out.”

It was the first time this season the Stingers entered a game coming off a regular season conference loss. This result showed that they have resilience, that one loss is not going to affect their season goal of getting to the national championships.

“We took the strides tonight to becoming that team that can compete nationally. We knew we had to come out hard. This was our best performance all year as a group,” said Desmarais.

Entering this final month of regular season play the Stingers believe there is still room for improvement. “We are going to keep working on making sure everyone is on the same page, working on defence, and keep doing what we’re doing because it is working,” said Bloom.