McGill 70, Concordia 59: Stingers Suffer Second Consecutive Loss During Seniors Night
Men’s Basketball Drops Final Regular Season Home Game
Thursday night, McGill went to Notre-Dame-de-Grace to put up 70 points, beating Concordia at home.
It was Seniors Night for the Stingers, celebrating the final moments of fifth-year students Ricardo Monge and Garry Merisier’s university basketball careers.
Playing a team-high 40 minutes, Monge went off for a game-high of 29 points going beyond his previous career high of 28 points, also against McGill.
“[Monge] was fantastic. He showed again why I think he’s the MVP of the league this year, he turned himself into a hell of a player, with his work ethic and commitment and I’m so proud of him,” said Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic.
Adrian Armstrong, who took advantage of every occasion was there to grab open shots for his team, credited Merisier and Monge for his performance.
“I wanted to get a [win] for Gary and Ric, our seniors, they’ve put in some work, they’re the reason why I get a lot of my shots. The way that they play hard and draw multiple defenders,” he said.
McGill’s defence was a primary topic during the game. They attacked their rivals as soon as they lost sight of the ball for even a second. The way they executed ball-press was the main topic of Thursday’s night. Despite the departure of their former superstar Alex Paquin, McGill head coach Dave DeAveiro finally found a way to join forces with his young team to bring a new powerhouse into existence and defend their last season championship title.
“We’re getting used to it, it’s kind of who’s here and not so much about who’s not with us anymore. We miss Alex [Paquin], we miss Isaiah [Cummins], but we also know that injuries are part of the game and it just gives the chance to other people in the team,” said DeAveiro.
Alex Paquin decided to step away from his team due lingering issues linked to a concussion.
In spite of the fact that the Stingers suffered their second consecutive loss on Thursday, Concordia head coach Popovic gave credit to McGill.
“They changed the game plan, they forced us to go inside. We didn’t really execute well. At the end of the day. When we look at the stat sheet, we took 18 more shots, 14 offensive rebounds, we had the opportunities. It’s still a game of basketball who scores the most is gonna in the game,” he commented.
DeAveiro explained that it took awhile for the troops to figure things out in terms of roles, defining new roles. He said that expectations changed.
“Getting the kids to believe that we can be successful together and focus on a few things and keeping it really simple, they’ve been doing a great job with it.”
The victory against the Stingers replenished the Redmen with hope as they lost against the Maroon and Gold three times consecutively this season.
“This game will give us a little confidence going into the playoffs. We still have a few games before the playoffs”, he said.
Monge and Merisier were honoured a the beginning of the game.
“It’s gonna be pretty cliche, everyone would say this, but I’d just go back and tell my first-year self to enjoy it because it goes by super fast,” said Monge about his time at Concordia. “I remember thinking it was 2013 as the first year and there was a sheet to fill out and it said, expect to graduate time by the time I knew I was going to graduate in my undergrad in four years so I wrote down 2018 and I thought I was like damn, 2018 that’s so long I told myself I’m gonna be so old in 2018. And 2018 came and it came by so fast.”
Now it’s crystal clear, McGill are coming back to fight for another title, the Stingers are now going to be correcting some of the tactics they have implemented. “We’ll get used to the things that they’ve been doing, switching practice switching on everything on defence. It’s gonna help us, now we have an idea what certain teams can throw at us during the playoffs,” said Popovic.
The Stingers will be facing the Bishop’s Gaiters in Lennoxville on Feb. 16.
“We gotta get up for Saturday. Winning away games has always been key in championship runs so we gotta put that together and get back on that winning track.” said Armstrong.
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