Men’s basketball knocked out of playoffs

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Richie Wilkins (center, in green) takes a shot against the Crandall University Chargers. The Tommies fought a hard game but lost 69-65 and were eliminated from playoffs. (Photo: Philip Drost)

The St. Thomas men’s basketball team needed to give everything they had to beat the Crandall University Chargers Saturday night, but even that wasn’t enough.

The Tommies had to beat the top in playoff basketball action on Saturday night if they wanted to advance to the finals.

The first quarter was close. The Tommies were down 18-16 after one, playing strong defense against the best team in the ACAA. In the second quarter things started to fall apart for St. Thomas. The Tommies scored just 10 points and Crandall went into the half up 43-26.

But the Tommies weren’t ready to give up. STU came out and was finally able to get some of their three-pointers to drop. Tommies guard Richie Wilkins lead all scorers with 20 points, while hitting four shots from behind the three-point line.

As Crandall’s lead dissipated, the STU crowed got louder and louder. When the Tommies tied it up late in the fourth quarter, the crowd was on their feet.

“The guys coming back that well is remarkable. I’m very proud of them,” said Tommies head coach Dwight Dickinson.

The score was tied 64-64 with only a minute left in the game. It looked like the Tommies would be able to pull off the upset, but the Chargers reminded everyone why they were the best team in the conference. Crandall scored two baskets in the last minute, sealing the deal with a 69-65 win and ending the Tommies’ season.

Despite the loss, Dickinson thought his team played hard.

“We played it well enough to win,” said Dickinson.

The Tommies played a zone defense they had been saving for this game. It worked well for them most of the time, but just wasn’t enough to get the Tommies the win.

“I’m not going to say we’re happy losing to any team ever, but they definitely had no choice but to respect us and that effort that we put out,” said Tommies guard Nathan Mazurkiewicz.

Though they lost, the men’s basketball team will stay in Truro to cheer on the St. Thomas women’s team, as they play Holland College on Sunday for the ACAA Championship.


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