It was do or die time for the St. Thomas men’s basketball team Friday night.
The Tommies traveled to Truro to compete in the ACAA conference playoffs, hosted by Dalhousie Agricultural College. In order for St. Thomas to advance, they had to get through the Mount Allison Mounties.
Both teams came out strong. The Tommies immediately went to the rim, taking advantage of their size over the Mounties. Mount A responded with hot shooting, which has been their strong point all year.
“We thought we had more of a size advantage down low, so we used that to our benefit,” said post David Dolan, who was the go-to guy from the start and ended with 14 points.
The Mounties had the lead going into the second quarter, but it didn’t last long. The Tommies continued to score close to the basket and Mount Allison wasn’t able to keep up their hot shooting. St. Thomas stretched their lead into the 20s in the third quarter, and the Mounties weren’t able to get back on track. St. Thomas went on to win 83-70.
“We worked hard and did enough stuff to pull out a win. That’s the important thing at this time of the year,” said Tommies head coach Dwight Dickinson. “We grind it out and we got the win. That’s the type of team we are. We’re a hard working team. We’re a blue collar team.”
Nathan Mazurkiewicz led the way for the Tommies, with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Calvin Leblanc also had a strong game, with 21 points and eight rebounds.
The win puts the Tommies in the semi-finals, where they’ll play the number one team in the conference. The Crandall Chargers have been strong throughout the year, which gave them a pass for the first round.
“It will be a tough go for us tomorrow. Crandall is a big team, ” said Dickinson. “They move the ball well, they shoot the ball well, their [posts] inside are very dominating. They’re a very good team and we’re looking forward to playing them.”