Thunderwolves sweep competition for Super 8 tourney win
After opening the Brandon Super 8 Tournament with a Friday rout of the Red River College Rebels, the Lakehead Thunderwolves completed their tournament win with a 89-77 Saturday night victory over the host Brandon Bobcats and a 101-43 Sunday morning defeat of the CMU Blazers at Brandon, Manitoba. The Super 8 championship is the first in head coach Scott Morrison’s tenure with the Thunderwolves.
Saturday’s game with the Bobcats was the final of three preseason meetings between the two teams after they split two games at the C. J. Sanders Fieldhouse in Thunder Bay the previous weekend. Brandon led for the first 34 minutes of play, but a huge 35-20 fourth quarter gave Lakehead the 12-point win.
Yoosrie Salhia made a heroic effort in the paint for the Wolves, overcoming the effects of a nasty four-inch gash above his right eye that was split open after he was struck with an elbow in the third quarter. He played the final frame while wearing a head bandage and finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, earning tournament MVP honours in the process.
Sebastian Kasiuk gave the Thunderwolves a second strong interior contributor with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Outside, the Wolves were led by a balanced game from Jamie Searle with 17 points, eight assists, and five rebounds. Point guard Greg Carter added 10 assists and seven rebounds.
Terrill Thomas was the sparkplug for the Bobcats with 18 points and four steals while Tarik Tokar and Donavon Gayle added 17 points apiece.
"We were really proud of how our team battled a tough Brandon team for 40 minutes,” said Morrison. “We did not get down on ourselves with an early deficit nor did we lose our head when the game was hectic. We got great second half performances from Sebastian Kasiuk and Cam Hornby in addition to Carter, Searle and Yoos playing tough ball the entire game."
After the drama of Saturday’s contest, Sunday’s game was never in doubt. The Thunderwolves handily defeated an overmatched Blazers squad despite sitting out Salhia as he recovered from his wound.
Jamie Searle capped an All-Tournament effort with 17 points to lead the Wolves while fellow senior, post Andrew Quirion had 15 points and eight rebounds in the win. Freshman Ryan Thomson added 15 points and five boards and Cam Hornby finished with 10 points and six assists.
“We were very excited to get our first tournament championship at the Super 8 after a number of appearances,” said Morrison. “This win doesn’t help meet our long term goals, but it is a successful first step for the team as we get ready for our trip to North Dakota and for the OUA regular season.”
Lakehead will be back on the road in two weeks when they travel to North Dakota for Halloween weekend games with NAIA teams Jamestown and Valley City.
Last Edited: October 18th, 2009
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