Learning experience

Youthful Gaels fall twice, but gain veteran boost

Fifth-year forward Bernard Burgesson suited up for the first time this season on Friday
Image by: Tiffany Lam
Fifth-year forward Bernard Burgesson suited up for the first time this season on Friday

A familiar 6’6” presence returned to the court last weekend.

Veteran forward Bernard Burgesson hung up his jersey last year after playing in his fourth year of eligibility, but has stayed involved with the Gaels from the sidelines this season.

With third-years Greg Faulkner and Ryan Golden out of the lineup from concussion and groin injuries, Burgesson got the call to dress on the weekend.

“It was kind of a weird feeling to step out there for the first time in a long while,” Burgesson said. “All I can do is keep improving from here on. Whenever coach calls on me, I’ll be ready to go.”

Burgesson played 16 minutes in his debut last Friday against the Carleton Ravens, fouling out with four points and four rebounds.

After struggling to match the calibre of play displayed by the nationally top-ranked Ravens (16-1), the Gaels fell behind early and never recovered, losing 99-57.

“[The Ravens] have been on a tear, and it was no different tonight,” Gaels head coach Stephan Barrie said. “They’ve found everybody out, so it’s not like we’re different than anybody else in the league.”

On Saturday, the Gaels faced-off against the eighth-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees (13-4) in the Marco W. Alessio Memorial Alumni game.

Before tip-off, third-year guard James Asefa was honoured with the Alessio Award for academic achievement and athletic excellence.

Following the ceremony, the game’s first half saw Ottawa claim a 53-40 lead after an unprecedented 10-13 shooting stretch from beyond the three-point arc.

Unable to keep up with the Gee-Gees’ shooting, the Gaels showed more aggression in the second half, with Barrie and rookie guard Roshane Roberts both picking up technical fouls.

Despite the Gaels’ high-tempered effort, the Gee-Gees built on their lead in the second half, finishing the game up 99-80.

Five Gaels broke the double-digit barrier, led by forward Nikola Misljencevic’s 15 points.

“This was a major step for us to take in terms of standing up for the program and where we’re trying to go,” Barrie said. “It was a physical, hard-fought, chippy game, and that’s going to be the way it is with the playoffs approaching and teams fighting for positioning.”

The Gaels close out the regular season next weekend on the road against the Laurentian Voyageurs (9-8) and the York Lions (6-11).

“We’ve just got to keep trying to get better, regardless of what day of the week or what day of the year it is.”


Burgesson, Gaels, Gee-Gees, Men's Basketball, Ravens

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