Men’s basketball end playoffs against Gee-Gees in Ottawa

Gaels lose in OUA quarter-final against fifth-ranked University of Ottawa Gee-Gees to drop out of championship race

Forward Jordan Kirschberger gets his shot blocked by a Royal Military College defender in the Gaels’ win on Feb. 20. The Gaels then beat Ryerson in the first round of the playoffs before being knocked off by the Gee-Gees in the quarterfinal.
Forward Jordan Kirschberger gets his shot blocked by a Royal Military College defender in the Gaels’ win on Feb. 20. The Gaels then beat Ryerson in the first round of the playoffs before being knocked off by the Gee-Gees in the quarterfinal.
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The men’s basketball team closed out their playoff run last Friday after a 77-61 road loss to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees in the OUA quarterfinal. The season-ending game for the Gaels sent the Gee-Gees into the OUA semifinal.

Both teams came out of the gates shooting but Ottawa took a 26-13 edge at the end of the first quarter. The Gaels outscored the Gee-Gees 15-12 in the second quarter, but trailed 38-28 at halftime.

“[We] missed some quality scoring opportunities pretty early in the game, which hurts against that type of team,” Gaels assistant coach Duncan Cowan said. “We just need to hit shots early, and we didn’t. And then [we] got down 10 and just kind of stayed that way.”

The Gaels stayed strong down the stretch, but the fifth-ranked Gee-Gees’ superior shooting guided them down the stretch.

“Consistency is still the hardest thing in this game,” Cowan said. “The only two teams in this league who are consistent are Ottawa and Carleton. Other than that, there’s a whole lot of parity in the league.” Since 2005, the Gaels have made it to the OUA quarterfinal three times, losing to Carleton or Ottawa every time.

Fourth-year post Mitch Leger—who may have been playing his final game for the Gaels—recorded 23 points and 10 rebounds, his 17th double-double this season. Leger logged a total of 1,337 points in his career, making him the highest-scoring Gael of all time.

Fifth-year guards Baris Ondul and Ryan Hairsine contributed 14 and six points respectively in their final CIS appearances.

Cowan said the team’s performance this year was encouraging.

“We’ve got our direction,” he said. “We’re at a point this year where we were competitive with those top teams.”

Baris Ondul said the 11-11 Gaels’ performance in the season was tumultuous.

“We had our ups and downs. We started poorly, and we weren’t expecting that,” he said.

Ondul said he has no regrets about this season.

“We lost to a really tough team. I’d say I’m satisfied with the season. In terms of losing to Ottawa, it’s not a bad way to go out.” Ondul, who was in his fifth year with the team and will not be returning next season, said the Gaels will be able to fill in for their departing members.

“Ryan, in the second part of the season, stepped up big. Mitch is always a big factor. And I believe I lead by working hard, lead by example. If we all leave, it’s going to be hard to fill. But there are still guys [like] Dan Bannister, Chris Barrett, and Tim Boyle who’re all going to step in for sure. I’m pretty sure they’re going to take the challenge, and step up and take initiative.”

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