The old adage "you win some, you lose some" vindicated itself yet again in the Dinos men's basketball team's play Nov. 18-19. Travelling to the University of Manitoba and playing the Bisons before a crowd of about 100 (hey, it is Manitoba), the Dinos proved they are worth every penny by starting the weekend off with another toe-curling match on Friday.
Right from tip-off, the Dinos' growing experience began to shine through as the men worked their way to a 38-38 half-time tie. The second half began to show signs of rubber-assisted suicide, yet Calgary once again displayed their catch-up abilities, overcoming a 14-point hole and transforming the game into a cliffhanger Sylvester Stallone would find amazing. With just 15 seconds on the clock and the game tied at 81, six-foot-two guard Lindsay Thouret scored, bringing his nightly total to 16 points and giving the Dinos an 83-81 victory. It's almost like athletes do it to our nerves on purpose.
Saturday could only be taken with a grain of salt as our men once again ran into trouble with the 'F' word. Foul trouble was the determining factor as the Dinos kept their scoring high in both the first and second halves.
John Lundgren, who had been a consistent high-scorer for the Bisons and has a 100 per cent free throw average so far this season, was absent for the game on Friday. However, he made his presence known on Saturday, leading his team once again with 22 points and nine rebounds.
Unlike Stella, the Dinos just couldn't get their groove back as the Bisons appeared to control the middle of the game. Despite great efforts, the final score was 96-80.
Both teams are now 1-5 in league play. Scoring and team talent have been stronger for the Dinos with every game. Six-foot-seven forward Sonny Khangura returned to play against the Bisons, a homecoming that has left him with high speculations for himself and the team.
"It felt good... very good actually. I wished I'd played more, but my ankle was still hurting a bit," he explained. "We want to go undefeated for the rest of the season. I know we can do it. From the games we've played so far, [what's stopping us is] our effort on the defensive end, and basically our lack of consistent play on the offensive end. Once we can fine tune that, we'll be a better basketball team."
Chris Wright was a big contributor to the weekend yet again with 13 points and six rebounds on Friday. He finished the weekend shooting 67 per cent from the field with 18 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday.
Forward Brian Finniss, a defensive powerhouse for the team, was the big-scorer for the weekend with 23 points on Friday and 20 Saturday. Finniss put in the most minutes for the team while shooting about 50 per cent for field goals on the weekend.
"Right now we're just trying to take it one game at a time," he rationalized. "Obviously 1-5 is not where we expected to be or not where we'd like to be. We'll start Friday and hope we can work our way back before the break."
As the Dinos continue to push themselves from both sides of the bench during practice, the most frustrating aspect seems to be knowing what the team is capable of.
"There's a lot of talent the team has right now," promised Finniss. "We haven't been playing the way we should be, so that's what this next week and two weeks is all about."
The team struts their stuff here at home in a game Fri., Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. The men will stalk the Pronghorns the following night when they face off in Lethbridge for a rematch.