AAA men display their mediocrity as they fall to Vanier 64-52

Dawson’s woes continue as they drop to seventh overall and out of a playoff spot after 12 point loss

by Katrina Caruso

Dawson’s AAA men’s basketball team lost to the Vanier Cheetahs 64-52 last Thursday at Vanier’s sports complex.
The game started off strong for the Dawson Blues, as they were scoring points often and early. However, Vanier caught up quickly and the first quarter was close, as it ended with a score of 24-23 in favour of Dawson.
The second quarter began with the Cheetahs fighting to keep up with the Blues. Dawson’s offence was partially led by forward Xander Jean who scored a tough three pointer, and finished the game with six points and four offensive rebounds. Dawson ended up missing key shots and committed sloppy turnovers, which gave Vanier the opportunities that they needed to get ahead. In the final seconds leading up to halftime, Dawson’s seemingly dormant offence woke up and the Blues pushed hard until the end, but were no match for Vanier, as the Cheetah’s went into halftime up 36-35
“We should have attacked more,” said Caro, who acknowledged that the Blues hadn’t lived up to their potential.
The third quarter was frustrating for Dawson, as the Blues fought hard to get back on track, but continued to miss shot after shot.
The Blues’ sloppy play was highlighted by forward Andrew Girardot, who attempted a great shot but lost his balance and ended up hitting the ground hard and forward Bawe Sahler Nsame losing control of the ball in what could have been a great fast break opportunity.
While Lucate played well for most of the game, scoring a total of 11 points for Dawson in the game. Something was different  in the third quarter, as he seemed to spend more time on the ground, which was a result of Vanier’s hard nosed defence. The Cheetahs were dominating both sides of the court, as the Blues were only able to score on foul shots.
Vanier’s forward, Lenny Antwi, was injured midway through the third quarter, which looked to be Dawson’s big break in the game. However, Vanier kept up with a good balance of offence and defence, ended the quarter with Vanier leading 54-42.
The fourth quarter was all Vanier, as Dawson struggled to get back in the lead. Forward Nyv Segev, whose basket got the scores close at 58-52, complimented Girardot, who was playing well on the defensive side of the ball. It seemed like Dawson might be able to get ahead of the Cheetahs, but Vanier’s Antwi was back in the game and blocking shot after shot.
In the final four minutes of the game, Dawson was nowhere near catching up to Vanier. Segev and Jean made countless attempts to get the Blues back into the game, but Segev’s shots were continuously blocked and Jean ended up turning the ball over. Vanier was dominating the court with their offence. They took charge of the game, with forward Kazadi Nyanguila, sealing the deal with one last dunk to put the Cheetah’s ahead 64-52.
The quarters were littered with foul shots, disappointing turnovers, and Dawson constantly losing control of the ball. On the whole, the game was hard to watch, especially for the Blues’ coach, Wayne Yearwood.
“[Vanier] whooped our asses,” Yearwood said. “I’m embarrassed by our performance. We played with no heart, no desire.”
On future games, Caro says that the Blues need to knock down more shots.
“We need to work on the little things and listen to the coach,” Caro said.
The AAA men play their next game against Édouard-Montpetit on February 19, at home, hopefully this time with a firmer grip on the ball, as well as the game.

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