Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Highlights from Friday night's Ottawa U game

The Lakehead Basketball Blog will be attempting to upload post-game highlights after some games for the remainder of the season for those unable to watch the games live online. It is a work in progress but hopefully a value added new option as the season progresses.
Please copy and past the below link for highlights of Lakehead's win at Ottawa U on Friday night.
(You can also click the Video Link on the right hand side of the main blog page)


Stay Tuned for more highlights from the first semester.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

'Wolves Fall to Top Ranked Carleton

The #1 ranked Carleton Ravens finished the first half a perfect 8-0 with a 75-49 victory over a cold shooting Thunderwolves team. Carleton jumped out to a 15-11 1st quarter and 35-21 half-time lead and pulled away in the 4th quarter to send the 'Wolves home with a 6-2 first semester record. Sophomore post Tyson Hinz lead the way with 18 points and 8 rebounds with 5 assists. Lakehead's bigs were in early foul trouble as a result of 3 offensive foul calls in the first 5 minutes. Freshman Philip Scrub continued his strong play going for 15 points. Lakehead's only double digit scorer was Ben Johnson who hit on 3 of 5 for 11 points.
The most obvious weakness in the Lakehead performance was their lack of ability to knock down open looks. The team went 15-52 (28%) for the game and a miserable 14-27 from the FT line.

"In order to compete with a team like Carleton, one has to knock down open looks and stick to a defensive gameplan. We had tough luck finishing inside and rushed shots from 3. We also did a terrible job with our defensive gameplan as our execution floundered throughout the game. We worked hard at times but did not 'work smart' enough to win this game. Carleton outplayed us and showed us how far we have to go to be a contender in March."
- Coach Morrison on the game tonight.

"A 6-2 interlock record is nothing to sneeze at. However only 1 or 2 games separates 2nd from 8th in our league. December will be a big month for us to re-group, work on our execution and get set for a tough 7 week OUA West schedule were every night is up for grabs."
-Coach Morrison on the 1st semester.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lakehead Escapes Ottawa U 68-65

The Thunderwolves used a 21-11 4th quarter run to escape with a close 68-65 victory over a tough Ottawa Gee Gees squad who have lost the last three games by 3 points or less (Western in OT and Windsor by 2 last week).
Ottawa exploded for a 22-8 3rd quarter to take 5 point 3rd quarter lead before extending that lead to 9 with five minutes to go in the game. In the stretch run Lakehead found the range from 3pt land hitting 4 threes in the final 4 minutes including 3 from Jamie Searle (5th yr Belleville, ON) who led all scorers with 20 on 5-11 3pt shooting. Searle also had a season high 6 rebounds and career high 5 steals. Brendan King had 17 points and 7 rebounds (3 offensive) and went 2-3 from downtown in 33 minutes of play.
Warren Ward fended off the Lakehead ball pressure to hit for 18 on 8-20 shooting adding 6 rebounds. Louis Gauthier was a tough match-up all night for L.U. and finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds to lead all players on the glass.
Neither team lit it up from the FT line as Lakehead went 8-14 to Ottawa's 4-11.

"We were extremely fortunate to escape with a win tonight. We had trouble matching up with Ottawa all game long and were lucky to get hot in the 4th quarter and come out on top. I thought we were sloppy on the offensive end for much of the game and we got beat down the court in transition for much of the second half which put our defense on its heels for many possessions. At the end of the day we'll take a hard fought W and move forward to our final game of the semester tomorrow night at #1 Carleton."

The coaching staff would like to invite all former players, alumni, friends and family of "Thunderwolves Nation" to the Royal Oak on Kent and Slater after the game tomorrow night for a Back Court Club Social (Ottawa Version!).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thunderwolves Return to Capital Hill

Media Release


Movember 24, 2010

Basketball Teams Head to Capital for Showdowns


Lakehead's basketball programs will touch down in our nation's capital this weekend for games against Ottawa (Friday) and Carleton (Saturday).

The last time Lakehead played the Gee Gees was in the OUA playoff third place game, in which the Thunderwolves shocked Ottawa in their home gym to win and move on to the big dance at the CIS Final 8. Ottawa no doubt has not forgotten and will be gunning to reclaim their home court. Although the Gee Gees have lost All Star Josh Gibson-Bascombe to graduation, they have re-loaded with newcomers Johnny Berhanemeskel and Luc Minani who have been putting up good numbers so far this season. Returning studs Warren Ward and Jacob Gibson-Bascombe are significant threats, as Gibson-Bascombe shoots well from the perimeter, and Ward can score in bunches (29 points against LU in their last match up). One notable performance in the last Ottawa-LU game was that of LU's Anthony MacIntosh, an Ottawa native, but who is out for the season this year due to injury. Fellow Ottawa native and LU's starting point guard, Greg Carter (OUA west defensive player of the year), will be looking to have another successful homecoming on the court.

For Saturday's matchup against Carleton, Lakehead is looking to take the battle to the Ravens' home court. LU was victorious over Carleton last year in the Thunderdome, and hopes to knock off the OUA East's top team, as the Ravens presently sit at 6-0 this season. The Ravens' Elliot Thompson and Mike Kenny provide veteran leadership and consistent scoring. Cole Hobin and Tyson Hinz anchor the 3-4 spot and can defend and score in a number of ways. Newcomer Philip Scrubb is one of the top freshmen in the country and has led Carleton in scoring a number of games. It will be essential for LU to play great team defense, as Carleton possesses many scoring threats and presents a balanced scoring attack. Both LU and Carleton are currently among the leaders in protecting the ball this season, as the two teams have committed among the fewest turnovers in the country.

Coach Scott Morrison welcomes the challenge in this weekend trip that will be the biggest so far this season:

"We hope to have a first semester 'peak' heading into our toughest back-to-back yet this season. Ottawa is a well-rounded team that has suffered much in terms of injuries and tough luck. They look to be 100% and thus capable of beating any team in the country. Carleton is already the best team in the CIS and come more prepared to play than any team in history. It should be obvious to all involved how important our four days of practice will be this week."

Fans not able to make it to Ottawa for the games can catch the action on the SSN Network,www.ssncanada.ca

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lakehead Beats Queen's to Finish Home Stand 4-0

The Thunderwolves finished off a successful 4 game home stand with a 78-47 win over Queen's.
Lakehead's defense has made positive strides since the pre-season and again was a factor tonight holding Queen's to single digit scoring in the first and third quarters. Lakehead's offense sputtered tonight at times in the form of 23 turnovers and some poor decision making off the dribble.
A balanced scoring attack was led by Ryan Thomson (Sophomore Oakville, ON) who led the team with 14 points on 5-11 shooting. Ben Johnson (Junior Pictou, NS) added 13 on the strength of 3-3 from long range. Yoosrie Salhia (Junior Toronto, ON) led the way in the paint with 14 points and 6 rebounds while Joseph Jones (Junior Washington DC) again led all players in rebounding with 7.
Dan Bannister of Queen's has shown in the last three weeks he is a potential all-star in the OUA East and led Queen's with 15 points and 6 rebounds. Tim Boyle had 13.

"We were pleased that we took care of business the last 2 weeks and are heading to Ottawa on a winning note. That being said we were not satisfied with our all around play; had Queen's shot the ball better our mistakes tonight would have been more costly. We have to put together 4 straight good practices this week to try and be at our best against the two of the toughest teams we will play all season in Carleton and Ottawa U"
- Coach Morrison

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lakehead Beats RMC

The Thunderwolves rode a 37-12 half-time lead to a 75-41 victory tonight in chilly Thunder Bay.
Lakehead's shooting was also a little below temperature with 10-30 from behind the arc (Ryan Thomson 3-5) and only 3-6 from the free throw line. The team did, however, do a good job on the glass earning 17 offensive rebounds (Brendan King / Joe Jones 5 each). RMC's 5 O boards came all in the first half.
Joe Jones (Jr. Washington, D.C) was Lakehead's top player tonight working his way to 10 points 12 rebounds 6 assists and 3 steals with 0 turn overs in 17 minutes of play. Matt Schmidt and Jamie Searle also had 10 points in a balanced scoring attack.
Gavin Viray-Cox did a good job handling Lakehead's ball pressure all night finishing with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists to lead RMC. Jordan Wilson hit two 3's in the 4th which saw RMC finish 21-14 in the final frame.

"We were generally pleased with the overall defensive effort for the first 30 minutes but at the same time were looking for a more consistent effort 1 thur 12 in the lineup for the complete game. Tonight JJ (Jones) showed us why he comes through in big games late in the season - because he comes to play 100% for every game. We need everyone feeding off his energy tomorrow night."

Lakehead welcomes Queen's to the Thunderdome for an 8pm matchup.
Visit www.thunderwolves.ca for more info.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

RMC and Queens Travel to Thunder Bay This Weekend

Movember 16, 2010

Lakehead Basketball to Host RMC, Queen's This Weekend


The Thunderdome at C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse will be host to another weekend of basketball action November 19 and 20th, as RMC and Queen's will challenge the Thunderwolves. Game times, as usual, will be 6 pm for the women, and 8 pm for the men both Friday (vs RMC) and Saturday (vs Queen's).

Women's Side

Jon Kreiner's team is coming off two convincing home victories vs York and Laurentian last weekend. The RMC Lady Paladins will look to challenge the Thunderwolves with their leading scorer and guard Carolyn Pumphrey, who averages 10.2 PPG, 8.2 Rebounds per game and shoots 38% from beyond the arc. There are a total of 6 players are averaging over 6 PPG, and 3 players over 6 rebounds per game. The Paladins program, which is frequently towards the lower ranks in the league, is showing signs of life, as they scored a convincing win against Waterloo November 5th, 67-47.
Queen's are led by 4th year 1st team OUA Allstar point guard Brittany Moore (14.5 PPG, 17-18 from the foul line this year). First year wing Gemma Bullard is having a solid start to the 2011 campaign averaging 12.5 PPG including 46% from the field, 44% from 3, and 100% (7-7) from the Free Throw line. As a team, Queen's is 2nd the OUA in FT percentage shooting 79.1%.

Jon Kreiner on the competition:

"RMC is a tough team because so many players will shoot the ball well enough from 3 and they are strong and in tremendous shape. Queens is led by one of the best shooters in the country in Brittany Moore. She is struggling right now and we need to make sure she doesn't find her rhythm against us. We will need to control the tempo and not allow shooters to find their rhythm this weekend".
NOTE: Heading into this game, LU's Tasia McKenna is currently 18th on the all time OUA scoring list (1,133 pts), and 3rd for all time scoring at Lakehead (1,715 pts). (OUA scoring list counts points scored in OUA season and playoff games, whereas Lakehead's scoring list counts all season and exhibition games played).

Men's Side

Similar to the women's team, Scott Morrison's men's team secured 2 blowout victories last weekend against visiting teams. This weekend he hopes that his players can stick to the game plan as they did against York and Laurentian. RMC and Queen's will bring different looks to the court, however, and the Thunderwolves will have to execute and put forth another strong effort in order to continue their recent success.

RMC is led by their point guard, Gavin Viray-Cox, who can shoot the 3 and create his own shot. RMC could also present some problems for LU down low, as they have two large forwards in Nicholas Cooke (6'9") and Simon Dakin (6'7"). Cooke who have proven himself to be a good shot blocker and can also step out on the perimeter. Dakin is another 4th year player that has gotten progressively better every year and can score effectively from the high post.
Queen's will be looking to avenge a 75-74 loss to Lakehead in Kingston last season, a game which came down to a buzzer beating 3 point shot by Thunderwolf Andrew Hackner, whose footwork on the play was noticeably suspect upon review - Hackner had 16 points in that game. Fourth-year Dan Bannister is an all-round scorer for Queen's, and will get help from his point guard Chris Barrett, a 4th year accounting student who is quick and can create shots for his teammates. Timothy Boyle fills the 'hustler' role for Queen's, in that he is active on the offensive glass, in the passing lanes and a good scorer in transition.

Scott Morrison on the upcoming weekend:

"We have two disciplined and intelligent teams coming into the Thunderdome this weekend. Both RMC and Queen's run their offensive sets well and get after it on the boards. We are going to have to match each school's execution as well as extra effort for us to protect home court this weekend."

Game times are 6 pm (women) and 8 pm (men) on Friday and Saturday, November 19 and 20th. All times Eastern.

Those not able to make it to the Thunderdome can catch all the action on SSN Canada (www.ssncanada.ca/games), and on LU Radio, 102.7 FM and www.luradio.ca - Links to the game will be listed on www.thunderwolves.ca

Courtesy of Hugh Mullally - Lakehead SID

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lakehead Finishes Weekend Beating Laurentian @ The Thunderdome

The Lakehead Men's Basketball Thunderwolves capped a solid weekend sweep at home beating a tired Laurentian Voyageurs squad 87-50. Lakehead head Laurentian to 24 first half points and then stymied Laurentian to 6 points in the 3rd quarter to pull away.
Venzal Russell and Joseph Jones again led the scoring load with 15 points each while Yoosrie Salhia added his first double-double of the OUA season with 11 points and 13 rebounds in 20 minutes played. Mike Hull finished off a good weekend leading Laurentian with 11 points.
Lakehead shot well from the 3pt line going 15-39 from beyond the arc and helped their cause by grabbing 14 offensive boards (6 from Salhia) to Laurentian's 10 second chance points.
The 'Wolves were no doubt aided by a weary opponent that spent half of the day dealing with airport delays.

"After preaching defensive improvement all week, we are happy with the effort our guys put out on that end of the floor. We have lots of work to do but obviously anytime you get a convincing victory against a good team like Laurentian we will count our blessings and look toward our next opponents - RMC and Queen's next week."
-Scott Morrison on Saturday's Win.

Lakehead - Laurentian Game Delayed 1 Hour

As of 2:30Pm Saturday, the Lakehead-Laurentian twinbill will be delayed 1 hour and now played at 9:00PM (with Women's game at 7:00PM).
The change is a result of Laurentian's flight being delayed from Toronto after their win vs. McMaster friday night in Hamilton.
The reason for the delay is rumored to be an inability to land in a foggy Thunder Bay. There is no confirmation to the rumor that the fog is a result of the Thunderdome's pre-game "Smoke Machine".

Best wishes to both Laurentian teams for a safe arrival in TBay.
The games will still be broadcast online at ssncanada.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lakehead Wins Thunderdome Opener

The Lakehead Thunderwolves jumped out to a 28-9 first quarter lead and maintained the advantage throughout most of the game, finishing with the win 89-58. Back to back threes from junior point guard Greg Carter led to an 8-0 run to start the game. Carter soon picked up his second foul five minutes into the game, when fellow junior Ben Johnson (Pictou NS) picked up where Carter left off hitting a pair of threes of his own en route to 8 points in 20 points for the game. Venzal Russell started the game off with 1 of several slashing buckets on his way to leading the game in scoring with 18 and 4 boards.
Carter and Johnson combined to hold York all-star guard David Tyndale to 11 points on 3-13 shooting with 6 turnovers. Carter and Johnson had 3 and 2 steals respectively.
In the paint York's 6'10 (11?) Dejan Kravic displayed his usual all-around game leading the way for all bigs with 14 points 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. For Lakehead Ryan Thomson with 11 and Jamie Searle with 10 were also in double figures. Brendan King had a game high 10 rebounds.

"We were happy with an improved defensive effort tonight, but more importantly have to shift focus immediately to a dangerous Laurentian team. They have a number of weapons and an increased athleticism to go with an always consistent work ethic. We were able to spread minutes around and save some legs tonight so we have no excuses heading into Saturday"
- Coach Morrison on the weekend half-time

Thursday, November 11, 2010

'Wolves Finish 1-1 in Toronto, Get Ready for Home Opener

After a 1-1 split vs the Toronto reps of the OUA East (Loss 88-73 to Toronto, Win over Ryerson 102-74), the team has been re-grouping this week in prep for a big home opening weekend coming up. This Friday night the 'Wolves welcome York Lions to the Thunderdome followed by the Laurentian Voyageurs on Saturday night.
Both games are at 8pm on ssncanada (see link under the links section of this blog).

The Toronto and Ryerson games saw the victor on both occassions use some hot shooting in combination with a 2-3 zone defense. Lakehead was a victim on Friday but used the zone and hot shooting (especially by Jamie Searle who hit 11 threes in 2 games) to salvage a split in the big city.

This weekend will be tough for Lakehead as York has some of the best talent in the OUA in their lineup and Laurentian is an improving squad who now feature some elite athletes to match their general hustle and tough play. Lakehead will have to match the effort of both teams while looking to improve on their defensive execution from last weekend. Please see www.thunderwolves.ca for an official weekend preview.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thunderwolves Partner with Local Club

Lakehead Mens Basketball Team up With Blaze Basketball


Lakehead Athletics is pleased to announce a new partnership between the Lakehead Men’s basketball
team and the Thunder Bay Blaze basketball club. The Thunderwolves and the Blaze have teamed up in order to provide local boys an opportunity to play basketball on a year round basis while receiving strong coaching and organization at all age levels.

The new partnership will see the Thunderwolves providing assistance in coaching and facilities to the
current Blaze youth programs that operate from September into the following spring. Lakehead Basketball and the Blaze have also worked together to introduce new programming for high school aged players that have progressed through the Blaze minor basketball system. Lakehead Head Coach Scott Morrison will also join the Blaze organizing committee and take a more active role in the general group planning and administration.

Coach Morrison believes the partnership is the first step in a joint effort to improve the opportunities for
players and general level of basketball in Thunder Bay.

“Over the past 3-4 years we have worked hard at Lakehead to improve the quality of our teaching and
programming in terms of youth basketball camps. Our interests have historically focused more on the
older age groups which is a result of our need to recruit and develop future players. The Blaze have a
great infrastructure in place for the younger ages and together we believe we can get more young kids
playing ball, learning the fundamentals and developing a love for the game at an early age. Not only will
this add value to basketball in the community but it will give local kids a chance to grow into potential
CIS players.”

Blaze coach and committee member, Pat Charlebois, is also thrilled about the prospects arising from the Lakehead partnership: “Teaming up with LU is a natural fit for us. The LU coaching staff and players bring a very high level of basketball expertise to our program. Our boys really enjoy inter-acting with and getting to know the varsity players. It gives each of them an opportunity to imagine themselves as an elite caliber player in a few years. It also gives the varsity players an opportunity to be involved in the community and to give something back to the sport they love. In order to insure the sustainability of Blaze, we need the involvement Coach Morrison and his players. Volunteer parent/coaches come and go along with their kids, but the LU varsity team will be around for years to come as the back-bone of this program. ”

The Thunder Bay Blaze have been in operation for 6 years and have had over 800 members since
inception. The club has developmental programs running during the majority of the school year and rep
teams for age groups competing in the spring and summer. The Lakehead men’s basketball team
competes in the OUA and CIS. They are coming off their best season in over 30 years, finishing the
2009-10 season as the #6 team in the Canada. The Thunderwolves open their 2010-11 Conference season on November 5th in Toronto.

For more information on the Thunder Bay Blaze, Lakehead Men’s Basketball or the new partnership, please contact Coach Scott Morrison at 346-7820 or scott.morrison@lakeheadu.ca.

Online, please visit www.tbblaze.com and http://lakeheadbasketball.blogspot.com.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lakehead Travels to Toronto to Open OUA Play

The Lakehead Thunderwolves will take their show on the road again this weekend as they will be delivered to downtown Toronto by Porter Airlines to take on the University of Toronto Blues and Ryerson Rams on Friday and Saturday nights respectively.
Lakehead finished 4-4 in the pre-season which included 6 road games against tough competition.

Statistical leaders for the preseason schedule were as follows:
PPG: Ven Russell 14.0
RPG: Yoosrie Salhie 7.0
APG: Greg Carter 3.0
Steals: Carter 16
FG% : Brendan King 59% (19-32)
FT%: Jamie Searle 80% (8-10)
3pt%: Greg Carter 50% (8-16)

Coach Morrison on the beginning of the season:
"We have been pleased with our progress since the completion of the Maritime tour in early October. That being said it is hard to measure the true results without matching up against a conference opponent. We have to wait no longer for this opportunity as we will be challenged by two very strong opponents in Toronto and Ryerson. At the end of the day, OUA play is the reason we put in the hours of training camp, challenge ourselves in the pre-season and watch that film and lift those weights. We are excited to get going and working at focusing on one opponent and one quarter at a time."

Both weekend games will be webcast online at www.ssncanada.ca/games

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

'Wolves Get Ready for OUA Season

Here is a Link to a season preview in "The Source"


(Copy and Paste Above Link)

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Wolves Get Final Tune-up in Minnesota

Sunday Oct 31 marked the final tune-up for the team as they prepare to open OUA interlock play against Ryerson and Toronto this coming weekend in the T-dot.
Yesterday's action saw the Thunderwolves travel to Ely, Minnesota to play 6 X 10 minute quarters against Vermillion Community College and legendary coach Paul MacDonald (Kevin McHale's high school rival!). VCC is also the alma mater of Venzal Russell who returned to his former stomping grounds to help L.U. win all 6 games against a young VCC team. The team travelled without starters Yoosrie Salhia and Ryan Thomson who are finishing up a 2 week rehab stint as well as Cam Hornby who is the team's second leading scorer in the pre-season. Brendan King and Matthew Schmidt led the way for Lakehead in the scrimmage holding a size advantage in the paint. All 12 of the 'Wolves on the travel roster enjoyoed significant minutes with everyone touching the score sheet.
This weekend the team opens play @ the University of Toronto on Friday night. Stay tuned for a weekend preview coming out later in the week.