Volume 95, Issue 54

Tuesday, January 9, 2002
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Mustangs come close in Classic

Western still perfect
Hockey team pastes Waterloo

Express route to victory
Mustangs naughty, not nice to foes

Holiday rundown

Express route to victory
Mustangs naughty, not nice to foes

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

The Western Mustang men's basketball team wasn't in the giving spirit this holiday season – they were too busy snatching victories away from two beleaguered opponents.

The squad's winning ways began on Dec. 28 at Alumni Hall where the Mustangs played a disciplined and intelligent game to defeat an extremely physical and athletic GT Express team 95-85.

Describing Express as an athletic team is definitely an understatement. Express is a collection of Canadian players who starred at universities across Canada and the United States.

The bruising collection of athletes cast an intimidating shadow upon the court and posed quite the match-up, but centre Kelsey Green said the Mustangs were game.

"We play a lot of athletic teams in [Canadian Interuniversity Sport]. The Express has a lot of big name players, even some with [championship] rings, but we weren't intimidated," he said.

Very rarely in the university game is a player able to completely dominate every aspect of the game like Mustang forward Andy Kwiatkowski, whose versatile performance registered a triple-double. Kwiatkowski scored 29 points, tallied 10 assists and hauled down 10 rebounds.

In addition, point guard Jimmy Grozelle was five of six from long distance, finishing with 19 points and dishing out nine assists. Forward Chedo Ndur and centre Chris Brown scored 20 and 19 points respectively.

The Mustangs were a much more disciplined squad. The team shot a phenomenal 62 per cent from the field, mainly the result of their ability to find the open man.

Head coach Craig Boydell was pleased with his team's performance, especially the play of his budding star.

"Express was definitely the most athletic team we have played thus far and it was great to notch a victory coming off the break. Andy's triple-double was just a tremendous performance," Boydell said.

Express forward Shane Nicely was valiant in defeat and downright nasty to the rim. Reminiscent of his high school days in Kitchener, Nicely drove to the basket with reckless abandon and on one missed dunk, slammed the ball off the rim and into a different galaxy.

The victory path continued on Jan. 5 when the Mustangs survived a tough challenge from the Guelph Gryphons 78-69.

The appearance of Lenny Wilken's son, who was scouting Kwiatkowski for the Raptors, was all the pregame talk. The forward didn't disappoint, scoring 25 points and grabbing six rebounds, but it was his eight steals that left a lasting impression.

Kwiatkowski was aided by the usual suspects. Grozelle scored 16 points, guard Adam Peaker added 12 and Brown finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.

But even with the successful result, Boydell felt his team displayed many shortcomings. "We can play better. Our defense overall can be much better but this win is a stepping stone for the rest of the regular season."

Gryphon's head coach Chris O'Rourke pointed to a few lapses as the ruination of his squad. "Western consistently ran an effective offense and we did it in spurts. Our defense gave up some easy points and we were out of position at times," he said.

But O'Rourke said he is confident Guelph can compete with the Mustangs at a later date. "Of course we feel we can beat them. We must play consistently for 40 minutes though."

In other hardcourt action, the Mustangs hosted the high school portion of the annual Purple and White Tournament. A.N. Myer from Niagara Falls was triumphant in a thrilling and talent-laden tournament.

Many intriguing individual players, such as Lindsay Collegiate's Alex McLeod, Brantford Collegiate's Rob Innes and Chatham McGregor's Kevin Kloostra and Alan Cattrysse showcased their silky-smooth skills. Hopefully they will be coming soon to an Alumni Hall near you.

Christine Bryant/Gazette
MOVE THAT BALL QUICK AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GET THOSE ARMS DOWN. Adam Peaker and the rest of the Mustang men came up smelling like roses with a win versus Guelph.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001