Volume 95, Issue 83

Tuesday, March 12, 2002
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Western 'Peaks' some interest

UQTR defends Queen's Cup title

Western 'Peaks' some interest

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

When opportunity knocks, Western Mustangs men's basketball guard Adam Peaker is around to open the door.

Peaker continuously converted timely baskets at opportune moments to propel the Mustangs to a 55-53 victory over the York Yeomen before a near full-capacity crowd at York University on Saturday. The triumph established the Mustangs as Wilson Cup champions for the third consecutive year.

"The last game, I was spotting up a little too much," Peaker said. "Today I was just trying to drive hard to the basket and draw a foul."

The line Peaker registered may not force observers to drool in envy, but his importance wasn't evident in the numbers. Peaker's eight points came on slashing penetration to the goal during moments when the Mustangs needed big plays.

Moreover, Peaker's shot creation opened up looks from the outside for Andy Kwiatkowski, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the game.

In addition, Peaker hauled down a gritty seven rebounds and stole the ball twice. Mustangs head coach Craig Boydell noted the increased production of the unsung hero.

"Adam meshed into the team maybe a little too much during the middle of the season," Boydell said "In the last part of the season, he's been aggressive. He's gotten some major buckets going to the hole and he's always got his nose in there for some key rebound."

Peaker wasn't the only Mustang making a significant contribution. Forward Chedo Ndur definitely had his mojo working as well. Ndur used nifty head fakes to leave his defender hanging in the air – looking completely absurd – on the way to scoring eight key points.

"They were playing such high intensity, aggressive defense – any ball fake or head fake, they were biting on it," Ndur said. "I figured, if they're going to play that defense, you've got to punish it."

In addition, Mark Neilson, who Yeomen head coach Bob Bain referred to as "number 25, I don't even know what the hell his name is," buried two consecutive jumpers around the nine minute mark of the second half to maintain the Mustangs' slim lead.

The game wasn't exactly a work of art. The Mustangs shot an unusually low 36.7 per cent from the field, while the Yeomen shot an even more atrocious 34.8 per cent. Boydell was almost at a loss for words concerning the technicalities of the game.

"The game today was extremely hard to describe," Boydell said. "Neither team was able to run the things they would like to run because the game was definitely physical."

The high-intensity contest wasn't decided until its waning moments. Ndur misfired on the front end of a one-and-one foul shot opportunity to give the Yeomen one last breath of air. Yeoman forward Branislav Misovic subsequently drew iron on a last second attempt.

The Yeomen gave the Mustangs everything they possibly could and head coach Bob Bain was optimistic about the result. "As of right now, there are five teams that have qualified for the nationals and they're the best of the five. We were a rim away from winning, so bottom line is, if we can play with the best – we can win nationals."

The Mustangs will take to the skies and travel to Halifax this weekend, attempting to win the national championship, which has eluded their grasp in recent years.

"Eluded" being a definite understatement.

Nicole D'Cruz/Gazette
BATMAN AND ROBIN. Mustangs forward Andy Kwiatkowski and sidekick, point guard Jimmy Grozelle, will attempt to lead the Mustangs to the promised land.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002