Ballers fall to Golden
By Jordan Bell
AT THE PEAK OF HIS GAME. Mustangs men’s basketball
guard Adam Peaker dribbles towards the net in Friday night’s
game against Queen’s. The Mustangs lost the game 67-55.
On a night when the Western Mustangs' women's basketball team was
able to blow their competition out of the water in the second half,
their male counterparts were left gasping for air.
The Mustangs' men's squad fell apart during the second half and
eventually lost their regular season home opener 67-55 to the Queen's
Golden Gaels at Alumni Hall on Friday night.
"We emphasized speed [in the second half]," said Golden
Gaels coach Chris Oliver. "We're deep at the guard spot and
we knew we had to take advantage of a big Western team." The
Gaels fired out of the gates once the second half commenced, operating
their systems to perfection and getting quality looks for guard
Simon Mitchell, a prototypical long bomber from beyond the arc.
Mitchell was able to knock down two key three pointers to widen
the gap, finishing three for four from deep with nine points.
"We lost a couple of their three point shooters," said
Mustangs' guard Adam Peaker, adding that after the shots had been
made, the Mustangs rebounding broke down.
The Mustangs are an extremely young team this season, much different
from the powerhouse they were in past years. Consequently, expectations
for the early part of the season are somewhat subdued.
"It's hard for me not to define us as underdogs in every game
we play," said head coach Craig Boydell. "But our conditioning
is definitely not where it needs to be, mainly because we're so
battered." Battered would definitely be an understatement,
as the Mustangs fielded four players at one of their practices last
week and are without the services of penetrating guard Kyle Coatsworth
(who separated his shoulder and will require surgery) and Tyler
Done (who is suffering from a back injury).
Boydell was pleased, however, with his squad's work on the defensive
glass, limiting the Gaels to five offensive rebounds. The Mustangs'
taller line-up also dominated the glass overall, snatching 32 to
the Gaels's 23.
Unfortunately, the advantage on the boards didn't translate to
the score sheet and the Mustangs dropped to 0-3 on the regular season.
Peaker believes the Mustangs have yet to develop certain roles.
"Our scoring needs to come out of the team offense,"
Peaker explained. "A lot of [the offense] is one-on-one right
now." Peaker, the Mustangs's captain, was once again a bright
spot as he put up 23 points and seven rebounds. Daron Leonard added
14 points for the Mustangs.
For Oliver, however, the Mustang team on Friday was not the one
he has seen in the past. "Some of our guys are too young to
remember the great Western teams of years past. It's extra special
to come here when they have been so successful [in the past]."