Watch above: The Saskatchewan Huskies men’s basketball team can lock down first place in Pioneer Division with a pair of wins against the Calgary Dinos. As Jack Haskins reports, the team never gave up despite a mediocre start to the season.
SASKATOON – The Saskatchewan Huskies men’s basketball team is in the driver’s seat heading into the final weekend of the season. Only two wins separate Saskatchewan from nailing down first place in the Canada West Pioneer division.
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“We’re in control of our own destiny,” said Huskies head coach Barry Rawlyk on Wednesday. “We’re not having to rely on anybody else’s help. If we can win these two games this weekend, then we’ve got first place sewn up, which was one of the objectives we had from the start of the year.”
The Huskies were a mediocre team early in the season. Through the first eight games, the dogs sat in the middle of the pack with a 4-4 record. But the Huskies caught fire after the holiday break, winning nine of their last 10 games, catapulting themselves into first place.
“It just speaks to the guys, no one quit, no one gave up,” said Huskies centre Matt Forbes. “No one stopped believing.”
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If the Huskies win both games against the Dinos this weekend, then the dogs will be put in an unusual situation. A pair of wins would mean Saskatchewan secures the top spot in the division, and earn a first round bye in the playoffs.
That’s the potential good news. The bad news is that the Huskies will have to play the Canada West quarter-finals in St. Joseph High School’s gymnasium. The reason why is because the Physical Activity Complex (PAC) will be the host site for the CIS men’s volleyball championship that weekend.
The Huskies would have every right to whine and groan about having to play two home playoff games away from their home gym, but fourth year centre Matt Forbes doesn’t seem too worried about it.
“It’s two hoops, courts, lines, it’s all the same.”
Recent history gives Saskatchewan the edge over Calgary this weekend, as the Huskies have defeated the Dinos in their previous four meetings.