Thunder Men’s Basketball Wrap up Home Schedule with Sweep of HuskiesPosted on: Feb 17, 2015
The final home games of the 2014-15 season took place for the Thunder Men’s Basketball squad this past weekend as they welcomed the Keyano Huskies to the RKAC. With much to be decided in the playoff picture, the Thunder were in need of two wins to maintain their hold on second place in the ACAC North division. Friday night would prove to be a tough, physical, back and forth affair with both teams holding leads throughout the game but as the end of the 4th quarter approached, 5th year senior shooting guard Rob Haack did exactly what you expect from 5th year players, scoring 9 points in the final 4 minutes, which included a steal on defense followed by the go ahead corner 3 with 14.5 seconds left to lift the Thunder to the 88-84 victory. “There is something special about 4th/5th year players who are wrapping up their careers,” stated Coach Wood after the win. "Things just seem to bounce their way. Rob is someone who has been special to our program and to me as a coach for 5 years now. His growth as a player but more importantly as a person has been amazing to watch. Rob has been a leader and a captain for us for the last two seasons and has earned the respect of his teammates and coaches through consistent effort and persistence. Rob has always been willing to sacrifice personal achievement for team success so to have him be the hero here in his final weekend at home is exactly how you hope it goes. Rob does so many of the little things that don’t appear on a stat sheet, someone who might have only seen him play once or twice might not understand how important he is to our success as a team. Because of his willingness to be a team-first guy, I’m very happy to see him be the top 3 point shooter in the ACAC North this year, which has always been one of his personal goals but he has never let that get in the way of us winning games. I know I will miss Rob a lot when the season is over, he has truly become someone that I look forward to seeing at the gym every day. He brings so many things to our team that are going to be hard to replace.”
Leaders for the Thunder on Friday were – Artez Scharer with 22 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Ryan Coleman notched his 15th double-double of the season scoring 10 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Rob Haack totaled 17 points and 4 steals with Jason Jones Jr. rounding out the double digit scorers with 15 points.
Saturday the Thunder closed out their home schedule with a solid, if not dominant performance in an 89-68 win over the Huskies. Leading from wire to wire, knocking down 12 3’s along the way, the Thunder (14-8) have won 7 of their last 8 games and are now 1 win away from clinching 2nd place in the ACAC North. “I was very pleased with the way we played for each other today,” remarked Coach Wood. “I appreciated the teamwork, talk and energy level from everyone today. When we do that we are as tough as anyone in this conference. Along with Rob, everyone came together and put in a great effort for our other graduating senior, Mitch Buffie. Mitch has had a unique and tough journey through his college career but what I admire about him most is his willingness to keep getting up every time he got knocked down by injury. Having experienced the same knee problems that Mitch has, I know the pain and struggle that it is to keep going and want to continue to play. It seemed like each time Mitch was ready to start being a big contributor on the floor his knee would fail him. It’s a tough battle to endure, to have to be on the sidelines and watch your teammates and not be able to be out there with them. Mitch always kept working hard in the classroom along with his physical rehab and will no doubt continue that work ethic in his future endeavours. Mitch loves basketball and we are so pleased to have had him with us sharing his passion for the game for the past 5 years. He has already been a coach and I hope it's something he continues to do. His knowledge and love of the game will make him a great mentor to young players and I know he could someday coach at a high level.”
Leaders for the Thunder on Saturday were – Artez Scharer with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists. Jason Jones Jr. also notched 20, including 4 three pointers and added 3 steals. Ryan Coleman and Rob Haack both added 13 points with Tommy Soltys coming in off the bench to register 10 points and 5 rebounds.
The Thunder get to enjoy another bye week before wrapping up the regular season in Grande Prairie against the GPRC Wolves February 27th and 28th.
Photo Courtesy of John McIntosh