In friday night’s Division 2 Basketball double-header, the Dawson Blues faced-off against the Indiens of Collège Ahuntsic. The Lady Blues bounced back from last Sunday’s loss to Montmorency in formidable fashion as they dismantled the Indiens by the score of 53-34. Unfortunately, this success could not be replicated by the Men, losing yet another game, this time by the mark of 72-51. The women improve to a 2-1 record, while the Men have yet to taste victory, receiving their third loss in as many meetings.
Defense was the story of the first half
Both teams got off to a slow start in the opening quarter. At the 6-minute mark, the score was still sitting at 4-2 as both teams defended their respective sides fairly well. It was not until third year point guard Joli-Anne Lévesque made a nifty move through traffic and finished strong at the basket that ignited Dawson’s motor. The Blues scored three unanswered baskets following Lévesque’s remarkable layup, taking a commanding 12-4 lead. Despite the momentum that allowed Dawson to get ahead, Ahuntsic still held on and finished the quarter strong, closing the gap to just three points. The Blues led Ahuntsic 12-9 going into the 2nd.
It was in the second quarter that Dawson started pulling away. The Blues’ defence was too much to handle for Indiens as they were held scoreless for much of the second quarter. Lévesque, proving to be a menace, buried a massive three point shot in her defender’s face, to which she followed up on the next play with a smooth “in-n-out” crossover that gave her space to step back and score from just inside the 3-point line. This contributed to an 11-2 run for the Blues to open the quarter. However, Ahuntsic answered back, scoring six unanswered points, making it a three-possession game. However, there was no stopping Dawson. With merely a few seconds left on the clock, Dawson’s #13 Destini Maighan manages to beat the buzzer with a beautiful baseline shot, putting the Blues’ up 26-17 going into the halftime break.
Lévesque picking up where she left off in the 2nd half
After a third quarter marked by low scoring from both teams, Dawson went into the final quarter with a 30-22 lead. Although the score was still close, the lady Blues had a firm grip on the Indiens as their press was seemingly impenetrable. Lévesque, whose efforts were most noticeable this game, did everything from stealing, scoring and facilitating the ball in the fourth quarter. With a couple of big buckets and another three point drained from Lévesque, there was no turning back for the Blues. Dawson’s Adeline Guedegbe put up two big baskets near the end of the game, destroying Ahuntsic’s chances at comeback and allowing the Blues to win 53-43.
Lévesque finished the game with 18 points and was arguably the star player of the game. She was everywhere on the court and was Dawson’s biggest threat. Despite her impressive showing, the third year point guard was quick to credit her team, attributing their dominant performance to the overall team energy. “We won this game because of the energy and intensity on the court. I’m proud of my teammates and I on the press on defence. I believe that we did an excellent job of denying the ball,” Lévesque said in a spirited manner.
Dawson’s Division 2 women will have the chance to improve to a 3-1 record when they will face John-Abbott this Friday. This will be anything but easy for the Lady Blues. “This team just came down from the division one league”, said Lévesque. “We are going to have to play even better.”
Blues men start the season 0-3
Dawson Blues Division 2 basketball men had a tougher night than their women counterparts as they lost their third game this season, this time at the hands of the Indiens of Collège Ahuntsic, who is currently sitting at the top of the league with a 5-0 record.
The Blues, whom several players were sidelined because of injuries, were clearly undersized as the Indiens dominated in the paint, and controlled the boards. Most of the points that Dawson gave up came from second-chance baskets —points scored off offensive rebounds— and off turnovers. Not losing the ball seemed to be an immense challenge for the Blues this game. As a matter of fact, Dawson’s starting five gave up four turnovers in the first couple of minutes. The same phenomena happened again at the start of the third quarter as Dawson collected turnovers, over turnovers. “A lot of the turnovers came from bad passes,” a spectator noted. “They don’t seem like they are on the same page.”
Nonetheless, Dawson played fairly well considering that they were not complete and that they played the best team in the league at the moment. When the Blues were able to get past Ahuntsic’s formidable press and get into their half-court setting, they were able to put up points on the board. The most impressive performance on Dawson’s side came from Tobias Cabos-Oliver as he finished the night with 14 points, 9 of which came from beyond the arc.
The Division 2 Men will have the opportunity to seize their first victory of the season this Sunday against Collège Maisonneuve. The Hochelaga-Maisonneuve school currently sits in fourth place with a record of 2-2. If the Blues are able to run their halfcourt offense, limit their turnovers and become more aggressive on the rebounds, they will be in good position to hand Maisonneuve their third loss.