Sunday, January 11, 2009

CIS Corner: A Classic showdown – 1 vs. 2?

Notes on our teams/athletes of interest from The 613 ...

Not to jump the gun, but one wonders about the possibility the Capital Hoops Classic will be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown, Carleton vs. Ottawa.

The Ravens have won 12 straight, while the No. 4-ranked Gee-Gees have won 11-of-12, with the only loss coming on a last-second shot against Calgary. They likely won't be 1-2 in the RPI when Rob Pettapiece does his update this week at It's just a tempting thought after a week when the second- and third-ranked teams, UBC and St. Francis Xavier, each lost and then had a narrow escape in their second game.

The Thunderbirds were down big at home vs. Simon Fraser on Saturday before pulling out the. St. FX was pushed to overtime by Acadia and Leo Saintil, who had a monster 42-point, 19-rebound night. Aside from perhaps Trinity Western out in Canada West, which beat two ranked teams this week, Ottawa might be playing the best basketball this side of the Ravens.

It seems prudent to hold off, but that game on Jan. 28 will be a good one. Thanks to a commenter for making a point that wasn't so obvious late at about 2:30 a.m. this morning.

  • Gee-Gees: One big question that hangs off the Josh Wright story (which was so nice that a Syracuse TV station's website has ripped it word-for-word; not cool!) is what it means for Kingston native Donnie Gibson's minutes in Ottawa's backcourt.

    Gibson had a very good weekend in the Gee-Gees' wins over Ryerson and Toronto, combining for 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-9 on three-pointers.

    Wright, of course, went off for 28 points in the U of T game. Remember, they're working him in slowly.
  • Ravens: Once again, Carleton has two first-place basketball teams, since the Raven women, at 7-4 in the OUA, are a half-game ahead of Toronto after winning big over Ryerson on Saturday. No doubt the game one night earlier against Toronto was more of a measuring stick for Taffe Charles' team, and a seven-point home loss puts a team in a hole when it comes to tiebreakers.

    Regardless, Carleton had a season high in points vs. Ryerson and their high scorers, Ashleigh Cleary and Ines Jelic, only scored 14 apiece. That's balance.

    It made sense to lead with the lady ballers, since it's old hat for the Carleton men (Stu Turnbull had 25- and 20-point nights in this weekend's wins over Toronto and Ryerson). Their next four -- York, Laurentian, Queen's, RMC -- are all on the road, before the Jan. 28 Capital Hoops Classic at Scotiabank Place.

  • Gaels: Saturday's 20-point home win over Laurentian made it four straight for Queen's. Next Friday at Toronto should be a litmus test of where they are in the OUA East pecking order. Nick DiDonato (19 points, including 5-of-7 on threes) had the hot hand. Mitch Leger's streak of six straight double-doubles ended vs. Laurentian.

  • Gee-Gees: Keep Sunday's's 4-3 overtime win over Guelph in mind if Ottawa ends up nosing someone out for playoff positioning in the eastern half of the OUA. Matthieu Methot, who seems to score every game, got the game-winner with one second left in overtime, after Ryne Gove tied it with 23 seconds left -- just 1:24 after Guelph had taken the lead. (Former Kingston Frontenac Dan McDonald set up both tallies.)

    The Gee-Gees (8-6-3) have momentum -- assuming there is such a thing -- going into Tuesday's game vs. Carleton.

  • Ravens: Sunday's 4-3 overtime win over Brock was a long time coming for Carleton, which snapped a five-game winless skid.

    Tuesday's game vs. the Gee-Gees is a big one, since the two Ottawa schools and McGill seem to be battling it out for the 4, 5, and 6 playoff seeds. Concordia has the inside track on being seeded third, keeping in mind that it's only one extra home game in a best-of-3 first-round playoff series.

    The Ravens' remaining games include two each vs. McGill, Concordia and Ottawa, along with one vs. Trois-Rivieres. Whatever they get will be well-earned.

  • Golden Gaels: Back-to-back losses to Lakehead, 1-0 and 6-2, really put Queen's in a bind as far as the playoffs are concerned. They're three points behind Ottawa, which has three games in hand. The hell of it they outshot Lakehead in both games.
  • Also of note: Former 67's goalie Danny Batocchio had back-to-back shutouts for St. Francis Xavier this weekend vs. Saint Mary's and St. Thomas.

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