Hurricanes pleased with national recognition, not satisfied: Whitty

Jason Malloy
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The Holland College Hurricanes have the top-ranked Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men’s basketball team for the first time ever.

But coach Josh Whitty said there is no parade booked or celebration planned.

“It’s nice to be recognized, but certainly we’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We want to make sure that rings true come the end of March,” he said.

It is a business-like approach for a Hurricanes team, which has finished second and fifth/sixth in back-to-back trips to nationals.

“We all sat in a room here at the start of the season and talked about our goals and expectations. No where did being ranked No. 1 come up,” Whitty said. “Winning a national championship was the priority.”

The Hurricanes moved up from second a week ago after previously undefeated Humber lost 79-72 to Fanshawe and dropped to six.

Holland College improved to 7-0 by defeating Mount Allison 79-55 and Crandall 78-74. Whitty said the team was banged up with guys sick and injured, but they found a way to record two road wins heading into the break.

Holland College athletics and recreation manager Albert Roche credited the players and coaching staff for their success.

“Josh has done some excellent work in recruitment and I think the culture that I’ve seen around that team is of tremendous work ethic,” he said. “There’s a highly competitive environment for playing time.”

We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We want to make sure that rings true come the end of March. Josh Whitty, Holland College Hurricanes men's basketball coach

Roche noted the Hurricanes men’s golf team is currently the top-ranked team in the country, as the reigning national champions. Tuesday was the first time the Hurricanes have been ranked No. 1 in soccer, volleyball or basketball.

The basketball team has won by an average of 25 points during the seven league games. It is 15-3, including pre-season play, with its only losses coming at the hands of Canadian Interuniversity Sport institutions UNB, Saint Mary’s and Laval.

The ’Canes are looking to get healthy and be ready to play the first weekend in January when it travels to Fredericton, N.B., to play UNB and St. Thomas in tournament play.

Roche said the college will enjoy and savior the ranking while noting it would put a target on the Hurricanes backs.

“I hope the boys take it as a motivation, especially through the Christmas season. The work is half done,” he said. “If you want to stay there, it’s going to take all the more dedication and effort to maintain it.”

The women’s basketball team remains in sixth place in the CCAA rankings.

The women’s volleyball team fell out of the rankings after being 15th last week. They were swept by the UNBSJ Seawolves during weekend play to fall to 5-3 heading into the break.

Organizations: Holland College, Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association

Geographic location: Saint Mary, Fredericton, St. Thomas

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