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The Holland College Hurricanes have advanced to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men's basketball semifinal despite stumbling out of the block.
The Hurricanes defeated the Nomades de Montmorency 95-78 Thursday in quarter-final play at Fort McMurray, Alta.
Holland College trailed 24-19 after the first quarter and 45-41 at the half.
"We were awful in the first half," Hurricanes head coach Josh Whitty said. "We got away with playing 20 bad minutes."
Roosevelt (Chicken) Whyley hit a three to end the first half and gave Holland College something to build on at the break.
They came out and made six straight stops in the third quarter and went to the fourth up 65-57.
"When we settled in and started taking things away from them, we were really good," Whitty said.
Montmorency was scoring a lot in transition and the Hurricanes slowed the pace down and reduced its turnovers.
The Hurricanes were unable to put Montmorency away early in the fourth. They were up eight at one point, only to end up trailing by two. They went on a run late to eliminate the Nomades from gold-medal contention.
Whitty said the team was flat to start the game and got into foul trouble in the first half. He hopes any jitters are out of the way now.
"Now the rust is off," he said, noting the team hadn't played a game in two weeks. "In practice you're trying to be sharp, but at the same time you're trying to be really careful because you don't want to lose somebody (to injury) at that stage."
Whyley led the Hurricanes with 26 points while Travis Adams had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Tevin Bailey had 10 points, 15 boards, three blocks and three steals.
Jayden Nordin chipped in 14 points and Trevone Grant added 12.
"The end result is the way we wanted, (but) the way we got there isn't the way we planned," Whitty said.
The third-seeded Hurricanes will play the No. 2 Humber Hawks Friday at 9 p.m. Atlantic.