Leo Morris knows every team is looking to knock off his Holland College Hurricanes basketball team this weekend in Fredericton.
“We have the bull’s-eye on our back,” the second-year forward said before departing for the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association championship.
“They’re going to come out all guns (blazing), we have to match it and go a step higher than what we did in the regular season.”
The Hurricanes enter today’s semifinal after winning the regular season title with an 18-3 record to earn the coveted first seed in the six-team playoff tournament.
“I think the most pressure was getting to be the No. 1 seed, but it’s a whole new season now,” said point guard Alvin Parker, who led the country with 7.24 assists per game. “We have to do what we have to do to make sure people know we’re the No. 1 seed for a reason.”
The Hurricanes led the conference in scoring at nearly 88 points per game while shooting 49 per cent from the floor.
“It’s going to be a big weekend,” said Parker, a Baltimore, Md. native. “We’re looking forward to winning everything. The way I look at it, we should. We’ve worked hard this year, so hopefully everything will pay off because there’s a lot of competition.”
He said playing hard, being smart on defence and maintaining composure would be important.
“I don’t think any game is going to be a blowout. Everything is going to come down to the last four minutes of the fourth quarter,” said Parker, who also averaged 10 points, 4.5 rebounds and two steals during 21 games this season.
“Mental toughness is going to be the key to winning.”
Morris, who averaged 14 points and 5.5 rebounds, added two more keys.
“We have to keep our cool and we have to play together,” the Nassau, Bahamas native said. “It can’t be one person, it has to be all 14 of us and that’s including coaches, too.”
Parker said the team has great depth, which is important during a winner-take-all championship.
“I don’t even look at our bench as a bench,” Morris said. “In practice our ‘bench guys,’ they beat us up sometime. They have a lot of talent.”
The Mount Allison Mounties closed the game on an 18-4 run to eliminate the Holland College Hurricanes Friday at the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association women’s basketball championship in Fredericton.
The Hurricanes led 49-41 after three quarters, but could not hold on to the lead as the Mounties were victorious 68-61.
Megan Spicer led Holland College with 15 points, four rebounds and four assists while Steph Hiltz, who was named the Hurricanes’ player of the game, finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
MacKenzie Gray scored a game-high 25 points and adding nine rebounds for the Mounties. Kayla Robichaud, who was named the Mounties’ player of the game, added 19 points and six assists, including a perfect 4-for-4 on three-point attempts.
It was a tight game that featured eight lead changes, and three separate stretches where the game was tied.
The Holland College Hurricanes received the following Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association awards:
First team all-stars
Point guard Alvin Parker
Centre Chase Bowden
Second team all-star
Guard Leo Morris
Rookie of the year
Centre Chase Bowden
1 p.m. – St. Thomas vs. Mount Allison
3 p.m. – Mount Saint Vincent vs. King’s
5:30 p.m. – Holland College vs. Mount Saint Vincent
7:30 p.m. – St. Thomas vs. Crandall
1 p.m. – Women’s final
3 p.m. – Men’s final