SARNIA, Ontario — Is this the year that the ACAA breaks through and secures the CCAA National Championship?
In each of the last three seasons, the Holland Hurricanes have secured a medal at the CCAA National Championships. However, they have all been of the bronze variety. Picking up a bronze medal in three consecutive seasons is something to be extremely proud of, but you can bet that they were left wanting more each time.
Through four games in 2018-19, the Hurricanes look like they are on their way to another run at the national title. They sit at a perfect 4-0 in ACAA play, and they are the final unbeaten team in the league. The Mount Saint Vincent Mystics are tied with Holland College atop the division with eight points apiece, but the Mystics have played one more game than the Hurricanes (4-1).
The season is still young, but the ACAA season is rather short. There’s just a month left before the Christmas Break, which signals the halfway point of the year. That means that each game has a heightened level of importance from here on out, and the star players across the league will be looking to carry their teams to victory.
Over the last seven days, several star players put together impressive individual performances to stand out among the rest of the league. Those five players make up this week’s edition of the Starting Five in the ACAA.
Starting Five – Nov. 5 – 11, 2018
Jace Colley – Holland Hurricanes
28 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block in 121-107 win at Crandall
27 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal in 96-80 win at St. Thomas University
In each of the last three seasons, the Holland Hurricanes have secured a medal at the CCAA National Championships. They’ve come home with a bronze medal each time, falling just short of reaching the national title game and an elusive gold medal. Still, the Hurricanes are a model of success in both the ACAA and CCAA on a regular basis, and the 2018-19 team looks as strong as ever. With Jace Colley leading the way, the Hurricanes are off to a 4-0 start this season after picking up a pair of road wins over the past week.
In their first game of the week, Colley and the Hurricanes took on the Crandall Chargers. Holland College picked up the 121-107 win thanks in part to a double-double from Colley. He went for 28 points and 12 rebounds in the win, while also adding two assists and one block. To close the week, Colley flirted with another double-double, this time against the St. Thomas Tommies. In the Hurricanes’ 96-80 win, Colley posted 27 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and one steal. For the week, Colley averaged 27.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game to help the Hurricanes move to 4-0 on the year.
Colley is one of the top players in the entire CCAA, and he’s putting his talents on display this season for Holland College as they look to advance back to the National Championships this season.
Trevor Schulz – Mount Allison Mounties
10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block in 99-84 loss at Crandall
15 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, 4 blocks in 79-77 win vs. UNB Saint John
The Mount Allison Mounties entered the second week of the 2018-19 season with a record of 1-1. They split their first two games of the season, losing on the road to open the year before picking up a win on their home court. This past week saw Trevor Schulz and the Mounties have an identical situation. Mount Allison opened the week with a loss on the road before capping off the week with a home win to remain at .500 after two weeks. Schulz had himself a strong week, but he saved his best performance of the two for his home fans in the Mounties’ win.
Mount Allison opened the week on the road against the Crandall Chargers. It wasn’t the best game for the Mounties on defense as the Chargers picked up a 15-point victory, 99-84. Schulz went for 10 points and six rebounds in the loss. Back on their home floor, the result was much different for the Mounties, although they had to sweat things out right to the final buzzer. Against the UNBSJ Seawolves, the Mounties got a double-double performance from Schulz in their 79-77 win. He went for 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead the way, while also recording two assists, four steals, and four blocks in the win.
A strong performance on both ends of the court from Schulz helped Mount Allison earn their second home win in as many games to start the 2018-19 season.
Rikson Barua – Dalhousie AC Rams
11 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist in 102-48 loss vs. UKC
32 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 block in 92-69 loss vs. Crandall
It wasn’t a pretty week for the Dalhousie AC Rams as a collective unit, as a pair of double-digit losses at home wasn’t how the team expected to begin their 2018-19 season. The Rams did not take to the court during the first week of the season, but they played host to both the UKC Blue Devils and Crandall Chargers over the past week to get their season under way. Rikson Barua had himself a strong start to the season, flirting with a double-double in the season-opener before dropping 32 points in the Rams’ second contest of the week.
In their opener, the Rams were simply outmatched against the Blue Devils. The visitors picked up the convincing 102-48 win over the Rams to spoil the home opener for Dalhousie AC. In the loss, Barua went for 11 points, nine rebounds, and one assist. Their second game was closer than the first, but the end result was all the same. Crandall handed the Rams their second double-digit loss in a row, picking up the 92-69 win. Again, Barua led the way for Dalhousie AC, recording 32 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists, and three steals in a losing effort.
Kendal Brown – Crandall Chargers
34 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals, 1 block in 99-84 win vs. Mount Allison
31 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks in 121-107 loss vs. Holland
14 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists, 7 steals, 1 block in 92-69 win at Dalhousie AC
It was a busy week for the Crandall Chargers, as they took to the court three times over the seven days. The Chargers split their two games at home before picking up a road win to close the week with a 2-1 record and remain above .500 for the season at 3-2 overall. Guard Kendal Brown put on a show for his home crowd with a pair of 30+ point outings before picking up a double-double on the road to cap off his impressive week in terms of individual statistics.
Against Mount Allison to open the week, Brown posted 34 points, eight rebounds, three assists, five steals, and one block while leading the Chargers to the 99-84 win. That was a sign of things to come for the week as Brown continued his strong two-way play over the last two games. From there, the Chargers welcomed Holland College to town, and while Crandall University dropped their second game of the season, 121-107, Brown put forth another strong effort. Brown recorded 31 points, three rebounds, four assists, and two blocks in the loss. He capped off his week by posting 14 points, six rebounds, 10 assists, seven steals, and one block against Dalhousie AC in the Chargers’ 92-69 win on the road over the Rams.
For the week, Brown averaged 26.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 4.0 steals, and 1.3 blocks per contest.
Ben West – UKC Blue Devils
14 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal in 102-48 win at Dalhousie AC
37 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks in 81-74 win vs. Mount Saint Vincent
After dropping their season opener on the road against Crandall, Ben West and the UKC Blue Devils had one more game away from home this week before they took to their home court for the first time this season against Mount Saint Vincent. The Blue Devils were looking to sweep the week and get above the .500 mark through two weeks, and thanks in part to a pair of strong performances from West, the Blue Devils did just that.
The Blue Devils opened the week on the road against the Rams of Dalhousie AC. West recorded 14 points and five rebounds on the day, and UKC used a balanced offensive attack to pick up the convincing 102-48 victory. From there, West and the Blue Devils returned home to take on the Mystics in their home opener. In the 81-74 win for UKC, West recorded a double-double of 37 points and 11 rebounds. He also picked up a pair of assists and a pair of blocks on the night. His strong play on both ends of the court was critical in the win over Mount Saint Vincent.
For the week, West averaged 25.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per contest.
– T. Bennett