By Michael Grace-Dacosta
The Lakehead Thunderwolves will play in their fourth consecutive CIS National Championships after defeating the Windsor Lancers 64-78 on Saturday in the bronze medal game of the Wilson Cup, being held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
“There’s six seniors on this team and there’s no way we wanted anything short of going back to nationals,” said fifth-year guard Joseph Jones, who led the team with 23 points. “We worked hard. We put in so many hours over the last five years.”
With all-star guard Josh Collins out of the line-up, the Lancers were unable to get things going early on, and found themselves playing catch-up for the majority of the game. Lakehead held Windsor to just 31.9% shooting from the field for the game and converted on 51.8% of their own shots.
OUA West MVP Lien Phillips finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds for Windsor, but also committed 6 turnovers.
“We saw Windsor a couple weeks ago so we’re pretty familiar with some of the stuff they run. Plus they were short a player,” said Lakehead forward Yoosrie Salhia, who was recently named a first-team OUA West all-star.
And while there was a sense of disappointment after Friday’s loss to Carleton, the Thunderwolves have already moved on.
“The Wilson [Cup] would be great, but everyone’s mind is on the national championship. It’s the icing, but we want to taste the cake,” said Salhia. “We see it as it’s an eight team tournament. You win three games you get a national championship. We’ll just take it one game at a time.”
Joining Lakehead at the CIS National Championships will be the OUA silver medalists Ottawa Gee-Gees, and the defending national champion Carleton Ravens.
Photos and Video by Charles Vanegas