The West Island midget AAA Lakers took a beating against the St. Bruno Cougars who defeated them by a score of 91-67 Sunday afternoon at John Rennie High School in Pointe Claire.
The Lakers set the pace early in the game, taking a 4-0 lead but early injuries forced them to play with a shortened bench and drastically hampered their ability to keep up with St. Bruno's fast running game and aggressiveness near the basket later on.
"We started the game on the right foot. We were playing very well but unfortunately, we suffered three injuries in the first 10 minutes which cut our bench by almost 40 per cent. That drained a lot of energy from us later in the game," said Lakers' assistant coach Louis Bordeleau.
After a hotly contested first quarter which ended with the Cougars on top at 16-13, fatigue caught up with the Lakers in the second quarter. They waited for the sixth minute to score their first points; two free throws netted by Kalum Willis.
By then, St. Bruno had taken a 34-15 lead thanks to six free throws baskets and scores by Étienne Simard, Shawn Alston, Emile Ménard-Reid and Carl Charette. St. Bruno dominated the rest of the game as well by creating turnovers easily; working hard around the basket to obtain rebounds, forcing West Island to foul them and making them pay with a great success rate on free throws (71 per cent).
Mathieu Hardy was a spark in offence for St. Bruno in the second half, scoring 18 points after having netted eight in the first half for a total of 26. In a losing effort, point guard Judd Samana posted 16 points in the second half, including three three-pointers in the fourth quarter.
"The Lakers imposed a tempo at the beginning of the game. They played really aggressively and put pressure defensively. Then momentum shifted to our side and we took advantage of it. We took advantage of our fast-breaks in the second quarter a lot too. By being aggressive in defence, the Lakers allowed us to create turnovers and our guys were able to run and score easily," said St. Bruno head coach Pierre Gillespie.