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New OCAA veteran could mean big things for men’s basketball

8 October 2011 No Comment

During the men’s exhibition basketball game against George Brown, it didn’t take long to realize that Mohawk will have a dangerous backcourt to contend with this season.

Once Aminu Bello returns from injury, he will join fellow First Team All-Star Manny Campbell—which will undoubtedly make one of the best one-two guard combinations in the Ontario Colleges’ Athletic Association.  Campbell is a rookie with the Mountaineers this season, but has three years of OCAA experience coming over from Fanshawe.

“He’s kind of a pass-first point guard with a very big burst,” said head coach Brian Jonker about Campbell.

Campbell showed off his speed right after the opening tip when he took one of his two steals of the day and opened the scoring for an eventual 77-61 victory.

Alex Reis followed Campbell’s lead with a steal and score of his own followed by a three-pointer. Then after Taylor Dowhaniuk threw down an open dunk, Mohawk had opened the game with a 12-0 run.

Reis and Campbell showed some preseason chemistry in the second half when Reis sent a couple of long-bombs to a streaking Campbell who had no trouble finishing at the basket.

Jonker said this game was a lot like their first where they controlled the play throughout. The Mountaineers got consistent scoring with all five starters scoring in double-digits and winning each half by eight.

Mohawk outperformed George Brown at both ends of the floor with a better shooting percentage and 16 more rebounds. As good as the guards were, Jonker said the men in the paint were a big reason for winning.

“I thought (Dowhaniuk and Andrew Cicuttini) were the difference in the game tonight, really,” said Jonker.

Cicuttini led all players with 12 rebounds and Dowhaniuk was a force in the paint blocking almost every shot that George Brown tried to shoot over him. Mohawk’s one low point of the game came nearing the end of the first half. The team was struggling to score and the Huskies were climbing back into the game.

That is when Cicuttini grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball right back up for a score and followed the effort with back-to-back layups.

Mostly reserves were in for Mohawk to finish the game allowing the Huskies to make the final score a little more respectable.

Bello hopes to return from turning his ankle in practice to face his former team, McMaster University, in exhibition play on Oct. 11. The game is scheduled to start at 8 p. m. in McMaster’s gymnasium.

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