By Alex Figliomeni
Humber men’s basketball team square off against their biggest rival tonight.
The Humber Hawks (4-0) host the Sheridan Bruins (3-1). Tip-off is at 8 p.m. at the north campus gym. Many consider this matchup the most intense rivalry in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
Rivalry games are always a heated battle with high emotion and passion filling the court. Head coach Samson Downey seemed confident in his group when asked about how he will keep the emotions in check.
“I tell them to stay in the moment, and just have fun with it,” said coach Downey. “There’s been a lot of great battles over the years; this is the best rivalry in amateur sports.”
It’s Downey’s first year as head coach, he’s a former assistant coach and player. He played five seasons for the Hawks and won the provincial championship in 2005. He had a 74-14 OCAA record during his playing career.
“It’s great, I am one seat over now, but that’s the only thing that’s changed,” Downey said when asked about his first few weeks as a first-time head coach. “I’m still the same guy, and expectations are still the same.”
The last meeting between these two was a thriller. The game went to overtime after a crazy buzzer-beater from Sheridan. In overtime DeQuon Cascart of Humber caught on fire, scoring four clutch free throws before stealing an in-bound pass to win the game.
Sheridan began the 2018 season as the top-ranked team in the CCAA. They are averaging a league-best 122 points per game through four games. Three Humber players are averaging 15 or more points-per-game this season. Curwin Elvis leads the team with an average 17 points per game, followed by Kevin Otoo with 15.5, and Jaylan Morgan with 15.
It’s the 103rd regular season matchup between the two. These programs have combined for 13 provincial championships and 26 combined titles since 1967. Humber owns a 29-23 home record against the Bruins, and have won eight of their last 11 meetings at home.
If you can’t attend the game, its streamed live on the Hawks Sports Network.