THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – Lakehead Basketball commences their holiday non-conference competition Sunday, running to Tuesday. The women’s team participates in the Thunder Selects CIS Holiday Classic, hosted by Saint Mary’s in Halifax, while the men’s team takes on the field at the Wesmen Classic, hosted by Winnipeg.
Games schedules follow below. Both are bracket-style tournaments, with any loss sending teams to the consolation side. Brackets and additional tournament info are attached.
Women (4-3 OUA, 10-6 Overall)
The women’s team will play the Mount Royal Cougars in their first game, Sunday at 2pm at Saint Mary’s Homburg Centre. Brock and Dalhousie are also on Lakehead’s side of the draw, with Acadia, Toronto, Ottawa, and St Mary’s (CIS #4) on the other side.
The Cougars (3-5 CanWest) have scored an average of 58.5 points per game in regular season play.
“We are thrilled to get the opportunity to play in what I feel is the most well-run holiday tournament in Canada,” says coach Jon Kreiner. “Brandon Rafuse has worked hard to create one of the few 8-team tournaments in the CIS and his attention to detail is second to none.”About his team’s first match-up, Kreiner comments, “MRU is relatively new to the CIS, are very young and have some good Halifax recruits. The field is lead by #4 SMU while Ottawa, Dalhousie and Brock are all having strong seasons so far. This trip will certainly help us prepare for a very tough remainder of the OUA schedule.”
Men (4-3 OUA, 9-5 Overall)
The men’s team opens open their campaign at the Wesmen Classic against the Albert Golden Bears (4-5, CanWest) who have lost their last 4 games heading into the winter break. The ‘Wolves got the better of the Bears in a pre-season game on October 18, winning 68-54 in Edmonton.
Completing Lakehead’s side of the bracket are Brandon and Calgary (CIS # 7), with Winnipeg, Regina, Manitoba and NAIT waiting on the other side of the draw.
Lakehead has captured the Wesmen Classic banner four times, most recently in 2012 and 2009, with their earlier titles coming in ’97 and ’89.All women’s and men’s games will be webcast online, with full commentary at the Thunder Selects CIS Holiday Classic, and partial play-by-play coverage for the Wesmen Classic.