The Memorial Sea-Hawks are back in the playoffs, taking on the Cape Breton Capers in the first round of the 2017 AUS Basketball Championships this weekend in Halifax, NS.
The two teams haven't met since late November, where the Capers took 2 games from the Sea-Hawks. Since then, the Sea-Hawks have gone on a tear to climb the standings and get into the playoffs. All year long, we've heaped praise on the way English's team has come together to play as a unit on offense and defense. Coach English continued to preach that message ahead of Friday's game against the Capers.
"We need to just come focused and ready to execute the game plan we will put in place this week. There are no magical plays or defenses in basketball that guarantee you will win. It will come down to fundamental basketball on offensive, and toughness and complete level on the defensive end. It is a simple as that."
English told us on Sunday. His comments are reflective of the way his team has played of late, getting better and better as the season has worn on. Largely due to their razor-sharp precision when executing on offense, Memorial has quietly become one of the most efficient teams in the AUS.
The Capers come in on something of a skid. Despite beating Memorial earlier in the year (76-71, 82-71) during what was an 8-game winning streak, Cape Breton limped into the playoffs. Losers of 5 of their last 6, their offense seemed to dry up in February. That could spell trouble against a Sea-Hawks group that has regularly put up gaudy numbers at that end. Expect this quarterfinal matchup to come down to the execution that coach Mark English has stressed.
The game is Friday at 3:30 PM, and the winner moves on to play the number 2 seed, UNB. The game, along with the rest of the tournament, will be streaming live on AUStv.ca.