MacEwan Athletics and TRU Athletics
KAMLOOPS, B.C. – Yielding 29 points to fifth-year Thompson Rivers WolfPack forward Luke Morris, the MacEwan Griffins men's basketball team suffered an 80-61 defeat on the opening night of their 2017-18 Canada West season.
The new-look Griffins, who lost 60 per cent of their scoring from last season as five seniors graduated and their leading scorer didn't return, have a few things to fix as they continue to adjust to new roles, says head coach Eric Magdanz.
"It is a learning curve for us," he said. "I thought we did some good things tonight. There is a lot of execution that was lacking. If we can clean those things up it will make a big difference."
Newcomer Dustin Gatzki led the Griffins with 12 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes, while third-year point guard Adonis Monfort-Palomino had nine points and two assists. Atlas St. Paul-Butler and Ali Raza each chipped in eight points.
"We had some guys who came off the bench and played hard and were aggressive," said Magdanz. "They did some things we wanted to do. It is just really cleaning up some of the smaller details."
Thompson Rivers had three other players scoring in double-digits: Derek Rhodes (13), Joe Davis (10) and Mike Rouault with a double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds).
"I thought we executed our game plan relatively well," said TRU head coach Scott Clark. "Guys made some shots, we were a little tougher defensively and the score was in our favour. That is great. But there is a game to be played tomorrow and we have to get ready for that."
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night at 8 p.m. MT (Canada West TV).