Griffins duo returning to Regina as teammates for first time since winning provincial title

Jesse Trussler, above, and Luke Harold led Regina-based Campbell Collegiate to the 2017 Saskatchewan provincial title (Chris Piggott photo).
Jesse Trussler, above, and Luke Harold led Regina-based Campbell Collegiate to the 2017 Saskatchewan provincial title (Chris Piggott photo).

Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Luke Harold is holding the game ball. Jesse Trussler has his hands on the trophy.

The two Regina-based Campbell Collegiate teammates celebrated the 2017 Saskatchewan provincial championship together in their final high school season.

Now teammates on the MacEwan University Griffins, the duo will be lining up together in their hometown for the first time since as their Canada West team goes against the University of Regina on Friday and Saturday (both games 7 p.m. MT, Canada West TV).

"For both of them, it will be their first time with MacEwan they'll be able to go back to Regina and play and show the development that's happened since high school," said MacEwan head coach Eric Magdanz. "It will be a special weekend for both of them."

Beginning to put a lengthy injury history behind him, Harold is coming off his best game as a Griffin the last time out when he scored 14 points in a 92-83 loss at Mount Royal University.

"He came here last year and after about a month, he broke his foot with us and sort of derailed his season, making him a redshirt," said Magdanz, noting Harold was previously injured for almost his entire senior season of high school. "It's sort of been a road to recovery for Luke and he's starting to get comfortable in his role and with the speed of play. His athleticism is starting to take over."

Trussler is learning the system off the bench in his first season with the Griffins but has certainly flashed speed and ability at the guard position for MacEwan with 2.4 points in 10.2 minutes a game so far in 2018-19.

"Jesse's done a great job adapting to the roles we've given him on ball and off ball," said Magdanz. "He's starting to shoot it really well and he's understanding our game plan and how he can be an effective defender on the floor.

"He's really a calming influence for us where he can get the game under control and get us into actions offensively."

The young Griffins (0-10) are still hunting for their first win of the season as they visit Regina (5-3) in their final action of the first semester.

They've come close against two of the better teams in the conference the past couple of weeks, losing by four to 6-4 UFV two weeks ago and suffering two single-digit losses to 6-4 MRU.

They had furious fourth-quarter rallies against both opponents but were too far back to recover each time.

"I think it takes an effort for 40 minutes," said Magdanz. "We've done a good job of putting quarters together. We've done a good job of even putting runs together, but it's that level of consistency.

"If we continue with our offensive output and get a little more consistent defensively, we have an opportunity to go on some runs," he added. "Regina's a team that matches up well for us, so it's a good test for us to end off the semester and set us up well going into the break."