The Sault College Cougars basketball teams took to the hardwood at home this weekend to open the 2012-2013 OCAA season after spending the last month south of the border against NJCAA schools in exhibition play.
The Cougar Men did not disappoint as they won both of their contests to sit atop the OCAA West standings after the first weekend of play. Saturday the Cougars roared out the gates against Redeemer University in an early season contest that saw both teams trade the lead throughout the match. Led by the strong guard play of Jason Ledgister (Toronto) the Cougars held on for a 54-53 win. Ledgister led all scorers with 18 points while Kojo Afari (Hamilton) added 14 points for the home squad and Calvin Turnball led the Royals with 13.
Sunday afternoon the Cougar Men faced off against Northern rival Canadore College looking to complete a perfect opening weekend. Once again the Cougars dictated the pace from the opening tip using a deep bench to build a lead that was 16 points into the fourth quarter. With strong team defense the home squad close off their Highway 17 foes by a final of 67-59. Afari had a strong game sporting a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds while Ledgister chipped in 12; Shane Kux led Canadore with 15 points.
With the first 2-0 start for Sault College in recent memory head Coach Greg Mapp was happy with the outcome stating “it’s great to win 2 to start that season, we need to build and learn from this as we head into next week’s challenge”.
One the women’s side, the lady Cougars never could find their rhythm Saturday as they dropped their season opener to Redeemer 75-45. With a freshman laden squad the Cougars closed the Redeemer lead to 7 points in the 3rd quarter but the more experienced Royals controlled the game play in the final quarter. Jessica Brown led the Royals with a game high 29 points while Keisha Giroux (Cobalt) and Danielle White (Sault Ste. Marie) paced the Cougars with 11 each.
Both Cougar squads are on the road this upcoming weekend as they head down the I-75 corridor with games against Lambton College Saturday and St. Clair College Sunday.