Busy break for Sea-Hawks basketball teams

John
John Browne
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While women’s side hit the road, the men’s side will hit the gym

They call it the Christmas break, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot to Memorial Sea-Hawks men’s and women’s varsity basketball players.

MUN men’s basketball player Caleb Gould (33) pulls down a rebound during a game against the St. Francis Xavier X-Men at the Field House last month. Coach Peter Benoite plans to keep his team in the gym over the holiday break.

While most of the players from outside the province head home for Christmas after exams, they’ll be back on court a couple of days later.

And, while they are away from the court, “they will be given expectations in terms of what they are doing physically and skill wise,” according to Memorial Sea-Hawks women’s basketball coach Doug Partridge.

The veteran MUN mentor said it isn’t a good idea for the players to stay out of the gym during the break.

“We have a nice trip to Montreal Dec. 27 and play in a tournament, which should give us a chance to hammer some things out,” said Partridge of his 2-4 Sea-Hawks.

The men’s team isn’t playing in a tournament outside of the province during the break, but both coaches feel the players need to play.

“Getting away from the gym is a recipe for poor play after Christmas which we can't afford,” warns Partridge, and men’s coach Peter Benoite agrees. “Those who train over Christmas will be ready to contribute, and those who don't will get a great seat at the games to watch those that did,”

“Getting away from the gym is not really an option this time of year,” said Benoite.

“I’ve found that guys that take the break off are not ready for the second half of the year, and subsequently not able to perform,” he said.  

“So guys have to find a way to get workouts in and work on their game around exams,” added Benoite. “The serious player finds time to do this, of course.”

Benoite’s charges will be back on the court Dec. 28.

“However, with injuries that’s always a bit different. I’ll be recommending some guys just train for a couple of weeks and avoid the quick cuts that’s involved in playing, to let the injuries rehab,” explained Benoite.

Benoite said the winless Sea-Hawks will be doing a training camp over the Christmas holidays, as opposed to a tournament.

“Hopefully,” he said, “we’ll get a couple of games with our alumni to help us be game-ready for the second half of the year. We haven’t done that the last number of years, as we’ve usually played over Christmas, but I like the idea of doing it, as we have no restrictions on how much we can practice. Since there are no classes, we can 100 per cent focus on basketball.

“We’ll be holding some practices times for individuals and scrimmages, but overall, the expectation is that they will come back in shape, and ready to play to basketball,” Benoite said.

Benoite said most of his players who live outside the province will be going home for Christmas, except for Vasilije Curcic and Alpha Kisusi. Curcic is from Serbia, while Kisusi is from Tanzania.

In the meantime, there’s been no decision yet on whether or not the Sea-Hawks men’s team will continue their early morning practices in the new year.

“Overall, we have liked the early mornings,” said Benoite.

He said he is just waiting on class schedules for next semester to see if it makes sense to continue with the 6:45 a.m. workouts.

 “One problem we may run it to is that Noel (Moffatt) will be on a work term and will most likely have to be at work 8 or 8:30 in the morning. That may cause some issues for the morning practices,” Benoite explained.

Both MUN teams return to AUS action the second weekend in January when they take on Acadia University in a pair of four-point games in Wolfville, N.S.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Sea-Hawks, Moffatt, Acadia University

Geographic location: Montreal, Serbia, Wolfville

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