The Belmont Bulldogs made a huge statement against the W.J. Mouat Hawks in what might just be the biggest upset of the day. Despite what you may think by looking at the standings, it was an extremely back-and-forth game between both teams.
The Hawks’ Dhivaan Bhogal opened up the scoring with a fancy layup in enemy territory, but Bulldogs’ star centre Isaac Ickovich responded quick with his own 2.
The Bulldogs were even able to take the lead early on in the first quarter. The Hawks would need to avoid foul trouble if they wanted to get back into the game.
Hawks’ Sukhi Kang equalized, taking the score to 8-8 and was eventually able to pull ahead thanks to another layup.
The Mouat cheer squad showed up near the end of the first quarter and seemed to initially intimidate Belmont. However, the Bulldogs led the way into the second quarter.
Hawks’ head coach Rich Ralston recognized the strength in Bulldogs’ Ickovich, pushing his team to keep him well guarded in hopes of turning this game around.
During the second quarter, Belmont led up until nearly the last minute of play, when the Hawks finally had a break at the foul line and were able to equalize 26-26.
Fortunately for Mouat, Bhogal sunk a beautiful buzzer-beater 3 just as the half came to a close. The Hawks pulled ahead 31-29.
Belmont continued to utilize their defence in the third, holding Mouat to 18 points to their 24. They took the lead, yet again, with a score of 53-49 at the end of the quarter.
For the duration of the game, Belmont kept a steady lead by nearly 10 points. In the last five minutes of play, Mouat continued to make sloppy mistakes, giving the Bulldogs too many chances at the foul line.
In what some would call an upset of the day, the Belmont Bulldogs defeated W.J. Mouat Hawks with final score of 70-60.
Where did it all go wrong for the Hawks? Foul trouble, offensive plays not lining up, and maybe they even underestimated their competition. Whatever the issue, this was not the W.J. Mouat team fans are used to seeing.
Just as Hawks’ Coach Ralston said before the game, any team can beat any team—and the Belmont Bulldogs proved that today.
Bulldogs’ head coach Kevin Brown said the team did their research and fully prepared for this game.
“We knew what they had and what their weapons were, and we just prepared accordingly,” said Brown of the Hawks. “I’ve got a couple pretty tough kids. They’re not big kids compared to Mouat, but they’re very tough. They’ve got the biggest hearts. They play all year against a pretty strong schedule and we play big guys all the time so they get pretty good practice playing big guys.”
Belmont did a spectacular job analyzing their competition and will definitely be a team to watch during Provincials.
“It’s nice to see that the boys have come that far over the last few months and just did their job.”
Written by: Crystal Scuor