Rams beat Lions on night of milestones at Mattamy
TORONTO – Aaron Best moved into 7th place on the Rams all-time scoring list scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds while leading the Rams to a 104-69 win against the York Lions on Wednesday night.
“Honestly, I’m not even thinking about it. I just wanted to win the game. If it happened it happened. And it did, so I can be happy about it,” said Best on the scoring record.
It was also Best’s first game back in the starting lineup this season, as he returned from injury just before the winter break contributing in a bench role. Best was in fine form from the opening tip, and showed no signs of weakness in his performance.
The Rams came into this game under 24 hours removed from a 73-57-exhibition loss against Harvard in Boston last night. The team had a 5:00 a.m. flight back to Toronto this morning, but showed no signs of fatigue playing their most complete game of the year.
“Last night was a good test for us because we haven’t played in so long, it’s been about seven weeks. We needed to get back to it and get some reps against someone else in an official game so it definitely prepared us for tonight,” said Best on playing the back-to-back coming into tonight’s affair.
After a slow start offensively, Adika Peter-McNeilly righted the ship with a layup followed by two threes and a free throw to give him nine points in the quarter and give the Rams a 22-17 lead heading into the second frame. Peter-McNeilly finished with 22 points, five rebounds and three assists.
The Rams then hit their stride, dominating the 2nd and 3rd quarters on a 59-32 run, thanks in large part to a full court press instituted by coach Patrick Tatham.
In the fourth quarter with the game well in hand, following a poster of a dunk from Adam Voll on reserve York centre Jon Dulmage, Tatham emptied the bench and 12th man Jupvir Atwal had his chance to shine.
Atwal is the hardest working man on the roster, as each and everyday he is the first one in the gym and the last one out working on his shooting stroke and tonight he was finally rewarded for all of his efforts, scoring his first OUA points.
“It felt good man, it felt good. All the hard work I’ve been putting in (in) the gym and with my teammates, it felt good,” said Atwal on how he felt watching the ball go through the rim. “I’m definitely just going to keep working, and do whatever the coaches need me to do down the stretch this year.”
The win moved the Rams to 5-1 on the OUA season and sets up a showdown on Saturday for the east division lead with the Queen's Gaels (6-1) on Saturday night. Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. and will be available on OUA.tv