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Rebels Romp Freemen
Cam Friesen (16 pts, 8 rebs, 4 assts, 3 blks)

Providence falls to Red River in two straight weekend match-ups

The Freemen hoped that a packed gym and home-court advantage would be enough to get them past an always tough Red River Rebels side Friday night. However, after a tightly contested first half, the Freemen slowed in the second and the Rebels pulled away to a 87-66 victory. The Rebels then gave another dominant performance Saturday afternoon en route to a 83-67 victory.

The Rebels held an early 6-0 lead, and then went on to lead 14-8 by the first quarter’s end in an opening ten minutes that saw both sides play extremely tight defensively. The Freemen then looked for veteran guidance in the second quarter as senior Cam Friesen (16 pts, 8 rebs, 4 assts, 3 blks) put in two quick baskets to lead his side to within two. The two sides then played fast-paced basketball that led to many opportunities and much more offense from both sides. By the time the two sides headed into the half the Rebels held a slight 34-30 lead.

The Freemen then came out with sloppy play after the break and were punished hard for it. Rebels junior Josh Stolar (27 pts) played an incredible quarter, and the Rebels outscored the Freemen 33-16 to take a commanding 21 point lead. However, coach Larios sent his senior players, Jon Patterson (17 pts), Dave Holowaty (4 pts) and Friesen, onto the court in what was the final home game of their careers, and received an inspired effort from all. Patterson woke up the crowd with two circus-shot lay-ups midway through the quarter while Holowaty and Friesen started to look after the defensive boards where the Rebels had gotten free baskets from all game. In the end the Freemen finished strong but weren’t able to dent the Rebels third quarter lead, and finished with a 87-66 defeat.

The two sides then met in Winnipeg Saturday afternoon as the Rebels hosted the re-match. Unfortunately for the Freemen it was much of the same as Red River controlled early and throughout en route to a 83-67 victory.

While the Freemen continue to struggle with consistency out of the breaks, one can take solace in the fact that they have been playing fast and efficient team ball once they find their groove. However, if the Freemen can find a solution to their slow starts in the near future then they appear to have the potential to play spoiler for the MCAC playoffs in two weeks time.

Notes: Saturday’s stats not available from the source…the Freemen next play this weekend when they travel south of the border for their NCCAA regional tournament.

Article Written by Kaiten Critchlow
Pictures by Heidi Martens

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