The Holland College Hurricanes are looking to ramp up their play as they head towards the post-season.
It’s bad news for the rest of the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) as the ’Canes are 13-0 in conference play, are ranked No. 1 in the country and are winning by an average of 30 points per game.
With all that being said, does the team ever get complacent or take victories for granted?
“I try not to let them,” head coach Josh Whitty said. “We’re a long way from being the kind of team that I think we’re capable of being, so we’re trying to get there by March.”
The Hurricanes have built a program where winning is expected. They are the six-time defending conference champions and are looking for more.
They have eight games remaining in the regular season and six of those are against the three teams directly behind them in the conference’s standings. It starts tonight when the ’Canes play a rare Thursday game by hosting the Crandall Chargers (8-5) at 8 p.m.
“It’s a pretty jam-packed schedule here through February, so we want to get it started off right,” Whitty said.
With the calendar turning to February on Friday, players know the season is winding down and the importance of finishing strong. The Hurricanes will play five games in the next 11 days.
“They realize both where we’re at schedule-wise and who are opponents are down the stretch here,” Whitty said.
“They’re a good team,” he said of the Chargers. “They have some guys that present some challenges for us.”
Holland College won the previous meeting 121-107 on Nov. 10 in Moncton. The teams rank one-two in conference scoring.
“Crandall has been our toughest competition in the conference to date,” said Isaac Cheverie, a guard from DeSable. “It will be important to force them to our pace and keep them off the glass.”
Whitty earned his 100th career victory Saturday in Halifax.
While appreciative the college recognized the accomplishment, Whitty said it is not something he spends a lot of time thinking about. Instead, he is concentrating on making the team better prepared for the conference playoffs and hopefully another trip to nationals with the end goal of capturing the program’s first gold medal.
“I’ve been fortunate to coach some really good players and some really good kids in my time here,” he said. “I’m really proud of the program and a lot of the things the players have done and will continue to do.”
The Hurricanes women’s squad is in a dogfight to make the playoffs but can take a step towards a post-season berth with a victory tonight against the Chargers.
Game time is 6 p.m.
The Hurricanes (4-9) are two points up on Crandall (3-10) for the sixth and final playoff spot.
“It will be a big game for us,” said Lexi MacInnis, who averages a team-high 15.1 points per game. “We’re all very excited to go out there Thursday night and work hard and play as a team.”
Holland College defeated Crandall 70-68 on Nov. 10 in Moncton in the first meeting of the year.