CALGARY, (Feb. 22, 2019) — With the appetizers now done, it's time for the main course.
The SAIT Trojans men's basketball team concluded their Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) regular season on Friday night, beating the Ambrose University Lions 86-79 in a game played inside SAIT's Campus Centre.
Their 20-1 record sets a new Trojans single-season mark for victories.
"It's crazy to think that we lost just one game and we still underachieved," said Trojans head coach Marty Birky. "We had the ability the win them all, and in this league, that's really hard to do."
The Trojans will now turn their attention to the post-season. Winners of the last two Conference Championships, SAIT will enter the three-day event hosted by Lakeland College in Lloydminster, Alta. as the favourites to win it for a third-straight year.
"We've been the favourite in every game we have played this year, so that won't be a new feeling for us," Birky explained. "I try and keep them humble by reminding them that the favourite hasn't won the ACAC in five years. We need to play well if we want to win it again."
SAIT will open the tournament on Thursday night with a tough game against the North Division's No. 4 seed, and tournament host, Lakeland College.
Before Friday's game, the Trojans recognized three players who will finish five years of post-secondary basketball – Amitoj Rehill (5th year, Calgary, Business Administration), Ian Tevis (5th year, Kent, Wash., Office Professional) and Nick Molina (5th year, Calgary, Business Administration).
Only Molina played all five of his years at SAIT, and he was able to reflect on it following the game.
"It's been a long journey, but I have been blessed," he said. "My family was here tonight, and they've stuck by me the whole way. SAIT, the coaches, everybody has been with me through all the ups and downs. . . Five years went by fast."
Molina finished the game with 11 points and seven rebounds. Tevis added 18 points and five rebounds.
Josh Daniel led the Lions with 26 points.