Humber Hawks Men’s basketball team secured a third consecutive trip to the playoffs under head coach Omar Miles.
The team clinched another playoff berth after defeating the Fanshawe Falcons 87-75 on, Feb. 3.
Miles said his team faced significant pressure from the Falcons and they handled it the best they could.
“Playing in front of this crowd, there is so much expectation,” he said.
“You play at Humber, you’re expected to win, and we took care of business,” Miles said.
The Hawks wrapped up their season with a record of 13-5, clinching second place in the OCAA West Division.
The men closed the season against the Mohawk Mountaineers at home on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
The game was gritty, but the Hawks took a substantial lead into halftime and never subsided, winning the season’s final game 84-59.
Third-year forward Malik Grant said the team was looking for redemption after their previous game against Mohawk earlier in the season.
“Last time we played them (Mohawk), we were up by the same score at half and they came back and beat us by one point,” he said.
“It’s good that we took that lead and just kept pushing,” Grant said.
The second semester for the Hawks was exceptional, as they won seven of the eight remaining games.
Fourth-year point guard Jalen Menzies said there are many positive aspects to take away from the last eight games.
“In the first semester, we were struggling, winning one losing one,” he said.
“We really tried to come out and have a new mentality in the new year, and I feel like we’ve done that all since January, and we are looking to keep that momentum going into the playoffs,” Menzies said.
Playoff trips are something this team is becoming accustomed to as they have moved forward in all three seasons under Miles, winning the CCAA title in 2022.
Last season was unfortunate for the team as they got eliminated in the quarter-finals by Mohawk.
Grant said the key to a deep playoff run this year is to focus on the defensive side of the game.
“Honestly, it’s defence. That is what has been winning us games so as long as we play defence, our offence will come,” he said.
Menzies said the team is focused on proving the doubters wrong.
“There’s a lot of expectations for us. Much is given, much is required. We want to prove people wrong, they didn’t believe in us but we’re hoping to shock some people,” he said.
As it stands, Humber will be facing the Loyalist Lancers in the opening round of the 2024 OCAA playoffs.