24 HOURS DC/UOIT: A special vibe at Durham hoops

A Lords player takes a jump shot Photo credit: John Elambo

Our second-year Journalism – Mass Media students from Durham College have tackled a special project – one we are calling ’24 Hours DC/UOIT’.
On Feb. 5, 2019, the students visited particular areas of the Durham College and UOIT campuses, including north Oshawa, downtown Oshawa and Whitby.

They talked to people, snapped pictures and gathered stories from students, faculty and staff about their campus experiences. This is one in a series of 16 stories from that day.

sIt is a night with lots of energy, loud music playing during timeouts and at half-time with songs like Meek Mill’s ’24/7′ to keep the crowd pumped up.

Every time the Durham Lords made a long range three-pointer, the crowd goes crazy and is really loud.

Welcome to a night of basketball at Durham College (DC). The men’s and women’s teams only play nine regular season home games in their Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) league.

Each night at DC has a special vibe.

Walking into the Durham gym, the team and individual achievements are visibly evident to spectators.

On the walls there are dozens of banners that remember the accomplishments of DC sports teams and players.

There’s a banner for the Lords women’s and men’s basketball teams each winning an OCAA championship back in 1997. That ’97 men’s team also won the lone Canadian title in the school’s hoop history.

There are also four retired numbers for the men, #3 Ken Upshaw, #40 Augusto Duquesne, #5 Bill Crowdis and #32 Anthony Batchelor.

The women have two, #44 Julie Goedhuis and #15 Bonnie Slaughter.

The gym also honours one of the media graduates from campus. At the top of the stands there is a yellow wall with a sign dedicated to Kate Beirness. Beirness now works on TSN as a host on Sportscentre. She was the PA announcer for the Lords, also did radio broadcasts during her time as a student and is a UOIT graduate.

On this Feb. 5, 2019 evening, a strong and vocal crowd is on hand as the women took care of business against the Seneca Sting, beating them 64-57.

The two teams had an intense battle in the paint for rebounds throughout the night, the Lords eventually beating Seneca 45-41 in that department.

Durham’s bench was also a huge part of the win, outscoring Seneca’s 28-8.

The Lords were led by forward Marie Stasiuk who dropped 13 points and 14 rebounds. Two other players followed her in double-digit scoring – point guard Dekota Kirby had 10 points and fellow point guard Victoria Brody also had 10 points.

Other players that stepped on the court scored at least one basket.

Lords’ guard Emily Glendinning says teams need to watch out when DC has a strong offensive game.

“We have so many people on our team that can put the ball in the net and teams need to be careful because we are a dangerous team when we’re hot,” she says.

Glendinning is confident her team can take a big step.

“We are a team that has the ability to be a championship team, we just need to act like it. We need to never get down on each other and play to the best of our abilities.”

For the men it was a different story, suffering an 85-69 loss at the hands of the Seneca Sting.

This matchup featured two teams on a winning streak. The Sting, first seed in the East, came into the game winners of eight straight, while the Lords had been undefeated in six.

The Lords gave up too many turnovers – surrendering the ball 11 times – and the Sting turned that into 22 points.

Lords’ point guard Brandon Halliburton was disappointed with the amount of turnovers DC committed.

“We need to take care of the ball better. We are not in sync on the court, the ball needs to move more,” he says.

The battle in the paint was also a win for the Sting, outscoring the Lords 40-22 even though the Lords out-rebounded Seneca 41-33.

Halliburton says his team’s effort was sub-par – noting the Lords didn’t give 100 per cent and weren’t prepared.

“Coming into the game we approached it like it was one of the bottom teams. They knew what we were doing defensively and they countered it and we didn’t know how to adjust to it.”

To borrow from Meek Mill, the Lords will have to stay committed to their hoop dreams ’24/7′ if either team wants a shot at winning the title this year.