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Ottawa SkyHawks season ends on tough note

March 3, 2014
By

The Ottawa SkyHawks didn’t do themselves any favours as they were eliminated from playoff contention by the Mississauga Power in National Basketball League of Canada action Sunday.

Giveaways were a big problem for the first-year SkyHawks, including 13 in the first half and three in the final two minutes to fall 103-100.

The game shouldn’t have been as close as it was; the SkyHawks manhandled the Power during the season, winning seven of eight games before Sunday’s loss.

A dejected coach Jaren Jackson had a hard time putting his finger on what went wrong in the play-in, do-or-die game for a chance to play Windsor in the first-round of the playoffs.

“It’s a tough moment right now,” he said after emerging from the dressing room.

Tough as it was to swallow, Jackson was proud of his team and what it accomplished in it’s first season, including a 21-19 regular season record.

“We’ve got a class team, high-character guys that played professional basketball in Ottawa with utmost resilience and respect,” he said.

It was a particularly tough ending for Ryan Anderson, after the forward was ruled to have stepped on the line as he launched a three-point attempt at the final buzzer.

He had to be grabbed and carried away from the refs after losing his cool in protesting the call. Anderson apologized for the move after the game, chalking it up to passion in a tough game.

“I don’t think I stepped on the line,” he said. “But I don’t think I foul sometimes and (I do).”

But Anderson was hardly blaming the loss on the final shot.

“They played well, I’m not going to discredit Mississauga,” he said. “They came out and played really well and they got us.”

Anderson, who finished with 12 points, said he’s loved playing in Ottawa.

“That’s why I’m hurting so much. It wasn’t supposed to end like this.”

Owner Gus Takkale wasn’t ready to make any promises about next season. While the team was plagued by attendance problems and lacked a permanent home, Takkale left the door open to more basketball in Ottawa.

“We’re working on setting up a new venue agreement,” he said. “As for now, we’ve got to let everything sink in.”

He acknowledged the team has learned a few things that should help them if the SkyHawks come back next season.

“We’ve learned that Kanata is far,” he said with a smile.

Takkale was also taking the loss hard.

“It’s a very emotional moment right now,” he said.

chris.hofley@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @chrishofley

Article source: http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/03/02/ottawa-skyhawks-season-ends-on-tough-note

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