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Ottawa coach apologizes after getting bounced from CIS final, still wonders why

03/15/2015 06:58 EDT | Updated 05/15/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - James Derouin took one technical for his team. He's still wondering about the other one.

Either way the Ottawa Gee-Gees coach missed the painful finale of a 93-46 drubbing at the hands of the Carleton Ravens in the CIS men's basketball final Sunday.

Derouin didn't think his ejection was warranted, but apologized anyway after the game.

He admitted taking the first technical to fire up his players. "I thought my team needed a lift," he said. "Sometimes a coach has to do that ... (to) make sure the kids get the message that you're out there fighting for them."

The second technical, however, came with 38 seconds remaining in the third quarter after an official told lead assistant coach Justin Serresse to sit down.

Derouin said the officials had made a point at the tournament to make sure assistant coaches weren't standing.

"Which to me has absolutely nothing to do with what's going on on the court," Derouin said.

Derouin said Serresse was just doing his job. And that while the official was yelling at his assistant to sit down, he missed a charge call then turned back to the court and called it anyway.

"I just said to him you can't be worrying about our bench and missing plays and then turning around and making the call. And he threw me out. He T'd me up for that. No warning on that whatsoever. You could say my first T is my warning, I guess. But in a national championship final, to me I've got to throw a chair or I've got to do something bigger than that to get thrown out of a national championship final, in my mind."

Derouin said he does not lose control and would never get thrown out of such a game "regardless of the score and regardless how it looks."

"The only thing I can say is I can apologize to the university. I didn't mean to disrespect what Dave (Carleton coach Dave Smart) did or the officials. I was just fighting for my team."

Derouin, whose team had a short turnaround from Saturday night's semifinal, said Johnny Berhanemeskel looked flat and fellow guard Caleb Agada's "head was in the clouds from the start."

It was the second-straight loss to the Ravens in the championship game for the Gee-Gees, who went 18-1 in the regular season.

"They deserve better than a blowout here," Derouin said of his players. "They're a better team than that. It would have been nice to go out with a win but it also just would have been nice to come and play up to our potential and play a good game.

"But we were flat at both ends of the floor tonight and Carleton was ready. And they pounced all over us. It's not what I was expecting, that's for sure."

Moe Ismail, with 10 points, was the only Ottawa player to reach double figures in scoring.

Still the Gee-Gees drew praise from Carlton's Smart.

"I'll be very frank. I thought we were going to lose," said the Ravens coach. "They've been No. 1 all year, they won our conference, they lost one regular season game. They're a great basketball team. They're as good a team as there's been in the last 15 years over the course of a year.

"They certainly didn't play their best tonight. And we played very well. But over the course of the year they were the best team in our country until this game."

The Ottawa teams met twice this season prior to the gold medal game, with one win apiece.

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