Ilarion Bonhomme has shown his ability to go end-to-end on the court throughout the Canada West men’s basketball season.
On Saturday night, the Brandon University Bobcats first-year point guard also showed the ability to play from start to finish. Bonhomme was on the court for 39 minutes, receiving only a brief breather in the first quarter, as the Bobcats beat the Manitoba Bisons 98-91 at the BU gym.
Bonhomme, who claimed he never got tired, made the most of his time on court with 28 points and nine assists as the Bobcats improved to 2-4 on the season.
"The coaches give me a lot of freedom to play and I was able to make some shots," said 5-foot-11 native of Washington D.C., who red-shirted with the Bobcats last season. "My team kept feeding me energy and (encouraged me to) keep attacking, keep attacking and I did that and I was lucky enough to be successful."
Jeremy Wielenga, who is filling in as the Bobcats’ head coach for Gil Cheung due to the ongoing Brandon University Faculty Association’s strike, has been impressed with Bonhomme’s ability to quarterback the Bobcats’ offence and has no issues letting him play the full 40 minutes.
"He’s one of the hardest workers we have," Wielenga said. "He’s in the gym every day. He’s doing all the right things and he deserves to be out there 40 minutes a game."
As impressed as Wielenga was with Bonhomme, he was disappointed in the Bobcats’ inability to stop the Bisons’ transition game as the teams traded three-pointers, with the Bisons (2-4) making 13-of-27 shots from beyond the arc and the Bobcats making 11-of-25. Jonar Huertas of the Bisons went 8-of-12 from three-point range and finished with 31 points.
Although the Bobcats struggled defensively, they felt they finally were able to get shots to drop, which they struggled to do earlier this season.
"We’ve been really off lately," said Bonhomme. "We’ve been bad from everywhere; three-point line, free-throw line, we’ve been missing layups. (Saturday) we got it rolling and pulled it out."
Kyle Vince had 18 points, making 4-of-6 from three-point range, while Emerick Ravier added 17 points and nine rebounds, with Ali-Mounir Benabdelhak contributing 15 points for Brandon.
The Bobcats were relieved to escape the weekend with a split against the Bisons, but they know they have to be better next weekend when they visit the Thompson Rivers WolfPack (2-4) and the UBC-Okanagan Heat (0-4).
"Offensively, I think we’re OK," Wielenga said. "Defensively, we have to get better if we’re going to compete."