The semi finalists have been determined at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Championship at Mohawk College in Hamilton following March 19th’s quarterfinal results.
Game 1: Holland Hurricanes – 80 vs Medicine Hat Rattlers – 63
The Holland Hurricanes from Charlottetown PEI lived up to their number one ranking in Canada, with an 80-63 victory over the Medicine Hat Rattlers of Alberta in game one of the CCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship in Hamilton.
Medicine Hat’s Pietro de Andrade scored the first bucket of the championship propelling the Rattlers to a 9-0 run after the tip-off. A couple of successful free throws finally got the Hurricanes going 3:30 into the game, although they trailed 22-17 after the first quarter. However Holland turned things around to lead 39-30 at half time. From that point on it seemed no matter what Medicine Hat did, the Island squad matched them. The Rattlers trailed 47-60 after three periods, and while they reduced their deficit to nine points in the final quarter, they never threatened the Hurricanes from that point on.
D.J Wright had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the winners. Hurricanes Player of the Game, Chase Bowden scored 16 points and added seven boards. For Medicine Hat, Michael Farion scored 16 points and Rattlers’ Player of the Game Pietro de Andrade collected 13 points.
Game 2: Humber Hawks – 77 vs Langara Falcons – 71
The Humber Hawks downed the Langara Falcons 77-71 in the quarter finals. It looked like a possible blowout, when the Hawks, from Etobicoke Ontario, jumped to a 12-1 lead, but their opponent from Vancouver finally got rolling and trailed on 23-20 after the first quarter. Humber, seeded fourth in the championship, increased its lead to 45-38 over fifth ranked Langara at the intermission. In the third period, the Hawks managed to play even with the Falcons, and led 60-54. Langara turned the contest into a real battle early in the fourth, as it narrowed its deficit to just two points (60-58), but Humber pulled away for good, winning by six.
Gibson Eduful spearheaded the Hawks attack, scoring 18 points and adding eight rebounds and three assists. Vule Grujic , Humber’s Player of the Game, had 16 points and eight rebounds. For the Falcons, Jitinder Lohcham produced 18 points. Their Player of the Game, Garrett Ling-, had 13 points and seven rebounds.
Game 3: VIU Mariners – 66 vs Lethbridge Kodiaks – 62
The second seeded Vancouver Island University Mariners, from Nanaimo BC, downed number seven Lethbridge Kodiaks of Alberta 66-62 in the third quarter final matchup. The game was close from start to finish, with 12 lead changes and seven ties. VIU led 13-10 after the first quarter. Lethbridge was in front 32-29 at half time and 49-46 after three quarters. But the Mariners averted an upset, outscoring the Kodiaks 20-13 in the final quarter. For a low scoring game it was a tense and physical battle, particularly in the final two minutes when the result was in doubt.
VIU’s Player of the Game, with 26 points and seven rebounds was Justin King. His teammate, Jerod Dorby contributed 18 points and controlled the boards with 14 rebounds. No other Mariner managed double digit scoring. Travis Butt had 15 points and nine rebounds for Lethbridge, while Kodiak Player of the Game Chaz Johnson poured in 14 points.
Game 4: Mohawk Mountaineers – 79 vs Champlain Saint-Lambert Cavaliers – 77
The host Mohawk Mountaineers, in their quest to regain the CCAA men’s basketball title, got a real scare from the Cavaliers in the opening round before securing a 79-77 decision in a jam packed David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre on Hamilton Mountain. The matchup was edge of your seat excitement as the two point victory indicates.
The Mountaineers, seeded number three in the championship, came roaring out of the gate with a pair of three pointers to begin the ball game and they led by nine points before the number six Cavaliers rallied to trail 18-16 after the first quarter. In the second quarter Champlain took the lead by one point, setting up a back and forth contest with the Cavaliers going to the dressing room with a 42-40 lead. It was more give and take for the two teams in the third quarter and Champlain kept their two point lead, 58-56. The drama continued into the final quarter when Lamar Barr put the Mountaineers up 59-58 and the intensity continued to the very end. Both teams were called for technical fouls in the fourth period and the fans were really caught up in the play. Jeff Hunt would score what turned out to be the winning basket in the dying seconds.
The top player in Canada, Matt Fennell scored 28 points to lead Mohawk’s scoring, but the man who saved the Mountaineers on this night was their Player of the Game, Andrew Cicuttini, who was all over the court, scoring 23 points and adding 14 rebounds in a very physical game. Champlain’s Player of the Game, J.J. Hamel-Carey, had 21 points. His teammate, Nicholas Noble added 15.
Friday, the action picks up at 1:00 pm as Medicine Hat plays Langara, while at 3:00 pm Lethbridge meets Champlain. Both of those games feature teams still in the hunt for a bronze medal. At 6:00 pm it’s Holland College versus Humber followed at 8:30 pm by Mohawk and Vancouver Island University. The winners of the two semi finals will meet in the gold medal game Saturday night.