The Vancouver Island University Mariners from Nanaimo BC, will meet the Humber Hawks from Etobicoke, Ontario in the final of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball National Championship in Hamilton. The qualifying rounds on Friday included several close contests including another thrilling final match of the day in front of a packed Mohawk fanbase.
Game 1: Langara Falcons 103, Medicine Hat Rattlers 70
The Falcons became the first team to reach the century mark in points at the championship, with a 103-70 victory over the Medicine Hat Rattlers of Alberta to kickoff the second round. The Rattlers led only once in the game, very early, as Langara dominated most of the contest, leading 26-16 after the first quarter, 52-34 at the half and 76-55 at three quarter time. The winners shot 56.3 percent from the floor, while Medicine Hat shot 32.9 percent.
The Falcons got a 22 point effort from Jitinder Lohcham, while their Player of the Game, Mason Elliot, had 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Rattlers’ Player of the Game, Jaamel Slack, had 15 points, 13 boards and two blocked shots. Pietro de Andrade contributed 14 points. Langara advances to the bronze medal semi finals Saturday at 12:00 p.m. against the host, Mohawk Mountaineers.
Game 2: Lethbridge Kodiaks 89, Champlain Saint-Lambert Cavaliers 83
The Lethbridge Kodiaks of Alberta kept their bronze medal hopes alive at the CCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship but not before a big scare from the Champlain Saint-Lambert Cavaliers. The two teams had a very competitive opening quarter, with Champlain leading 21-18 after 10 minutes. But the Kodiaks ran wild in the second quarter, outscoring the Cavaliers 32-9 to lead 50-30 at half time. While many may have thought the game was over, nobody told Champlain. After three periods they still trailed by 17 (67-50), but fashioned a magnificent 22-2 run spanning the late third and early fourth quarters. Twice they narrowed the deficit down to two points but they just couldn’t get over the final hurdle.
Lethbridge Player of the Game Christopher Maughan had a monster game with 26 points and 18 rebounds. Teammate Chaz Johnson scored 20. For Champlain, their Player of the Game, Ahmadu Tijani Umar, scored 25 points and brought down 10 rebounds. Joany Castor Thadal added 16 for the Cavs. With the result, Lethbridge goes to the bronze medal semi finals at 10:00 am Saturday against the Holland Hurricanes.
Game 3: Humber Hawks 81, Holland Hurricanes 70
The Humber Hawks will vie for the gold medal at the CCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship. The Hawks knocked off the top ranked team in the country, and previously unbeaten, Holland Hurricanes of Charlottetown, PEI. The Hawks were in control most of the way, leading 18-13 after the first quarter, 42-24 at intermission and 61-49 after three quarters.
Chad Bewley paced Humber with 23 points and six rebounds and was his team’s Player of the Game. Ancil Martin scored 14 points. Holland’s Player of the Game, Eamon Morrissy, was the top scorer in the game with 24 points. Orlando Palmer added 17. Humber will shoot for the CCAA title Saturday at 8:30 p.m against the Vancouver Island University Mariners while Holland will continue to battle for a bronze.
Game 4: VIU Mariners 92, Mohawk Mountaineers 88
The VIU Mariners, of Nanaimo BC, downed the host Mohawk Mountaineers in a thrilling semi-final matchup to end the second day. Both teams came out with a run and gun approach and at the end of the first quarter, VIU led 27-26. They increased that lead slightly, ending the first half ahead 44-39, although the Mountaineers had clawed back from a 10 point hole.
The teams continued to trade blows after the break, with Mohawk on top 65-64 after the third. That set up an edge of your seat final 10 minutes when Mohawk turned the tables and went up by six points (81-75) on a three pointer from Matt Fennell. However with five minutes still remaining, the Mariners regrouped with a 13-0 run for an 88-81 lead. Mohawk fought back to within two points and Jeff Hunt hit the rim on his attempt to tie the game in the dying seconds but VIU held the hosts off on route to a four point decision.
The Mariners’ Player of the Game, Justin King led his squad with 23 points and Chris Parker had 20. For Mohawk, Fennell was their top man with 27 points and eight rebounds while Matt Savel added 15 points.
The VIU-Humber gold medal final will be played at 8:30 p.m. Saturday while the hometown Mountaineers will pursue the bronze.