AAA OFSAA Championship: Defending Champs Anderson Repeat. Matthew Marquis-Wedderburn Saves The Day
NPH TOP PERFORMERS
- Jacob Hutchcroft – 17 points, 7 rebounds
- Dyshawn Pierre – 15 points, 18 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 blocks
- Grant Mullins – 30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks
WINDSOR,ON–The final game of AAA OFSAA ended in championship fashion going right down to the wire between the #1 seed Notre Dame and the defending champions Anderson Raiders; Grant Mullins lobbed a pass to teammate Justin Springer for the final shot in the waning seconds of the game. The three for Springer would have won the game for the fighting Irish, the 6’4 guard was able to get a good look at the basket however the desperation shot was to no avail. The Anderson Raiders would win their second consecutive OFSAA championship with a final of 62-60.
The Raiders got off to a 15 to 5 lead early in the first quarter, with all points from the team’s leaders Dyshawn Pierre and Jacob Hutchcroft, fighting Irish point guard Daniel Dooley was able to cut the lead to four after swishing two threes. The Raiders were able to end all quarters by sustaining somewhat of a lead.
The stat chart showed Pierre having 10 rebounds by half time and finished with a whopping 15 points and 18 rebounds Pierre’s length allowed him to secure extra possessions for his squad. Pierre’s passing ability was also on full display as he numerously found open teammates for easy scores. As their team name suggests Notre Dame would not go down without a fight, the Irish had great help from their role players Mike Mullins and Greg Owens who finished around the basket with second chance opportunities.
Raiders scoring leader with 18 Hutchcroft looked poised all game well knowing that this was his final opportunity on high school hardwood he expressed his feelings to NPH after the game, “we were able to keep composure because of the experience we had from last year’s championship, even though they made a run in the last minute overall it’s been an amazing experience and I am glad we can come out with this win”
G. Mullins had the crowd in amazement throughout the past three days, but in this final the crowd was roaring as he tied the game at 60 with 45 seconds to play. On the next possession Matthew Marquis-Wedderburn grabbed a rebound off a missed three and hit a bank shot in the pant with 3.7 seconds left on the clock. The Irish were unable to connect on their last opportunity for the win and would go down in defeat to the Raiders by a score of 62-60.
Head Coach for the Raiders Dean Hutchcroft reflects “We’re incredibly happy with the way things played out it was a challenge with Justin leaving this year;” referring to Justin Edwards, current Maine Blackbear and America East Rookie of the Year.
Coach Hutchcroft continues, “The kids were focused on playing up to his level and they did and got better as the season went along. With Dyshawn being out for a month earlier this season, it gave a chance for other guys to get big minutes and experience that helped in the long run.”
From this championship game there are two student athletes that are NCAA bound; the first being Grant Mullins who is committed to Columbia(Ivey League), and the second Dyshawn Pierre who is currently uncommitted but has major interest from Baylor. He would be the second Canadian, joining Brady Heslip on the Baylor roster.
As a multi-sport student athlete, Justin Springer will have the option of playing either basketball or soccer at the post-secondary level.
Jacob Hutchcroft has committed to the Western Mustangs and will be entering into the kinesiology program. Hutchcroft has been progressively developing and can score in a variety of ways, but he would like to improve on his ball handling while under pressure.
Jordan Scott and Daniel Dooley will likely suit up in a CIS uniform as they are beginning to accumulate interest. Dooley has shown improvement in his handles and is reading the floor better after each game. Scott currently lives on the perimeter but is expanding his arsenal by becoming more mobile laterally.