OCAA 2013-2014 Review: Sheridan Repeats, Halimov Sets Records

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The 2013-2014 OCAA season is in the books, and what a season it was. The league saw a very competitive, entertaining, and gruelling season come to an end March 1st as the Sheridan Bruins won the 2014 OCAA championships on home floor, beating the previously undefeated Algonquin Thunder in a thrilling 76-75 finish and repeating as OCAA champions for the 2nd season in a row.

This past year we saw a new all-time OCAA scorer crowned, a perfect regular season, a repeat champion, and some fantastic all around basketball being played. From all this, @NorthPoleHoops has captured the top storylines from this season for our readers to enjoy and debate until next season starts.

 

Sheridan Bruins- 2-13-2-14 OCAA Champs | Courtesy: The OCAA

Sheridan Bruins- 2-13-2-14 OCAA Champs | Courtesy: The OCAA

 

1. SHERIDAN BRUINS REPEATS AS PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONS

 

The Sheridan Bruins came into the season as one of the favorites to win the title again as they returned the majority of their core from last years OCAA winning team. The Bruins went 15-3 during the regular season, losing both games to the Mohawk Mountaineers and dropping a tight loss to the Humber Hawks on the last day of the regular season, losing their grasp on the top spot in the West that they held all year. Sheridan came into playoffs refocused and refreshed as they were hosts and had no intentions of seeing another team celebrate a championship on their home floor, fighting their way into the finals before they met an extremely tough Algonquin Thunder squad determined to complete the first perfect season and playoffs in OCAA history. It was fitting that the best game of the season was the gold medal game as Sheridan held on for the win on home floor when an Algonquin shot at the buzzer came within millimetres of breaking Sheridan’s hearts, but it was not to be as the Bruins held on for the 76-75 win to earn the right to represent Ontario in the CCAA championships being held in British Columbia this upcoming weekend.

 

2. ALGONQUIN COMPLETES PERFECT SEASON

If you predicted that the Algonquin Thunder would be representing the East in the OCAA championship game this year, give yourself a pat on the back. If you predicted that the Thunder would go undefeated in doing so, go collect your winnings from the closest OLG gaming center to you. The Algonquin Thunder came into the season knowing what they were capable of, despite the rest of the league having relatively no idea what kind of dominance was about to be unleashed. The Thunder took the OCAA East by storm, winning every single regular season game they played and completing the first 20-0 season in OCAA history (previous teams have gone undefeated, but not in a 20 game season). Although Algonquins only loss of the year ended up being in the gold medal game, this gritty squad has nothing to hang their heads on as they have an extremely bright future to build upon. The Thunder will lose their best player in Njuguna Waiganjo next year, but have enough leadership and young talent that they will be contenders once again come 2015. Sports can be cruel, and losing only once all year with it being the loss that ends your season is extremely painful, but if any team will be able to rebound and build upon their magical ride this season, its Algonquin.

 

3. VADIM HALIMOV BREAKS OCAA ALL TIME SCORING RECORDS

 

Vadim Halimov put together a record-breaking season

Vadim Halimov put together a record-breaking season

 

Vadim Halimov came into his final OCAA season with a chance to break the OCAA all-time scoring record, and he did just that on Valentine’s Day as he exploded for an incredible 46 points, shattering the previous record of 1,833. Vadim led the OCAA in PPG (31.2), points (624), FG (209-505), and FT (162-212). His 624 points also set a new OCAA record for points in a season. Not to be overlooked, Vadim also finished second in the province in defensive rebounds with 146, and second in total rebounds with 212, working the glass, in addition to being an explosive offensive player. Vadim was without doubt one of the top three players in the entire CCAA this year, and will almost certainly be playing professionally somewhere in the near future as a player with his talent and dedication to the game will be heavily recruited by many teams looking for an immediate impact player.

 

4. SHERIDAN VS HUMBER RIVALRY INTENSIFIES

 

As if the Sheridan Bruins and Humber Hawks needed any more fuel to be added to an already heated fire, the two games these rivals played against each other this season will undoubtedly set the scene for two more of the most anticipated matchups in the OCAA next year. The first game saw Sheridan defeat Humber in the Bears den as Sheridan hit an improbable, off balance, buzzer beating 3 pointer to steal a win Humber thought they had. Pandemonium set in as Bruins fans rushed the court in NCAA tournament upset fashion to celebrate the massive win over their hated rivals. The shot was so big that it made the rounds on Youtube and World Star Hip-Hop across the world. With the result from the previous game still fresh in everyone’s mind, OCAA fans absolutely packed the Humber Hawks gym for the rematch on February 19th as a sellout crowd was announced with many fans standing wherever they could to watch these two historic rivals go at it once again. This time it was Humber pulling off a thrilling 86-84 victory in front of the hometown fans to give the Hawks faithful a big victory to end the season on a winning note before playoffs began. Both schools recruit the same players from the same regions, and many have been rivals for years before even choosing what college to play at after high school which makes this matchup the most watched and talked about year in and year out. OCAA fans are already looking forwards to watching the OCAA’s version of UNC vs Duke next season when these two powerhouses go at it for 2 more rounds.

 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1moYD07dZc[/youtube]

 

AWARDS

The following awards were handed out by the OCAA following the completion of the season.

OCAA Men’s Basketball East Division Champions

Algonquin Thunder

OCAA Men’s Basketball West Division Champions

Mohawk Mountaineers

OCAA Men’s Basketball Player of the Year

Vadim Halimov, George Brown

OCAA Men’s Basketball CCAA Coach of the Year Nominee

Trevor Costello, Algonquin

OCAA Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Year

R.J. Ramirez, Humber

OCAA Men’s Basketball League Scoring Champion

Vadim Halimov, George Brown

OCAA Men’s Basketball East Division Coach of the Year

Trevor Costello, Algonquin

OCAA Men’s Basketball West Division Coach of the Year

Jim Flack, Sheridan

OCAA Men’s Basketball East Division Rookie of the Year

Teq Zwarych, Georgian

OCAA Men’s Basketball West Division Rookie of the Year

R.J. Ramirez, Humber

OCAA Men’s Basketball East Division Scoring Champion

Vadim Halimov, George Brown

OCAA Men’s Basketball West Division Scoring Champion

Matt Fennell, Mohawk

OCAA Men’s Basketball East Division Defensive Player of the Year

Tyrelle Samuels, Algonquin

OCAA Men’s Basketball West Division Defensive Player of the Year

Taylor Dowhaniuk, Mohawk

OCAA Men’s Basketball East Division First-Team All-Stars

Derrek Mooney, Algonquin

Njuguna Waiganjo, Algonquin

Ajahmo Clarke, Durham

Vadim Halimov, George Brown

Patrick Kalala, Loyalist

OCAA Men’s Basketball West Division First-Team All-Stars

Andrew Cicuttini, Mohawk

Matt Fennell, Mohawk

Calvin Turnbull, Redeemer

Michael Selkridge, Sheridan

Trevor Williams, Sheridan

OCAA Men’s Basketball East Division Second-Team All-Stars

Tyrelle Samuels, Algonquin

Joseph Wani, Centennial

Eric Smith, Durham

Teq Zwarych, Georgian

Calmar Morgan, Seneca

OCAA Men’s Basketball West Division Second-Team All-Stars

Chavaun Miller-Bennett, Fanshawe

Greg Edelsward, Humber

Shawn Hill, Lambton

Mike Lucier, Lambton

Taylor Dowhaniuk, Mohawk

OCAA Men’s Basketball East Division All-Rookie Team

Joseph Wani, Centennial

Marc Antoine Belanger, La Cité

Teq Zwarych, Georgian

Jayvon Lake, Loyalist

Malcolm Smith, Seneca

OCAA Men’s Basketball West Division All-Rookie Team

Alex Thompson, Fanshawe

R.J. Ramirez, Humber

Jason Marshell, Lambton

Tyrell Rogers, Niagara

A.J. Manguerra, Redeemer

OCAA Medalists

Gold: Sheridan

Silver: Algonquin

Bronze: Humber

OCAA Championship MVP

Michael Selkridge, Sheridan

OCAA Championship All-Stars

Ajahmo Clarke, Durham

Tyrone Dickson, Humber

Tyrelle Samuels, Algonquin

Njuguna Waiganjo, Algonquin

Trevor Williams, Sheridan

 

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