OTTAWA, ON–Humber’s supremacy in the OCAA has come to an end courtesy of Mohawk. If anybody had the inclination that coming into the gold medal game that Humber would just be able to rollover the underdog Mohawk team then they were sorely wrong.
Mohawk did the improbable and upset the three time defending OCAA champions Humber by a score of 89 to 86 in a game that was worthy of a championship title.
From the tip off you could really see the two contrasting styles of Mohawk and Humber, Mohawk wanting to get out and run and use their two all-star guards Amino Bello and Manny Campbell in the open court, while Humber wanted to slow the game down and execute their offense in the half court.
The game would start off quite slow as both teams were trying to figure each other out. But this wouldn’t last long the action would pick up with a furious pace.
Mohawk Mountaineers Team
Mohawk would get the majority of their scoring in the open court but Humber was able to stabilize them in the first quarter as back to back Mike Dvorak threes would give Humber a seven point lead to end the first.
Humber would try and surge ahead in the second quarter but Mohawk guard Amino Bello would begin his attack hitting three long range shots in a row to get Mohawk right back in the game. But many of these shots would be answered by Humber guard Mark Perrin who was scoring in a variety of ways using his superior athleticism to his advantage.
The Hawks would take a four-point lead into the half but were looking a bit weakened as they had a few chances to extend their lead, yet Mohawk would not go away which would prove costly.
Perrin and Bello lead their teams in scoring in the first half with 17 and 19 points respectively.
The second half had fans sitting on the edge of their seats for the rest of the game…Mohawk would come out of the locker room with a 13 to 2 run that would give them a seven point cushion.
Humber looked out of sorts as they were turning the ball over and making poor decisions, very uncharacteristic of a Humber team nonetheless Mohawk would take advantage. Humber would slowly climb back in the game led by Mark Perrin who’s team high 33 points helped Humber cut the lead to three going into the fourth.
The fourth quarter was an amazing display of will and determination a back and forth battle, as both teams would trade baskets, constantly exchanging the lead.
Mohawk would push the lead to five very late in the game, only to have Humber surge back on a Mike Dvorak three from the corner with one minute left that would bring the Hawks within one but this was as close as they would get.
With 30 seconds left Mohawk was up one and called to their superstar Amino Bello to seal the game and he did just that, Bello hit a tough fade away with the shot clock expiring to put the Mountaineers up three.
Bello finished with 33 points and showed why he is a CCAA all Canadian. Humber would be unable to hit a game tying three in the waning seconds bringing their chances for a fourth straight title to an end. Many of the Humber players look utterly shocked that they did not pull out the win a feeling they have been a custom to in the last few years.
Humber from the start of the game never was able to build enough momentum to put Mohawk away, they looked out of sorts the entire game and were unable to stop the Mohawk guards, the Hawks also had problems containing Mohawk players like Andrew Cuttini who stepped up quite strong in the clutch and are just as worth of praise for this win, his inside presence help shut down the Humber bigs like all star Akeem Sween who struggled from the field and was unable to find any rhythm.
Mohawks win is there first OCAA title since the 1971-1972 season, Mohawk fought very hard all year and were able to find their groove at the right time. The Mountaineers will now move on to the CCAA national championship tournament which takes place March 15th through the 17th in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Bronze Medal Game
The Bronze medal game had long time rivals in the OCAA west Fanshawe vs Algoma. This game would look as if it would be very close as these teams had played each other close thought the year, but Fanshawe would come out on fire making their first four threes in a row jumping out to an 11-3 run and they would never look back. Fanshawe guard Troy Barnes started off the game with three consecutive three pointers, Fanshawe would use this momentum to jump all over the Thunderbirds.
Algoma would start the game off shooting the ball well but just could not slow down the Falcons who rode there hot shooting to an 11 point lead at half time. Fanshawe would continue the second half just as they started the game and would push their lead 28 points at the end of the third quarter and the game would be over from there. Algoma would never get close and lost the game by a score of 92 to 63. Algoma seemed to start the game a little sluggish which could be attributed to the layover from there game versus Centennial early in the day in which they had to grind out the win versus a tough Colts team. Fanshawe on the other hand took care of Georgian earlier in the day quite easily and there players benefited from that rest earlier and it showed in today’s game versus Algoma. Fanshawe was led by forward Andy Campbell who imposed his will in today’s game, Campbell finished with 21 points on 9 for 10 shooting.
Day 3 of the OCAA men’s basketball championship began early with the two bronze round semifinal games taking place. In the first game the Fanshawe Falcons easily took care of the Georgian Grizzlies by a score of 97 to 64. The Falcons were able to use their superior guard play to speed up Georgian and get easy baskets in the open court. Georgian was unable to with stand the balanced attack from Fanshawe they looked like they were out matched on this day, and was unable to continue their recent success. For Georgian this marks the end to their season which by all accounts can be called a very successful year for Grizzlies who surprised a lot of teams this year with their solid play and look to have the makings of being a team that will be strong for many more years to come. Fanshawe however will move on to the Bronze medal finals where they would play the Algoma Thunderbirds who in the second game of the day were able to fight off a pesky Centennial team by a score of 81 to 78.
Algoma was led by all stars Dele Oworu and Jovain Wilson who carried the majority of the scoring load for Algoma; Wilson led all scorers with 25 points and was able to make a number of clutch free throws down the stretch. The first half saw Algoma jump out to a substantial lead only to have the Colts cut the lead to 1 with their pressure defense that forced Algoma to turn over the ball over on a number of instances. A lot of credit should be given to the Colts who are not a very experienced team but were able to constantly fight throughout out the entire game, Centennial was led by guard Natiel Mckenzie who gave the Colts a lot of energy he finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds his energy kept the Colts in this game. Algoma rookie guard Reynaldo Carnakie is also worthy of some praise he was able to stabilize the Thunderbirds on a number of occasions that helped seal them the victory. For Centennial this marks the end of the season, the Colts are a young team with a lot of talent which bodes well for them for years to come. Algoma would move on to face west division rivals Fanshawe in the bronze medal game.