NPH TOP PERFORMERS
- Phillip Scrubb – 26 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists
- Tyson Hinz – 20 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist
- Jordan Baker – 12 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists
- Daniel Ferguson – 25 points, 1 rebound
HALIFAX, NS–Coming into the gold medal game, the Carleton Ravens had won their first two by a margin of at least 20 points; this game was no different as they defeated the Alberta Golden Bears 86-67 to win the eighth CIS Champonship in the last 10 years of Ravens basketball campaigns.
The dirty birds played crisp and clean basketball all tournament. This brand of basketball is created by the legendary CIS coach Dave Smart, who keeps his guys honest and in check with every defensive slide and every possession.
From the first few possessions there was a clear indication that the Ravens would come out victorious once again. The reason for that comes from the control over the game which they seek in each possession regardless of what side of the floor they’re on.
The team shot for a combined 57.4% from the field on 31-54 and held the Golden Bears to a devastating 34% shooting night.
Even Coach Smart was speechless and had no explanation for how hot his team got in the first quarter; all he could say was, “I guess they just played with freedom on offense. We’ve been talking for the past month about enjoying the opportunity, enjoy the playoffs.”
That is just what they did; their offense was fluid, there defense could not be penetrated and they dominated every category on the board.
The Golden Bears came out aggressively, attacking the hoop to start but would start to settle for contested jump shots and fall victim to a half court press.
Scoring leaders for the Bears, Jordan Baker and Daniel Ferguson had a tough night and struggled to score. This can be attributed to the defence of the Ravens, which contested each shot and left no room for second chances.
The team representing the west seemed discouraged coming into the third quarter since they were down by 20 and could not get into a scoring groove.
On the other end, the CIS Player of the Year, Phillip Scrubb continued to be the most efficient player in the league, earning MVP honours with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in the win.
Up until this game the Golden Bears played basketball that was deserving of getting them to the championship game.
Head coach, Greg Francis was extremely proud of his guys despite the bitter feeling stating, “they’ve learned from every loss this season, especially early on in the season and this loss will be no different. The heart that my guys showed this year has been absolutely amazing. By the end of the year I felt so comfortable in going deeper with the bench.”
Overall, there has been no team in the CIS that has been able to bring the Ravens game plan to a halt.
The Ravens dominance comes from an absolute will to execute, which has been influenced by the phenomenal coaching of Smart.
The players give in to the system and play for each other within their roles, hence their eighth championship in 10 years, while capping off a perfect season with no losses.