NPH TOP PERFORMERS
- Aminu Bello– 32pts, 3rbs, 5ast
- Manny Campbell- 10pts, 10rbs, 8ast
- Alex Reis- 22pts
- Andrew Cicuttini- 8pts, 15rbs (MVP)
- Steve Trinidad- 18pts, 4rbs
- Nick Loewen- 17pts, 7rbs
- Keville Ollivierre- 12pts, 12rbs
TRURO,NS–It was the run and gun Phoenix Suns.
After a first glimpse at the Mohawk Mountaineers, the up-tempo, fast-paced style of play was evident as the dynamic guard duo of Aminu Bello and Manny Campbell lead the Hamilton, Ontario representative over Alberta’s Mount Royal College, 88-73.
Mohawk College has now captured it’s first ever CCAA National championship!
While Aminu Bello took care of the scoring load by hitting pull-up jumpers and attacking in transition, it was Campbell who played the catalyst role, pushing the pace and igniting Mohawk on every possession.
“Manny Campbell is probably one of the quickest guards in Canada at this level. He’s pushing the ball, I’m running the wing and he’s finding me…that’s our style,” all-Canadian, Aminu Bello told NPH.
Campbell ended with a near triple-double of 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Mount Royal opened the game with a 9-2 run, however it was the only lead they would enjoy for the rest of the game as the constant pressure from the Mountaineers on both ends had MRU on their toes.
The first quarter had Mohawk up 21-18 and from there they would continue to run.
“We score a lot of transition points…if we can turn it into a fast-paced game then that’s usually in our favour,” explained first-team all-star Manny Campbell.
With the victory, Mohawk brings back a CCAA national title to Ontario for the first time in a decade!
Tournament MVP Andrew Cicuttini was instrumental in Mohawk’s success averaging a remarkable 21 points, and 13 rebounds in Truro.
On the road to the national championships, the Mountaineers first dethroned three-time provincial champion Humber College, which was followed up by defeating defending CCAA champs Vanier, #1-seed UNBC and eventual silver medallists Mount Royal.
“From the get go we knew we had the pieces to do it, but had to beat those recognized programs…we had to earn our respect,” said Bello, referring to the challenges the team faced all year.
“As we kept beating some of the better teams early, our confidence was building. It wasn’t just something in the back of our minds, it was something being played out in real life.”
Aminu Bello will be graduating from Mohawk and has secured work in Alberta, after a few speed bumps.
“I definitely had some ups and downs in my career starting off at McMaster then coming here and finishing off with a bang…it feels great!”
However, speedy point guard Manny Campbell will be back for his final year to lead the Mountaineers. How about a repeat?
“I like our chances.”
Tournament 2nd All-Star Team
Mohawk #15 Taylor Dawhaniuk
St. Thomas #11 Richard Wilkins
Ahuntsic #7 Jonathan-Dave Tshibuy
Vanier #8 Jhony Veronne
UNBC #1 Sam Raphael
Tournament 1st All-Star Team
Mohawk #3 Manny Campbell
MRU #14 Steve Trinidad
Red Deer #13 Rob Pierce
St. Thomas #5 Nathan Mazurkiewicz
MRU #21 Nick Loewen
Mohawk #10 Andrew Cicuttini