Winnipeg, MB–Whenever Winnipeg and Manitoba meet it’s always a tough fought contest, as two crosstown rivals battle it out for the victory, and bragging rights for the year.
If you have these two teams playing in a semi-final with the winner advancing to the Wesmen Classic Championship, it makes victory that much sweeter. Winnipeg defeated Manitoba by a score of 73-61 and moved into the Championship game for the second straight year.
Sam Hattin spoke about the game at hand, “We had to come out and treat it like a playoff game… I’m glad it was against them and hopefully we get the next game.”
Hattin didn’t have a huge first game, as he only registered two points on 1-1 shooting in a few minutes of work against Lakeland where the Wesmen easily moved on to the semi-finals.
However, Sunday night was a totally different scenario. The fourth year senior came ready to play, especially in the second quarter. Hattin hit back to back triples, a smooth jumper, and a couple of free throws to give him 10 points at the half time break.
Following halftime, Hattin would continue his sharp shooting and not miss another shot finishing with 18, good for a game-high.
“I felt like every shot I put up today I was going to hit. I just felt like I was having a good game and it worked out for me,” Hattin told NPH.
Despite being plagued with injuries, the Bisons didn’t use that as an excuse to go out lightly. Bisons bigs Brett Jewell and Dan Penner picked up the slack and made it difficult for the Wesmen.
Manitoba took the lead following the first quarter, but struggled to keep it as Hattin and Andrew Cunningham continued to score the ball at an effective pace.
Ryan Oirbans, the big Australian had the crowd on their feet following three two handed slams in a matter of minutes. Oirbans long frame and height (6’9) made it difficult for Manitoba to get drives to the basket, as he registered three blocks in the game.
While Manitoba would pull the game to within three points, they were never able to get any closer as Winnipeg continued to make shots and force turnovers, pulling out the victory.
Manitoba’s freshmen, Andre Arruda and Justus Alleyn have shown great strides of development over this season, getting major minutes due to injuries.
NPH Top Performers
Samuel Hattin – 18pts, 4rebs, 1asts, 1blk
Andrew Cunningham – 13pts, 2rebs, 7asts
Dan Penner: 11pts, 6rebs, 7asts
Ottawa VS Regina
In the other semi-final game, it was Ottawa taking on Regina for the final spot in the championship game.
The Ottawa Gee-Gee’s defeated the Regina Cougars 90-75 to advance to the finals where they will face the Winnipeg Wesmen for the Championship. Ottawa showed the fans at the Duckworth centre why they are ranked #2 in the nation, while Johnny Berhanemeskel displayed what makes him one of the most potent scorers in the nation.
The Gee-Gee’s got off to a quick start, but the Cougars weren’t giving up anything easy and remained close behind trailing by three following the first quarter. Another strong quarter by Ottawa had the visitors from the OUA up by 11 at the halftime break and Johnny Berhanemeskel with 15, Terry Thomas with 11.
Caleb Agada stepped up for Ottawa as he has been doing all season, scoring 13 points in the second half, and finishing with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals, producing effectively and shooting 8/10 from the field.
After the Gee-Gee’s massive third quarter of 32 points, Ottawa rolled to the victory, and championship game at the Wesmen Classic, taking on the University of Winnipeg.
NPH Top Performers
Johnny Berhanemeskel – Ottawa – 22pts, 5asts
Caleb Agada – Ottawa – 18pts, 6rebs, 5asts, 3stls
Will Tallman – Regina – 10pts, 12rebs, 1ast
Kenonte Ramsey – Brandon – 20pts, 7rebs
Garden City VS Kelvin
The second semi-final on the HS side had the Garden City Fighting Gophers defeating the Kelvin Clippers 85-64 to advance to the finals, attempting to win their fourth straight Wesmen Classic Championship.
Garden City started off with an 8-0 lead and never looked back. Kelvin trailed by 10 following the first quarter and was never able to swing the momentum back into their favour. The Clippers played well, putting up good offensive totals but key shots by Byron Oduca at crucial times allowed Garden City to stay in the lead and stop the comeback.
Jowel Shuffler and Arel Cansino supported Oduca sharing the offensive attack, contributing 16 points each. Kelvin’s Ivan Paskvalin continued his strong tournament adding 22 points in the loss.
NPH Top Performers
Byron Oduca – 23pts, 5rebs, 3asts, 2stls
Jowel Shuffler – 16pts, 12rebs
Arel Cansino – 16pts, 6rebs, 4asts
Ivan Paskvalin – 22pts
Justin Miranda – 18pts, 9rebs, 2asts, 2stls