Match 1: Vanier Cheetahs 102, Humber Hawks 94
Every time the Humber Hawks tried to make a move, the Vanier Cheetahs had an answer.
The Cheetahs, the RSEQ champions trailed for the first few minutes but led the rest of the way as they opened the 2019 CCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship at Langley Events Centre with a 102-94 victory over the Hawks, a wild-card entry from the OCAA.
After a slow start saw them go scoreless on their first few offensive possessions, the Cheetahs buried a pair of three-pointers and were off and running and it was their propensity for hitting from beyond the arc which played a big difference as Vanier sank 16 three-pointers on the game.
Vanier was up 21-16 after one quarter and extended the lead to 10, 49-39 at the half. Humber would cut the lead to three points with 3:20 to go in the third quarter and down to four points with 88 seconds to play in the contest. But each time, the Cheetahs had an answer, most often from beyond the arc as they scored nearly half their points (48) from the three-point line.
Karim Maine, the conference player of the year and an All-Canadian, had a game-high 25 points, including five three-pointers for the Cheetahs. He was also one of five Vanier players to reach double digits as Nginyu Ngala had 24 and Christopher Biekeu and Joshua Koulamallah had 15 points apiece. And Khalifa Koulamalla came off the bench to score 17.
DeQuon Cascart led Humber with 19 points while Curwin Elvis had 18 and Fowzi Mohamoud had 15.
Match 2: VIU Mariners 102, SAIT Trojans 84
It was a tale of two halves. Trailing by 15 points when the teams went to the locker room, the VIU Mariners pulled off a stunning comeback, pulling even after three quarters and pulling away in the fourth as they knocked off the SAIT Trojans 102-84.
The Mariners outscored the Trojans by a two-to-one margin in the second half, 65-32, going from down 15 to winning by 18, a swing of 33 points in 20 minutes.
The Mariners, the PACWEST champions, had a solid start to the game, scoring 10 of the first 16 points before an 11-0 run late in the first quarter gave the Trojans a lead they held until the latter stages of the third quarter. VIU closed the quarter with a 6-0 spurt and carried that momentum into the fourth as they opened on a 12-5 run and never looked back, outscoring the ACAC champions 34-16 over the final 10 minutes.
By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, VIU shot a blistering 70 per cent from the field while the Trojans could not buy a bucket, with their shots continuously rimming out as they attempted more field goals (27 to 20) but watched as VIU converted 14 to their six.
Four Mariners starters had 21 or more points as Harry Fayle led the way with 25 while the trio of Landon Radcliff, Tyus Barfoot and Cameron Gay had 21 points apiece. Barfoot also had 17 rebounds and Gay had seven assists.
The Trojans were led by John Smith’s 23 points while Ian Tevis (18), Nicholas Molina (15) and Rashaan Chambers (14) also reached double figures.
Match 3: Sheridan Bruins 105, Nomades de Montmorency 83
Aside from an early 3-3 tie, the Sheridan Bruins, OCAA champions from Oakville, led from start to finish thanks to a blistering 56.9 per cent from the field to defeat Nomades de Montmorency 105-83 in the third quarter-final.
The Bruins put up 34 points in the opening quarter and led by 11 before taking a 53-39 lead to the locker room at the half.
Montmorency, a wild-card team from the RSEQ, would get the lead down to 10 in the third quarter but could never get within single digits as they were sent to the consolation side of the bracket.
Sheridan was led by the dynamic duo of Nick Campbell (28 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Kahleek Bakari-Whyte (27 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals). The duo went a combined 23-for-32 from the field. Stefan Simpson chipped in 15 and AJ Thompson came off the bench to score 10 for the Bruins.
Charles Cousin led Montmorency with 22 points and eight rebounds while Mcfadden Jean had 15. Blondeau Tchoukuiegno and Elie Karojo had 14 points apiece.
Nick Campbell (Sheridan) and Charles Cousin (Montmorency) earned the 4 Imprint Player of the Game awards for their respective teams.
Match 4: Holland Hurricanes 120, Langara Falcons 77
The Langara Falcons hung tough for the opening quarter against the No. 1 ranked Holland Hurricanes, but just like their team moniker, the Hurricanes kept pounding and overtook the quarter-final game.
The ACAA champion Hurricanes from Charlottetown, PEI were up just five points after one quarter. But a 12-0 run in the second quarter stretched the lead to double digits and Holland never looked back, coasting to the 120-77 victory.
Holland, which is riding a perfect season, shot nearly 48 per cent for the game and 17-for-20 from the free throw line.
The Hurricanes shooting improved as the game progressed, hitting on 42.3 per cent in the opening quarter and all the way up to 60 per cent by the fourth quarter.
All five Holland starters reached double digits, led by Jordan Holness’ 24 points and another 20 from Connor Therrien. Travis Adams, who earned the 4 Imprint Player of the Game Award, came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 12 rebounds in just 22 minutes of work.
Royce Sargeant, who was Langara’s 4 Imprint Player of the Game, led the Falcons with 22 points, eight assists and three rebounds. Moeiz Athaya and Drake Downer each had 15 while Tyler Anderson came off the bench to score 14 for Langara.