Mountaineers sit atop OCAA basketball

Mohawk Mountaineers split a men’s-women’s Ontario Colleges Athletic Association basketball doubleheader against visiting Sheridan on Friday (Nov. 11). The men moved into first place with an 88-75 victory over the Bruins. Mohawk leads the West Region with six points.

Sheridan slipped to 2-1 and is in a three-way tie for second place with Niagara and Fanshawe.

Aminu Bello led the Mountaineers with 26 points. Tanner Lane scored 17, Alex Reis had 16 and Manny Campbell, 15.

“It was a very big early season win for us, over the No. 2 team in the country,” said Mohawk head coach Brian Jonker. “We played without Andrew Cicuttini (ankle). I was real happy with the effort. Those are two big wins in three days against two strong opponents. “I thought we played with a lot of energy tonight and got contributions from a number of people. It will be nice to have a six-day break now before facing a real tough Fanshawe team in London next Thursday (Nov. 17).”

Meanwhile, the Mountaineer women lost for the first time this regular season, 87-46 to the Bruins. The result left Mohawk with a 3-1 record in first place.

Sheridan improved to 2-1.

Rachelle Abella scored 17 points and Lindsay Bokor added six for Mohawk.

Mountaineers’ head coach Kevin Duffy said his team really struggled in the game, even though they were down only eight points at half time.

“We shot 7-for-39 in the second half and had too many defensive breakdowns as well. With all the injuries and the tough game we had on Wednesday (beating Niagara in overtime), we simply hit the wall. We were tired, and just couldn’t get our compete level up to where we needed it be.”

Still, Duffy was proud of how his team battled, with two games in three days and the injuries.

“This is just a blip on the screen, we are still off to a great start and with healthy bodies returning next week, we will regroup and get ready for our game against Fanshawe (Thursday, Nov. 17).