Mohawk will not repeat as Ontario Colleges Athletic Association men’s basketball champions. The Sheridan Bruins rallied from a 14-point second quarter deficit to defeat the Mountaineers 88-70 at Seneca College Saturday night (March 2).
Mohawk got off to an outstanding start, dominating the Bruins, the top team in the West, in pretty well every phase of the game and led 21-10 after the first quarter. They increased their lead to 33-19 early in the second quarter, but it was at that point that Sheridan started to peck away at the Mountaineer margin to trail 39-33 at half time.
Bruins’ head coach Jim Flack said it was his game plan and not the players fault for their poor start to the game, acknowledging Mohawk’s big and experienced squad and outstanding players. Flack said it took some time for his players to find some seams in the Mountaineers zone (coverage), which the Bruins could not penetrate in the early going.
Mohawk got the first basket of the third quarter, but then the Trevor Williams show started for Sheridan. Williams, the Bruins player of the game and Championship MVP, sank a couple of three-pointers to tie the score, then had a two point bucket to put his team ahead for the first time in the game, 43-41. It was part of an 18-2 Sheridan run and the Bruins led 65-56 at three quarter time.
The fourth quarter was all Sheridan as it was raining three-pointers for the Bruins, while Mohawk struggled mightily with its shots and rebounding. All told, Sheridan hit nine three point shots, with Williams getting five of them.
Williams scored 35 points and added seven rebounds and seven assists.
For the Mountaineers, their player of the game, centre Taylor Dowhaniuk, scored 16 points and added 10 rebounds. Alex Reis had 14 points and eight boards. Manny Campbell scored 11 points and Jeff Hunt added 10.
Campbell and Reis were Championship All-Stars.
“We are very proud of our accomplishments this year,” said Mohawk head coach Brian Jonker. “We were beaten by a better team today. We didn’t have an answer for Trevor Williams in the second half. It is always tough to lose but we had great effort in trying to defend our title. I feel for Manny who had a fantastic five year career end with defeat.
“We will return next year with a team that can compete for another title.”
While the Mountaineers ended their season with a silver medal, Sheridan took the gold and will go to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Championship at John Abbott College in Montreal, March 14-16.