Mohawk Mountaineers defeat Champlain Cavaliers 79-77
The host Mohawk Mountaineers are hoping to regain the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball title they got in 2012. But they had a real scare before scoring a 79-77 decision decision over the Champlain Saint-Lambert Cavaliers of Quebec in a jam packed David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre on Hamilton Mountain Thursday night (March 19). And it was edge of your seat excitement as the two point victory indicates.
The Mountaineers, seeded number three in the championship, came roaring out of the gate with a pair of three pointers to begin the ball game and they led by nine points before the number six Cavaliers rallied and trailed 18-16 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter Champlain took the lead by one point, setting up a back and forth contest with the Cavaliers going to the dressing room with a 42-40 lead.
It was more give and take for the two teams in the third quarter and Champlain kept their two point lead, 58-56.
The drama continued into the final quarter when Lamar Barr put the Mountaineers up 59-58 and the intensity continued to the very end. Both teams were called for technical fouls in the fourth period and the fans were really caught up in the play. Jeff Hunt would score what turned out to be the winning basket in the dying seconds.
The top player in Canada, Matt Fennell scored 28 points to lead Mohawk's scoring, but the man who saved the Mountaineers on this night was their Player of the Game, Andrew Cicuttini, who was all over the court, scoring 23 points and adding 14 rebounds in a very physical game.
Champlain's Player of the Game, J.J. Hamel-Carey, had 21 points. His teammate, Nicholas Noble added 15.
The Mountaineers will now face the top seeded Vancouver Island University Mariners in the semi finals Friday night at 8:30. The Cavaliers will try to stay alive in the bronze medal race when they play the Lethbridge Kodiaks Friday at 3:00 pm.