09:32 AM

Mountaineers defeat Algonquin Thunder in quarter finals

The reigning National Champions took one more step towards defending their title with a 69-62 victory over the Algonquin Thunder.

The game featured the second-ranked Mohawk Mountaineers from the OCAA West Division and the third-ranked Algonquin Thunder from the OCAA East Division.
Despite a size advantage on the floor, the Mountaineers were badly out-rebounded by the Thunder, but it was Mohawk's shooting that ultimately won the game.

It was a close contest throughout the majority of the first quarter as Mohawk trailed 15-14 with 2:29 to play in the quarter. A three-pointer by Manny Campbell and a layup by Jeff Hunt gave the Mountaineers a 19-15 advantage. Patrick Lavarone’s three-pointer gave the defending champs a 22-18 lead as the team led by six after the first.

The second quarter saw Mohawk pick up the pace of the game, with a number of fast-break points. Looking to counter, Algonquin’s Nehemiah Campbell made a nice individual effort with 7:20 remaining in the quarter, dribbling the ball all around the arc before driving through the lane and making a layup. Following a rebound and put-back by Romaine Lawrence, the Thunder took their first lead of the game. A pair of three’s by Algonquin gave them a 41-36 lead at the half.

The third quarter was marred by turnovers and missed shots as Mohawk outscored the Thunder 10-7 and trailed 48-46 going into the fourth quarter.

The game went back-and-forth in the fourth quarter with the lead changing five times in the span of two minutes. The turning point in the quarter came on a three-point play by Andrew Cicuttini who was fouled on his shot. Cicuttini’s shot went in and he made the free throw for the momentum swing. Mohawk's experience showed in the game’s final minutes as they hit clutch shots to pull away for the seven point victory.

The Mountaineers were led by Campbell with a game-high 24 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Andrew Cicuttini added 15 points and nine rebounds. Campbell was named Player of the Game. Lawrence scored seventeen and grabbed six rebounds for the Thunder. Garnet Blais had 16 points and 10 rebounds along with three steals. Player of the Game for Algonquin was Lawrence.

Earlier in the day, Mohawk’s Manny Campbell (1st), Andrew Cicuttini (1st) and Xzennis Brereton (All-Rookie) were named OCAA West All-Stars. Algonquin’s lone OCAA East All-Star was Garnet Blais (1st). Mohawks’ Manny Campbell was also named OCAA West Player of the Year and a CCAA All-Canadian. Taylor Dowhaniuk from Mohawk was named OCAA West Defensive Player of the Year.

The Mountaineers advance to play Seneca at 8 p.m. tonight.


Courtesy Al Craig - Athletics