Friday, 9 March 2007

St. Mary's, Acadia Shock Cape Breton & X in AUS Semi-Finals

ST.MARY'S 66, CAPE BRETON 62 In probably the biggest upset of the CIS post-season, the Huskies built leads as high as 14 early in the second half and then held off a late CAPERS run that got the game back to within 1 to become the fifth team to qualify for the CIS Final Eight tournament. 6'6" Clint Bateman (pictured) hit a game-clinching 3 with 1:16 to play to give St.Mary's a 62-54 and send the Huskie faithful into jubilation. Bateman helped keep the Huskies ahead with 11 second half points, part of his game-high 19 including 4-7 from downtown. The loss was another in a series of upsets that have plagued Cape Breton over the past 4 season and meant the final games in the careers of 6'10" Dan White, 6'8" Jarrett Timmons, 6'3" Corey Hargrove and 6'1" Ryan Keliher. After Huskies 6'5" Ike Uchegbu (13 points/11 rebounds) hit one of two free throws with 7:11 remaining to give St. Mary's a 53-46 lead, the CAPERS went to town on the offensive glass as Uchegbu, playing with 4 fouls, had to hold back. When White (11 points, 9 rebounds) snarred an offensive rebound and kicked out to Keliher for a 3 and Timmons followed with a lay-in, Cape Breton closed to within one at 55-54 with just under 4 minutes remaining. But the CAPERS would not score again until under a minute remained as first Cordell Wright knocked in a jumper and then after a Mark Ross steal, the Huskies came out of a timeout and Mark McLaughlin (13 points including 7 down the stretch) got free for a jumper, setting up Bateman's clinching 3 with just over a minute to play. Keliher scored the last 8 points for Cape Breton including 2 3's in the final minute but it was too little too late as McLaughlin went 4-4 from the line and the resilient Huskies had another upset special. Cape Breton shot only 33% from the field for the game and got mediocre performances for 6'5" Eric Breland (10 points, 6 rebounds) and 6'3" Paul Blake (2-11 shooting). Ross had a solid 7 point/9 assist night while Wright added 10 points and 6 assists including the key jumper that interrupted a late Cape Breton run. St. Mary's meets the winner of tonight's second game between X and Acadia in tomorrow night's championship game. BOX SCORE

Concordia 84, Laval 57 FINAL 6'3" Benjamin Sormonte (pictured) went 7 for 8 from beyond the arc, many off transition feeds from 6'2" quarterback Damian Buckley , who helped set a torrid pace from the get go and #1 Concordia recaptured the QSSF championship with a decisive win at home in front of a packed house. The Stingers will likely enter the CIS Final Eight as the #1 seed. Sormonte (25 points) continually got open in transition and against Laval's last ditch effort at stopping the Stingers in a 1-3-1 zone he set up in his favorite spot in the left corner and drained big shots. Stingers rode runs of 11-0 run in 5 1/2 minutes midway through the first half and 23-3 after getting down by 5 in the first 6 minutes to a 33-18 lead culminated by a pair of threes by Sormonte in transition, both on tremendous feeds by Damian Buckley who pushed the ball at every opportunity. Stingers continually went to their bench with fresh troops and seemed to wear down the Rouge et Or in waves. 6'7" J.P. Morin was quiet until late in the half, bringing Laval back to within 12 at 37-25 but the Stingers got a pair of late free throws from Damian Buckley to lead by 14 at the break. Concordia then went on a 12-3 run off the start of the second half, primarily in transition, culminated by 5 straight points from Sormonte including his third 3 of the game. After Morin hit a 3 on the first possession of the half to bring the game back to 11, Stingers pushed the ball at every chance and scored the next 12 points to build a 21 point lead. The lead grew to 31 at 75-44 with 8:24 remaining and both benches emptied shortly thereafter. Patrick Perrotte went to the bench rather early with 2 fouls but still finished the half with a team-high 11 points and 23 overall in the game. A tremendous job by the Stingers web cast crew which did a solid job over the deafening noise in Loyola Gym, which included what sounded like red CFL blow horns left over from the old Autostadt days. Much respect to Laval coach Jacques Paiement who kept his team on the floor for the post-game presentation of the championship banner to Concordia and paid alot of respect to the Stingers in the Montreal press. Randy Phillips of the Montreal Gazette reports on last night's game including quotes from all the principals (subscription only) Stingers almost perfect

Acadia 56 St. FX 52 FINAL In what has to be considered another upset, the Axemen held off a late X charge to join St. Mary's as the second AUS representative at the CIS Final 8. The X-Men hurt themselves by shooting only 32% from the floor including 0 for 11 from 3 point land and only 54% (18-33) from the foul line. Acadia, led by fourth-year guard Jordan Sheriko (13 points) and 6'5" sixth-man Shawn Berry (pictured - 13 points including 3 3's) grabbed leads as large as 20 with 18 minutes left in the game after a 6-0 run to start the second half. However, X brought the game back on the play of Tyler Richards and Dwayne Johnson , cutting the lead to as little as 2 late in the game after a Johnson lay-up with 40 seconds remaining and then a Terrance Taylor bucket with 12 seconds left. But X never got the lead as the Axemen won the game on the foul line late after Berry nailed a pair of free throws with 9 seconds remaining to make it a 2 possession game and the Axemen faithful celebrated. Acadia had finished the first half on a 12-1 run highlighted by a three-point play by reserve Alex Traikov and the second 3 of the half by sixth-man Berry to jump out ahead of the cold shooting X-Men. St. FX shot only 26.9% in the first half including 0-5 3's and 4-10 from the foul line and continues to shoot under 30% for the game including starting the second half 1 for 7. The Axemen jumped out to a 12 point lead early behind Sheriko's 9 points including a three but X's Richards went on a personal 6-0 run to cut the lead to six with about 3 minutes left in the half. X started only 6-21 shooting before Richards' flurry. AUS Player-of-the-Year Paolo Santana finished with 7 points and 7 rebounds, all in the first half, but was only 2-11 from the floor including 1-7 from three point land. 6'10" Neil MacDonald, likely playing his final game in an X uniform, had an 11-point, 11-rebound double/double but went only 2-12 from the floor. Richards finished with a game-high 19 but was only 7-19 from the field. 6'3" Garry Gallimore, also possibly in the final game of his career, had only 6 points and 3 rebounds before fouling out late. The AUS championship game between the Axemen and St. Mary's Huskies goes tomorrow night at the Metro Center. BOX SCORE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

there's no way ottawa doesn't get the wild card now. there isn't even another team that should be considered. if ottawa doesn't go than i'd have to lose all faith in the system. Also, don't put ottawa and carleton in the same side and i bet you'll have an all ottawa final. heard it hear first!

ps. what better way than to promote the change in venue for next year!