Sunday, 16 March 2008

Calgary's Wayne Thomas and his final thoughts

Brock Buries Axemen to Claim CIS Crown By Wayne Thomas of Dinos News... The CIS National Championship stays in Ontario, as the Brock Badgers, the #7 seed, clawed back from a 31-21 half-time deficit to clip the Acadia Axemen (#5) 64-61 in Ottawa Sunday afternoon to win the 2008 title. Some would say upset, but after Carleton was eliminated by Acadia in Saturday's thriller, it was anyone's game, and Brock seized the opportunity in the second half of the Final when Acadia's offense stalled, and the Badgers heated up. Mike Kemp scored 15 of his game high 23 points in the 2nd stanza, including 6/13 from 3 pt. range, and this ultimately decided the issue. Brock, which won their second National Title, the other coming in 1992, also got 12 points and 9 boards from Tournament MVP Owen White, their quick post, who scored key late points against the bigger Acadia front line. Even though he was quiet in the scoring department, Brad Rootes, the 5th year Brock All- Canadian guard, made great plays down the stretch at both ends of the court, and, when Acadia took their point man, Paulo Santana out for the last 4 minutes for defensive purposes, Rootes controlled the action for the Badgers. Acadia got 18 from Santana, 14 from Shawn Berry, a 5th year guard, and 12 from big Leonel Saintil, but the weary Axemen looked spent at game's end, and may well have been feeling the effects of the 2OT game late Saturday night.

CIS Notes ...

> This really was a playoff season of upsets, with no predictability to the ultimate winner. Brock had the most experienced team, and this served them well as they improved through the Tournament. They were the final qualifier, as they won a 3rd place game for the 'host' spot for Ontario. They were always a threat, but lost a few big games in the OUA to drop out of the rankings, and we can see how hard it is to choose teams when there is limited inter-league play in the CIS.

> Congratulations to the coaches and players at Brock ... an incredible experience for two father-son combinations ... Ken Murray and son Scott, and Bill Rootes and son Brad. A special salute to Coach Brian Mulligan, 'Mugsy' is one of the great guys in the game, and a friend and mentor to so many in the Brock program and his own high school teams over the years.

> Don't expect Carleton to disappear next season ... they have almost all players back, and Coach Dave Smart will have the Ravens back with a vengeance. They are, after all, the only team guaranteed to be back in the 2009 Tournament.

> There is discussion of an expanded field, and, the competition might indicate that to be a consideration, but practicality and budget concerns would suggest otherwise. Don't expect a format change anytime soon.

> Now we sit back and await the coaching changes ... RMC, New Brunswick ... any others to be announced ? Assistant Coaches, College Coaches are all polishing their resumes and whispering in the ear of anyone they know who may give them a shot at a CIS Head Coaching spot.

> Recruiting announcements have already started, and now that the high school tournaments are over, the undeclared will get the full court press from the coaching hunters. ID Camps will follow shortly, and the hopefuls would be wise to remember that academics are a big part of CIS competition, with many schools not admitting strictly on how well you hit the open 'J'.

> A big thanks to the many correspondents who follow the CIS and share their thoughts with all of us ... special kudos to 'our leader', Mark Wacyk, who will try and smile through the tears and wait for next season. CISHOOPS.CA is the anchor for many fans, players, parents, and commentators. Good job by 'The Score' with their HD coverage of the Nationals ! Any thoughts for a 'Game of the Week' next season ?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I sure hope the ratings were off the wall for Saturday night. CIS needs to market that game and the Final as our March Madness. A game of the week is long overdue...I have kept my TV on the Score since the weekend hoping they recognize the ratings boost from such great coverage of the Final 8.Please please please