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Mountaineers beat Bruins

5 December 2013 No Comment

It was a long-anticipated rematch between two perennial powerhouses in Canadian college basketball. The number-one-ranked Sheridan Bruins put their perfect 8-0 record on the line Wednesday night when they travelled to Hamilton to face the Mountaineers.

The Mountaineers were able to tarnish the Bruins’ undefeated mark with a thrilling 111-106 victory.

There was no love lost between these two teams. They battled each other in the OCAA gold medal game last March. The Bruins won that contest 88-70.

The excitement was palpable in the David Braley Athletic Recreation Centre and the Mountaineers were salivating for a chance to avenge that heartbreaking loss from last season’s OCAA finals.

With 6’9” Taylor Dowhaniuk and 6’7” Andrew Cicuttini in the starting lineup Mohawk is not used to being undersized. The Bruins are a big strong team and matched the size of the Mountaineers with forwards Paul Williams and Michael Selkridge.

From the opening tip the tempo was played at a furious pace.

“It was such a track meet that the size didn’t become as much of a factor as it normally does,” said Mountaineers coach Jonker after the game.

Mountaineers guard Matt Fennell entered the game as the number three scorer in the OCAA this season at 22.1 points per game. Fennell got off to quick start, scoring 12 first quarter points on 5 of 8 shooting but his team trailed 27-25 after one quarter.

Bruins star guard Trevor Williams torched the Mountaineers for 35 points in the gold medal game last spring but got into early foul trouble and never really got into a rhythm in this game.

Despite a lack of production from their leading scorer the top ranked Bruins took a 55-52 lead into halftime.

Matt Fennell stayed red hot in the third quarter and Taylor Dowhaniuk had several rim rattling dunks and the Mountaineers established an 82-77 lead heading into the fourth.

However, the Bruins did not go gently into the good night. After trailing by as many as seven points in the fourth Sheridan manufactured a 12-point turn around to go up by five.

Patrick Ivarone was clutch down the stretch, scoring on back-to-back possessions and assisting on a three-point play from Matt Fenell as the Mountaineers regained the lead once and for all. Fennell doubled his season scoring average with 44 points and Dowhaniuk added 24.

The team now has a couple weeks off to finish exams and then they will travel to Phoenix, Arizona over the holidays where they will play three games against junior colleges.

“It will be very competitive and we look forward to it,” said coach Jonker.

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