Sheridan Bruins Advance to Semi-Finals at CCAA National Basketball Championship
Sheridan Wins First Game at CCAA Championship & Advances to Semi FinalsFor Immediate Release: March 14, 2013
Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Que.
The format of the tournament calls for the participants to be seeded according to their ability, but the truth is that number that sits in front of your name on the tournament bracket doesn't matter when the ball meets the hardwood.
Any team that finds itself playing in the national championship tournament certainly has the ability to play with any of their contemporaries, so it was no surprise that the Keyano Huskies had the ability to push the Sheridan Bruins men's basketball team (32-10, 21-2 OCAA) to the brink.
But ultimately the Double-Blue wore their opposition down in the second half -- with their pressure defensively taking away the Huskies' legs at the offensive end -- to secure an 84-75 win, and move on to the national semi-final.
"I thought it was a typical first half played at a national championship," head coach Jim Flack said. "They shot the heck out of the ball, they were the underdog -- well, apparently the underdog -- we made a lot of mental errors and we couldn't get anything going. In the second half we went with more of a pressure defence to try and take the handcuffs off our guys and see if we couldn't get more open court play, and it paid off.
"That's an awfully good team we just beat and one of the best coaches in the whole country. To do what he does, when he's really just trying to rotate six or seven players through the game -- and to get that type of performance out of them -- is something that I wish I would have been able to do at some point. It was an incredible performance by them and they have some great players."
In opening stages, the two sides were in the stand-and-trade mode with first 4:36 featuring six lead changes and four ties.
Nearing the five-minute mark, Keyano used an 8-0 run to give them an 18-12 edge that would turn into 20-14 at the end of the opening frame.
A 9-2 run over the first 2:39 gave Sheridan the lead back, but would find themselves trailing by their largest margin -- seven -- after the Huskies replied with an 8-0 run of their own.
The Bruins quickly cut it back to three and were able to keep the game at least a two possession game for the remainder of the half, trailing 40-37 at intermission.
After the Double-Blue got their first basket just 15 seconds into the third quarter, Keyano responded with a pair of threes that pushed the lead back to seven (46-39), but that was quickly erased with a 7-0 Sheridan run.
The remainder of the third quarter played out in a similar manner to the first, with neither side able to take more than a four-point lead.
It was the Bruins that began to pull ahead late, but Keyano was able to hit a jumper at the horn to level the score at 56-56, going into the final frame.
In a flip of how the third quarter began, it was Keyano that scored just 16 seconds in, with Sheridan supplying a response in the form of an 8-0 run, giving them a 64-58 edge that they would not relinquish.
The Bruins would lead by as many as nine, with Keyano showing some tremendous grit to eventually cut the lead to three -- 78-75 -- with just over a minute remaining.
With Keyano forced into the situation of fouling in order to extend the game, the Double-Blue made just enough of their attempts from the charity stripe to put away the game.
Trevor Williams scored 35, while Michael Selkridge (13), Andrew Stephenson (11) and Roshean Keen (10) all hit double figures.
The team will now square off against Vancouver Island University, the runners-up in the PacWest.
Flack says that the players will rest and recover while the coaching staff devise a strategy and that they'll approach the game as they would any other.
"A little bit of rest -- and it's really cliche -- but you take them one game at a time, that's all you can do," he said. "We'll play Vancouver Island University tomorrow, and that's a great team. We're going to have to line up and really compete tomorrow and when the game's done, we'll see where we stand. We can't keep looking at Trevor [Williams] to go crazy and do everything, it's just not fair to him. We need our other guys that play a lot of minutes to step up.
"Roshean Keen was very important today, Andrew Stephenson was typically important, Paul [Williams] was good when he was allowed to play and Kadeem Hall played unbelievable defence. So if we get everybody to step up a little bit more like that tomorrow, then I think we can win."
Blue notes: In the first half, Keyano connected on six of 14 three-point attempts (42.9 per cent), but saw that fall to five of 20 (25 per cent) in the second.
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