The St. Clair College men's basketball team (10-2) qualified for the CCAA national championship for the first time since 1980 after winning their OCAA semi-final 110-97 over Redeemer University (Ancaster) Wednesday night at Humber College (Etobicoke).
The Saints will face host Humber at 8 p.m. on Thursday with a chance to win an OCAA championship for the first time since 1981 and something they haven't accomplished since the league's inaugural season in 1967-68. Humber will also play host to the national championship from March 25-27 so the OCAA will sending a second representative which will be St. Clair regardless of Thursday's outcome.
In Wednesday's win over Redeemer the Saints flew out ahead 31-17 after the first quarter and continued the pressure mounting a 60-36 advantage by halftime. Redeemer didn't give up and won the second half 61-50 but could not overcome the deficit.
If not for a slight faulter in the third quarter St. Clair's 46 per cent overall shooting for the game could have run Redeemer out of the gym. Redeemer scored 25 points off 18 uncharacteristic turnovers which kept them in the game. But the Saints outscored their opponent 39-21 in points off the bench.
St. Clair was led by Chad Vincent-Simon (Scarborough, Ont.) who scored 25 points but recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds while adding four assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Jesiah Deerr (Whitby, Ont.) came off the bench for his double-double that included 21 points and 12 rebounds while David Gomez Jr. (Pontiac, Mich.) had 18 points and eight rebounds. Miles Hall (Toronto, Ont.) had 16 points off the bench for St. Clair while Jalen Harmon (Ypsilanti, Mich.) chipped in with 12 points to go with seven rebounds.
Redeemer's Blake Anderson (Hamilton, Ont.) scored 25 points in a losing cause.
Source: St. Clair Saints
The Humber men's basketball team secured their spot in the OCAA championship game, defeating the Lambton Lions (8-4, 3rd West) Wednesday evening at the North Campus Gym, 100-86.
Humber's star trio of DeQuon Cascart, Frank Mitchell and Kevin Otoo carried the Hawks' offence, combining to score 74 points on the night. Otoo led all scorers, finishing with a career-high 31 points while adding six rebounds, two assists and four steals. Mitchell finished just shy of a triple-double, putting up 21 points, 18 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and a steal, while Cascart recorded 22 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals in the win.
The Hawks sprinted out of the gates, opening the game on fire on the offensive end and finished the first quarter with an 11-point lead. Cascart and Otoo were lights out on offence in the opening frame, combining to score 22 of Humber's 34 points in the quarter on eight-of-nine shooting from the floor.
Lambton chipped away at the Hawks' lead in the second, getting the deficit down to just four points as the first half ended. The Lions held Humber to a game-low 17 points in the third as they tightened up on the defensive end.
Humber came out strong after the break, opening the quarter with an 8-0 run to extend their lead to double figures once again. Mitchell was dominant for Humber in the third nearly putting up a double-double in the quarter alone. With three quarters in the books the Hawks took a commanding 14-point lead into the final 10 minutes.
The Hawks ran away with the game in the fourth, quickly pushing their lead up to over 20-points as the Lions couldn't keep pace with Humber's offence. The Hawks coasted through the back half of the quarter taking this one by a score of, 100-86.
Source: Humber Hawks