NATIONAL CHAMPIONS !!

March 10th, 2013

Jones powers Vancouver Island to National Championships

Mariners edge Holland Hurricanes 77-70 in title game

Brandon Jones scored a game-high 34 points, including several clutch shots when the game was on the line to lead the Vancouver Island University Mariners to an exciting 77-70 win in front of a capacity crowd in the championship game of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball national championship held at John Abbott College.

“It was a crazy game, nothing comes easy, it is a national championship and everyone is trying to win,” Mariner head coach Matt Kuzminski said as his players celebrated on the court. “Our goal this season was to make it to the Nationals and once we got here it was to win the Nationals.”

 Jones’ 20 points in the opening half enabled the Mariners to take a 40-31 lead into the locker room at halftime. The resilient Hurricanes refused to quit and slowly ate away at the Mariners lead, tying the game at 52-52 before Jones hit back-to-back treys  to give Vancouver Island a 58-54 lead after 30 minutes of play. The final ten minutes of the game was nick-and-tuck and the Islanders appeared to have the game won when they converted two turnovers into a five point lead. But the Hurricanes scored an improbable basket on a deflected pass that was tipped into the basket to cut the deficit to 73-70. Forced to foul, Holland sent VIU’s Ryan Davidson to the line when he converted two foul shots that iced the win and the 2013 championship

“It was a crazy game, nothing comes easy because it is a national championship and everyone is trying to win,” Mariner head coach Matt Kuzminski said as his players celebrated on the court. “Our goal this season was to make it to the Nationals and once we got here it was to win the Nationals.”

Jones finished the game with 34 points and was named the tournament MVP. Teammate Tyler Olsen added 17 and was selected to the tournament first all-star team.

“Brandon hit some big shots for us, he has been our go-to guy all year long,” Kuzminski said.
Alvin Parker led Holland with 23 points while Mike Hardy chipped in with 21 and Chase Bowden tallied 10. Parker was a first team all-star while Hardy and Olsen were named to the second team all-stars.

Rounding out the first team all-stars were Langara’s  Brody Greig and Jesse Jeffers while second team all-stars were Robert Pierce of Red Deer, Sheridan’s Michael Selkridge and Ryan Davidson of Vancouver Island University. Red Deer’s Lloyd Strickland won the Fair Play Award

Vancouver Island reached the finals with victories over Red Deer and Sheridan while Holland punched their ticket to the championship game with wins over Champlain and Langara.

The Langara Falcons captured the bronze medal at the Canadian College Athletic Association men’s basketball championships Saturday evening with a 99-93 victory over the Sheridan Bruins.

In earlier action today the Langara Falcons edged Red Deer Kings 80-79 and the Sheridan Bruins downed the host John Abbott Islanders 85-58 and the Champlain Cavaliers upended the Keyano Huskies 76-66.