Men's Basketball GOLDEN!!

March 8th, 2015

Mariners finally defeats Falcons in gold medal game

The men’s gold medal game, featuring two of the most dominant squads not only in BC but in Canada. The Falcons were the only team to defeat the top-ranked Mariners during the regular season. The final result saw the Mariners exorcise their demons over the past two years (when they lost in this same game to these same Falcons), defeating their rivals 82-76.

The first quarter gave just a hint of what was to come for fans in Abbotsford. Former CIS guard Justin King went to work on the Falcons and the Falcons did everything they could to answer. Through the first quarter the Mariners had a slight two-point lead over the Falcons, 25-23.

The Falcons were gifted a long back-court trey from Montell Lindgren to close out the first quarter in style. The Mariners got the same sort of buzzer-beater to end the first half, with Chris Parker getting a steal and heave from half to give his Mariners a three point halftime lead, 42-39. Justin King led the Mariners at half with 13, and it was Elliot Mason leading the Falcons with 17.

The third quarter was punctuated with runs from both the Mariners and the Falcons. As soon as the game looked like it was about to get out of hand for the Falcons they would rebound and keep themselves in the game.

The game was at the breaking point entering the fourth quarter, the packed-house positively boiling under the pressure. With the minutes winding down and the Mariners leading by five disaster struck--PACWEST Player of the Year Justin King landed awkwardly on his ankle and was having trouble walking.

“Obviously Justin’s injury is huge, I mean he is an amazing player … I think Justin is going to be OK, but if not we’ll have to do the best we can” said Mariners coach Matt Kuzminski after the game.

He was forced to miss the last two minutes of the game leaving the window open for Langara. But it wasn’t to be for the Falcons – a late turnover from Elliot Mason forced them to play the foul game with increasing desperation.

“[Winning] is a long process. These guys have worked so hard. What happened today isn’t from this game it’s from everything that has been happening since May [last year]” said coach Kuzminski, “the work the guys put in, the commitment they’ve made to each other and the system is special.”

Final stats for the game saw the Falcons Mason lead all scorers with 29 points. For the Mariners it was Justin King with 19 leading his team. Both the Mariners and the Falcons will be heading to CCAA nationals where they could potentially meet up again.

Players of the Game

VIU Mariners: Chris Parker

Langara Falcons: Elliot Mason