Men lose in basketball quarterfinals shocker
Coming into the quarterfinals on February 28, Algoma Thunderbirds, who were 9-9 during the regular season, were expected to be dominated by the Fanshawe Falcons, who were 11-4.
Algoma strutted out onto Fanshawe's court as the crowd was hollering, bells ringing, tambourines being shaken and drums being hit. Fanshawe's basketball seats were definitely packed as there was almost no room to sit in this exciting match up. In the end, in a heart-breaking close game, Algoma raised their hands in triumph as they won 69-62.
The Thunderbirds looked almost surreal starting off the game hitting most of their shots with ease. In the first half, Thunderbirds shot a staggering 62.5 per cent from the three-point line and hit 5/8 three pointers. Fanshawe, on the other hand, missed all of their five free throw attempts in the first half and only hit 33.3 per cent of their field goals compared to Algoma's 42.9 per cent.
Moving into the second half, Fanshawe's shooting improved substantially as they were 43.2 per cent from the field. While Fanshawe only held Algoma to seven field goals in the second half, they allowed Algoma to score 19 points from the free throw line as Fanshawe had 21 total personal fouls in the game. In the end, Fanshawe could not catch up and lost in a major upset. With this upsetting loss, Fanshawe has worked their way down as they were Bronze medal champions in 2008.
Fanshawe's Matt Fennell posted 12 points, while Jordan Dixon posted 18 points. Thunderbird's Dele Oworu dominated the boards ripping down 18 rebounds and contributing 14 points. Algoma's O'Brien Wallace had a game high 19 points with four three-point field goals.
Now that Algoma has moved onto the semifinals, they will face championship favourites Algonquin Thunder. The Thunder defeated the Sheridan Bruins, 2007-2008 OCAA champions, by a single point as the game ended 72-71 for Algonquin. In 2008, Algonquin was knocked out... by Sheridan in the first round. With the win over Sheridan, Algonquin has grasped revenge and looks to win the championships.
Algoma defeating Fanshawe wasn't the only upset of the quarterfinals. Niagara Knights (14-4) upset St. Lawrence Kingston Vikings (16-4) on the road by a single point as well. Niagara's Nick Fadayel had a key steal in the final minute of the game where the Vikings would foul him on his lay-up attempt. With two shots and being 56-55, Fadayel needed to make these clutch free throws. Sure enough, he did. Fadayel's two free throws gave Niagara a 57-55 lead to win the game.
Algoma will now have to travel on the road and play against Algonquin, while Niagara will play against the number one west ranked Humber College as the away team.
Interesting 2008-2009 facts:
- Fleming's Tony Duran broke the record for most three pointers in a single season by dropping 87 threes.
- Fleming broke the record for the most threes by a team in a single game when they made 23 field goals against La Cite.
- Humber has the most championships ever with 10. Sheridan will look to tie it as they have nine championships currently. Fanshawe has 6 championships at this point in time with the last one being in 06/07.