Ottawa Citizen

Two in a row for Thunder

Algonquin claims OCAA women’s basketball title

- DARREN DESAULNIER­S

The Ontario Colleges Athletic Associatio­n women’s basketball championsh­ip was such a success that they decided to play a little extra ball on Saturday at Seneca College in Toronto.

Both the bronze- and goldmedal matches went to overtime, and, when it was all said and done, the Algonquin Thunder emerged as conference champion with a 62-57 victory against the Seneca Sting in double overtime.

The George Brown Huskies of Toronto knocked off London’s Fanshawe Falcons 5045 in overtime for the bronze medal.

Both the Thunder and Sting will head to Lethbridge, Alta., for the Canadian Colleges Athletic Associatio­n championsh­ip on March 15-17.

It will be the second consecutiv­e trip to nationals for the Thunder, which last year earned a CCAA silver medal at Welland, Ont.

“It feels amazing. It’s one of those surreal feelings when you think a game is never going to end,” Thunder coach John Macinnis said in a telephone interview.

“In both overtimes, we made a run and went up before Seneca clawed back. It was a pretty special game.:

Going into the nationals, Macinnis is confident based on the experience his team gained in last year’s respectabl­e, but not fulfilling secondplac­e finish.

“This team has been very focused right from the very start, and our goal has been to get back to nationals,” he said. “Coming into the (OCAA) tournament, there was a lot of focus. I always kind of knew we’d play Seneca in the final.

“It was kind of one of those tournament­s of survival. Three games in three days, and it’s a lot of low scoring games and a lot of physicalit­y.”

Low scoring indeed. The Thunder trailed 18-17 at the half, but it was 42-42 at the end of regulation time.

Tournament MVP Sandre Bascoe led Algonquin with 17 points, while Trish Grey added 16 and Abeer Farhat had 10.

The only Seneca player in double figures was Tara Minicuci, who finished with 10 points.

Grey, Minicuci, George Brown’s Aria Charles, Fanshawe’s Natasha Amo and Seneca’s Samantha Evans were named all-stars.

The OCAA men’s championsh­ip wrapped up Saturday evening at Algonquin, but without the host Thunder, which was eliminated after losses on both Thursday and Friday.

The Mohawk Mountainee­rs of Hamilton won their first OCAA title since 1972, downing the defending-champion Humber Hawks from Etobicoke 69-66 in the final at the Ron Port Athletic Facility.

The Fanshawe Falcons of London won the bronze-medal game 92-63 against the Algoma Thunderbir­ds of Sault Ste-marie.

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