Bruins put Hearts on the line

Bruins fall to Langara in OT of Basketball Bronze Game

I couldn’t be any prouder of these guys – Coach Jim Flack

 

Photo Credit: Sheridan College

Photo Credit: Sheridan College

At its core, the game of basketball is one with a finite outcome — when the clock hits triple zeros, the scoreboard will dictate whether you have your hand raised in victory or not.

In that sense, the Sheridan Bruins men’s basketball team (33-12, 21-2 OCAA) did not achieve what they set out to, as they were unable to secure the bronze medal after a 99-93 overtime loss to Langara.

What they did do though, was pour nearly five months worth of heart and soul onto the floor at John Abbott College in an awe-inspiring second half, as they saw a nine-point halftime advantage turn into an 11-point deficit but never once showed any signs of surrender as they scratched and clawed their way back to be right there at the end.

“It’s extremely disappointing — not in the way we played, but the result. I really, honestly felt that we had earned a win and there were just a couple of turning points that we couldn’t recover from,” head coach Jim Flack said. “The foul trouble, we made some really poor decisions at times that led to their transition and layups. I think every coach by the time they get to this point in the season, they just want the best for their guys and really felt that we deserved to go home with a medal of some kind. But in the end we’re a Final Four team and the Ontario champions, so we just have to march on like that.”

The first five minutes was a tug-of-war for control, as Langara scored first but Kadeem Hall answered with a pair of three-pointers to take an early 6-2 lead.

Sheridan would continue to hold a narrow edge until the game neared the four minute mark, when a 9-0 Langara run in 1:22 held the PacWest champions to lead 24-16 at the end of the first.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride.” – Coach Flack

The Double-Blue owned the second quarter, limiting Langara to only 11 points — with only two in the final four minutes — as they pulled ahead to lead 44-35 at the break.

Langara proved they were not going to go away however, opening the second half on a 16-0 run, that turned into a 23-2 run and pushed the Bruins into a 58-47 hole.

To compound matters, Sheridan had just two points in the quarter until they hit their second shot from the floor at the 3:39 mark.

Photo credit: Sheridan College

Photo credit: Sheridan College

They still managed to be within striking distance — down 66-61 — heading to the final period.

In the first minute, Langara extended their lead to nine, 70-61, but an 11-0 Sheridan run over a stretch of 3:03 gave the Bruins a 72-70 edge.

The two sides traded runs late, and Sheridan was in front 82-79 with 85 seconds to play but Langara had pulled level with 27 seconds remaining.

The Bruins got a good look from deep, but the three-point attempt clanged off the back rim and gave Langara a chance to get in transition looking for the winning bucket. While Jesse Jeffers took it to the rack and was fouled, he missed both attempts. Tied at 82-82 the game was forced into overtime.

In the extra frame, Langara scored 41 seconds in and while Sheridan was able to knot the game at 91 with 1:21 to play, at no point in overtime did they hold the lead. In the end, Langara took the game 99-93, clinching the bronze medal.

Trevor Williams scored a team-high 26 points, while Michael Selkridge (19), Kadeem Hall (12), Roshean Keen (11) and Dylan Periana (10) all hit double figures.

Sheridan found themselves in the bronze medal game after defeating the hosts from John Abbott 85-58 in the bronze semi final, with the game taking place just 13 hours after they’d been bounced from title contention. Vancouver Island University, who Sheridan played earlier in the championship, took the gold medal, while Holland College from P.E.I. took the silver.

In looking back to assess the season’s entire body of work, Flack couldn’t help but praise his team’s ability to always battle back.

“Like most of them, it’s been a roller coaster ride,” he said. “I believe in that mantra that a season is a lifetime, and so many things can happen in your life and if the season takes on a persona — a life itself — then the same things happen. You have ups and downs, how you recover from adversity — we did that so many times, so well that I couldn’t be any prouder of these guys. And the reminder is there that all of the coaching staff is going to be back at work on Monday, so it’s expected that they’ll be in class putting their work in, too.”

Blue notes: In the lengthy and illustrious history of basketball at Sheridan, only six teams have posted more wins than the 33 this year’s team produced. Trevor Williams was named a first-team tournament all-star, while Michael Selkridge earned a second team nod.

 

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