WELLAND, Ont. - The Sheridan Bruins men's basketball team (29-7, 19-5 OCAA) bounced back from a crushing overtime defeat in the semi final with their second-best shooting performance of the season, running away from Redeemer in the second half to claim the OCAA bronze medal after a 119-84 triumph.
"Bronze is tough to win. You have to pick yourself up and look deep into your character after being devastated the day before," head coach Jim Flack said. "But these guys never quit on us all year, so this performance was true to form."
Even though both teams were playing their third game in three days, it began as a track meet with the two sides combining for 67 first quarter points. Both shot better than 60 per cent from the floor, and Redeemer led 37-30 after 10 minutes.
That fast-paced style of game suited the Double Blue quite well and ultimately it would tell the narrative of the contest. Sheridan continued to pour it on, out-scoring Redeemer 30-15 in the second frame and took an eight-point edge (60-52) into the break.
The 15 minute interval was just enough for the Bruins to re-charge and the damage of facing constant pressure and having to fight for every inch of space over 94-feet was beginning to show on Redeemer. By the time the third quarter was complete, the game was all but over.
Sheridan put up 41 points in the third period - once again shooting better than 60 per cent from the field - to open up a 101-72 advantage entering the fourth.
The result of constant Bruin pressure was never more evident than in the stats from the second and third quarters.
A 71-35 advantage in that 20 minute stretch, 19 Redeemer turnovers, and evidence that their opponents legs were going. The Royals connected on just 13.3 per cent of their 3-point attempts (2-15) and in the third quarter dropped to 5-14 (.357) from the free throw line, not even halfway to their season average of 76.9 per cent from the charity stripe.
Meanwhile, it was a season best 14 triples for the Bruins, converting 42.4 per cent of their attempts from deep and 53.1 per cent of their shots overall, both the second most-efficient performances of their year.
After averaging 20 points a night in the championship - and the playoffs overall - Edwards was named a tournament All-Star.