Men's basketball holds off Holland to reach national title game

Men's basketball holds off Holland to reach national title game

LANGLEY, B.C. - It was a fast start and a strong finish for the Sheridan Bruins men's basketball team (32-9, 21-5 CCAA) in the CCAA semifinal, opening the game on a 16-0 run and closing out the final 6:21 on a 29-13 run, securing a 107-96 victory over Holland that lifts them into the national championship game. 

"Tonight was about players and performances," head coach Jim Flack said. "They committed to a very difficult game plan against a very big team. Our guys never stopped, no matter what the score was."

The final flurry from the Bruins came just as Holland had wrestled the lead away, going up 83-78, early in a fourth quarter that began knotted at 73. It started with a pair of layups from Keenan Danso-Dapaah that trimmed the margin to one, and that set the stage for Nick Campbell, who hit a trio of triples in a span of 1:51 to put the Double Blue in front 93-87. 

Holland refused to fold up the tent however, and were still within five with under two minutes to play, but Danso-Dapaah put the game on ice with a 3-ball that gave Sheridan a 100-92 advantage with 1:37 left. 

By the time it was done, the game had four distinct phases: The opening 3:18 when the Bruins blitzed Holland with a 16-0 start; The middle of the first until halftime when the ACAA champions steadied themselves, rallied, and built their own eight-point cushion; The third quarter that featured eight ties and four lead changes; And the fourth quarter, when Sheridan slammed the door shut. 

Campbell finished with 32 points on 10-of-15 shooting - including 6-of-10 from 3-point range - while Khaleek Bakari-Whyte (30), Jemol Edwards (19), and Danso-Dapaah (11) were also in double figures. 

The Bruins' opposition in the title game will be the VIU Mariners, who have climbed out of 18 and 19-point deficits respectively in their quarter-final and semifinal matchups. 

"VIU is one of the best programs in the country, and they have been for almost 30 years," Flack said. "They are well coached and mentally tough. Every time we see them, they've got some great players from someplace new."