ETOBICOKE, ON: Humber and Sheridan put on a show for the packed Hawks Nest that saw an exhilarating 85-75 Humber win for the Hawks to advance to the OCAA Finals. Humber's Ancil Martin led the team with 18 points, going 12-for-14 from the free throw line. Tyrone Dickson also had a solid night with a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds, but Sheridan's Dylan Periana was light's out with a game high 34 points in 42 and a half minutes of work.
The Hawks and Bruins did not disappoint in front of the packed crowd. Both squads traded points right off the bat, and it was tied at six points halfway through the first quarter. Forward Ancil Martin broke the gridlock with an elbow jumper and centre Tyrone Dickson built their momentum with strong move to the hoop for the basket and the foul. Humber led 10-6 but it wasn't long before Sheridan responded with a steal and a pair of baskets. The leads changed six times with Bruins guard Dylan Periana launching a three ball to silence the Humber crowd. But in the dying seconds Hawk guard Gibson Eduful made an astounding half-court shot at the buzzer to rile up the Nest with an 18-16 lead in their favour.
Humber stormed out to a 20-18 lead in the first few minutes of the frame. But the louder the Nest got, the harder both teams played. It was Humber's turn to shift the momentum when Dickson swatted away a Sheridan drive and the Hawks transitioned swiftly with Martin getting the finish. Periana continued to shimmy his way around the defence and stunned the Hawks with a pair of turn-around jumpers that kept the Hawks honest. Then forward Kenny Ejim came in with a two-handed slam to put the Hawks up 28-16. But it was Humber guard Jordan Rose who had the crowd on their feet when he made a long range, wide open three for his second of the game. Humber closed out the half on barely top 31-30.
Periana gave the Bruins the go-ahead with a three ball in the face of Dickson. As if the game couldn't get any closer, both teams took a few trips to the free throw line for another tied game at 37 apiece. Centre Vule Grujic heated up under the rim for four points and a pair of clutch defensive boards. Then the big man suited up for a big three ball that kissed the glass for a 45-41 lead. Defence on both sides stayed tough in the dying minutes but the Hawks went into the fourth quarter with a 47-45 lead.
The Bruins got off a quick two points to tie the game, then forward Brayden Gohn charged down the floor and took an outlet pass for the dunk of the night. Periana wasn't done though and he gave the Bruins a breakthrough with a three pointer in double coverage that gave Sheridan the 53-49 lead which forced a Hawks timeout with seven minutes left. The Hawks got a much needed stop out of the timeout and Eduful was off to the races with a half-court steal that he put away for a layup.
With momentum swaying in Sheridan's direction Periana stole the show with a euro step around Dickson for the up and under for the Bruins to pull ahead 57-52. Humber was held scoreless for a minute and a half until Martin was able to put back Grujic's missed dime, then guard C.J. Bennett showed up with a drive to the hoop with harm for a three point play. With three and a half minutes remaining the Bruins had a 59-57 lead. That was until Ejim stole the ball twice and finished the second steal with a game changing dunk. The magic in the Nest totally changed when Martin blocked a wide open offensive board out of the court. The Nest erupted with cheers like never before. Martin stepped up again by drawing a reaching foul and sunk both bonus free throws to put the Hawks ahead 63-61 at 1:30. Sheridan wasn't out of it yet and forward Navdeep Deol cut through the lane and gave the Bruins some hope by making the three-point play. Sheridan had every reason to start celebrating with less than a minute to go and a 66-63 lead. But Martin drew a crucial foul and made both 1 of 2 free throws to cut the deficit. With 14.7 seconds left in the game the Hawks pulled off a miracle with a steal in Sheridan's zone that found a sprinting Eduful who laid up the ball to tie the game at 66. The buzzer blew and it was time for over time.
The Hawks came out of the gate with a mountain of momentum and scored six quick points in two minutes to set the tone. The Bruins had their chances to come back and chipped away to a 76-70 deficit. Periana was the game changer when he nailed a three pointer for his 34th point to make it a one possession game. But it wasn't enough for the Bruins. Humber stayed composed and put their foot down by drawing key fouls and leveraging their way to a thrilling 85-75 win.
The Hawks will play the winner of Mohawk and Lambton at 5 p.m. tomorrow for the gold medal match. Both of those teams will represent the OCAA at the CCAA National Championships.