PREVIEW: Day 1 of championship tournament ends with quarter-final clash between the Bruins and Falcons

PREVIEW: Day 1 of championship tournament ends with quarter-final clash between the Bruins and Falcons

To close out day 1 of the OCAA Championships, the defending OCAA Champion Sheridan Bruins will take on the west division rival Fanshawe Falcons. The two programs faced off against one another twice this season with both victories going the way of the Bruins.

The Bruins look to repeat as provincial champions after last year's 76-74 OCAA Gold Medal victory over the George Brown Huskies. Sheridan is determined to continue their success heading into this year’s provincial tournament after posting a regular season record of 16-4, good for 2nd in the OCAA West Division.

“To beat a program like Fanshawe three times in a season is very difficult,“ said Bruins’ head coach Jim Flack. “We have to continue to work hard and play our game because in this tournament, anything can happen“.

If the Bruins hope to repeat as provincial gold medalists, they must rely on big performances from 3rd year guard/forward Nick Campbell. The Brampton, Ontario product was outstanding in his third season with the Bruins, leading his program in scoring with 19.3 points per game. Campbell has also been a thorn in the side of the Falcons all season, averaging 24.5 points in each of the matchups between the two OCAA West Division programs.

Sheridan clinched their spot in the Final 8 with a 106-78 crossover victory over the Georgian grizzlies.

The Falcons enter the tournament with a regular season record 11-9, finishing at 6th spot in the ultra competitive OCAA West Division. The Falcons look to improve on last year’s result at the provincial tournament, losing the consolation final 106-93 to the Redeemer Royals.

If the Falcons hope to find success against the reigning OCAA Men’s Basketball Gold Medal Champions, they will need strong offensive performances from guard’s Chris Parker (Toledo, Ohio) and Sean Clendinning (Orillia, Ont.). The duo was outstanding for the Falcons during the regular season, averaging an impressive 20.3 and 19.4 points per game respectively. Clenndinning was especially good in their last regular season matchup posting a season high 34 points.

When asked about his program's upcoming matchup against Sheridan, Fanshawe’s Chris Parker was quick to compliment his team’s preparation. “We have been working hard all week in practice,” said Parker. "Sheridan is a physical program and it is important that we stick to our game plan and match their intensity through all four quarters."

Fanshawe qualified for this year’s tournament after their 63-59 crossover win over the OCAA East Division Durham Lords.

Tip off between the two west division programs is set for 8pm.