The Holland College Hurricanes used a dominating first half to build up a double-digit lead and held off a late rally to defeat the Champlain College Cavaliers 72-61 Thursday night in the opening round of the Canadian College Athletic Association (ACAA) men’s basketball championships.
The Hurricanes jumped out to an early lead behind an impressive shooting display and tenacious defensive play. They connected on more than 50 per cent of their field goal attempts in the first half and took a 38-24 lead to the locker room. The Cavaliers played better in the second half but every time they cut the deficit to less than 10 points and appeared on the verge of a serious run, the Hurricanes responded with a run of their own.
Alvin Parker led the Hurricanes with 24 points and was named player of the game. Teammates Leo Morris and Chase Bowden chipped in 14 points apiece while Steve Hardy added 13 to the winning cause.
“We played well against a very good team,” Hurricanes head coach George Morrison said. “We were fortunate to hit some three-pointers from players who don’t normally shoot from that distance. We usually go deeper in the bench but tonight we went with experience.”
The Cavaliers were led by David Belanger who had a team-high 15 points and was selected the Cavaliers player of the game. Kenny Jean Louis contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds while Alex Paquin and Nolan Woodward had 11 apiece.
The Hurricanes advance to the semifinal where they will play the winner of the host John Abbott Islanders and top-seed Langara Falcons game.
In the day’s first game, the sixth-seeded Vancouver Island Islanders knocked off the Red Deer kings 87-75 while the Sheridan College Bruins recorded an 84-75 victory over Keyano College Huskies in another opening round match.
The Bruins will play Vancouver Island Friday night while the Huskies move to the consolation semis to play the Red Dear Kings.