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Hurricanes win twice to capture bronze at CCAA men's hoop nationals


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Holland College Hurricanes went from the devastation of losing Friday’s semifinal to winning back-to-back games within 24 hours to capture the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) bronze medal on Saturday night.

The Hurricanes defeated the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners 108-95 in their final game of the season to finish third nationally for the second season in a row.

“You leave (Friday) night and you’re crushed,” Hurricanes coach Josh Whitty admitted. “Then you have to turn around and try to find a way to win the next morning and it’s difficult to do.”

Veteran Hurricanes forward Chase Bowden said Friday’s loss was very tough, but the team had to move on.

“We had them and blew it,” he said Saturday night. “We had a good talk last night and made sure everyone was focused on what we needed to do, so we didn't regret it all summer.”

The Hurricanes accomplished the feat by defeating the Lethbridge Kodiaks 94-89 to qualify for the bronze medal and then knocked off the PACWEST champion Mariners.

But it wasn't a complete team effort.

Whitty said some guys checked out mentally after Friday’s loss and didn't play on Saturday.

“Other guys stepped up and played together with a lot of heart and they earned this medal for the program,” he said.

The turning point came two minutes into the second quarter when Travis Adams held his ground in the paint to draw a charge on CCAA player of the year Usama Zaid. It was his third foul of the game, forcing him to sit the rest of the half.

The Hurricanes were up three at the time, but went on a 24-11 run to take a 58-42 lead to the halftime break.

“Getting their star player out, even though he did end up with 55 (points) at the end of the game, that was a big play,” Adams said. “That slowed down their scoring a bit (and) we just took advantage of it.”

Bowden credited Adams with the game-changing play, but also for staying mentally prepared, despite not starting the contest.

“It was great to see him engaged on the bench and then when he came in he was ready to go.”

The Mariners scored 53 second-half points, powered by Zaid’s 39.

“He’s a pretty God damn good player,” Whitty said. “I’m glad he lives in British Columbia and not somewhere in Atlantic Canada.”

Hurricanes forward Trenity Burdine played his final collegiate game Saturday with his son, Tèjour, in the stands.

“It was great to be able to win a bronze medal in front of him,” he said.

The Hurricanes will reload again for another national title run, but without Burdine’s presence on and off the court.

“That’s a massive loss. He’s one of the best we’ve had,” Whitty said of Burdine.

Bowden was part of the team five years ago that lost to the Mariners in the final. He now has a bronze medal to go with the silver from 2013 and has another year to complete the set.

“Two out of the three, now I just need that gold next year,” he said.

The Hurricanes defeated the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners 108-95 in their final game of the season to finish third nationally for the second season in a row.

“You leave (Friday) night and you’re crushed,” Hurricanes coach Josh Whitty admitted. “Then you have to turn around and try to find a way to win the next morning and it’s difficult to do.”

Veteran Hurricanes forward Chase Bowden said Friday’s loss was very tough, but the team had to move on.

“We had them and blew it,” he said Saturday night. “We had a good talk last night and made sure everyone was focused on what we needed to do, so we didn't regret it all summer.”

The Hurricanes accomplished the feat by defeating the Lethbridge Kodiaks 94-89 to qualify for the bronze medal and then knocked off the PACWEST champion Mariners.

But it wasn't a complete team effort.

Whitty said some guys checked out mentally after Friday’s loss and didn't play on Saturday.

“Other guys stepped up and played together with a lot of heart and they earned this medal for the program,” he said.

The turning point came two minutes into the second quarter when Travis Adams held his ground in the paint to draw a charge on CCAA player of the year Usama Zaid. It was his third foul of the game, forcing him to sit the rest of the half.

The Hurricanes were up three at the time, but went on a 24-11 run to take a 58-42 lead to the halftime break.

“Getting their star player out, even though he did end up with 55 (points) at the end of the game, that was a big play,” Adams said. “That slowed down their scoring a bit (and) we just took advantage of it.”

Bowden credited Adams with the game-changing play, but also for staying mentally prepared, despite not starting the contest.

“It was great to see him engaged on the bench and then when he came in he was ready to go.”

The Mariners scored 53 second-half points, powered by Zaid’s 39.

“He’s a pretty God damn good player,” Whitty said. “I’m glad he lives in British Columbia and not somewhere in Atlantic Canada.”

Hurricanes forward Trenity Burdine played his final collegiate game Saturday with his son, Tèjour, in the stands.

“It was great to be able to win a bronze medal in front of him,” he said.

The Hurricanes will reload again for another national title run, but without Burdine’s presence on and off the court.

“That’s a massive loss. He’s one of the best we’ve had,” Whitty said of Burdine.

Bowden was part of the team five years ago that lost to the Mariners in the final. He now has a bronze medal to go with the silver from 2013 and has another year to complete the set.

“Two out of the three, now I just need that gold next year,” he said.

VIU guard Usama Zaid, left, attacks the rim as Holland College Hurricanes forward Chase Bowden defends Saturday in Charlottetown.

Highlight reel

A look at Saturday’s bronze medal game between the Holland College Hurricanes and Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners.

Score by the quarter

Mariners –        31        11        22        31        —           95

Hurricanes –    31        27        22        28        —        108

Top scorers

Mariners – Usama Zaid 55, Bryson Cox 21 and Eric D’Andrea 11.

Hurricanes – Chase Bowden 24, Trenity Burdine 24, Michael Kayeye 21 and Roosevelt (Chicken) Whyley 12.

Top rebounders

Mariners – Usama Zaid 11 and Eric D’Andrea 8.

Hurricanes – Chase Bowden 13, Roosevelt (Chicken) Whyley 12 and Abel Joseph 11.

Top assists

Mariners – Usama Zaid 5.

Hurricanes – Chase Bowden 7.

Shooting percentages

                          FG     Three     Free throws

Mariners –       45         36                 93

Hurricanes –    44        29                 76

Take away – Hurricanes head coach Josh Whitty said it was great to play in front of packed gyms during the week. He hopes Islanders got exposed to the skill of the players and come back next season to watch them. “It’s pretty good basketball. We play at a high level and we’re national bronze medallist for the second year in a row.”

National record – Here’s how the Holland College Hurricanes have done at the national men’s basketball championship since making their first trip five years ago.

2013    Second

2014    Fifth

2015    Fifth

2016    Third

2017    Third

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