By Michael Grace-Dacosta
For the second straight year, the Carleton Ravens were named OUA champions, defeating their crosstown rivals, the Ottawa Gee-Gees in a 72-69 nail-biter.
The Ravens were outshot from the field (38.2% to 42.4%) and three-point line (5-21 compared to 9-25 for Ottawa), but destroyed the Gee-Gees in the rebounding battle 40-28.
“We kept ourselves out in front by rebounding and getting some more opportunities,” said Ravens head coach Dave Smart. “If we hadn’t done that, who knows what would have happened when we couldn’t make a shot earlier.”
Ravens forward Thomas Scrubb was named the game’s MVP after posting up a team-high 17 points and 9 rebounds. His brother, — and reigning, two-time OUA MVP — Philip Scrubb and teammate Clinton Springer-Williams both chipped in 15 points.
Despite their dominance on the boards, Carleton barely escaped with the win. Ottawa outscored the Ravens 41-34 in the second half, but it was too little, too late.
“We definitely didn’t play one of our best games this year — we’re all aware of that,” said guard Johnny Berhanemeskel, who had 13 points and 4 steals.
After the game, Gee-Gees star Warren Ward refused to put on his silver medal.
“[It was just] pure frustration. We wanted to win this Wilson Cup, and we felt like we deserved to,” said Ward, who had 27 points and 10 rebounds. “My only goal — and this team’s goal — was to win this, and we came up short.”
But the season isn’t over for Ottawa just yet. Their second-place finish at the Wilson Cup earns them a berth in next week’s CIS Championships — which are being played at Scotia Bank Place in Ottawa.
Berhanemeskel was quick to respond when asked if he hoped to see the Ravens for a fourth time this season at nationals.
“One hundred per cent [we want to play Carleton again],” said Berhanemeskel. “We respect them, and we know that we’re so close to them so we want to see them again for sure.”
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Photos by Charles Vanegas and Brian Batista Bettencourt