Mount Allison's Marlon Smith of Amherst, NS, drives past UKC's Beatrice Cleveland-Thomson of Halifax.
Both Mount Allison's men's and women's basketball teams gave outstanding performances at the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) Basketball Championships held at Holland College over the past weekend. Although they departed earlier from the tournament than they would have hoped for, fans were treated to some exciting play that had everyone on the edge of their seats by game's end.
In the women's quarter-final, Mount Allison women played steady basketball and stuck to their game plan, breaking away from a tight first half match up against University of Kings College Blue Devils to take a comfortable lead by third quarter and go on to win 62-45.
The men's 68-67 quarter-final victory over the Holland College Hurricanes was the icing on the cake and the game of the weekend for the Mounties, who never quit. Despite a gym full of Holland Hurricane supporters, the Mounties came from behind late in the fourth quarter and with just seconds on the clock, a Kevin Monaghan pass to Brandon Malally resulted in a three-point clutch basket to put Mount Allison ahead by one point. With three seconds remaining Holland College got a shot away but came up short.
The Mountie women played one of their best games of the year meeting the second-seeded Mount Saint Vincent Mystics (MSVU) in the semi final. Several times throughout the game the Mounties came from behind to narrow the gap, and at one point held the Mystics to only a four-point lead in the fourth quarter. Foul trouble, solid pressure and play by MSVU continued to widen the margin over Mount Allison, beating the Garnet and Gold by a 65-52 score.
In men's semi-final action Mount Allison gave an admirable performance against the undefeated top-ranked Mount Saint Vincent Mystics. Behind just 12 points mid way through the game, the Mounties played a solid second half, but costly turnovers gave the Mystics more opportunities to take control and not look back, defeating Mount Allison 74-50 and advancing to the championship final.
Many players on both teams had outstanding games. Kevin Monaghan, playing his last game as a Mountie showed great leadership, scoring 23 and 19 points in two games. Brandon Malally and Ben Chisholm also scored in the double digits and were solid rebounders. Brandon Malally was also selected to the second-team ACAA All- Conference team.
For the women it was a great team effort with several standout moments for different players. Marlon Smith was selected to the second-team ACAA All-Conference team and was also Player of the Game in the semi-final finishing with 15 points. Second-year player Mackenzie Gray and guards Sarah MacKellar, Kayla Robichaud, and Chelsea Putnam all had stellar defensive games, coming up with some great steals and solid passing. Gray played strong defensively and was consistent throughout the tournament.
Seniors Meghan Plummer and Jenny Robinson had solid games. Robinson kept the score close with her strong rebounding ability while Plummer came off the bench several times to score key baskets and keep the Mounties in contention.