Rams take Super Hoops final in OT

With under a minute to play in overtime, FH Collins Warrior Tony Nguyen sunk a pair of free throws to put his team up 81-79. However, after Porter Creek Ram Jamie Milligan charged through the key for two, teammate Riley Tobin

With under a minute to play in overtime, FH Collins Warrior Tony Nguyen sunk a pair of free throws to put his team up 81-79.

However, after Porter Creek Ram Jamie Milligan charged through the key for two, teammate Riley Tobin made the play of the game, picking off a pass in the Warriors’ end and taking it to the rim to give his team an 83-81 lead and, soon after, the Super Hoops boys title Tuesday at FH Collins Secondary.

“That was a pretty weak inbounds pass,” said Warriors head coach Jeff Cressman. “I’d like that one back.”

Tobin found himself walking a tightrope in the latter stages of the game, starting the fourth one foul away from fouling out.

“So he got through the fourth and the overtime without fouling out,” said Rams head coach Logan Wedge. “He was the player of the game yesterday too.”

Running out of time, the Warriors gave one last drive but missed on an outside shot. Rams captain gobbled up the rebound, securing the win.

“He told me that was the highest he’s ever jumped,” said Wedge. “I saw his hands right by the rim there.

“He’s not a big scorer, but rebounds well and defends well É he does all the things a captain should do.”

Nguyen, who led his team with 31 points, sent the game to overtime with a steal and a lay-up, tying the game 75-75 with 36 seconds left in regulation.

“He’s an amazing player and that’s why we wanted to double-team Tony, because we didn’t want him to shoot,” said Milligan. “When he’s on, it’s hard to stop him.”

Trading the lead like soiled baseball cards, the teams swapped positions on the points board a dozen times and the game didn’t see a multi-basket lead until the Rams went up 51-44 in the third.

Far from being out of it, the Warriors tied the game 55-55 before the quarter ended.

“FH (Collins) is an awesome team, they can come back when ever they want,” said Milligan. “They started playing some defence on us and stealing some balls.”

Milligan topped the list for the Rams, racking up 28 points, the majority of which came from three-pointers. To end the first quarter, Milligan hit four in a row, including one with just a second left to tie it 19-19.

“I was more mentally prepared – I was ready for the shots and was just hitting them,” said Milligan.

The Rams advanced to the finals with a 77-62 win over the Vanier Crusaders Monday.

Warriors get hot in second quarter

Up 26-20 midway through the second, the Warriors knocked it up a notch, starting an 18-point run that seeped into the opening minutes of the third. Keeping the lead on a leash, the Warriors took the game and the Super Hoops title with a 76-50 win over the Rams.

“We just lost it,” said Rams coach Stephen Mooney. “The goal was to press them and when the girls worked as a team we have a very effective press. But the thing about that press is it has to be a team effort. There were players that just weren’t moving as fast as they should be.”

“We came out hard so we were expecting to take it,” said Warriors’ Chantai Minet. “Usually once our team gains momentum we keep it and feed off the energy, so it’s really good when we get up like that. But when we get down it takes a lot of hard work to get back up.”

Minet was the game’s high scorer with 28 points while teammate Nesha Wright put 19 worth through the hoop.

For the Rams Cat Lane was a point shy of Devon Hanson, who scored 17 points.

“Devon Hanson could have easily been an All-Star for us,” said Mooney. “Hanson has All-Star potential – no question.”

The teams shared the same season record going into the final Super Hoops games, forcing the league to use points for and against to determine which received a bye to the finals. The Rams took the bye with the difference of just three points in the season.

The Warriors breezed into the finals by defeating the crusaders 66-24.

A possible contributing factor to the Rams’ loss was the absence of starter Krysta Mooney who sprained an ankle in a tournament in Alaska.

“Krysta helps the team but I think we can win with the girls that we have,” said Mooney. “I predict us going to the finals again with FH (Collins in next week’s Yukon Championship.)”

All-Star teams named

When the names of the All-Stars were announced following the finals, to little surprise, Tony Nguyen was named MVP, while teammate Nathan Wallace also made the cut. Rams players made up half of the picks, with Toban, Milligan and Young on the list. Crusaders Logan Grey was the lone Vanier player.

For the girls, Rams’ Mooney and Lane joined Crusader Courtney Wheelton on the All-Star manifest. Warriors Minet and Angela Burke also had the honour bestowed on them while teammate Michelle McKay picked up the MVP title.

“She totally deserved it; she worked really hard this whole season and without her we wouldn’t have much of a team,” said Minet of McKay. “It’s great to have a good point guard like her.”

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