HAMILTON, Ont. – Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont. plays host to the 2014 belairdirect Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Women’s Basketball Championship, beginning Thursday and running through Saturday.

Eight teams will vie for the OCAA title, including the host Mohawk Mountaineers and three-time defending champion Algonquin Thunder.

A total of 12 games will be played in a span of three days. Following the OCAA awards banquet at the Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton, the OCAA quarter-finals will take place on Thursday afternoon beginning at 1 p.m. Losing teams will compete in the bronze medal quarter-finals on Friday, followed by the OCAA semi-final matches. The bronze medal semi-finals and final will take place on Saturday leading into the OCAA gold medal match.

The OCAA champion advances to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s Basketball National Championship, taking place in Longueuil, Que. next month.

Here is a look at the OCAA quarter-finalists:

Algonquin Thunder (16-0, 1st East)

The Algonquin Thunder went undefeated for the third time in four regular seasons. They now set their sights on OCAA history, competing for a fourth consecutive OCAA championship.

Algonquin brings a 55-game win streak against OCAA competition to Mohawk, having not lost a game since Nov. 5, 2011.

Defensively, Algonquin has limited opponents to a league-low 41.9 points per game. A pair of Thunder players led the OCAA in steals, including 58 for Kim Cupid (Guelph) and 54 for Sandre Bascoe (Ottawa). Both players also hit tripled digits in rebounds. Offensively, Bascoe is averaging 13.8 points per game.

Algonquin faces Fanshawe in the quarter-finals in a rematch of last year’s OCAA gold medal game won by the Thunder 74-42.

Durham Lords (13-3, 2nd East)
The Durham Lords went from three wins in 2012-13 to three losses this season, clinching second place in the OCAA East and a direct bye into provincials.

After beginning the season 1-2, Durham reeled off seven straight victories before suffering its third defeat. The Lords enter the quarter-finals on a five game win streak.

Durham is led by fifth-year guard Kauri LaFontaine (Whitby) and her 241 points, 138 rebounds and 81 assists, all team highs.

The Lords have not medalled at provincials since earning bronze in 1999. Durham faces host Mohawk in the OCAA quarter-finals.

Fanshawe Falcons (13-5, 4th West)

Defending silver medalist Fanshawe will have to upset the defending champions to match or improve on last year’s results.

Fanshawe has won six of seven games, including a 47-40 win over Seneca in the qualifying round.

First-year player Ali Vlasman (Ingersoll) is averaging 14.0 points per game with a 53.9 shooting percentage to lead all Falcons.

Fanshawe last won an OCAA provincial title in 2003.

Humber Hawks (16-2, 1st West)

Defending OCAA bronze medalist Humber soared to a division title in 2013-14, winning its last half-dozen games.

The Hawks are led by second-year power forward Aleena Domingo (Toronto) and her 13.3 points per game average and 136 rebounds.

Humber’s two losses came against Sheridan and Mohawk, as both teams join Humber at provincials. Humber and Sheridan meet in a quarter-final rubber match, having split the regular season series.

The Hawks defeated Sheridan 69-63 in their last regular season game back on Feb. 19. Second-year shooting guard Marie Maranan (Milton) scored a game-high 22 points for Humber.

Mohawk Mountaineers (13-5, 3rd West)

Mohawk improved its win total by three while equaling its loss total from last season. The improved Mountaineers gained direct entry to provincials as tournament host.

The Mountaineers are red hot winning nine of their last 10 games. Home court advantage has been kind to Mohawk, with a record of 8-1.

First-year guard Stef Hrymak (Hamilton) is the top scorer on Mohawk averaging 12.8 points per game. She has also contributed 78 rebounds, 34 assists and 31 steals.

Mohawk takes on Durham in the OCAA quarter-finals.

St. Clair Saints (14-4, 2nd West)

St. Clair has won five straight, including a 65-41 win over George Brown in the qualifying round to earn a ticket to provincials.

First-year player Shannon Kennedy (Windsor) recorded a double-double in the victory with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Veteran players Kendyl Rizea (Windsor) and Jaide Lyons (Windsor) both averaged just over 13 points per game for the Saints during the regular season.

St. Clair takes on St. Lawrence-Kingston in the quarter-finals.

St. Lawrence Vikings (12-4, 3rd East)

St. Lawrence looks to avenge a loss in the bronze medal game last year.

Fourth-year guard Lacey Knox (Kingston) takes her OCAA best 20.1 points per game average into St. Lawrence-Kingston’s quarter-final against St. Clair.

But it was first-year teammate Nicolle Gaudet (Kingston) scoring both a season and game-high 28 points to lead the Vikings to a 73-63 win over Niagara in the qualifying round.

St. Lawrence is victorious in five of its last six games.

Sheridan Bruins (11-7, 5th West)

Sheridan once ruled the OCAA winning three straight provincial titles before Algonquin’s current three-peat. The Bruins have an opportunity to reclaim the throne at Mohawk.

Sheridan defeated Centennial 61-48 on the road in the qualifying round. The Bruins had dropped two straight entering the contest.

Shylanda Saunders (East Preston, N.S.) of the Bruins is the top scorer in the West region averaging 18.7 points per game.

Sheridan takes on regional rival Humber in the quarter-finals. Sheridan handed Humber one of its two losses back in November.

Championship Website:

Thursday, February 27
Game 1 – St. Lawrence-K vs. St. Clair – 1 p.m.
Game 2 – Fanshawe vs. Algonquin – 3 p.m.
Game 3 – Mohawk vs. Durham – 6 p.m.
Game 4 – Sheridan vs. Humber – 8 p.m.

Friday, February 28
Bronze Quarter-Finals
Game 5 – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 1 p.m.
Game 6 – Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 – 3 p.m.
Game 7 – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – 6 p.m.
Game 8 – Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 1
Bronze Semi-Finals
Game 9 – Loser Game 7 vs. Winner Game 6 – 9 a.m.
Game 10 – Loser Game 8 vs. Winner Game 5 – 11 a.m.
Bronze Medal Match
Game 11 – Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10 – 5 p.m.
Winning team presented OCAA Bronze Medal at conclusion of match
Gold Medal Match
Game 12 – Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 – 7 p.m.
OCAA Gold and Silver Medals presented at conclusion of match
– OCAA –
The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) is a recognized leader in intercollegiate athletics in the province, dedicated to student athlete and sport development. The OCAA has 29 members sponsoring 11 sports

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