By Anthony Gatt
The OCAA Basketball Championship took place last week at Georgian College in Barrie. The Sting entered this tournament in first place in the East with a record of 19-5. They won their first game against Redeemer 83-51 which meant they had to win one more game to make it to the finals. Where they had to take on the Sheridan Bruins in the semi finals who finished 2nd in the West, which proved a tough matchup with the Sting losing 63-84
#OCAAMBB Championship 🏀
All games played Saturday, Mar. 2
Georgian vs. Redeemer 12:00 PM 🏀
Bronze Medal Final
Niagara vs. Seneca 2:00 PM 🏀
Gold Medal Final
Sheridan vs. Humber 5:00 PM 🏀 pic.twitter.com/26rzWN5ojV
— OCAA (@TheOCAA) March 2, 2019
Despite the lost the Sting still had the chance to bring home a Medal in the bronze medal final against Niagara.
Sting’s Men Basketball Coach Jay McNeilly said to me that after winning both the OCAA Championship and National Championship the expectation was to be there again this year and that there is disappointment amongst the players and the coaching staff to not.
Despite that he praises his team’s effort this season “I think this one of this first time’s in school history going back to back Eastern Conference Champions” and he thinks because of this “we are solidifying a culture of what we won’t to be known as a basketball program both of and on the court.
Coach McNeilly said this culture wouldn’t be possible without his players and although “1 through 16” contributed to this, three players in particular really took it upon themselves to be leaders for this team. Isaiah Ankra, Jordan Anderson and Nabil Ibrahim really contributed to the success of this team both on and off the court.
The coaching staff isn’t resting on their laurels though because of the recent success they have had. Coach McNeilly and his staff have made the trip to Charlotte, North Carolina for the ACC Tournament, to watch highest level of collegiate basketball and study to improve as coaching staff for next season.
The Sting Men’s Basketball 2019-20 Season will begin in the middle of this September.