VIU Mariners earn bronze

VIU Mariners player Mike Wohlers

VIU Mariners player Mike Wohlers

The VIU Mariners won all but one game at nationals, and it earned them bronze medals.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s basketball team finished third at the Canadian Colleges’ Athletic Association championships in Oshawa, Ont., defeating the Mt. Saint Vincent Mystics 73-71 in Saturday’s bronze-medal game.

“We worked hard all year long and even though we didn’t get to play for gold, winning the bronze at nationals is great and I’m very proud of the tournament our team had,” said Tony Bryce, coach of the Mariners, in a press release.

Saturday’s game was among the most exciting of the eight-team tourney, as the Mystics launched a three-point attempt at the final buzzer that rimmed out.

VIU’s Andrew Kaban led all scorers in the contest with 20 points, Mike Wohlers added 17 and Patrick McCarthy was selected player of the game.

The Mariners began the tournament with a 70-61 win over the host Durham Lords on Thursday in which Andrew Kaban scored 24 points.

VIU’s chance at a national title ended on Friday, however, in an 82-73 loss to the Lethbridge Kodiaks. The M’s trailed by just two points with 41 seconds left in that one, but were forced to foul and Lethbridge hit enough free throws to secure the victory. Wohlers had a game-high 31 points in defeat.

The M’s regrouped and defeated the Northern Alberta Institue of Technology Ooks 87-80 on Saturday afternoon to advance to that night’s bronze-medal game. Kaban scored 24 points for VIU in that one, while Jacob Thom scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.

COURT SHORTS … Kaban, Wohlers and Thom were all selected tournament all-stars … The No. 7-ranked St. Laurent, Que.’s Vanier Cheetahs won the national championship, defeating Lethbridge 102-85 on Saturday.