The home doubleheader for our Women’s and Men’s Division 1 Basketball Cheetahs was both the last game of the regular season for both teams, but was also Seniors Night where departing players who are graduating this year are honoured for their hard work and their commitment to their respective teams.

Seen above are the departing seniors. In the top two rows, from the Div. 1 Women’s team, we see from left to right: Catherine Destin, Jessica Muha, Tatiana Toledo, and Meagan Charbonneau. In the second row, from left we see Mikitshi Basambombo, Fattah Nayra Abdel, and Émilie Deschênes. Below them, we see the Div.1 Men departing seniors: Quarry Whyne, Swann Fargeau-Faucon, Jean-Frédéric Daho, and Benji Bercovitch. Thank you all for your contributions to our varsity teams!

Here’s the full rundown of weekend action. In the first game in the Friday home doubleheader, the Lady Cheetahs faced Trois-Rivières and they lost 50-42. Unfortunately, they didn’t qualify for the playoffs, so their season ended on Friday. Thank you so much to the entire team as well as to our new coaching staff: Head Coach Rikki Bowles, and assistant coaches François René and Dianna Ros.

In the second game, the Division 1 Men’s team had their hands full with the visiting John Abbott Islanders. However, despite being down by 7 points going into the 4th quarter, the team rallied to totally dominate the final quarter and they emerged with a 66-55 victory, finishing their regular season in 3rd place with a record of 12 wins and just 4 losses. They will next play in the Provincial quarterfinals against the same team from John Abbott. This all-important game will be held here at Vanier on this Tuesday at 7:30 PM, so PLEASE come out ans support your Cheetahs! If they win, they will play in the Provincial Championships which will be held HERE AT VANIER on next Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4.

See a video showing highlights from Friday night’s win courtesy of Hoops on the Rise.

Also on Friday night, our Division 2 Men’s Basketball Cheetahs played a road game against Ahuntsic (tied for first place in the league) and they lost 111-78, dropping their current season record to 8-5. They next played a home game on Sunday afternoon VS Marie-Victorin and scored a 99-90 victory, improving their record to 9-5, good for 3rd place.

It’s also worth noting the Men’s Div.1 Head Coach Andy Hertzog was recently featured in a clip posted on the CBS SportsNet Twitter page. Andy flew down with former coach Keith Coffin to Valparaiso University in Indiana in order to see Cheetahs alumni Tevonn Walker and Max Joseph being honoured in THEIR Seniors Night at Valpo. They can all be seen in this video clip. (Turn up the sound.) Congratulations to you all!

Finally, here is Coach Andy Hertzog’s excellent game report from the Division 1 home doubleheader on Friday evening:

It was Senior Night on Friday at Vanier, as our Division 1 basketball teams honoured their departing seniors prior to their games.

In the first game, our women took on Trois-Rivieres. The game was very close in the first half – we trailed 13-12 after the first quarter and the game was tied at 26 at halftime. Unfortunately, we had trouble scoring in the 3rd quarter, tallying just 7 points, and we trailed 39-33 going into the final period. We could not get much closer in the 4th quarter, and we finally lost 50-42. This put an end to the season for the women’s team, as they will not qualify for the playoffs. Our leading scorer in this game was Catherine Destin with 10 points. Jessica Muha scored 9 points and was a monster on the glass, snatching 18 rebounds. She also had 6 steals. Mikitshi Basambombo chipped in with 8 points and 7 boards.

Prior to the men’s game against John Abbott, we honoured our 4 departing seniors – Benji Bercovitch, JF Daho, Swann Fargeau-Faucon and Quarry Whyne. The first quarter was quite even, with us leading 18-17 at the end of the period. We trailed by 2 with under 30 seconds remaining in the half, when 2 turnovers led to 2 John Abbott 3-point shots, and we suddenly trailed by 8 points at halftime. We kept coming back in the 3rd quarter, but on each occasion our guests responded, and we faced a 7-point deficit going into the 4th quarter. The 4th quarter was very different. We dominated the period from start to finish, outscoring the Islanders 20-2 for a 66-55 victory. We finish the regular season with a 12-4 record, in 3rd place. We had 3 players score in double figures, led by Steeve Joseph with 15. Pier-Olivier Racine had 11 points and Nginyu Ngala had 10. Congratulations to assistant coach Feras Saaida, who acted as head coach for this game. I had missed most of the practices this week, so he coached the game.

Our men’s Division 1 team hosts John Abbott (again!) this coming Tuesday night, February 27, at 7:30 PM, in the league quarterfinal. The winner will advance to the Provincials which we are hosting at Vanier next weekend. We had a great crowd on Friday night, and we hope to have an even better one on Tuesday for this all-important playoff matchup.

Our men’s Division 2 team played Friday night on the road at Ahuntsic, losing 111-78. However, they rebounded from that defeat with a home win against Marie-Victorin on Sunday. It was a high scoring affair from the outset. We trailed 28-17 after the first quarter and 56-52 at halftime, but tied the game after 3 periods, at 73-73. We took control in the 4th quarter and opened up an 11-point advantage, but our guests came back and closed the gap to 5 points. But they could get no closer, and we held on for a 99-90 victory. Malik Lewis was on fire all game long, scoring a game-high 35 points. Kevin Zolnowski had 19 points. Silas Owusu-Acheaw had 16 points. Christopher Obdosantos and Christin Hernandez added 13 and 11 points respectively. Our men’s Division 2 team next plays at Rosemont, this coming Friday night, March 2nd at 7:00 PM.

Two of our former players, Tevonn Walker and Max Joseph had their Senior Night last Tuesday evening, as their Valparaiso Crusaders (NCAA Division 1) hosted Northern Iowa. It was a great ceremony and both Keith Coffin and myself were fortunate enough to be in attendance. Both Tevonn and Max had great careers at Valpo, and they will move on to the playoffs of the Missouri Valley Conference next Thursday in Saint Louis.

Congratulations to Meagan Charbonneau of our women’s basketball team, who has signed with the Brock University Badgers for next season. She joins men’s alumni Ibrahim Ngom and Godsman Kwakwah who are now completing their first seasons there.

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