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Falcons: Langara narrowly misses podium at CCAA nationals

Falcons 1-2 at national college championships
langara basketball
Langara rookie Montell Lindgren protects the ball to make a pass at the 2015 national college championship in Hamilton at the Mohawk David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre. Photo CCAA

Unable to defend their national college championship, the Langara Falcons men’s basketball team also lost their shot at the bronze medal by a one-point margin.

At the Canadian College Athletic Association men’s championship in Hamilton March 19 to 21, the Falcons opened with a quarterfinal loss to the eventual champs, the No. 4 Humber Hawks. Langara got off to a difficult 1-12 start but cut the lead to seven points by the end of the first quarter. By the fourth quarter, the game became a battle and the Falcons came within a basket of tying the Hawks at 58-60. Despite 18 points from Jitinder Lohcham and 13 more from Langara’s player of the game, Garrett Ling-Lee, Humber held on to the lead and won 77-71.

In their second game, the Falcons needed a win to stay in the tournament and remain in the running for a podium finish.  They downed the Medicine Hat Rattlers 103-70 on a 22-point performance from Lohcham and another 20 points from Mason Elliot, who added nine rebounds and seven assists.

The win set up Langara for a do-or-die game and the chance to play for bronze. They narrowly missed playing arch-rival Vancouver Island University for third, but the Mariners knocked off the host Mohawk Mountaineers on their way to the championship game where they finished second to Humber in a 68-62 final.

In the 86-85 win, Mohawks’ player-of-the-game Matt Fennell scored 35 points and added 10 rebounds. Langara led 21-19 after the first quarter and held a 50-44 lead at the half, but they couldn’t stem the tide of the host team’s surging momentum. The Mohawks led by three after the third quarter and the Falcons took it back in the fourth frame. Mountaineer Lamar Barr made it difficult for Langara when he hit three perimeter shots in addition to a two-point basket in a matter of seconds to grab a 81-75 lead. Langara came within one but the clock ran out on their season as the Mokawks tracked down the rebound on a missed game-winning shot, leaving 2.4 seconds on the clock. According to the CCAA game report, Langara inbounded to ball to Lohcham, who missed on his way up for the shot and argued he was fouled, but “the officials didn't see it that way and the game unfortunately ended on a sour note with the teams getting into a ruckus under the Mohawk basket.”

Lohcham finished with 28 points and finishes the season as one of six five-year college players, including Ling-Lee, Mason, Glenn Ruby, Daniel Hobden and Matt Madewan.

twitter.com/MHStewart

mstewart@vancourier.com