Keyano’s hot three-point game in the second half was too much for Briercrest to recover from Saturday night
By Jadon Frank
Keyano’s incredible shooting from beyond the three-point arc in the second half put Briercrest into a deficit that they could not recover from and after building a 29-19 lead in the first quarter, Briecrest fell to host Keyano 108-85 and will now play in the bronze medal game Sunday, March 3 at 1:00 pm.
Briercrest and Keyano were greeted by a hostile, raucous host Keyano crowd to start the game. The Briercrest fans were joined by athletes and fans of from other ACAC institutions to add for some good cheering for both teams.
Gradyn Childerhose put back a rebound for the first basket of the game 30 seconds in. Briercrest followed that up with a quick basket plus the free-throw to come out to a quick 5-0 lead. Keyano hit a free-throw but Briercrest extended their lead to 7-1 before Keyano made their first basket at 6:38 to make the score 7-4. Caleb Klassen got into early foul trouble and had to be taken out of the game with two quick fouls. Briercrest came right back to increase the lead. The game went back and forth basket-for-basket with Keyano electing to go with the three-pointer to slowly cut into the lead. Briercrest went on a run to increase the lead to 15-9 and force a Keyano timeout. After Childerhose made the free-throw out of the timeout Keyano scored a quick basket, and the teams continued going back and forth. Briercrest went on a run to end the quarter and extended their lead to 29-19 after one quarter.
Boese started the second quarter with a quick drive and basket and after Keyano responded Christian Sacoman had one of his patented three-pointers. The game went back and forth with Keyano not able to cut into the lead and Briercrest unable to extend their lead. Keyano went on an 11-2 run and forced a Briercrest timeout with a 34-32 timeout. A Wohlgeschaffen three out of the timeout extended the Briercrest leaf to 37-32. The incredible past pace continued with Keyano taking a timeout with 1:53 left in the quarter and having cut the score to 41-40 for Briercrest. Keyano took their first lead with 1:10 left at 42-41 before a Childerhose basket restored the lead. The game continued back and forth with the teams going into the dressing room with a 45-45 tie.
Boese once again opened the scoring to start the second half before Keyano responded with four three-point plays to take the lead 59-51 and force a Briercrest timeout. Two quick airballs by Keyano out of the timeout seemed to show that the timeout had its desired effect, but then the teams then went back and forth with Keyano maintaining their lead. Keyano hit two straight three-pointers to extend their lead to 72-55 and force another Briercrest timeout. Lucas Mannes scored a free throw but then Keyano once again responded with a basket of their own. The third quarter ended with Keyano holding a 78-60 lead.
Matt Myers opened the scoring in the fourth, but Keyano's sharp shooting from the three continued. Keyano built their lead up to 87-66, but started to get into foul trouble, calling a timeout to regroup. Briercrest increased the defensive pressure, but were unable to cut unto the deficit and Keyano kept responding with three-pointers to squelch Briercrest's momentum. Boese and Childerhose had some key plays to try to cut into the lead. Keyano had two starters foul out of the game with just under three minutes left in the game and the score 98-80 and called a timeout to try to regroup. Briercrest attempted to foul Keyano and score the three-point play to cut down the lead, but were unable to cut into the lead with Keyano winning 108-85.
Rod Adrian shared his thoughts after the game.
"What can I say…last night hurt. Keyano had a shooting night that teams dream about, shooting 16-29 from the 3 point line (55%). We struggled to overcome that and just for the second time this season in the ACAC we suffered a loss. It hurts because it happened at a crucial time in the Playoffs. I am so proud of the way the men have competed hard all year, loved each other as brothers through the many good moments and the hard ones, have grown together through some amazing chemistry, and have improved in Christ-like character in handling wins and now the toughest loss of the season. There have been some great personal accomplishments – see our website www.briercrest.ca/athletics - but now we want to focus on playing a great TEAM game today at 1 PM to earn a Bronze medal, finish our season with a victory, and honour our 5th year players with fantastic team effort. The theme verse for this weekend (Micah 6:8) rings more true today, as we respond with what God wants from us not man."
Players of the game were Keyano’s Yona Berhe with a game high 25 points and Briercrest’s Matt Myers with a game high six assists and team high two steals to go with four rebounds, one block and eight points
Game notes: The key stat in the game was the astounding 16 three-pointers that Keyano hit in the game (16-29 and 55.2%), while they also led the way in assists 21-7, and steals 10-5. The teams were a dead heat with 47 rebounds, while Briercrest had two blocks while Keyano did not have a block. Keyano held the edge in shooting percentage, largely off of their strong three-point shooting, by shooting 47.3% to Briercrest’s 41.3%. Briercrest attempted some tough three-pointers hitting 18.2% (4-22). Six Keyano players hit three-pointers, with every Keyano starter hitting at least one three-pointer; three of the starters hit three while one, Kevin Dia, hit five for the game.
Briercrest leaders were Matt Myers with his game high six assists, Kendell Boese with a team high 22 points, and Gradyn Childerhose with a game high 12 rebounds to go with 18 points.
Briercrest's loss was only their second to an ACAC opponent all season and they will now face Lethbridge College in the bronze medal game tomorrow, Sunday, March 2 at 1:00 pm local time. Thisis the first time that Briercrest has played for an ACAC medal since joining the conference in 1996-97.