CoHNEL Crowned AoC East Region Champions with a comeback win on the road
CoHENEL 59-55 Peterborough Academy
The first meeting between the two teams in November last year went right down to the wire with the fiery and well drilled team from Peterborough coming out on top winning by 2pts 56-58, from that day CoHNEL head coach Jay Williams new it would come down to the last game of the season as long as both teams won all of their respective games.
Oaklands done CoHNEL a small favor when they beat Peterborough so now both teams were even on wins and loses but Peterborough remained top with the win over the Warriors so now all was left was the final game of the season which was originally scheduled for 22nd March but rescheduled for May 3, 2017 giving both teams more time to prepare.
“Peterborough was a difficult team to prepare for as all the players are versatile, play multiple positions and have a very hi basketball IQ” said coach Williams and he seemed to be correct as they came out in the first quarter firing on all cylinders including 3 3pt shots ending the first quarter with the warriors down by 11pts.
Kane Smallwood came off the bench and tactically changed the game as he used his size and strength to draw attention creating space for the Warriors captain Thabiso Khoza to drive in for easy baskets. The Warriors defense was the key as they held the Pumas to just 5pts in the 2nd quarter whilst scoring 16 ending the half down by a single point 27-28.
In the second half again CoHNEL stepped up defensively forcing the Pumas into tough contested shots and then collecting every rebound, but foul trouble and free throws kept Peterborough in front going into the final stanza.
The 4th quarter began with the two starting point guards Christian Arthur and Gklori Santikou hitting 3 consecutive 3 pointers giving them the lead which was never regained as time ran out and the Pumas got tired the Warriors kept composure and stuck to the game plan earning them the victory and the AoC East region championship!
Alex Melesi finished the game with a double double 16 points and 12 rebounds but MVP was Thabiso Khoza who had a game high 18 points and 7 rebounds, Christian Arthur also put in a solid performance with 11 points and 6 steals.
Many congratulations to all the players and coaching staff for a fantastic season.