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Cyclones fall short in OFSSA finals in overtime to Smiths Falls march 9th, 2011

The St. Christopher Cyclones were up by two with seconds to play in Wednesday Nights OFSSA match up, but the 8th seed, Smiths Falls Red Hawks were able to come back, forcing overtime, and clinch the victory to be crowned the best in the province with a 41-38 victory.

 In the first quarter the Smiths Falls took the early 4-0 lead, and moved the lead to 7-2 with  a three pointer. Joe Rocca answered with a long two pointer. But the Red Hawks would hit another three pointer to drive the lead back up to 10-4. After making two jumpers Smiths Falls would push the lead up to ten points. The Cyclones would respond with a three pointer and a rush for two points. Mike Rocca would get a lay in to go before the quarter went out, but the Cyclones would be done 15-13. This would be the first time St. Christopher was behind at any end of a quarter in the entire tournament.

The Cyclones would tie it up quickly and take their first lead when Martin Popiel was fed low for an easy lay in. But the Red Hawks would tie the game back up at 19-19 after a lay in and a jumper off St. Christopher misses shots. Rocca hit a long jumper for two to restore the lead. The Cyclones would hold onto the lead at the half 23-19.

In the third quarter each team came out looking to make their strike, but neither team could find the basket as shots rang off the rim. The Red Hawks would get two free throws with a minute remaining but neither team could get much scoring as the Cyclones still lead after the third 25-23, with only six points being scored in the quarter.

To open the fourth the Cyclones put in two followed by two off a jumper from Joe Rocca. The Red Hawks would hit a three pointer to cut the lead to just two 29-27. After scoring two more, the Red Hawks would hit a three pointer to cut the lead to one point, 31-30. The Hawks and Cyclones would swop the lead with the Cyclones still holding onto the one point advantage 33-32. Rocca would go to the line and hit a free throw to go up by two. WIth seconds remaining the Red Hawks were able to nail the jumper to tie the game at 34-34. St. Chris could not get the buzzer beater so the game would need overtime.

In overtime Joe Rocca opened the scoring with a three pointer but the Red Hawks would answer back with a three of their own. With seconds ticking down the Red Hawks would get fouled and go to the line for a bonus, The shooter would hit both his shots to take the 39-37 lead. Popiel would go to the line and make only one of his two shots. The Cyclones would be forced to foul again, sending the Red Hawks back to the line where they would miss their shot. The Cyclones would get the rebound and head down the floor, but their shot missed, resulting in another foul. After the miss on the shot, the Red Hawks would retain the ball, and put it up for two more, which would run out the remaining few seconds to win the OFSSA championship 41-38.

Smiths Falls had upset the #1 seed St. Francis and the #4 seed Richview to get to the finals were they defeated the Cyclones. Despite the loss, St. Christopher's had a successful tournament and season, capturing the LSSAA and SWOSSAA championships as well as being the #2 team in the province.


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