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Rebels Men’s Basketball win MCAC Championship

February 11, 2019

The Red River College Rebels defeated the Providence Pilots 76-68 in the 2019 MCAC Men’s Basketball Championship.

By Nicholas Bueno/MCAC

“Next time I’ll get thirty.”

That was Mark Ridd, who finished the game with 29 rebounds and a Finals MVP selection.

After their attempt for a ninth-straight title was thwarted in 2017, the Rebels quickly got back on track with an MCAC title last season. They won their second consecutive Saturday at the Loewen Athletic Centre, beating the Providence Pilots 76-68.

“Feels unbelievable for the guys,” said Rebels head coach Scott Kirkpatrick after capturing their 10th title in 11 years. “They’ve been working since September, so it’s nice to see some success here. We’re big on winning the local championship.”

Pilots’ Jordan Lawson and Rebels’ Marco Valera

The game started out in a frustrating way for both teams. Red River shot 24% from the field while Providence only shot 18%. The game was not short of three-point attempts, with a combined 16 threes put up in the opening quarter.

The second quarter proved to be an improvement for Kirkpatrick’s squad, with Rebels guard Torrez McKoy scoring eight quick points while picking up three steals. Guard Kyle Queijo had three three-pointers at the half, and the Rebels lead ballooned to ten. Mark Ridd was impressive hauling in 17 rebounds by halftime. Ridd’s aggressive play was difficult for the Pilots to handle, with only one foul in the first half.

The Pilots’ defense kept this game fairly close, forcing 10 Rebels turnovers.

“It’s definitely challenging, but we have great coaches and we have so many mature players,” Kirkpatrick said of losing four players this semester.

The third quarter started well for the Rebels, holding the Pilots scoreless for the first three minutes. The Pilots answered every Rebels run, cutting a 13-point lead to as close as one. The Rebels seemed to have an answer with every push, as Queijo finished the quarter with five threes. Ridd had 24 rebounds at the end of three quarters.

“It’s a nice experience, it just feels unbelievable to win with this group of guys,” Ridd said of getting his first Finals MVP.

Ridd finished the game with a ridiculous stat line: six points, 29 rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal in 37 minutes of play.

“Prov is a good team, they got a lot of great shooters and they can get hot. It was nice to stop them on defense and keep chipping away,” Ridd said of Providence’s relentlessness.

After an impressive upset win over hosts CMU, Providence struggled to put up points efficiently. Shooting 31% on the game and only awarded 14 free-throws.

Nonetheless, this is an encouraging result for rookie head coach Pierre Dubreuil, who will be looking to take his squad back here.

The Pilots have three players heading into their fifth year: Kendall Perpall, Cash Blanca and Braxton Phommarath, who would love to bring the Pilots their first title in a very long time.

2019 Men’s Basketball Championship Preview

February 7, 2019

The #2 CMU Blazers and #3 PUC Pilots will battle it out in the semifinals on Friday, February 8 at 8 PM in CMU’s Loewen Athletic Centre. / By Nicholas Bueno/MCAC

by Nicholas Bueno

The CMU Blazers have been here before.

Head coach Billy Isaac has taken his team to four of the last five MCAC finals. After winning his lone championship in 2016-17 in an upset victory over the Red River College Rebels, their attempt to repeat was thwarted by the Rebels in an 88-75 loss last season.

They have another chance at a finals birth Friday night with the Providence Pilots again in their path. The last time these two didn’t face off in the semifinal was in 2015, which was the last time Providence found themselves in the championship game.

Blazers forward Riley Ens

Coach Isaac’s squad has rebounded well this year by replacing the production of last season standouts Jaden Harms, Kniel Sullera and Nick Kasmik admirably. CMU is the second highest ranking Manitoban team in the NIAC standings, sporting a 6-8 record.

The Blazers scoring is led by second-year forward Riley Ens putting up 17.4 points per game and guard Keegan Beer’s hot shooting nailing 40% from beyond the arc this year. Forward Ty Venderbos leads the teams in rebounds at 9.3 per contest.

On the other side of the bracket, the Providence Pilots sit at 5-11 on the season and are looking to break a four-year MCAC final appearance drought. It would be an incredible feat for rookie head coach Pierre Dubreuil.

The two times these sides have met in the season produced two CMU wins, 98-91 and 80-74 respectively. The Blazers are second in NIAC three-point percentage at 34.4% with the Pilots not far behind at 27.9%.

The Pilots are led by their fourth-year leader, Kendall Perpall. Perpall scores 18.3 points a night and converts his free throws at a 74% rate. The Pilots scoring punch is complemented by Winnipeg natives third-year Chris Dick and fourth-year Cash Blanca, who each score 11.6 points per game.

Pilots forward Kendall Perpall

Not to be forgotten in the Pilots lineup is third-year forward, Jordan Lawson. Lawson is the whole package for the Pilots, averaging 17.8 points per game while contributing nine rebounds per game.

The semifinal between the Blazers and the Pilots takes place at CMU’s Loewen Athletic Centre on Friday, February 8 at 8 PM following the women’s match. Entrance is free for MCAC students with valid Student ID.

The MCAC has been run by the Rebels for the past decade collecting nine conference banners along the way. The Rebels have continued their winning ways with the best Manitoban record in the NIAC this season at 11-5, tied for the most wins on the season.

Head coach Scott Kirkpatrick and the Rebels are looking for back-to-back titles this season, including winning three of four titles with a win on Saturday.

A big key for the Rebels was getting forward Mark Ridd back on the roster this year, as there was some doubt as to whether or not he would return to action this season. Back on the floor, Ridd has not disappointed, averaging 9.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game while shooting a perfect 100% from the free throw line.

Rebels forward Mark Ridd

The Rebels bolstered their roster in the offseason with key additions including forward Joshua Charr, guard Liam Soliven, and guard Devin Kinch.

The biggest strengths of the Rebels roster this year is their depth – 11 players played over 70 total minutes this season – and their balanced offensive attack, with no player scoring more than 90 total points over the course of the season.

The Rebels also boast a stout defense, leading the NIAC division in blocks (28) and steals (94). Their physicality is made even more obvious with their league-leading 151 offensive rebounds.

The Rebels will be waiting to meet their match Friday night before taking the court on Saturday, February 9 at 4 PM to battle it out for this year’s banner.

Rebels Weekend Wrap: Jan 25-27

January 28, 2019

The last weekend of January had all 6 court sport teams in action, with the Rebels having games at home, away in Winnipeg and across the border in South Dakota. Read More →

Breakthrough Basketball Camps

January 9, 2019

Breakthrough Basketball is coming to Winnipeg.

May 17-19, 2019 Breakthrough Basketball is hosting an all-around skill development camp for boys and girls from 7th grade to 12th grade. This is a unique camp that utilizes decision training drills to help players improve their ball handling, shooting, decision making, and all around offensive skills. The camp is challenging yet fun for all skill levels.

This camp will take place at Red River College.

Early bird registration is available until February 17th, 2019

For more information or to register visit https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/camps/manitoba.html