BACK ON TOP! HUMBER WINS 2017 OCAA CHAMPIONSHIP

Hawks top Mountaineers, 76-40, to capture third straight provincial title and ninth in program history.
Hawks top Mountaineers, 76-40, to capture third straight provincial title and ninth in program history.

NORTH YORK, Ont -- Ajay Sharma and his Humber Hawks are once again golden after winning a program-best third consecutive OCAA championship.  In his sixth season at the helm, Coach Sharma joined some elite company in Hall of Famer Jim Henderson and Denise Perrier as the only Humber coaches to capture three or more titles.

OCAA all-star Aleena Domingo scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds Saturday night to lead the Hawks to a 76-40 victory over Mohawk.

''Each day this team just kept proving what they have over and over again,'' Sharma said. ''You wouldn't notice this by the scores. Every day this team kept working, they deserve everything they have.''

All-Canadian Ceejay Nofuente added 25 points and 11 rebounds for Humber (21-0).  The two-time OCAA Player of the Year has saved her best games for the brightest lights.

The Toronto native earned most valuable player of the tournament for the second straight year, making her the first Humber Hawk to ever achieve that feat.

Mohawk's Careena Browne did all she could to get the Mountaineers over the top.  Coach Kevin Duffy had his team back in the championship game for the fourth straight year and the Mountaineers have come up short each time, including the last three against Humber.

Mohawk's last title came in 1991.

Browne had 11 points for the Mountaineers, going five for 16 from the field.

The Mountaineers (16-4) were able to slow the Hawks in the early going, not letting Humber get any kind of run going on offence.  Humber led 14-6 after 10 minutes of play.

As soon as the second quarter began, the Mountaineers went on an 8-1 run to bring the score within one.  From there, Humber went on a 20-3 run to end the half and Mohawk was unable to recover.

The Humber-Mohawk matchup was the first time in the history of the tournament that the same teams played in the final for three consecutive years.

Amber Bechard, who played tenacious defence all season long and superstar Aleena Domingo were named championship all-stars at the end of the game. For Domingo, that was her second time being selected a championship all-star.

The  No. 1 Hawks will now prepare to defend its national crown March 16-18 at the CCAA Championship in Edmonton, Alberta.  

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