Cégep Heritage Hurricanes champs
The Hurricanes of Cégep Heritage are champions of the Southwest Conference in men’s basketball. They finished a perfect 16-0 season by winning gold at the regional championships in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu from March 22 to 24. They beat the Dynamiques de Jean-de-Brébeuf 92-71 in the final. The last college of Gatineau basketball championship banner was in 1993!
To qualify for this tournament, the Hurricanes had to win a play-off game against Abitibi-Témiscamingue, which was ranked 4th in their section, the B. The second team in the ranking faced the third. The two winners went to the regional championship with the six best teams in section A, which includes teams stronger than B. The two best of section B will also be promoted to section A next year and the two weakest of section A will be downgraded to B.
A tournament full of success
Heritage’s qualifying campaign began with a tough game against Collège Montmorency. The score was 54-54 after four quarters. They were playing against the Nomads, who had 15 players compared to 9 for them. “We were very close as a team,” says head coach Brandon Edwards. We have a family mentality. We were sure that even if we missed shots in attack, we could rely on our defense by being very disciplined. That’s what made the difference in overtime.” They finally won this match by winning 71-65.
The region’s team continued its journey by facing the hosts, the Giants of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. They won by a score of 73-60 and was the first troop to defeat the Giants at home all season.
Their Cinderella tournament ended with an easy 92-71 win over Jean-de-Brébeuf. “We caused a big surprise by winning the regionals, because section A is really stronger,” says Edwards.
In September, the coach invited five teams to a friendly tournament for the new season. His players performed very well over the weekend against high level groups. “Since we were good, I set myself the goal of being among the top four in the Southwest and being the conference champion.
They had also won the Edward-Montpetit classic in January against Section A teams, so they knew they could compete.
Counting all the exhibition games, they obtained a 38-1 record. “The players have worked so hard this year. As a coach, we recruited them well.”
Among them, there are three from Aylmer, Jonas Bihn-Shabani, Cameron Buffitt, Eva-Steve Abazumutima. You can also rely on four young people from Ottawa.
Devin Miron was named player of the tournament. He is also a member of the RSEQ’s all-star team for the second year in a row.
Brandon Edwards was named Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. The man, who has been with Heritage since 2014, remains very humble on this subject. “The credit goes to the players. They were listening to me and they had a lot of confidence in me. It’s a coaching honour, but it’s the team that deserves it.”
On the way to the provincial championship
As a result of this victory, the Hurricanes will compete in the provincial championship, which will take place from April 5 to 7 in Montreal. This tournament brings together the four best teams from the South-West and North-West division.
The troop to beat will be Ahuntsic. It is ranked as the best in the Southwest League, having finished the season first in Section A. This is the second year in a row that this has happened. Next year, they’re going to be in Division 1 because they’re so strong. This year, they lost in the semi-final against Jean de Brébeuf and it was a defeat that no one expected.
The Hurricanes will start the tournament by taking on Shawinigan, which is fourth in the Northwest League. “Our goal is to be number one in Quebec. Our players are preparing like champions, so we’re confident about this tournament,” Edwards concluded.