(WINDSOR, ON) – The Windsor Lancers (13-11) finished their regular season with a confidence building 3-game win streak, capped by a impressive 96-83 win over the nationally ranked Brock Badgers (21-3). The stunner over Brock was definitely a highlight of Lancer Alumni weekend.
It was also a nice parting gift to 5th year starter Mike Rocca, who played his last regular season in the Dennis Farrell Fieldhouse.
Rocca not only lead the Lancers in their double digit victory over the Badgers Saturday evening, he did the same in the 91-81 victory over the Waterloo Warriors the night before, also on home turf.
Categorically, he led five Lancers in double figure scoring, by blazing the Badgers for 27 points and 5 assists in only 28 minutes of floor play Saturday. This included 9-of-9 from the charity stripe.
Lucas Orlita and Damian Persaud added 18 and 14 points, respectively.
The high scorers for the Badgers were Johneil Simpson with 22 points and Daniel Cayer with 16 points and 10 offensive boards.
In Friday’s win over Waterloo, Rocca barely missed tallying a triple-double by dropping 24 points, snagging 10 boards, and dishing out 8 assists.
Lukas Orlita clicked for 18 points, and Marcus Jones added 14 to the cause.
No doubt for head coach Chris Oliver and company, Rocca’s dominant offensive play is a very welcome sign at the onset of the playoffs. Typically a very tough nosed, but unselfish player, in big games marquee players must often lead by example, as opposed to taking players by the hand, as often occurs during regular season competition.
Of note in the Lancers game against the Algoma Thunderbirds, the steadfast point guard bombed the birds for 36 points and tore down an astounding 15 rebounds in the Lancers 83-80 road win in Sault Ste Marie.
The excitement continues at 7pm this Wednesday in a rematch against the 6th place Warriors (8-16) back at the Dennis Farrell Fieldhouse. Under the new OUA Wilson Cup playoff structure, the winner will then likely play either Carleton, Brock, Ottawa, or Western, who received byes into the conference quarter-finals.
The semi-finals will comprise of cross-over competition for the entire provincial conference. No longer will there be East or West Conference titles.
This new format favours the blue collar style of Windsor basketball. Gone is the glitz and glamor of the OUA Final Four that seemed to jinx very talented past Windsor teams. Pity the team that has the challenge of facing Mike Rocca and company for his final curtain call under quasi normal circumstances of play.