Of the three games in the CBI championship series, this was by far the best one. The stakes were higher, the level of play was better, and the general excitement was greater. Thankfully for the Santa Clara Broncos, they are experiencing the jubilation after a night of excitement. This squad will head back to Santa Clara, California as champions.
Leading the way for the Broncos tonight was Kevin Foster and Marc Trasolini, the Broncos two leading scorers and senior leaders. Trasolini was monstrous in the second half, with 20 points off 8 of 11 shooting. The senior forward also contributed 6 rebounds in the winning effort. Foster, who was the MVP of the tournament, had 24 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals. In their last game as Santa Clara Bronco’s, these two end their careers in a way that was as good as any. It must be a fantastic feeling that their last college basketball game in their lives was a victory, because not a lot of players can say that.
The main source of excitement in this game came from the great play of each teams superstars, which was something that didn’t happen in the first two games. In game one, Foster played well but Wright struggled exponentially. In game two, Wright had a great game, but Foster didn’t generate much offense. However in game three, both players had fantastic games that put both their team’s in fantastic positions to win the game. Wright scored 24 points, as did Foster, and also contributed 10 rebounds to achieve a double-double. Although both of these players contributed a great deal for their respective teams, they did not do it alone. Evan Roquemore was dynamic in this contest, with 19 points, 6 assists, 3 steals, and 4 rebounds. Jonathan Arledge had a great game for the Patriots with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Virtually every key player had at the least a decent game, which resulted in a game with more excitement and suspense than the previous two meetings between these two squads.
With about 1 minute and 15 seconds remaining, Foster fired up a three-pointer from the corner that reached the bottom of the net. This gave Santa Clara a 75 to 73 point lead. The two teams then traded missed three point shots before Evan Roquemore fouled Vertrail Vaughns with 25 seconds to go. However, Vaughn only made one of the two free throws, which allowed Santa Clara to hold on to a 1 point lead. Roquemore then made 2 free throws on the other end after a George Mason foul to extend the lead to three, but a subsequent Byron Allen lay-up with 14 seconds to go cut the Bronco’s lead back to one. Roquemore, with ice in his veins, hit two clutch free throws to once again extend the lead to three points. Santa Clara then fouled, and Sherrod Wright only hit one of two free throws. George Mason then fouled Kevin Foster, and Foster only made 1 of 2 free throws. With about 4 seconds left, the Patriots had the ball while being faced with a 3 point deficit George Mason pushed it up the floor, and Patrick Holloway shot a three-point jumper that missed off the back iron as time expired.
Congratulations to the Santa Clara Broncos for not only a CBI Championship Trophy, but a fantastic season. Coach Kerry Keating must be extremely happy with the way his players battled all season long.