College League Championship 2016
Written by Andrew Slap
The American School in London v. St. Francis Xavier
The American School in London exhibited their resiliency, surging back in the second half to claim the LBA College Basketball Title over St. Francis Xavier.
ASL got off to a slow start, trailing St. Francis Xavier by 9 after the first quarter. St. Francis Xavier grew their lead to 11 heading into the half, thanks in large part to Dotun Dosunmu, who finished the game with 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.
But ASL began their comeback midway through the third. The turning point was Coach Davis unleashing the full-court press, resulting in an overwhelmed St. Francis Xavier, unable to handle the added pressure. From that point on, the pace of the game increased. This new tempo favored ASL, who had 12 players compared to St. Francis Xavier’s seven.
ASL cut St. Francis Xavier’s lead down to 5 heading into the fourth, and midway through the quarter they pulled ahead. St. Francis Xavier fought back though, and held a one-point lead with 47.5 seconds remaining.
ASL evened it up at 58-58 with 14.5 seconds left, when Jack Glen made one of two free throws. Despite the surge, St. Francis Xavier had a golden opportunity to win the game at the buzzer, but their put back layup attempt was too strong.
The gym brimmed with excitement as the game headed for overtime, and the crowd got even louder with ASL’s fast start – a Nick Muoio And-1. Muoio was huge for ASL the entire game, leading the team with 18 points and 10 rebounds. ASL rode their momentum to a 65-59 lead, and could have put the game away had it not been for missed free throws. ASL shot just 56% from the line in overtime.
St. Francis Xavier mounted a comeback of their own with four quick points to cut the lead to two. They ultimately came up just short though, as ASL held on for the 66-63 victory.
ASL’s performance in the finals mirrored their entire season. Just like in the title game, ASL got off to a rough start, losing their season opener to St. Francis Xavier. But in the face of adversity, ASL only got stronger, running the table from that point in a remarkable season that culminated with a championship.
The trophy will be handed out at the ‘LBA end of Season College Tournament’ on the 22nd March.