WINNIPEG – It was not a game anyone would call pretty, but when two crosstown rivals meet, you can expect a tight grinder.
The Manitoba Bisons narrowly defeated the Winnipeg Wesmen 60-55 in the semifinal of the 50th Annual Wesmen Classic, edging out the true home team after a back and forth final quarter.
Manitoba led for the bulk of the low-scoring affair, but Winnipeg roared to life in the 4th. Late in the game, they held a 51-45 lead, but Manitoba responded.
Illarion Bonhomme hit two three-pointers to put the Bisons ahead, and a Keith Omoerah putback slam proved to be the winning basket as Jamar Farley missed a potential tying three with less than five seconds left.
Both teams struggled mightily from the floor all game: the Bisons finished the game shooting 26.5 per cent while the Wesmen shot 25.6 per cent, including a rough 4/29 effort from long range.
Omoerah finished with a game-high 17 points and a Wesmen Classic record 25 rebounds in the win. Narcisse Ambanza led the Wesmen with 15 points on 7/23 shooting.
Manitoba will now get the chance to defend their Wesmen Classic title Friday night in the championship game. They will take on Alberta after the Golden Bears got past Victoria 82-76 in the other semifinal.