MRU Cougars Coach Suffers Heart Attack

 

 

Dobell Taking Time to Recover

Marc Dobell coaching a Cougars game last season.

Marc Dobell coaching a Cougars game last season.         photo – W. Thomas,                 Canada West Hoops

We were surprised to hear that our friend Marc Dobell, the long-time Head Coach of the Mt. Royal Cougars, had suffered a heart attack last Thursday, July 28.  Marc shared his experience in a detailed note to friends, team members and supporters today, and he expressed his wishes for the near future, “I look forward to seeing you all down the road to recovery and into the basketball and school season.  I also look forward to being back with the team soon!  In the meantime I  have great immediate support with my family, assistant coaches (Ty (McVicar), Rich (Foggo) and Hidesh (Bhardwaj)- they will be taking the reigns for the next couple of weeks).”

Dobell described the heart attack as having delivered a “serious blow to the heart”, but “ Current prognosis is I should get to a near full recovery, although I have lost some functionality in the heart. “

 Coach Dobell led the Cougars into CIS competition in the 2012-13 season after he had established Mt. Royal as one of the perennial powers in Canadian Colleges play.  He won a CCAA title with MRU in 2009, a Silver medal in 2012, and another National championship while coaching NAIT in 2003.

Coach Dobell’s episode is such a surprise, but a reminder that life is unpredictable, and we would be wise to enjoy it, and appreciate our friendships on a daily basis. We, along with so many colleagues, friends, and people in the basketball community wish Marc the very best in his recovery.  We hope to see him back on the bench this Fall, with a good health outlook.


 

Respect for a Southern Alberta High School Legend

Jim Whitelaw photo- Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Jim Whitelaw                                                           photo- Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Jim Whitelaw, an outstanding basketball and football coach during his teaching career at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute (LCI) from 1951-1979, died last week in Lethbridge.  A driving force in the establishment of the Alberta Schools Athletic Association, Mr. Whitelaw was considered one Alberta’s very top coaches in both sports as he directed the Rams to many championships over his tenure.

The LCI basketball teams won provincial titles in 1958, ’60, ’61, ’65 and ’79 with the football teams capturing 19 Southern Alberta championships, with five undefeated seasons in the 1950s and early ‘60s.images
His teams displayed the determination, poise, and discipline which Coach Whitelaw had as the foundation of his coaching philosophy.  He was a demanding task-master, and had confidence in his coaching system, and transferred that confidence to his players. He was a multiple winner of coach of the year honours in both football and basketball in the very competitive Southern Alberta League.  He was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in 1986, and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

In the summer months Jim’s game was golf, and in that too, he was extremely competitive in winning  two Southern Alberta Open Golf Championships, a City of Lethbridge Open Championship, and winning a spot on the Alberta Senior Men’s team in 1982.

Certainly, those who played for him, and those who coached with him and against him, had the utmost respect for the tireless efforts Coach Whitelaw made on behalf of the youth of Lethbridge, and for basketball and football in Alberta. He leaves a tremendous legacy, in the tradition of the LCI Rams, and through his many grads, including current U of L Women’s coach Dave Adams, and former Stampeders football great, Jim Furlong.

Many more details in this terrific article from Dylan Purcell in the Lethbridge Herald. 


 

Overtime –

  • NCAA squads are beginning to cross the Canadian border to play games against CIS teams, with most games in Eastern Canada .  The only games for Canada West teams are with UNC-Charlotte, who will play 3 B.C. schools in mid-August.
    •  Charlotte at UBC on Aug 11, at Trinity Western on Aug 12, and at Victoria on Aug 15.
  • The other games starting Friday include Stetson Univ (FL) at McGill, Carleton, Concordia … Wichita State at UQAM, Carleton, McGill,  … Charleston Southern vs Windsor and Toronto … Arkansas- Pine Bluff at Laval, UQAM, Carleton, McGill … Morgan St. at Concordia … Florida A&M at UQAM, Laval, McGill, Concordia …  Other visitors will be Fairleigh Dickenson, Northwestern St., Buffalo, Northwood, and St. Thomas Aquinas

Busy Summer for CIS Hoops Players

 

 

‘Off-season’ is a Big Misnomer for Canada West Athletes

There was a day (in the previous century) when ‘CIAU’ players used to work summer jobs, or, if they were lucky, play golf, drop by the gym, or out-door court, and do some shooting or get in a pick-up game.  Today’s CIS athletes, for the most part, are more intensely engaged in training, teaching camps, playing summer games, and involved in full-on practice sessions.

David Kapinga , UC Dinos 3rd year point man.

David Kapinga , UC Dinos 3rd year point man.  photo- David Moll UC Athletics

In a conversation with Calgary Dinos point guard David Kapinga, we get a sense of the schedule many of today’s student athletes face in the ‘off-season’. “ It’s intense”, says the former Calgary high school star. “We’re here to start UC summer camps for junior high kids at around 8 am, and we go through 4:00 pm.  We’ll shoot at noon, and then shoot and scrimmage after 4.  We will do a physical training / weights session after that, and we’re not done until after 8 pm.  I’m bagged after a week of camps, and we have 3 weeks”,  says Kapinga.

The Dinos have chosen not to host NCAA teams in August, as they had done for many recent summers, however, several B.C schools will be geared up to play U.S. teams again this August.

Other teams will meet for a summer team camp, and, like UBC, may make an overseas trip for returning players.  The whole T-Birds squad will be facing NCAA  competition some time in August, and that means getting enough practice hours to be game-ready. No longer the standard 2nd week of September start;  it’s an 11 month team exercise for most very competitive programs.  These guys (and gals) earn their scholarships !


Mid-summer news briefs from Canada West –

  • Former Bears star, Jordan Baker, has signed a contract to play in Japan next season.  He moves from the Portuguese League, where he was the team’s leading scorer for Galitos -Tiey.  Details in this Edmonton Journal article.
  • The Winnipeg Wesmen add Winnipeg school stand-out , 6-4 guard, Josh Gandier of John Taylor Collegiate.  Coach Mike Raimbault also lands  a pair of  Junior College stars ; 6-5 wing, Sean Tarver (Baltimore, MD) UW news release     Home-grown forward,  6-7 Billy Yaworski,  returns home after 1 year in U.S.  Wesmen News
  • Thompson Rivers adds 6-9 import, Malik Hazziez, from Sacramento, CA.  A 12 point / 10 rebound performer at  American River College  (Sacramento) will be going into his 3rd year of eligibility this Fall.  More in this Kamloops This Week article.
  • Manitoba’s Coach Kirby Schepp coached the Team Canada  U-18s,
    Bison's Kirby Schepp with Canada Basketball Manager and NBA legend , Steve Nash - photo from The Winnipeg Sun

    Bison’s Kirby Schepp with Canada Basketball Manager and NBA legend , Steve Nash – photo from The Winnipeg Sun

    and a key Bisons’ recruit, James Wagner, was a member of that team, as they made it to the finals of the FIBA America’s tourney in Chile, but lost a 99-84 decision to the U.S.

 

  • Fraser Valley lands Anthony Gilchrist, a 6-4 guard from College of the Desert, CA
  • The Saskatchewan Huskies sign 6-4 wing, Jaylan Morgan, Brampton, ON, Unknownwho comes to the Huskies from Williston St College, ND
  • Okanagan Heat have added Tristan Matthews, a 6-4 guard from Sentinal Sr Sec., West Vancouver
  • UBC adds  Harry Liu, a 6-3 guard from Sir Winston Churchill, Vancouver
  • UNBC gets a local star in Tyrell Laing, a 5-10 guard from Prince George.
  • Victoria continues to sign members of the Charles family !  This summer, it’s Noah Charles, a 6-5 forward from Duncan’s Cowichan Sec. A more circuitous route brings 6-6 Jake Newman back to B.C. to play for the Vikes.  The White Rock Christian grad played 2 years at Lafayette College, PA, then red-shirting last year at Carleton.

New CW Schedule Creates Inequity

 

Canada West Rolls the Dice With a Complicated Schedule Switch   
The Canada West schedule has undergone a major shift for the up-coming cwest2016-17 season, with many hours of consideration by Athletic Directors and League personnel before trashing the Pioneer – Explorer format of recent years in favour of a new 17 team loop featuring a ‘modified and unbalanced’ slate. As we reported last year, Canada West President, Ian Reade (U of Alberta, Athletic Director) lauded the changes,  “We were able to go through a collective problem- solving process to get to a format, and come together on this one. This allows us to guarantee that traditional and geographic opponents will have the opportunity to play each other annually, while eliminating the perception of having two tiers within the conference.”

In trying to accommodate (or create anew) ‘regional rivalries’ the League has each school playing  4 geographically proximate rivals every season, then 6 of the remaining 12 schools every 2nd year.

ANNUAL OPPONENTS BY SCHOOL –
Alberta – Calgary, Lethbridge, MacEwan, Saskatchewan
Brandon – Regina, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Winnipeg
UBC – UBC-Okanagan, UNBC, Trinity Western, Victoria
UBC-Okanagan – UBC, Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers, Victoria
Calgary – Alberta, Lethbridge, Mount Royal, Saskatchewan
Fraser Valley – UBC-Okanagan, UNBC, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Lethbridge – Alberta, Calgary, MacEwan, Mount Royal
MacEwan – Alberta, Lethbridge, Mount Royal, Winnipeg  … Winnipeg?
Manitoba  – Brandon, Mount Royal, Regina, Winnipeg  … Mt. Royal?
Mount Royal – Calgary, Lethbridge, Manitoba, MacEwan
UNBC – UBC, Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Regina – Brandon, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg
Saskatchewan – Alberta, Brandon, Calgary, Regina
Thompson Rivers – UBC-Okanagan, Fraser Valley, UNBC, Victoria
Trinity Western – UBC, Fraser Valley, UNBC, Victoria
Victoria – UBC, UBC-Okanagan, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Winnipeg – Brandon, MacEwan, Manitoba, Regina

And here are the opponents for each team for the ’16-’17 season …

Victoria – at Reg2, Cal2, Mac2, UBC1/1, at TRU2, at Okan2, Leth2, TWU2, at UFV2, Wpg2
UBC – at TRU2, Man2, Vic1/1, Okan2, at Sask2,  Alb2, at MRU2, Bran2, UNBC2, at TWU2
Fraser V – Sask2, TWU1/1, UNBC2, at Bran2, Mac2, at Cal2, at Alb2, TRU2, Vic2, at Okan2
Trinity W- at Okan2, UFV1/1, at UNBC2, Reg2, Leth2, at Wpg2, Man2, at Vic2, at MRU2, UBC2
Okanagan- TWU2, at Bran2, MRU2,  at TRU2, at UBC2, Reg2, Vic2, at Leth2, at Mac2, UFV2
T. Rivers- UBC2, at Man2, at Alb2, Okan, at UNBC2, Vic2, Wpg2, at UFV2, Cal2, at Reg2
UNBC – at Wpg2, Alb2, TWU2, at UFV2, TRU2, at Leth2, MRU2, at Man2, at UBC2, Sask2
Alberta – Bran2, at UNBC2, TRU2, at Man2, Mac1/1, Cal1/1, at UBC2, UFV2, at Sask2, Leth2
MacEwan- at Leth2, Reg2, Vic2, at MRU2, Alb1/1, at UFV2, at Bran2, Wpg2, Okan2, at Cal2
Calgary – Man2, at Vic2, Leth1/1, MRU1/1, Alb1/1, UFV2, Sask2, at Reg2, at TRU2, Mac2
Mt. Royal- Leth1/1, at Okan2, Mac2, Cal1/1, Bran2,at UNBC2, UBC2, at Sask2, TWU2, at Man2
Lethbridge – Mac2, MRU1/1, at Wpg2, Cal1/1, at TWU, UNBC2, Sask2, at Vic2, Okan2, at Alb2
Regina – Vic2, at Mac2, at TWU2, Sask2, at Okan2, Man2, at Bran2, at Wpg2, Cal2, TRU2
Saskatchewan – at UFV2, Wpg2, Bran2, at Reg2, UBC2, Leth2, at Cal2, MRU2, Alb2, at UNBC2
Brandon – at Alb2, Okan2, at Sask2, Wpg1/1, UFV2, at MRU2, Mac2, Reg2, at UBC2, Man2
Manitoba – at Cal2, TRU2, at UBC2, Alb2, Wpg 1/1, at Reg2, at TWU2, UNBC2, at Bran2, MRU2
Winnipeg – UNBC2, at Sask2, Leth2, Bran1/1, Man1/1, TWU2, at TRU2, at Mac2, Reg2, at Vic2

Schools clearly choose whether or not to engage in the ‘home and home’ format with regional rivals … some do and some don’t.  The Dinos have 3 such 1 and 1 series, while Winnipeg, Lethbridge, MRU, and Alberta are playing 2 reciprocals each.  But seemingly obvious chances to play the home and home are passed up by Saskatchewan-Regina, UBC-O – TRU, Brandon-Manitoba, and Trinity W-UBC.

UBC T-Bird

T-Birds lead the list of ‘power teams’ in CW.

Vs ‘Traditional Powers’ ( in 1985-86, Lethbridge had the temerity to win Canada West, and Brandon won in 2001-02 … since 1986 we have UBC with 9 titles, Victoria with 8, Alberta has 7,  Calgary has won 4, and Saskatchewan 1)  We include the Huskies as a power team because of their recent record in League play and presence in the playoffs.

Where is the balance when  Winnipeg has just Sask and Victoria to face, while both UBC-O and TWU have only UBC and UVic,  and the Vikes are slated vs just Calgary and UBC? Meanwhile, Lethbridge has to contend with all of Calgary, Sask, Victoria, UBC, and Alberta, and TRU gets Alberta, Calgary, UBC, and UVic

No games between … Calgary – UBC, UVic – Sask, or UVic -Alberta … Manitoba misses UVic, Lethbridge, and Saskatchewan.   UBC doesn’t play Fraser Valley? Little wonder that virtually every Canada West coach has registered disdain for the unbalanced schedule.  But, the League officials point out that every other year you will play the teams you missed the previous year.

So every 2nd year, for example, Calgary will play UBC, Trinity W., Winnipeg, Brandon, UNBC, and Okanagan (non-regional ), with the following year dropping those and getting UVic, UFV, Manitoba, Regina, and Thompson R.  As someone pointed out … “So we get home games every 4 years vs UVic and UBC, who are both traditionally big spectator draws?  Terrific !”

The one saving grace, if you want to look at the big slate of play-off games, is that 12 of the 17 teams get into the post-season merry-go-round.  Of course, if you’re 13 or 14, you may be unhappy, and certainly number 5 and 6 will have a beef in missing a 1st round bye if they deem their schedule tougher than that of the ‘favoured 4’.

Comment is welcomed ….

Overtime –

  • The CIS Men’s Basketball Final 8 returns to it’s ‘traditional site’ in
    TRU's Josh Wolfram

    TRU’s Josh Wolfram signs pro contract in the Swedish League.

    Halifax for the next 2 seasons (March ’17 and March ’18), with bids being entertained in the coming years. The Women’s Tournament will be in the West for the next couple of years, with Victoria hosting in March ’17 and Regina in March ’18.

  • TRU’s graduating All-star, Josh Wolfram has signed a pro contract to play in Sweden this coming Fall/Winter.  The 6-10 forward, was among the leaders in both scoring and rebounding for the Wolf Pack,  Canada West Silver-medalists in his senior season.  Josh has signed a guaranteed contract with Umea Basket of the Swedish League. More details in this News Kamloops article. 
  • Riley Schaus, the top prospect out of the Brandon City League,  has signed to play for the home-town Bobcats under Coach Gil Cheung. Cheung likes the 6-1 Crocus Plains HS star for his ‘fine-shooting, and great determination’.  (Name another Crocus Plains star who became a CW All-star back in the 1990s.)
  • Adonis Montfort-Palomino, ex-Dinos, who was originally slated to go to Cape Breton this Fall, has decided, probably due to the coaching change with Matt Skinn moving to Calgary, that he will play at MacEwan.  Closer to home, friends, and likely more familiarity with the program.
  • Some other notable signings … 6-3 guard, Andre Kelly (Mississauga, ON) to Alberta, Regina lands Johneil Johnson, a 6-0 guard from Nova Scotia, UBC adds Aussie import, 6-5 swingman, Jerome Thompson, plus Isaiah Familia a 6-2 guard from Windsor, ON.

Skinn is a Big Plus for Dinos

Dinos Benefit From Coach’s Life-changing Decision

Your dream job was to be a Head Coach in CIS Basketball, and, if you’re Matt Skinn, you got to do that as a young man, first at St. FX, where you turned some heads by taking a 4-16 team from the previous year, and posting a 16-4 record in your 1st season (2008-09).  “I’m very proud of what we accomplished at X”, said Skinn. “We had a strong winning record for several seasons, and had recruited the future CIS Rookie of the Year (Vanessa Pickard) before I took the CBU Men’s job.”

Matt Skinn, a Coach of the Year for Cape Breton in 2013, returns to Calgary as the full-time assistant coach.

Matt Skinn, a Coach of the Year for Cape Breton in 2013, returns to Calgary as the full-time assistant coach. Photo – Halifax Chronicle-Herald

You moved to the Cape Breton Capers in 2012; this was your alma mater, where you were an AUS all-star forward in the early 2000s.  For 4 years, you guided the Capers, and won an AUS title in 2013.  “I was so excited to be at CBU as the Head Coach, and I felt that we were establishing a 1st-class program”, Skinn suggests. “I loved coaching at my old school.”

So, now you give that up?  You move back to Calgary and UC, where you had been an Assistant Coach working under Dan Vanhooren prior to your ‘Maritimes Adventure’?  You’re back as a UC Assistant for the best reason possible: to be with your fiancé !  Karmen Brown, who grew up in Calgary, met Matt when they were both prominent figures in the Basketball scene in Nova Scotia (Karmen a player at CBU), and, and after her graduation, they got together in Sydney for the final years of Matt’s coaching for the Capers.

When Karmen returned to Calgary, and was successful in landing a position with the Calgary Police Service, Matt had a decision to make. Give up his head coaching job with the Capers, or stay in Nova Scotia?  Being a pretty smart guy, Matt chose  S. Alberta and living with Karmen. He returns as an Assistant Coach with Coach V and the Dinos … more details in this story from Ben Matchett, UC Asst. Athletic Director. 

Calgary is very fortunate to regain the passion and experience that Coach Skinn brings to the table; it’s not often you get a guy with his resume as your Assistant Coach.  With his full-time status, Matt will be able to have an immediate positive impact for this already strong Dinos program. His ability to work with and relate to student athletes, his solid grasp of recruiting, and his strategic sense for the CIS game will pay dividends for UC.  Welcome back Matt !


MRU lands a pair of ‘blue-chip recruits’ !

6-4 import swinman, Josh Ross, brings immediate power and experience to MRU.

6-4 import swingman, Josh Ross, brings immediate power and experience to MRU.

Coach Marc Dobell must be feeling just a little more confident of his Cougars’  immediate future after having signed 2 impressive looking American imports last week. It’s not hard to understand how he became aware of Josh Ross, 6-4, 4th year wing man from Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo, B.C.).  Ross was named the Canadian Colleges Player of the Year back in March, and has been a stellar scorer / rebounder for the Mariners, as the Island crew dominated the B.C. League.  “Josh is a 3-4 player, who can impact a game in many ways”, says MRU Coach Marc Dobell.

Ross, from Burlington, Iowa, will have 2 years to help Mt. Royal move up the pecking order in Canada West, and he joins a core group which includes returnees Canada West Rookie of the Year, Brett Layton (6-8, Calgary), 5th year shooting guard, Derek Wolfe, and 6-2 point guard, Glen Yang (2nd year, Calgary).

A high school recruit from Dallas, TX, Craig Martin, is described by his high school coach, Patrick Washington (Woodrow Wilson HS) as, “ … easy to coach and has a great basketball IQ.”   In a program which amassed an amazing 110 wins vs just 18 losses during Martin’s 4 years at Wilson, the combo guard stood out for his exceptional ball handling and his team-leading defensive skills.  “We think Craig will be a very good player for us”, says Coach Dobell. “Coach Washington, who has a son playing football for U. Regina, obviously supported the young man’s decision to come to Calgary for school, and play for the Cougars.”

A 3rd recruit added last week is 2nd year transfer Nick Tancon, a 6-7 forward from Comox , B.C., who played for 1 season at Trinity Western.  On his signing by the Spartans in the Spring of 2014, Tancon was lauded by then TWU Coach Scott Allen as one of B.C.’s best all-round players, and he impressed Canada West observers in his rookie season at Langley.  Tancon will add valuable size and depth on the Cougars front line.  Dobell suggests, “Nick will be working to get in game shape after having had surgery on his foot and ankle last Winter.  We expect him to be a key contributor for us in the future.”


 

‘Horns Cast Wide Net .. and come up with prize catches !'hornd

In a major re-tooling for the U of L, following the graduation of key seniors, Brandon Brine, Jared Baker, and Rob Olsen, who combined for over 40 ppg, 16.2 rebounds,  8.2 assists, the Pronghorns added 7 new players for the 2016-17 roster. Losing those 3 veteran leaders, who each logged near 29 minutes per game last year, means the ‘Horns will be getting an infusion of youth.

The headliners have to be 6-8 forward DeAngelo Ashley (3rd year transfer, Fresno City College, CA), and 6-6 Australian import, Michael D’Agostino, an 18 year old who played in the Aussie ‘V League’, a men’s league a rung below their top  level.

Daniel Lybbert is a Canadian who attended high school in the U.S,, coming to Lethbridge from Scottsdale, AZ Prep.  Lybbert is a ‘tremendous shooter’, according to Coach Hansen, and his senior year stats from Scottsdale back up that assertion : he averaged 14 ppg, and shot over 50% from 3 point range!

Coming to Lethbridge from Ontario’s Ridley College, Brett Warren is a 5-11 point man from Newfoundland, who promises to be a great set-up man for the UL offense.  Mark Rodehutskors, at 6-6, a very young (16 yrs) grade 12 star at Chestermere High School, chose to take his own path to UL after his older brother Jeff had already signed at U Calgary. Mark is a red-shirt candidate, according to Coach Mike Hansen, but should develop into a significant contributor once he hits the playing roster.

Colton Gibb,  (LCI, Lethbridge) and Lincoln Anderson (Cardston, AB) are both former all-stars in the Southern Alberta High School circuit, and are returning from Mormon Missions.  The pair have the skills to crack the ‘Horns line-up, and will be closely followed by local fans.


 

Overtime –

  • Good luck to Katherine Adams, who was recently named the new
    Katherine Adams moves from Asst. Coach , U. Calgary, to MacEwan Griggins, where she will take over as Head Coach.

    Katherine Adams moves from Asst. Coach , U. Calgary, to MacEwan Griffins, where she will take over as Head Coach.

    Head Coach of the Women’s team at MacEwan University in Edmonton.  Adams, a Calgary native,  has been coaching as an Assistant with the UC Dinos Women for the past 7 years, and, as a player, was a steady floor-leader at guard for some strong Dinos teams in her 5 year career.  Expect Adams to do a solid job with the Griffins, as she has had a most thorough ‘internship’ at various levels from Club, High School, Provincial competition, and with UC.

  • Trinity Western continues to re-work their young roster with the addition of Ben Reddy,  a 6- 3 guard,  from Lambrick Park Secondary (Victoria), who had an injury-shortened Grade 12,  playing only three games, where he averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per game.  (From Mark Janzen – TWU Athletics). Another B.C. high school star has chosen Trinity Western; Daniel Stead, a 6-7 forward from Walnut Grove, Langley he coming Fall.  Details in this story from the Langley Times   

Busy Canada West Recruiting Scene

 Canada West Schools Announce New Recruits –  here’s the latest update on recent signings for Canada West teams this late Spring period.

Fraser Valley rivals, Jordyn Sekhorn (11) and Riley Braich (5) sign with UFV.

Fraser Valley rivals, Jordyn Sekhorn (11) and Riley Braich (5) sign with UFV.

  • Fraser Valley signs 2 more local high school stars for next season.  Fraser Valley friends and competitors, Riley Braich, a  6-3  guard  from Abbotsford (Yale)  and  Jordyn Sekhon a 6-5 wing from W.J. Mouat  of Abbotsford, are both headed for UFV, as Coach Adam Friesen re-builds after graduating Kevon Parchment More in this Abby News article. 
  • TRU Head coach Scott Clark signed 6-1 guard, Trent Monkman,  (Smithers, B.C.), who led his team to the 2A Provincials this March, and scored over 40 ppg in his senior season.  Details in this News Kamloops story.  6-6 forward, Ryan Miller,  of Valleyview Secondary  (Kamloops) will also join the Wolf Pack this Fall.

    Nigel Boyd, guard from London-Steveston, joins the TWU Spartans.

    Nigel Boyd, guard from London-Steveston, joins the TWU Spartans.

  • Trinity Western’s Coach, Aaron Muhic, has launched a youth movement … he signed 6-3 guard Nigel Boyd (Steveston-London, Richmond, B.C.)  .  Boyd was the top scorer on a team which reached the 3A Final in the B.C. High School Provincials.  Another new face for the Spartans is Justin Robinson, a 6-0 guard from Maple Ridge Christian, who averaged 29 ppg in his senior season.  Most recently, Trinity announced the signing of 2 more West coast high school stars – 6-7, Daniel Stead, (Langley, B.C., Walnut Grove), and 6-5 wing man, Aaron Paetkau (Parksville, B.C., Ballenas Secondary ).
  • Andre Kelly, a 6-3 guard from Mississauga, ON and The Rock High School, Gainesville, FL. has signed with the Alberta Golden Bears.  He is the son of former  Brandon Bobcats All Canadian, Jude Kelly.  Details from Matt Gutsch of U of A Sports
  • Another talented import guard from South of the border is headed to Saskatoon to join the U of S Huskies. Jalen White, a 6-1, 3rd year transfer (South Carolina State) will provide experience and leadership in an already strong back-court.

    Kelowna Owls star, Matt Lafontaine, stays home at UBC-O.

    Kelowna Owls star, Matt Lafontaine, stays home at UBC-O.

  • The Okanagan Heat welcome Kamloops high school star, Justin Melnychuk, a 6-4 guard from St. Ann’s Academy (Kamloops) More in this Kelowna Now storyCoach Peter Guarasci also adds Kelowna Owls guards, Matt Lafontaine (6-4), and Nav Sandhu (6-2), who were instrumental in helping the Owls win their 1st-ever BC 4A Provincial title this past year.

 

 

  • The Manitoba Bisons add hometown guard, Zach Giesbrecht  from Winnipeg’s John Taylor Collegiate –  Press release details from GoBisons

    Narcisse Ambanza is a big signing for the UW Wesmen.

    Narcisse Ambanza is a big signing for the UW Wesmen.

  • Winnipeg Wesmen Coach, Mike Raimbault, mines another nugget from the Toronto area talent pool, as he signs Narcisse Ambanza, a 6-3 combo guard from Eastern Commerce HS .  More in this UW press release 

 

 

 

 

Overtime –

New UBC Athletic Director, Giles Lepine

New UBC Athletic Director, Giles Lepine

Recruiting News – Critical Roster Building

 

 

Canada West Teams Busy With Recent Signings –

5th year seniors Wyatt Anders (Bisons) , Matt Letkeman , and Josh Owen -Thomas (Dinos) shown in recent playoff action, will leave opportuninties for new recruits at Manitoba and Calgary this Fall. photo - UM Athletics

5th year senior graduates,  Wyatt Anders (Bisons)  and Matt Letkeman   (Dinos)  , shown in recent playoff action, will leave opportunities for new recruits at Manitoba and Calgary this Fall.  photo – UM Athletics

Manitoba Coach, Kirby Schepp announced the signingof local Winnipeg high school stars, Cameron O’Hara, a 6-7 post man from St. Paul’s HS, and James Wagner, a 6-7 forward from John Taylor Collegiate, who talks about his move to the Bisons for next season,   in this Winnipeg Free Press article by Alana Trachenko .  

> The Fraser Valley Cascades add 3 ‘blue-chip’ recruits for the coming Fall. 

Daniel Adediran, Pacific Academy (Surrey), will suit up for UFV. - photo - Surrey Leader

Daniel Adediran, Pacific Academy (Surrey), will suit up for UFV. – photo – Surrey Leader

Andrew Morris, a B.C. College all-star with Capilano College transfers in, and high school stars, Daniel Adediran, Pacific Academy (Surrey)  and Sagar Dulay,  Tamanawis (Surrey).  More details in this story from Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
Trinity Western coach Aaron Muhic signed guard Josiah Meppelink (Langley), who joins the Spartans via Lynden, Wash. The 6-foot-3, 160-pound Meppelink, who moved from Langley to Lynden when he was 12 years old, averaged eight points, 10 assists and six rebounds per game this past season at Lynden Christian School. In his Grade 12 year, Meppelink was also named to the All-NWC (Northwest Conference) Second Team. From TWU Athletics

Calgary Dinos Coach, Dan Vanhooren, has already signed import guard, 6-4 Max Eisle from Ulm, Germany, and the intensely recruited Jeff Rodehutskers, an exceptionally talented 6-8 forward from Chestermere High School (Alberta).

 

Lethbridge Coach, Mike Hanson,  previously announced the signing of 6-4 guard, Scott Mazutinec, from Stirling HS in S. Alberta, and Mark Rodehutskers, the 6-4  younger brother of Jeff.  Mark, who was academically accelerated in grade school, will graduate from Chestermere HS this June as well.

 

UBC Head Coach, Kevin Hanson, has landed 2 highly sought-after high school athletes in Parker Simson, a 6-3 guard (and football prospect) from Kelowna Sr. Sec., and Izaiah Ugoalah, a 6-5 guard from Sir W. Churchill (Vancouver).

 

> UVic Coach, Craig Beaucamp, has been busy with 3 signees … transfer guard , Wayne Tucker, a 6-1 import from Oakland , CA  via Olds College (Alberta) … a 2nd import guard, 6-1 Scott Kellam, Issaquah HS, WA, and a 6-5 wing man, Vladislav Zasmolin, from Sir W. Churchill HS, Calgary.

> Regina Head Coach, Steve Burrows, is surely delighted with the fact that he has signed 3 local stars to play for his Cougars next Fall . 6-2 guards, Ben Hillis and Brayden Kuski, along with 6-4 forward, Carter Millar, all played at LeBoldus High School, Regina.   Details in this story from UR Athletics .

> In a 17 team CW League, it can be a big ask to ‘capture the Cup’.  If you don’t win your last game, do you have to see the season as a failure?  Well, obviously not !  There are many victories and moments to celebrate along the way, as this story from the UM ‘The Manitoban’ does so well .

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> The CIS announced their dates and venues for the next 2 years for the Final 8 National Tournament –  The Championships will be held back in Halifax in the the Spring of both 2017 (March 9-12) and 2018 (March 8-11).  This is a week earlier than it was this season.  We are back to traditional dates, and will not conflict with the First and Second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. (Smart move on the dates … not sure about a one year deal for UBC, but maybe the cost – risk is too high ?)

>  April, for most CIS coaches, is a time when they are either wrapping up their recruiting for the coming Fall season, or they’re still busy attempting to build or re-build their roster with ‘late signings’.  UBC T-Birds Football Coach, Blake Nill, a seasoned recruiting guru says, “You have to have made the initial contact with the student athlete probably in their grade 10 year or at least in their grade 11 year,” said Nill, as he explained the traditional timeline for athletics recruitment today. “ So you can get the process [started] and give it enough time to develop the relationship that you need.” More reflections on the recruiting process in this article by Olamide Olaniyan in The Ubyssey.

> We have a new source for CIS recruiting news from a favourite web-site – Martin Timmerman, who does such a great job with all things CIS Basketball at cishoops.ca has added an up-to-date recruiting info page, which was sorely needed, with the retirement of long-time ‘primo-source’ Barry Hayes.  Check out this recruiting page at CIS Hoops

Carleton Dumps Dinos With the Deep Ball

 

The ‘Mighty Ravens’ still rule supreme in CIS basketball ! 

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photo – Ben Nelms

  Carleton 101  Calgary 79   –   The Ravens bombed the Calgary Dinos defense with a barrage of treys, and ruled the boards at both ends to give themselves a nice 26-14 lead after a quarter. It never really got closer after that, and any brief Calgary threat was usually answered with another deflating 3 ball. A bit of simple math … 16 x 3 = 48 … 7 x 3 = 21  (do we see where this is going ? )  That’s a 27 point gap, and way too big a chasm to cross with what the Dinos had going on offense.Carleton R

This is not a new story at this time of the year.  Actually (in jest), Carleton is slipping; last March they beat their arch-rival, Ottawa, by a 93-46 count !  This does not make tonight’s result taste any better to Calgary, the Canada  West champions. This game snaps an 18 game Calgary win streak, and crushes a dream any school has of winning a National title.

We said the Ravens were champions until they lost in this event: they come back and do this for the 6th straight year, and for the 12th time in 14 years.  Astounding, brilliant, dynastic, and so frustrating for any team running into this powerhouse in the CIS Nationals. You are not happy unless you win your final game, and that, in a way, is lamentable.

Gavin Resch hits 6/12 treys, Connor Wood 5/12, Tajinder Lall 2/2, Cameron Smythe 2/4 … carpet bombing, and most discouraging for Calgary defenders. 49% from the floor is Carleton, and 44% from 3 point range … Calgary hits  39% from the floor, and 25 % from outside.

Resch totals 18 points, Wood has 22 / 4 rebs/ 4 asst, and the quick and powerful Kaza Kajami-Keane finishes with 15 points/ 10 big assists/ 3 steals.  Big men Guillaume Boucard (12 points/ 10 boards/ 2 blocks) and Ryan Ejim (12 points / 6 boards/ 4 blocks ) made the Dinos face a defensive wall they could not scale, and the two converted on inside sorties by the Blackbirds.

Calgary’s Thomas Cooper had a lot of floor time (in a fall-down/knock-down way), and seemed slower and slower getting back up in the late going. He finishes with 25 hard-earned points/ 7 rebounds/ 4 assists, but was hounded by white – jersied  defenders at every turn. David Kapinga scored 15, and Lars Schleuter scored 9 and added 9 boards.

Two championship teams played in the CIS Final on Sunday at the Mitchell Centre on the UBC campus. Carleton takes the National title once more, and with it the familiar crown of CIS domination.  Calgary holds the Canada West trophy, but will be asking questions of themselves until they get back to action next Fall.   Box Score 

 

Ryerson  85  Dalhousie 75  –  In this 3rd place game, the Rams looked like making short work of things, going out front 20-11 after 1, then 45-30 at the half. Led by their 2 most potent scorers, Aaron Best and Adika Peter-McNeilly, who went on a 2nd quarter run, Ryerson was threatening a runaway.
But , as they have done for many games this season, the Tigers came back with a vengeance, and closed the gap to 4 with a minute and a half left . Jarred Reid’s 3 point shot made it 78-81, but the Rams steadied themselves with 4 straight free throws to close it out.
The #1 OUA team got very even scoring, with 4 starters in double figures, led by 15 from Jean – Victor Mukama, who added 6 rebounds / 2 blocks.  Best was next with 14 to go with 6 rebounds, and 3 steals , and Peter-McNeilly scored 13 / 8 rebounds/ 3 assts.
Dalhousie, the AUS champions were led by the 19 points from their all-star, Kashrell Lawrence , and he had 8 rebounds and 2 steals. 5 other Tigers scored in double figures, with 13 each by Jordan Aquino-Serjue and Sven Stammberger.
Ryerson shot 49% from the floor to just 32.5% for Dalhousie, and that was really the difference in the end.      Box Score


 

Overtime –

  • Carleton’s interim Coach, Rob Smart, on the winning culture this program has developed,  ”We really try to foster a culture of healthy competitiveness where it’s OK to want to fight, it’s OK to want to battle every single day and prove yourself,” said Smart, Dave’s nephew. “It doesn’t mean you’re some kind of egomaniac it just means that for those two hours you compete and it’s the most fun thing to do.”  From CBC.ca Sports
  •  The announced attendance was 4300 approximately, and certainly this crowd and those for much of the week were disappointing to veteran observers, and, we would guess, to the UBC organizers.

Carleton vs Calgary for the CIS Title

 

Jasdeep Gill provides the clutch hoops as Calgary defeats #1 Ryerson

 photo - Rich Lam - UBC Athletics

Calgary’s Jasdeep Gill drives against Ryerson’s  Juwon Grannum in Saturday’s 2nd semi-final . photo – Rich Lam – UBC Athletics

 

 Calgary 98  Ryerson 87  – The Calgary Dinos have now beaten the Quebec and OUA Champions to earn their shot in the CIS Final against the Carleton Ravens, the 5 time defending champs (11 in 13 seasons). Not an easy path, but Calgary has found a way, and they ride a wave of momentum built up over 18 straight victories.
Up 47-38 at the break, the Dinos saw Ryerson fight back to within 5 in the 3rd quarter, then, up steps 4th year wing man, Jasdeep Gill, hitting a pair of treys 25 seconds apart to restore a double digit margin. Gill hits a 4th quarter 3 to halt another Rams rally, then converts a 3 point play off a layup near the 3 minute mark, to give Calgary the breathing room once more. Free throws from David Kapinga and Thomas Cooper finished off the Ontario champs, as the Dinos now look at getting past the Ravens for their first-ever National title.
Cooper has 30 points / 11 rebounds and Kapinga totals 26 points/ 6 boards/ 6 assists to drive the offense to the momentus win.  But it was Gill, cheered on by his personal 24 member ‘entourage’ / family, who seemed to come to the fore at those times when his team most needed him; 23 points , including 4/7 from outside/ 4 rebounds.
Ryerson get 22 points/ 8 rebs/ 4 asst from Adika Peter-McNeilly, 20 points by Ammanuel Diressa, and 15 points / 10 rebounds/ 3 blocks from big Kadeem Green.
Calgary hits 12/25 attempts from beyond the arc to just 6/39 by the Rams.  Ryerson stays in touch much of the way with 27/32 free throws vs 20/32 by Calgary.  UC plays Carleton in the 5:30 Championship final, while Ryerson are in the 3 pm bronze medal game against the Dalhousie Tigers.   Box Score

Carleton returns to final as Ejim leads the way

 Carleton's Mitchell Wood guards Dalhousie's Sven Stammberger in the 1st semi final at the CIS nationals in vancouver on Saturday. photo- Rich Lam - UBC Athletics

Carleton’s Mitchell Wood guards Dalhousie’s Sven Stammberger in the 1st semi final at the CIS Nationals in Vancouver on Saturday.              photo- Rich Lam – UBC Athletics

Carleton 76 Dalhousie  66 – The Ravens will try and defend their championship for a 6th straight title vs Calgary on Sunday night.  Dropping out of the #1 spot in the CIS Top 10 this season, and this year playing without the explosive offensive power of the Scrubb bothers, as in past seasons, CU has once more  shown their competitive edge on the CIS’ biggest stage.

Carleton out-played the smaller Dalhousie crew, with 46% shooting from the floor vs just 35% for the Tigers, and by grabbing 41 rebounds to 37 for Dal. Carleton defensive efforts thwarted Dalhousie efforts to close the gap, as shooters were denied, and drive lanes closed off.  The size of CU delivered 7 blocked shots, and made the Tigers settle for rushed or low percentage attempts.

Dalhousie did force 21 Carleton turnovers and 19 Tigers points, but never the run necessary to put a significant dent in the CU lead. The Ravens were led by the all-round play of Ryan Ejim, who had 20 points/ 5 rebs/ 3 asst/ 2 steals, and 18 points on 4/9 from outside by Conner Wood. Dal got 18 points / 5 rebs from Kashrell Lawrence, and 16 points by Aquino-Serjue Jordan.  Ritchie Kanza-Mata goes for 10 points/7 rebounds/  6 assists.   Box Score

 

UBC Takes 5th with win over Ottawa

UBC's Taylor Browne takes it to the hoop vs Ottawa in Saturday's 5th place game. photo - Rich Lam - UBC Athletics

UBC’s Taylor Browne takes it to the hoop vs Ottawa in Saturday’s 5th place game.            photo – Rich Lam – UBC Athletics

 UBC 93  Ottawa 76 –   The T-Birds capture the Consolation final by finishing strong in this free-scoring affair;  48 second half points allowed the home team to pull away, and dispense with the drama the ‘Birds had suffered in their first 2 tournament games. ‘Red-hot’ is the only description for the UBC attack, as they rip-it for 68% from the floor, and 20/23 free throws.

Ottawa, without their CIS Player of the Year, Mike L’Africain, (ill, injured?), played a solid game, but could not match the pace and sharp-shooting of the hosts.  In this battle of 3rd – place Conference teams, the Thunderbirds came with all guns blazing, and all 5 starters score in double figures.  The Gee-Gees subbed more frequently, and may have played with less urgency.

UBC gets 25 points from 6-9 Conor Morgan plus 8 rebounds; guard Phil Jalapoor , with 19 points / 6 assists, and wing man, Will Ondrik, with 16 on 6/7 plus 6 boards, were big factors in the win. The Gee-Gees have Caleb Agada and Matt Plunkett with 18 apiece, with Agada contributing 4 assists. Plunkett  cashed 6/10 from beyond the arc for all of his scoring.    Box Score


Overtime –

  •  Graduating 5th year all-star, Josh Wolfram on his feelings towards his TRU teammates ,    “ They have put in their best every single day. We go at it every day and every guy comes out of the dressing room with their head held high. It is a really great team. I will remember everything from going to the Final 8 to the little things that the guys who don’t play much to Reese, Vlad and myself who play 37 minutes a game. There is something special about each and every guy.” (Ed. Note – Well put, young man !) From Larry Read , TRU Athletics.
  • School Spirit !  5 members of the Dinos Women’s Basketball team leave school Friday, jump in a car, and make the 14 hour trip to Vancouver to support the Men in the Saturday semi-final  !  IMG_0250 (back) L-R  Anmol Mattu, Kristie Sheils, Emma Nieuwenhuizen ..                front – Freya Szmidt, Brianna Ghali, with UC Athletic Director Christine Stapleton.   

Consolation Semis are Both Close Affairs

Two consolation games see teams bounce back and play well

  Ottawa 78  Thompson Rivers  77 –  The first consolation semi on Friday had a strong effort from both teams despite the obvious disappointment  of 1st round losses they had suffered the night previous. Multiple lead changes, as both teams made good use of the outside shot, especially TRU, who went 13/21 from long range.
Ottawa also made 13 deep ones, but took 39 shots to get there. Caleb Agada, with his Ott G-Gspenetration down the lane, was the game’s high scorer with 24 points (7 rebs/ 4 assts) on 9/17 shooting, with MacKenzie Morrison hitting 4/8 attempts from 3 point range for 16 points.
TRU got a great game from big forward, Volodymyr Iegorov, who counted 21 points/ 6 rebounds, and hitting 4/6 from outside. Josh Wolfram scored 14 and added 12 rebounds, and Luke Morris scored 15 with 6 boards.
Ottawa advances to the Consolation final at 12 noon on Saturday vs UBC, while that’s the season for the ‘Pack, who see the final game for stars Reese Pribilsky and Josh Wolfram.   Box Score

 UBC 69   McGill 68 –  With another red-hot start, UBC led 43-27 at the break, and carried a double digit lead into the 4th quarter.  But, like Thursday’s game the ‘Birds saw this one slipping away in the final minutes;  the Redmen stormed back with a 22-11 last UBC T-Birdquarter, as Jenning Leung hit 3 treys within a minute’s play .
McGill would not let go, despite trailing for the whole game, until the final minute, when they caught and passed the hosts. With 25 seconds left, Jordan Jensen-Whyte hit 2 clutch free throws to get the win for the locals. David Wagner had 21 for UBC / 6 rebounds, while Conor  Morgan scored 16  points/ 4 rebs. The Thunderbirds shot 49% from the floor to McGill’s 36% , but the visitors cashed 9 long balls to only 4 for the home side.
Leung and Dele Ogundokun both scored 15 for McGill, with Ogundokun adding 5 rebs/ 5 steals. UBC’s 25 turnovers almost caused a complete reversal in this game, and the McGill rally was helped by their 37-34 rebounding advantage.
UBC goes on to the Consolation final on Saturday at 12 noon vs Ottawa, and the young McGill team are done for the season. Box Score


 

 

Saturday’s schedule –

12 noon – Consolation final : UBC vs Ottawa

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3:00 pm – Championship semi-final 1 –  Dalhousie vs Carleton

5:30  – Championship semi-final 2 –  Calgary vs Ryerson

>>> Carleton has 11 CIS titles in the last 13 seasons … UBC has 2 titles, in 1970 and 1972 … neither Calgary nor Dalhousie have ever won this National Champioship.

Both Championship semis will be shown on Sportsnet 360.

Ravens, Rams, Dinos, Tigers on to Semis

 

Ejim’s rebounding carries Ravens to semi-finals

8 offensive rebounds and 26 points by Ryan Ejim pace Carleton to a Q-final win over TRU.

8 offensive rebounds and 26 points by Ryan Ejim pace Carleton to a Q-final win over TRU.

 Carleton 91 Thompson Rivers  75 –  The relentless Carleton effort on the offensive boards paid off with 10 extra chances by half-time, and the Ravens are up 38-33.  The most remarkable thing is the lack of 2nd quarter scoring, as the teams come out of quarter 1 with a 29-23 count, then cool off considerably.  CU hits just 33% from the floor in that opening 20 minutes .

Foul  trouble for TRU big men, Josh Wolfram and Volodmyr Iegorov , threatens to torpedo the ‘Pack’s effectiveness, but they finish the game with the line-up intact. As the game enters the 3rd quarter,  it’s a 5 point game Carleton’s way, but that rebounding, and some improved 3 point shooting by the Ravens extends it to 9-10-12. Brief rests for the TRU starters don’t appear to be enough, and they are flagging with 4-5 minutes left.

Ryan Ejim does the ‘blue collar’ work for Carleton, seemingly claiming every 2nd miss on the O-glass, as he tallies 26 on 11/14 shooting, all within 6 feet of the hoop. CU’s 54-37 rebounding edge is led by Ejim’s 14, and Guillaume Boucard’s 13 rebounds. Connor Wood scores 18 points on 5/13 from outside, and the winners get 15 apiece from Bouchard and Tajinder Lall.

The ‘Pack are led by the 22 points of Gerard Gore and 14 points / 10 boards from Voldymyr Iegorov. TRU hits 47% from the  floor, but only 5 treys to 11 for the Ravens.  Josh Wolfram comes on in the 2nd half, scoring 17 points, as he and Reese Pribilsky close out their memorable careers in this championship competition.
Carleton’s attacking style wears down the Wolves, whose lack of depth inevitably caught up with them in this level of play.  The Ravens move on to the semi-finals on Saturday against Dalhousie, while TRU plays Friday at 5 pm  in a consolation match with Ottawa.     Box Score

 

Tigers steal Ottawa’s thunder with aggressive defense down the stretch

Richie Kanza-Mata and his Dal Tigers teammates use their pressure defense to edge the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Richie Kanza-Mata and his Dal Tigers teammates use their pressure defense to edge the Ottawa Gee-Gees.  photo Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Dalhousie 87  Ottawa  83  –  Two unusual sequences turn this game in Dalhousie’s favour: just before the half, and down by 7, the Tigers steal, and Jarred Reid hits 2 free throws on an intentional (clear-path?) foul, so Dal gets the ball as well. On the buzzer,  Jordan Aquino-Serjue makes a 3-point bomb, and it’s 52-50 !  Then in a  mini-run by the Tigers in the 2nd half, Ottawa turns it over 3 out of 4 trips, and Dal takes the 4 point lead mid-way through the 4th.

The pressure from a quick and determined Tigers team gave Ottawa fits as the game moved into the late stages, 24 trips to the line for 16 points gave the Atlantic champs the edge vs 5/10 for the Gee-Gees. Both teams shoot the ball well, with Dal at 50% and Ottawa 49% from the floor, as UO lives and dies with  the long ball (12/35).  Dal’s fast hands and faster feet produce 24 Ottawa turnovers , resulting in 31 Dalhousie points.
Ritchie Kanza-Mata closes strongly and racks -up 24 points to lead the Tigers, adding 4 assts/ 3 steals, while Kashrell Lawrence uses his power on the inside to score 14 / 6 rebounds / 4 steals.

The Ponies have Matt Plunkett hitting 5/10 from outside for 17 points, and Mike L’Africain, the CIS Player of the Year, scoring 16 / 3 rebs/ 7 assts. The Tigers play in Saturday’s 3 pm semi-final against the 5 time-defending champion, Carleton Ravens, while Ottawa go to the Consolation side vs Thompson Rivers at 5 pm Friday.
Box Score

 

Kapinga’s thievery leads to late heroics for Calgary over McGill

Calgary's defensive ace, David Kapinga, harasses McGill ballhandlers in a Dinos win Thursday in Vancouver.

Calgary’s defensive ace, David Kapinga, harasses McGill ballhandlers in a Dinos win Thursday in Vancouver.

Calgary  72  McGill  69 –  Tense.  This was the tough, tight game we anticipated, with defense controlling things much of the way, and deciding it at the finish as Calgary’s David Kapinga picked McGill’s pocket twice in the final minutes .  Free throws were also critical as Dinos shooters were 10/10 in the 4th quarter, including  2 by Thomas Cooper to give them the 3 point lead.
It was a physical game , with a lot of contact on drives to the hoop, and a little rolling around on the hardwood after loose balls.  McGill got off to a good start, hitting some pure treys by Jenning Leung, and getting strong rebounding early. Calgary’s 25 point 2nd quarter was the difference, in a game where hoops became more and more scarce.

The Dinos Thomas Cooper was shackled  for much of the game, but still snuck in 21 points, with 7/10 from the line.  The Redmen pressured Calgary’s 3 point shooters and allowed little open space out on the perimeter. The Dinos  hit only 5 treys vs 10 for the Reds, and that kept McGill out front for a good part of the 2nd half.
Calgary had 12 points from Johnny Verrone coming off the bench, and Kapinga scored 11/ 2 asst/ 4 steals. Cooper led their rebounding with 9, with Lars Schleuter and Matt Letkeman grabbing 5 each.

McGill were led by 19 from Dele Ogundokun / 5 res/ 4 assts, and 15 from Leung, with 5/10 from outside.   McGill had 19 turnovers and Calgary 17, in what was, at times, a very scrappy contest.  The Dinos pull one out with some stingy defense and good foul-shooting in the final minutes, and they move on to the 5:30 semi-final on Saturday, and the Redmen will play in the 5:00 consolation game Friday.  Box Score

 

On the brink, the Rams storm back for the OT win vs UBC

Coach patrick Taham and his Ryerson Rams 'snatched victory from the jaws of defeat' vs UBC in their Thursday Q-final.

Coach Patrick Taham and his Ryerson Rams ‘snatched victory from the jaws of defeat’ vs UBC in their Thursday Q-final.

 

Ryerson 109 –  UBC  101 –  Just when the UBC student section (with 2:10 left – far too early)  were suggesting in a loud chorus that the Ryerson Rams were ‘Over-rated’ ,  the T-Birds’ Conor Morgan fouled out,  the OUA champs dug deep, hit free throws, a lay-up off a steal, and a 3 pointer to take it to OT !
The Rams are now the attackers, and create the better chances in extra time, to pull out a classic win to continue their route to the semi-final.  UBC has to leave wondering how this could have happened, when they looked so solid in the early going, and made some clutch hoops early in the 4th to ‘dare to dream’ of the 8 – 1 upset !

Adika Peter-McNeilly paced the Rams with 25 points/ 9 rebounds, and both rugged, yet smooth guard, Ammanuel Diressa, and the late game hero, Jean-Victor-Mukama counted 19 apiece.  Ryerson won the battle on the boards 42-31, and out-shot the Thunderbirds 21/27 to 13/17 from the foul line. UBC’s David Wagner was dominant inside in the first 3/4s to score 22, but Ryerson defenders made it harder for him later in the going. Jordan Jensen-Whyte was also a stand-out for the ‘Birds, with 25 points on slashing drives and 8/9 from the line.
Ryerson won this game with some more intense interior defending, and opportunistic conversions off UBC misses toward the end of regulation.  It was a testimony to the resilience of a championship team, and they played their best when it counted most.
In the end they appear to have been rated pretty accurately ….

Ryerson, the OUA champions vs Calgary , the Canada West title winners, at 5:30 pm Saturday in the 2nd semi-final.  UBC plays McGill at 7 pm Friday in the late Consolation game.  Box Score


 

 

Overtime –

  • Headline of the week, in  ‘Kamloops This Week’ – ‘WolfPack draw Ravens; fan bus departs Thursday’ … details , “Fan buses will depart from Thompson Rivers University for UBC on Thursday morning, in advance of the Wolf  Pack’s tournament-opening matchup.  Buses will depart from the Campus Activity Centre at 7:30 a.m. For $20, fans receive a game ticket, transportation to the tournament, a t-shirt and pizza and pop for the return trip. Coffee will be available in the morning, from 7 a.m. until departure.”  Great work by TRU to get their fans to the game!
  • Dalhousie Coach Rick Plato , with confidence in his team, “If the Tigers claw their way into national semifinals, they’ll be making Dalhousie basketball history”, Plato said. “I think there is redemption on their part,” he said of his players. “Knowing how close they were to … for the first time ever, getting Dal to a national semifinal.”  (Lost to UVic 57-56 in round 1 last year).  “I believe in these guys,” Plato said. “They’re not the biggest, they’re not the fastest, they’re not the quickest, but as a group – they’re a pretty special team.” Simply put, Plato said, “if we play our game, we’re going to win.” From Kristen Lipscombe, Vancouver Metro News