Home Teams Post Big Comeback Wins

 

Wesmen wait for final quarter to launch big comeback

Denzel Lynch-Blair leads Winnipeg to a game 1 win.

at Winnipeg  82 Fraser Valley 76  –     The Cascades break clear in the 3rd quarter after a give and take opening half, and the visitors take a 12 point lead.  That got the Ws’ attention, and they came on strong in the 4th, to the tune of 24-7, for the comeback win in the opening game of their best of 3 play-in series.

Fraser Valley had been loose and shooting accurately in the opening 30 minutes, but cooled off completely in the 4th quarter, as they slowed down, and rarely got a high quality shot off in the late going.  Still up by 10 with 5:30 left, UFV scored nothing from there, allowing a 16-0 Winnipeg run.

The Wesmen got scoring leadership from Denzel Lynch-Blair, with his 23 points/ 9 rebs/ 4 assists, and post man, Ryan Oirbans, with 21 points/ 15 rebounds.  Sean Tarver added 18 pts for UW, who out-shot Fraser Valley 49% to 44% from the floor, and forced 20 UFV turnovers to 13 of their own.  UFV had 19 from Andrew Morris off the bench, and 4 more players with double digits, including Anthony Gilchrist’s 12 pts/ 10 rebounds. Box  Score

Amarjt Basi’s hot hand fires up the Herd in their comeback over Regina.                                          Photo – Jeff Miller, Bison Sports

at Manitoba 94  Regina  84 –  In cricket, one side goes to bat, scores their points, then may ‘declare’  their score enough for a win.  The other side comes to bat, and often, they are all-out for far fewer runs.  This game was a bit like that cricket match.  Except the 52-36 Cougars lead after their 20 minute at-bats didn’t hold up … not nearly.

The Herd thundered back with a 58-32 trampling of Regina in the final 20, and they didn’t even slow down to check the state of their victims.  This got ugly for UR in the 3rd quarter particularly, as they lost most of their lead, and saw the Bisons cresting the hill. 20 more field goal attempts for UM, from the effects of more Cougars turnovers, and more Manitoba rebounds. AJ Basi broke out for 26 points for the winners, and he had help from Justus Alleyn (16 pts) and Keith Omoerah (12 pts/ 11 boards).  Regina had 19 pts/ 12 rebs from Brian Ofori, and 16 points from Brandon Tull, but the hoop got decidedly smaller in the 2nd half, as their shots bounced away.  Box Score  

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In the East –  Wednesday – OUA – Brock 80  Western 65, Windsor 91 McMaster 87 OT

Thursday – Quebec –    McGill  72  at Concordia  45  … McGill makes a statement in grabbing the regular season summit.

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Overtime –

Johneil Johnson, Regina rookie guard. photo – Arthur Ward, U. Regina

  • Johneil Johnson the Regina rookie stand-out, on his 6th man role for the Cougars,  “I do what I need to do,” said Johnson, a 6-foot-1 guard from Lake Echo, N.S. “Being a first-year guy, getting the opportunity that I have, I’m just thankful for it. I’ve been able to play comfortably on the court and I’m learning from the older guys. I’m having fun.”   From Rob Vanstone in the Regina Leader-Post  

Long Road for 1st Round Play-off Teams

 

 

 4  Competitive Series in 1st Round of Playoffs

              … Thursday start for ‘Play-in’ series’ in Canada West

As the top 4 seeds, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and UBC rest-up, heal, and prepare, there is no slow-down for the 8 teams heading into the ‘Play-in’ series this weekend.  Games start at Manitoba and Winnipeg on Thursday night in two of the best of 3 sets, with Brandon and Lethbridge hosting series’ to begin on Friday.

Here are the match-ups –

Keith Omoerah contributes to the Bisons offense in many ways.      Photo – J. Miller, UM Sports

#12 Regina Cougars at # 5 Manitoba Bisons –  If we look at the past history between these teams, we might be tempted to call this a lock for the Herd.  Manitoba has beaten Regina in 15 of the most recent 16 meetings, including a January sweep at Regina (84-75, and 93-81).  But the Bisons have not been as convincing over the past month, with a couple of losses at Brandon, then close calls with UNBC, and both nights last weekend against Mt. Royal. Regina comes off a solid weekend at home, where they swept the TRU Wolf Pack.

The Cougars and Bisons are both laden with experience;  Regina features guards Alex Igual (14.7 ppg/ 4.6 rebs/ 3.3 assts), Brandon Tull (13.5 ppg/ 4.5 rebs) and rookie, Johneil Johnson (12.2 ppg/ 3.7 rebs). Forwards, Brian Ofori (13 ppg/ 6.3 rebs) and  Travis Sylvestre (9 ppg/ 3.6 rebs) have played well of late.

Manitoba have a strong, veteran group, with Justus Alleyn their top scorer at 17.4 ppg/3.6 rebs, and the all-around play of Keith Omoerah (13.2 ppg/ 8.7 rebs).  AJ Basi (13.3 ppg) and Ilarion Bonhomme are dangerous back-court threats.  James Wagner, a big rookie can give the Bisons a boost inside, along with veteran post, Brett Jewell .  The question remains, ‘Which team can pull together and win 2 games this weekend?’  The home court favours Manitoba, and UBC awaits the winner .  (Central) 7:30 pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (if a 3rd game is necessary)

Winnipeg’s William Sesay will be a key factor vs Fraser Valley.

#10  Fraser Valley Cascades at #7  Winnipeg Wesmen –  This is the other Thursday start, and we have two guard – oriented teams facing off after both just had road trip weekends.  The Cascades have the quick turnaround from a bus-trip up and back on the icy, snow-packed Coquihalla Highway to Kelowna last weekend.  Wash the uniforms, pack the bags, attend a brief 2 days of classes, and off they go to Winnipeg.  The Wesmen come off a 2 loss weekend in Victoria, and somehow have to ‘right the ship’ , and win the home series vs a UFV squad that has won 4 straight to finish the season.

5th year Cascades back-court shooters, Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon against  Winnipeg’s Denzel Lynch-Blair, Sean Tarver, and rookie,  Narcisse Ambanza. The much improved Fraser Valley post man, Nav Bains, battling with the Ws’ big Aussie import, Ryan Oirbans.  Talented complimentary players like the Wesmen’s William Sesay and Jamar Farley  vs Fraser Valley’s Denver Sparks-Guest, Mark Johnson, and Andrew Morris.

The Cascades have won 5 of the past 7 meetings, but the Wesmen have home court.  This is looking like a 3 game series.  Note the different game times (Central) –  Thursday at 7 pm, Friday at 3 pm, and Sat. , if necessary, again at 3 pm.  The Saskatchewan Huskies will host the winner in the quarter-finals. 

UVic’s Grant Sitton will be a focus for ‘Horns defenders this weekend.        photo – UVic Athletics

#11 Victoria Vikes at #6 Lethbridge Pronghorns –  Prior to last weekend’s play, the Vikes were literally hanging by a thread, and needing a home sweep of a good Winnipeg team to make the post-season.  They got that sweep, and now are in S. Alberta to face the ‘Horns, who own 2 League wins over the Vikes in January at Victoria.

The Pronghorns are the clear favourites with their guard leader, Dejon Burdeaux (17.1 ppg/ 5.4 rebs/ 4,5 asst/ 3.6 steals) , taking the team on his back, and leading them to key wins.  3 of Burdeaux’s main ‘wing men’ are the sharp-shooting British import, Elliott Sentance (17.6 ppg/ 7 rebs/ 40% from 3 pt),  Mike Pierzchala (11 ppg/ 6 rebs), a threat to ‘run the table’, and 6-8 Zac Overwater (11.6 ppg/ 4.3 rebs.

The Vikes have leaned very heavily on 6-8 Grant Sitton, who’s surely a Canada West all-star, with his 20 ppg/ 6.8 rebs/ and 1.2 steals.  UVic’s only other double digit scorer is rookie import guard Scott Kellum (13.2 ppg), who hits 44% from 3 pt range, and chalks -up 2.4 asst per game.  Justin Kinnear is close to 10 ppg at forward, and he will need help from  Jake Newman and Hassan Abdullahi on the glass, if the Vikes are to stay with the ‘Horns.

We like Lethbridge as the home team here;  Victoria will have to make another jump forward if they hope to get the wins.  Game times are (Mountain) 7 pm on both Friday and Saturday, and 3 pm for a Sunday game, if it’s needed.  The winner here travels to Edmonton to play the Bears in the quarter-finals.

#9 Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack   at  #8  Brandon Bobcats –  The Bobcats host their 1st play-off series since 2009 in the old gym  ( SI Director Matt Packwood tells us).  This is the 1st one in their new ‘Healthy Living Centre’.  These teams have only played 9 times, ever, with the most recent a BU home win over TRU in January of 2014, so we can’t rely on trends!

We will watch a compelling battle of the big men, as the ‘Pack bring 5th year, 6-7  import, Volodymyr Iegorov, along with 6-5 Luke Morris, and 6-5 Joe Davis, who are all double digit scorers , with Iegorov among the League’s top rebounders at 9.1 rpg. Brandon responds with high-scoring Earl Thompson Jr (16.2 ppg/ 8.6 rebs), 6-5 Chris Stanhope, and a surging giant in 6-11 John Paul from St. Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean.  Brandon’s guards are led by shooter, Tyvon Cooper, while TRU has wing man, Michael Rouault, and import guard, Derek Rhodes.

There will be some new-found excitement surrounding this Bobcats team at home, and, if they can limit their turnovers and continue their improved shooting, they may pull this off.  The ‘Pack played in the CW Final last year, and this young team are looking to take another crack at it.  Only improved guard play and team defense will get them to the next round.  It may take 3 games to sort this out.  Winner goes to Calgary to face the Dinos in quarter-finals. 

 

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Overtime –

  • UBC Coach, Kevin Hanson, with comments about the RPI system, whereby his 19-1 T-Birds finished as the  4th play-off seed,  “Overall, it’s frustrating but we have known that it’s been coming for a few weeks,” said Hanson.   “It is out of our control and we’re not whining about it. Our players are long over the shock. We are getting prepped to play whomever is put in front of us.  (From  Howard Tsumura’s ‘Varsity Letters’ blog  )
  • In that same ‘Varsity Letters’ posting from last weekend, Hanson reports that Conor Morgan has an ankle injury, but is expected to be ‘shooting by the end of the week.’  Guard Phil Jalalpoor is also getting treatment for an ankle injury. UBC has a bye as a top 4 team this week, and will be at home vs the winner of the Manitoba – Regina series Feb . 23-25.

 

 

Winnipeg Teams Eke Out Close Wins

 

 

Manitoba and Winnipeg get wins in tense affairs

AJ Basi is a key man both ways for the streaking Herd.     photo – UM Athletics

at Manitoba 86  UNBC 85 –  The T’Wolves throw a scare into the Bisons, as the visitors lead by 2 after 30 minutes, after tallying 31 in the 3rd quarter. 2 free throws each by AJ Basi and Ilarion Bonhomme allow the Herd to slip by for the win in the final minute.  Basi leads Manitoba (9-6) with 23 points, while Justus Alleyn kicks in with 21.  The home-standing UM shoots 18/26 from the line vs only 6/9 for the visiting UNBC (4-11).  Marcus Mackay is red hot from long range for the ‘Wolves, hitting 8/10 for 28 points.  Box Score  

Winnipeg 89 at MacEwan 85 – Another game tonight where the favourites are pushed to the limit, as the Griffins pour in 37 points in the 4th quarter to rattle the Wesmen. Mac hits 12 treys to the Ws 5, but Winnipeg (10-5) enjoy a rare visiting team edge in the foul shooting, with 22/29 vs just 7/11 for the chagrined home side.  6 Wesmen in double figures as they shoot 48% as a team;  Denzel Lynch-Blair is their high man with 18 points, while Sean Tarver adds 17. MacEwan (4-11) get 22 points/ 5 rebs from Keith Gerdes, and 21 points/ 7 rebs/ 9 assists by Thadius Galvez.    Box Score  

#9 Saskatchewan  82 Mt. Royal  62 –  A 20-6 advantage in the final 10 minutes allows the Huskies to pull away for their 10th win of the season. Their defense holds the Cougars (7-8) to just 36% from the floor, and U of S dominates the boards 48-21. Matt Forbes has another strong game for the ‘Dogs with 26 pts/ 12 rebounds.  Derek Wolf replies with 21 pts for MRU, but big gun, Brett Layton, is limited to just 6 pts/2 rebs.   Box Score  

#5 Calgary 86 at Regina 70 –  With every Dinos player hitting the score sheet, and the team cashing 14/28 from 3 point range, Calgary stormed to a 69-47 lead after 3/4s, and  waltzed home. Regina hit just 4/21 long range attempts, and that decided the contest. David Kapinga and Mambi Diawara went a combined 8/9 from outside for 16 points apiece to pace the 12-3 Dinos.  Johneil Johnson was the game high scorer for the Cougars (6-9) with 22 points.  Box Score  

UBC-O rookie, Matt Lafontaine, has a big game at Lethbridge.  photo – Heat Athletics

at Lethbridge  75  UBC- Okanagan 71 – No Dejon Burdeaux for Lethbridge , and no Mitch Goodwin or Ryan Morck for the Okanagan Heat.  You have to give the Heat (2-13) great credit for a gutsy effort, where they were thwarted by some unfriendly officiating, as much as by their ‘Horns opponents. UBC-O shoot all of 5/7 from the line to 26-31 for the home side. Incroyable! Heat rookie, Matt Lafontaine scores a game-high 22 pts, with 6/8 made from 3 pt range. Austin Penrose works hard for 10 pts and 11 rebounds, but the visitors come up just short.  The Pronghorns (11-6) survive without their king-pin, Burdeaux, as 4 players hit double figures, topped by the 15 pts/ 8 rebs/ 4 assts  from Elliott Sentance. Box Score  

at Fraser Valley  80 Thompson Rivers 72 –  The Cascades (7-8) shoot it better (46% to 41% FG) , and they take better care of the ball (15 TOs to 20 for TRU).  Erasing a 5 point half-time deficit in the 3rd quarter, UFV finish strong (22-14) in the final 10 to garner the win.  6 Cascades players are in double figures, led by 17 by Andrew Morris off the bench, and 13 each from  Manny Dulay, Mark Johnson, and Anthony Gilchrist.  TRU (7-8) have Joe Davis as their high scorer with 25 pts/ 12 rebounds, with Volodymyr Iegorov tallying  21 points.  Box Score

at #2 UBC  127  Brandon  62 –  The T’Birds go with the ‘scorched earth’ strategy, and they have 4 players off the bench scoring in double digits.  The whole UBC team play 11 or more minutes, as they shoot 54% FG, and rack up an incredible 34/43 from the free throw line.  Jordan Jensen-Whyte is the high man for the Birds (14-1) with 23 pts. , while Earl Thompson Jr. leads the Bobcats (7-10) with 14. Box Score 

at Victoria  72  Trinity Western 63 –  Victoria (6-9) put in a very workman-like effort in winning in almost every category.  Grant Sitton is the top gun for the Vikes yet again, with his 26 points/ 8 rebs, while Scott Kellum manages 17 points off the bench. Patrick Vandervelden scores 19 points for the Spartans (2-13). Box Score  

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Thursday scores from Quebec – Concordia 75  Bishops 55,  UQAM 70 at Laval 66

Other U-Sports games on Friday –

AUS – Acadia 84 at UPEI 68, Saint Marys 93at UNB 80, Dalhousie 85  at Cape Breton 67

Ontario – #1 Carleton 104 at Windsor 54, #3 Ottawa 91 at Western Ont. 55, at #6 Brock 74  #4 Ryerson  65, At Guelph 76  Algoma 58,  Nipissing 93  at Queens 84,  Laurentian  79 at York 58

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  • Overtime –        
  • UFV Cascades Coach Adam Friesen, on his 5th year, guard Manny Dulay, one of the best-ever , 3 point shooters in Canadian University Basketball  “ …  he’s transitioned himself into our starting point guard the last couple of years. He’s a play-maker for us, a shot-maker, and obviously he can still shoot the outside shot. He’s become a leader, too, and especially here in his senior year.”   From a  story in The Now (Newspaper, Surrey, BC)  by Tom Zillich  
  •  Regina Coach Steve Burrows,  lauding his 4th year guard, Brandon Tull, on Tull’s reaching 1000+ points as a Cougar.  “It’s a tribute to him and it didn’t have anything to do with me,’’ Burrows said with a chuckle. “He loves the game and he has a passion for it. He works at it every day. He was in here in the morning and what he’s done is a tribute to how hard he works at it.’’  From a story in the Regina Leader-Post by Murray McCormick.
  • UVic Head Coach Craig Beaucamp, with a coach’s take on Trinity Western,   their 2-12 opponent, … “Trinity scores a lot of points. We need to be better defensively than we were last week against Lethbridge.”  (Editor’s note – TWU also gives up an average of 94 ppg ….)    As far as the Vikes prospects for a playoff spot, the Coach says … “You might look at our record and think we would be well out of it, but actually, we are not,” said  Beaucamp. “We control our own destiny. We have to stay healthy [some Vikes are dinged up physically], remain resilient, stay positive, don’t panic, and keep things simple.”  From the Times-Colonist story by Cleve Dheensaw. 

Bears Have Toughest Path to Title

 

 

 Bears path is the rockiest 

photo- brody clarke, Alberta

Brody Clarke and his Alberta team have a very tough schedule in the season’s 2nd half.

The Alberta Golden Bears are in 1st place in Canada West, with their 11-1 record, but their path to a title is still a rocky one.  At #6 in the U-Sport Coaches Top 10 this week, the Bears got there by virtue of a 1 point win over the Calgary Dinos, to earn a split in last weekend’s home and home series.

There is no let-up this week, as the Bruins travel to Vancouver for a clash with the #3 UBC Thunderbirds. Historical record – Bears are 89 wins – 90 losses vs the T’Birds !  And that may well reflect the 2 teams’ competitiveness this season.  The top 2 in the standings, and both with only 1 loss.

From there, Alberta hosts the improving Fraser Valley Cascades (5-5) on January 20-21, then they get a bye week before  travelling to Saskatoon Feb 3-4 for a predictably tough assignment against the Huskies (6-4).  U of A finishes up at home against another contending team, the Lethbridge Pronghorns (8-4).  All – in – all, a rugged path through the decisive 2nd half of the schedule.

Calgary hosts Fraser Valley in a Thursday-Friday series –  

The Calgary Dinos (8-2) will be looking to maintain their  position near the top of the Canada West standings with 2 wins this week against the visiting UFV Cascades.  (Game 1 is Thursday – 8 pm Mountain at UC, and available on Canada West TV with ace play-by-play man, Lucas Meyer, and colour from John Tramble.)  The Dinos come off a close loss to rivals , Alberta, and will need to re-focus on a dangerous UFV squad.

logo UFV

Cascades guards, Manny Dulay (15.9 ppg/4.6 rebs/5.4 asst/2.7 steals), and Vijay Dhillon (12.4 ppg/3 rebs/ 3 asst) will go head to head with UC’s David Kapinga (10.3 ppg/ , and 6-5 Mambi Diawara (13.1 ppg . Lars Schleuter, at 6-7, (brings a 3 point threat for the Dinos , as does 6-5, 5th year, ‘designated shooter’ Jasdeep Gill (47.6% from 3)

The pairings up front have UFV’s Nav Bains (8.3 ppg/ and Mark Johnson (9.4 ppg/6.8 rebs) facing Calgary’s Matt Ellis, Conor Morgan, and Mitch Ligertwood (a combined 14.1 ppg/9.4 rebs).  The Cascades’  6-5, 3rd year transfer (UVic), Andrew Morris, is a strong 6th man, who can score, and is shooting close to 50% from the floor.  Starter at the wing, Anthony Gilchrist (8.3 ppg), may be the man trying to contain the Dinos high-scoring wing-man, Thomas Cooper (24.3 ppg/ 6 rebs/2 steals).

The Dinos have an edge in most key offensive categories, but Fraser Valley looks like they may have found a groove lately, and could come on with their attack.  The Cascades big threat is their guard combo, and Calgary will be sure to have defensive harassment as a weapon against Dulay and Dhillon. Home court, and a more productive offense gives the Dinos a decided edge.

 

Canada West Schedule  this week-                  

 Thursday, Jan 12  –  

Fraser Valley Cascades  at #5  Calgary Dinos

Friday, Jan 13 –

Fraser Valley Cascades  at #5  Calgary Dinos

#6 Alberta Golden Bears  at #3 UBC Thunderbirds –  Preview of this feature series tomorrow .  

Saskatchewan Huskies at Lethbridge Pronghorns

Mt. Royal Cougars at UNBC Timberwolves

Winnipeg Wesmen   at Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack

Manitoba Bisons  at Regina Cougars

Victoria Vikes at UBC-Okanagan Heat

MacEwan Griffins at Brandon Bobcats

Saturday, Jan 7 – 

Bears at Thunderbirds

Huskies at Pronghorns

Vikes at Heat

MRU Cougars at Timberwolves

Wesmen at Wolf Pack

Bisons at R. Cougars

Griffins at Bobcats

Trinity Western Spartans at home, resting …

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Scores from the East – 

Atlantic –  at St. FX 96 Cape Breton 80, at U-Sp #8 Dalhousie 84 Acadia 81 OT

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There were losses for Top 10 teams last week, including a split between #3 Calgary and #8 Alberta (69-60 UC at U of A, then 81-80 for the Bears in Calgary) .  Also in Canada West, it was un-ranked Saskatchewan winning game 1 of their series with UBC  by a 95-78 count. The Nipissing Lakers beat #6 Brock 69-66, and Laurentian rose up to topple #9 McMaster 95-87.  In Quebec, #7 McGill lost a mid-week game to Laval 70-63.   Memorial is not ranked, even though they lead the AUS standings?

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Overtime –

  • As of last week’s games, we have no undefeated teams left in either Men’s or Women’ s play in Canada West.  In Men’s play, Saskatchewan (6-4) beat UBC (9-1) on Friday, and Calgary (8-2) had beaten Alberta (11-1) in a Thursday contest. On the Women’s side, both Winnipeg (11-1) and Alberta (11-1) were handed Saturday night losses by Trinity Western (7-5) and Calgary (7-3) respectively.
  • The Dinos and Cascades have not met since February 2015, when UFV beat UC in 2 straight in the CW Q-finals in Abbotsford.  The ‘Trees’ have won 5 of the last 7 games between these 2 teams.
  • Quebec Standings –  There is not much to choose between the top 4 teams, and McGill, the favourites, have yet to distance themselves from the pack.  After having seen Bishops out West in the Fall pre-season, we are surprised at the struggles for the Gaiters to this point. # 9 McGill has a big home and home this weekend with cross=town rival, UQAM, while Laval has a H/H against Bishops .

 

 

 

Huskies Trounce Thunderbirds

 

 

Saskatchewan shines in game 1 , handing UBC their 1st CW loss.

photo- Jaylan Morgan

The Huskies Jaylan Morgan scores 24 in their win over UBC.  phot- U of S Athletics

 Saskatchewan  95  # 2  UBC  78  –  Using the 3 point shot to great advantage, the home-standing Huskies win every quarter against the previously unbeaten T’Birds. U of S hits 12/23 (53%) from outside vs 6/25 (24%) for UBC, and thats a cool 18 points!  The rest came at the foul line as Saskatchewan ate heartily with 29/30 while the Thunderbirds hit just 14/22 for another 15 points.  Game !

Jaylan Morgan led 6 Huskies in double figures with his game-high 23 points, as he connects on 5/7 from outside and adds 6 boards.  Matt Forbes scores 18 / 6 rebs, and Alex Unruh contributes 16 pts/ 5 assists. Import Lawrence Moore debuted with the ‘Dogs hitng 13 points / 6 asst.   Conor Morgan scored 22 pts/ 5 rebs for UBC, and Will Ondrik had 14 pts/ 3 boards.  U of S now up to 6-3, while UBC drops to 8-1. Box Score  

at Winnipeg 111  Trinity Western  65 –  Taking any suspense away early, the Wesmen (7-4)  hang up 64 points in the 1st half, then put it on auto-pilot for the resounding win.  Trinity falls with a thud to 2-9, as the Ws take charge in every facet, including 10 fewer turnovers and 13 more rebounds. The whole Winnipeg roster hits the scoresheet, with 7 players at 9 points or more, led by 16 from Marcello KambolaRyan Oirbans does the blue-collar work  for UW, scoring 13 and grabbing 11 rebounds.  TWU have 18 points from Pogos Trunyan, and 16 by Max VitalaBox Score

MRU’s Brett Layton returns with a vengeance in an OT win over Brandon.

   at Mt. Royal  95  Brandon 86  OT –  The Cougars (5-4) survive a scare, as Brandon storm back from a 12 point deficit after 3/4s to force overtime by scoring 31 in the 4th.  In the extra frame, it’s the Cougars  riding 9 points from Glen Yang, his whole total for the night.  MRU’s Brett Layton, before fouling out late in the 4th Q, scores a game-high 24 points to go with 16 rebounds.  The Cougs get 18 points apiece from both Derek Wolf (5 res/ 5 assists) and Josh Ross (12 rebs/ 5 asst/ 5 steals).  The Bobcats (3-8) have Earl Thompson Jr. with 23 pts/ 12 boards for his double, and 21 points from Tyvon Cooper. Pookie Saunders, a Calgary (E. Manning) high school star, notched 16 to go with 6 boards.   Box Score 

Lethbridge  82  UNBC  71  –  Leading by 10 at the half, the Pronghorns (7-4) saw the visiting Timberwolves get to within 2 points several times late in the 3rd Q.  But the home team finished off nicely, spurred on by 8 points from Dejon Burdeaux, who counted 24 on the night. Lethbridge has Elliott Sentance firing 25 pts and claiming 11 rebounds, as they shoot 49% as a team.  UNBC gets out-boarded 42-28, and have 21 turnovers to hurt their cause. Marcus Mackay has a big night for the T’Wolves (4-7)  with 25 points on 5/6 from outside the arc.  Rhys Elliott adds 17 points/ 5 rebs/ 3 steals.   Box Score  

Victoria 86   at Thompson Rivers 76  –  The Vikes(3-5)  do not look at all like the

The Vikes’ Grant Sitton scores 30 points to spark UVic over TRU  Photo – UVic Athletics

struggling 2-6 team from the 1st half of the Canada West season.  They go into Kamloops and play a very solid game, shooting 50% from the floor, led by a 30 point / 7 rebs game by Grant Sutton (7/8 from outside).  There are 3 other Vikes in double digits, including rookie guard Scott Kellum with 18 points. TRU (5-6) trail the whole way, and are back by 19 after 3/4s, as they can’t match any of UVic’s key numbers … 14 treys vs 8, 38 rebs- 32.  Michael Rouault scores 15 to lead the ‘Pack, and he has 3 other teammates in double figures, including 11 pts/ 9 rebs by Volodymyr Iegorov, who is largely kept in check by Vic defenders.   Box Score

Regina 83 at UBC-Okanagan 79 –   The Cougars (6-3)  get a ‘must – win’ on the road,  by shooting 49% FG,  with a 52 point effort in the 2nd half.  The game is a bit messy, with 24 turnovers from Regina and 22 by the Heat. UR enjoy a big margin at the foul line, as they hit 24/38 vs 14/20 for UBC-O.  24 points/ 5 asst from Alex Igual lead the way for the Cougars, and they also get 14 pts/ 6 rebs/ 4 steals from Brandon Tull. Aldrich Berrios has a game-high 29 points for the Heat, with his 7/13 from long range. Mitch Goodwin produces another 25 for Okanagan, who  play well, but fall to  1-10 on the season.   Box Score

at Fraser Valley  77  MacEwan 72 – The Cascades (4-5) win the 4th quarter and the game, as Navjot Bains  leads 5 UFV players scoring in double figures.  Bains has 16 pts/ 7 rebs, and Andrew Morris adds 14 points/ 8 rebs off the bench. UFV get a few extra shots with 11 extra rebounds over the visitors. Mac (3-8)  has  Keith Gerdes with 20 points, and 15 pts/ 7 rebs.   Box Score 

 

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In the Atlantic – UNB  115  Cape Breton 75 ,  St. FX 86  Acadia 80 ,

In Quebec –   #7 McGill 53  Laval  47

In Ontario –  #4 Ottawa  83  Waterloo 48 , #5 Ryerson 88   Lakehead  64 , #6 Brock 86  Laurentian 82, #9 McMaster 90  Nipissing 75, #1 Carleton  109  Laurier  73 ,  Queens 75  Western Ont. 69, Windsor 83  York 78 ,  Toronto 77  Guelph 66,

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Canada West slate for Saturday night  –

Alberta at Calgary,  TWU at Winnipeg, UBC at Saskatchewan, UNBC at Lethbridge, Brandon at Mt. Royal, Regina at UBC-O, Victoria at Thompson Rivers, MacEwan at Fraser Valley,

Overtime –

  •  The Dinos return home knowing that the U of A Bears do have a much better shooting team than they showed in Thursday’s 71-58 Calgary road win.  In a late Calgary Herald article, UC Head Coach Dan Vanhooren says, “They shoot the ball, they’re a good three-point shooting team.  They have a good level of balance on the floor and it makes them hard to guard, in past years they haven’t had the same level of shooting.”
  •  Women’s scores in Canada West –  Winnipeg 90  TWU 65, Saskatchewan 68  UBC 46,  Lethbridge 89  UNBC 70, Brandon 76  MRU 45, Victoria 79 Thompson R. 66, Regina 76 UBC-O 38, Fraser V. 73 MacEwan 70.

Bears Thump Griffs for 10th Straight

 

 

Alberta leaves no doubt in the ‘Battle of Edmonton’         

Mamadou Gueye and the Golden Bears go to 10-0 with a win at MacEwan.

Mamadou Gueye and the Golden Bears go to 10-0 with a win at MacEwan.

#9  Alberta 100   MacEwan 78  –  The Bears (10-0) run the table in semester 1, and for the 2nd straight game they dominate the Griffins in their Edmonton Derby. Mamadou Gueye with 24 pts and Brody Clarke 22, led the scoring, and they had 7 and 8 rebounds respectively. Austin Waddoups was outstanding for the GBs again, with 14 pts/ 3/4 from 3/ 9 rebs/5 assists.  U of A are 50% from the floor to 40% for Mac.  Thadius Galvez posted 23 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 steals for the Griffs, who fall to 3-7.   Box Score   

Manitoba 79   at  Winnipeg 78  –  Right down to the wire at UW Saturday, as the Bisons come back for the sweep after being 19 down at the half and 7 after 3/4s.  After Winnipeg’s Sean Tarver hits a trey to tie it at 78, the Herd’s Joey Nitychoruk gets fouled at the buzzer, and he hits the winning free throw. Manitoba (4-6) claims the ‘City Title’ as they shoot  52% on the night, and a 35-24 rebound edge gives them the extra chances. Keith Omoerah has 21 pts/ 11 rebs for UM, while AJ Basi adds 19 points.  5 Wesmen in double figures , led by 14 from Sean Tarver, but they fall to 6-4.    Box Score  

UFV 76 at Brandon 65 –  A good bounce -back for the Cascades (3-5), who get a big road win behind a solid 21 point/ 8 rebs/ 5 asst/ 3 steal game from 5th year guard, Manny Dulay.  Off the UFV bench, Andrew Morris kicks in with 16 pts.  Brandon (3-7) give up 20 turnovers, and hit only 39% from the floor, after such a good shooting game on Friday.  Girece Kazumba is tops for the ‘Cats with 16 pts, and Earl Thompson Jr gets the 14 pt/ 13 reb double-double.  Box Score  

Thomas Cooper's 32 points drives the Dinos to a win over MRU.

Thomas Cooper’s 32 points drives the Dinos to a win over MRU.  photo  David Moll – UC

at #3 Calgary 109  Mt. Royal  92 –   and a track meet broke out.  Free-wheeling in both directions.  Calgary ‘slows the pace’ in the 2nd half, scoring just 52 points,5 less than in the opening 20. MRU hit 10 treys, but UC were good on 11/23 (48%) from outside, and 53% on all field goal attempts.  The Cougs scored 50 in the final 20 minutes and lost ground.  Not the ‘lock-down  defensive style’ featured in this one.  UC (7-1) takes the Crowchild Classic, led by 32 points/ 10 rebounds from Thomas Cooper, and David Kapinga’s  stellar effort with 15 pts/ 5 rebs/ 9 asst/ 3 steals.  Mt. Royal (4-4) got 17 apiece from guards Derek Wolf and Ryan Cunningham.                     Box Score 

at Regina 83  Saskatchewan 74  –  Which Regina team tonight ?  Well, it was the more efficient offensive, the more hard-working defensive squad.  The Cougars (5-3) enjoy a 180 degree turnaround, and get a split with their Saskatchewan rivals. Alex Igual pours in 25 pts and claims 7 rebounds to lead, and Brian Ofori tallies 19 pts/ 10 rebounds for his double. The Huskies (5-3) are the cold shooting team Saturday, as they go 35% FG, but stay in touch with good rebounding and 21/29 free throws. Shane Osayande is their high scorer with 21 pts/ 9 boards. Box Score  

Lethbridge 100 at Trinity Western 84 –  (This Box Score is delayed … The Pronghorns (6-4) are winners, in any case.  UL get the sweep behind 34 points from Elliott Sentance, who posts a career high 34 points.  Mike Pierzchala adds 23 pts. Pogos Trunyan notches 29 points for the Spartans (2-8) in the loss.

Thompson Rivers 92 at UNBC 80 – A most valuable road sweep for the Wolf Pack, who go to 5-5 on the season.  TRU ring up 59 points in the 2nd half to erase a 7 point deficit. The trio of Volodymyr Iegorov (23 pts/ 12 rebs/ 7 asst), Luke Morris (22 pts/ 11 boards), and Derek Rhodes (23 pts/ 6 rebs) drive the Orange attack .  UNBC (4-6) cannot keep the pace in the end, but they get a good effort from Anthony Hokanson off the bench with 19 points.    Box Score 

at UBC 96    UBC-Okanagan 49 –  Another smothering win by the T’Birds (8-0) over Okanagan (1-9), as the home side hits 56% from the floor.  Conor Morgan again leads, with 21 pts, and Taylor Browne tallies 17 pts in as many minutes off the bench.  The Heat hit just 26% for the game, with their high scorer, Aldrich Berrios scoring 18 pts.  Box Score  

 


More U-Sports Games Saturday –

OUA –  #1 Carleton  81  MacEwan 67,  #4 Ottawa 90  Brock 63,   #7 Ryerson 84  Windsor 64, Queen’s 85  Algoma 77, Nipissing 66 Laurier 65, Guelph 87  York 65,  Laurentian 70  Waterloo 61


 

Overtime –

  • The results of games played between the former Pioneer Division schools  and the former Explorer Division teams as of tonight –  27-9  Pioneer.

Canada West League Play Looms

 

Canada West Teams Wrap-up Pre-Seasoncwest-copy

Canada West League play looms this week, as 8 series are scheduled with Mount Royal on a bye.  We are now past the “We’re looking at different combinations … it’s early … we are just trying to give everyone a chance to show us what they can do under game conditions.”  (Or words to that effect).  No. No … ‘It’s GO TIME !’

What have we seen in the past weeks of pre-season play ?    Well … this …

UBC    6-0 …   Beat   Western O,   Lethbridge – 2,  Nipissing,  Laurier,  Lakehead 

Calgary 5-0 … Beat MRU, Windsor, Regina, Algoma, Saskatchewan

Winnipeg- 5-0 …  Beat Lakehead -3,  Laurier,  Brandon

Saskatchewan 4-1 … Beat TRU, UBC- Okan, MacEwan, Algoma … Loss Calgary

Alberta 5-2 …  Beat UNBC, Queens, Memorial, Nipissing, Western O … Lost to  Ottawa, Regina 

Victoria  5-3  … Beat  Regina, Western O, Laval … Loss  Carleton, McMaster, McGill

Lethbridge 4-2  .. Beat UFV, Bishops -2 , Regina … loss 2 to UBC  

MacEwan 4-2 … Beat TRU, UNBC,  UBC-O, Western O … loss to Sask, Nipissing

Thompson R.  2-2 … Beat TWU,  Lakehead  … Loss  MacEwan, Saskatchewan

Manitoba  2-3 … Beat UQAM, Laurier … Loss  Lakehead, Waterloo, Brandon

Regina  4-8 … Beat  Brandon, Guelph, UQAM, Alberta … Loss  Ryerson, Windsor, Calgary, Mt. Royal, McGill, McMaster, Victoria , Lethbridge  

Fraser Valley  1-1  …  Beat Laurier …  Lose Lethbridge

UNBC   1-3 …    Beat Lakehead … Loss   MacEwan,  Alberta, Laurier    

Brandon 1-4 … Beat Manitoba … loss Wpg, Regina, Laurier, Lakehead

Mt. Royal 1-5 … Beat Regina … Loss  Windsor, Calgary, Bishops, Victoria-2

UBC-Okanagan  0-5 … Loss   Sask, MacEwan, McGill, McMaster, Laurentian

Trinity Western  0-1 …   Loss  Thompson Rivers     

(Trinity and quite a few other CW schools played Canadian College teams and some U.S. schools, from NCAA (various Divisions), NAIA,  and National Junior College.  We did not include these games in the record)

The Dinos and UBC are the 'teams to beat' in Canada West, as we anticipate the start of League play.

The Dinos and UBC are the ‘teams to beat’ in Canada West, as we anticipate the start of League play.

Based on these results, UBC and Calgary are our two favourites in early November.  They are deep, have great experience, and have added some significant talent.  Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Victoria, Lethbridge all look capable of chasing the top 2, and of securing a post-season berth.

MacEwan appears to be a veteran team with a great chance to surprise, and Regina has a couple of very good wins in a ‘chock-full’ October schedule, with enough quality returnees to make it interesting.

Manitoba, who had some injury troubles, still were surprisingly ineffective in October.  They have the horses, now, can they answer the bell for the start of the regular season?  Mt. Royal, Thompson Rivers, and Fraser Valley may be competitive again, but it’s hard to assess right now.  Fighting to keep the pace are UNBC, UBC-O, Brandon, and Trinity Western.

 

Sunday’s final Pre-season games – 

  •   Fraser Valley  74  W. Laurier 71 –  The mask he was wearing to protect a broken nose didn’t seem to bother Vijay Dhillon, as he scored 21 points to lead the Cascades to a close win over the traveling Laurier Hawks. Manny Dulay had 17 points for UFV, and Laurier’s high scorer was Tevoun Koko with 19 points.
  • in Ottawa –   Bishops 78 Toronto 76 , Ottawa 73  McGill  43 ,  Concordia  75 Waterloo  66        

Canada West Newcomers expected to make an immediate impact –

Elliott Sentance comes to Lethbridge with a wealth of experience and a sweet shooting stroke !

Elliott Sentance comes to Lethbridge with a wealth of experience and a sweet shooting stroke !

  • Elliott Sentance – Lethbridge – scoring in large bunches.  Sentance, a veteran of high level club ‘ball in Britain, and in the JC League in the U.S. , should be among the top scorers in CW all season.
  • Austin Waddoups – Alberta –  A poised, skilled, and mature player.  Waddoups, a 6-2 guard, played at S. Utah Univ, and Salt Lake City C.C. after a 2 year Mormon mission following high school.
  • Tyvon Cooper, Brandon – the 6-0 guard was the 4th highest scorer in the National Jr. College ranks in the U.S. at Orange County College , NY.
  • Mambi Diawara, Calgary – The 6-5 Montreal product played 2 years at Lamar State – Port Arthur, TX  Jr. Coll.  A smart, long defender, he averaged close to 20 ppg last season.

    UFV's Andrew Morris is a key addition for the Cascades this Fall.

    UFV’s Andrew Morris is a key addition for the Cascades this Fall.

  • Andrew Morris, Fraser Valley  – The 6-5 Morris has a smooth shot, and uses his size effectively as a defender and rebounder.
  • Josh Ross, Mt. Royal – The 6-4 Ross was the 2016 Player of the Year in the Canadian Colleges, as he led the Vancouver Island Mariners to the CCAA title.
  • Johneil Johnson, Regina –  the 6-0 point man was the top player in Nova Scotia high schools.  ‘Tremendous athlete, and a quick defender.’
  • Jaylan Morgan, Saskatchewan – a strong 6-5 wing man, he averaged 15 ppg / 56% from the floor at Williston State JC, ND after a brilliant high school career in Brampton, ON.
  • Pogos Trunyan, Trinity W … The 6-2 shooting guard from Sacramento, CA played 2 seasons at Sierra College, Lake Tahoe, CA, and last season with the Bellevue (WA) Bears.  He is a confident 3 point shooter.
  • Isaiah Familia, UBC – This multi-skilled 6-2 guard will be on our ‘all-rookie’ watch list.  He was a 2-time ‘Mr. Basketball’ in Windsor -area high schools.
  • James Wagner , Manitoba –  The 6-7 Wagner was a coveted recruit across the CIS.  He played for Canada’s U17 team this past summer, and is a strong rebounder.
  • Scott Kellum, Victoria –  The Vikes have the Issaquah, WA  rookie coming off the bench at the point, but he has the composure and skills of a veteran at both ends of the floor.
  • Sean Tarver, Winnipeg … The Baltimore, MD high school star, played  two years with the Community College of Baltimore County Dundalk Lions.  He is a scorer and a creator on offense, and an aggressive defender.

 


Can we have ‘pivotal series’ in the opening week ?

 Week 1 Schedule –  November 4/5

at Calgary   Manitoba

at Thompson Rivers   UBC

at Regina   Victoria

at Alberta   Brandon

at Fraser Valley  Saskatchewan

at Winnipeg    UNBC

at Lethbridge    MacEwan

at UBC-O     Trinity Western


 

Overtime –

golf-basketball-21c9f3y

  • TRU Head Coach Scott Clark, on a couple of his favourite games ,  “If this were golf and you shoot 100. You go out the next few times to whittle it down to 90. You have to work on the little things to be a good golfer. That is kind of like what it is for us right now. We are trying to perfect a bunch of little things to be a good basketball team.”  (Chipping, putting  … foul-shooting, rebounding ….)  Nice !
  • UFV Cascades head coach Adam Friesen, after their  win over Laurier on Sunday,  “It was nice to see Vijay (Dhillon) get into a rhythm,” said. “He’s been battling injuries for a while now, so he hasn’t seen much court time. But to see him get into some game rhythm at the end of this one bodes well going into league play.”   
  • The Ottawa pasting (73-43) of the Q’s top -rated squad, McGill, yesterday is the ultimate ‘statement game’ by someone other than Carleton.  The ‘Ponies’ shut down the Redmen and they scored inside on the usually stingy McGill defenders.  This follows a ‘mixed October’ for Ottawa, who lost to UQAM early on, and were not ‘flying’ in a couple of other fairly close wins.
  • As a skilled rookie, you may come into a program where you will play 15-20 minutes plus, or you may see yourself lower on the depth chart on a deeper squad.  Here are some 1st year guys who are strong players, but may have to wait their turn, or ‘get more experience’ at this higher level.  Jeff Rodehutskors, Calgary, Riley Braich, UFV, Dharmjit Dhillon, Manitoba, Tristan Matthews, UBC-O, Noah Kaefer, TRU, Josiah Meppelink, TWU, Justin McChesney, UBC, Narcisse Ambanza, Winnipeg

 

Previews – Saskatchewan, Fraser Valley

 

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

 Saskatchewan Huskies

’15-‘16      No playoffs                  8 win  12 losses (Pioneer)

hus-copy

Returnees –  5th years –  Matt Forbes, 6-6 fwd, Regina Beach. Trevor Severinski, 6-6 fwd, Pitt Meadows, BC. … 4th Year – Shane Osayande, 6-6 fwd, Toronto. Alex Unruh, 5-10 guard, Saskatoon.   … 3rd Years – Mack Burns, 6-6 fwd, Regina.  Joseph Barker, 6-6 fwd, Saskatoon.  … 2nd Years – Chan De Ciman, 6-2 guard, Regina. Dean Wittow, 6-7 fwd, Leduc, AB. Jonathan Halvorson, 6-3 guard, Regina. Reid Thuringer, 6-2 guard, Warman, SK.  … (after redshirt)  1st year – Davis Humbert, 6-2 guard, Saskatoon ( Aden Bowman).

New faces –   Jaylon Morgan, 6-5, 3rd year, Brampton, ON (Williston St., ND). Addison Dewar, 6-3 guard, 1st, Saskatoon (Marion Graham). Emmanuel Akintunde, 6-2 guard, 1st, Saskatoon (St. Joseph)

The Huskies would like to put the 2015-2016 season behind them, and they think they have the team to do that. Missing the playoffs has not been part of the Saskatchewan script for the last 10 years or so, and we expect the Green and White to be better this campaign.

Look for Mack Burns to be a bigger factor for U of S this season.

Look for Mack Burns to be a bigger factor for U of S this season.

The Huskies senior core of players has quickness, rebounding, and scoring ability led by their two big forwards, Matt Forbes and Shane Osayande.  Forbes is a ‘hammer and tongs’ physical force,  who was missed last season when he went down with injury.  Osayande has ‘pro-type’  physical abilities, and he averaged a double of 14 ppg / 10 rebounds, with more to come, we suspect.    Another big man, Trevor Severinski may repeat as the best three- point shooter in Canada West (47% last season), and he can guard a bigger opponent. Mack Burns is a versatile small forward, with a good shooting touch and  an aggressive style as a rebounder. Joseph Barker has also shown a good nose for the boards, and he will provide depth on the frontline.

At the guard spots, Coach Barry Rawlyck has the dynamic  Chan De Ciman (12.5 ppg as a rookie), who will combine with point man Alex Unruh (48% FG, 8 ppg), and newcomer Jaylon Morgan, a big shooting guard. After redshirting last season local Saskatoon product Davis Humbert may get a good look as a backup guard on the playing roster.

The ‘Sled Dogs’ may not be as deep as some of the other top teams, but their best players are very capable of winning enough games to get them in the top three or four. Injuries and other issues took their toll last season, and Saskatchewan will need some better fortune as they chase a championship this year.

Schedule –   Nov-Dec –  at Fraser Valley, Winnipeg, Brandon, at Regina  – 4 series

Jan-Feb –  UBC, at Lethbridge, at Calgary, Mt. Royal, Alberta, at UNBC – 6

Prediction –  Huskies will be better, and may make a mark at playoff time.

________________________________________________________

 

Fraser Valley Cascades

 ’15-‘16 –  Lost to Manitoba, 1/4 finals                  wins 12   losses 8  (Explorer)

Fr Valley

Returnees –   5th years –  Manny Dulay, 6-3 guard, Surrey.  Vijay Dhillon, 6-1 guard, Richmond. 4th year –  Navjot Bains, 6-6 fwd, Surrey.  3rd years – Mark Johnson, 6-6 fwd, Palm Springs, CA.  Matt Cooley, 6-9 fwd, Coquitlam, BC.

New faces –   Andrew Morris, 6-5 fwd, 3rd, Burnaby, BC (tsf. U. Victoria) . Denver Sparks-Guest, 6-5 wing, 3rd year, Coquitlam (tsf from Simon Fraser). Anthony Gilchrist, 6-4 guard, 3rd, Cathedral City, CA  (College of the Desert). .  Sukhman Sandhu, 6-10 fwd, 1st, Surrey (Tamanawis). Riley Braich, 6-3 guard, 1st, Abbotsford (Yale Sr Sec). Daniel Adediran, 6-5 wing, 1st, Surrey (Pacific Academy )   Justin Dhillon, 6-3 guard, 1st, Richmond (HJ Cambie)

There are 7 newcomers in the playing roster for Coach Adam Friesen, going into his 5th year at UFV, which constitutes a big turnover.  The Cascades have had the most competitive program among the newer schools to Canada West, as Friesen has a 67% winning rate in Canada West League play.  This former hot-shooting, lefty guard (TWU) had the Cascades in the Final 4 in 3 of his first 4 years.

This is, however, the first year ‘AKP’ , after Kevon Parchment !  UFV will miss the splendid all-around play of their perennial all-star and ’15-’16 Defensive Player of the Year, who has graduated.  “Right now, we’re just learning we’re in the post-Kevon Parchment defensive life,” Friesen said earlier his Fall. “We have a lot of new faces, we have some growing pains that way, and we’re realizing we maybe got away with some stuff the last couple years because we’ve had Kevon.”

One of the Cascades top shooters, Vijay Dhillon

One of the Cascades top shooters, Vijay Dhillon, is a 5th year leader.

Among the 5 returnees, Coach Friesen can be confident in his pair of 5th year guards, Manny Dulay (11.6 ppg/2/7 asst) and Vijay Dhillon (15.6 ppg/2.5 asst), both of whom shot over 40% from 3 pt range last year.   Mark Johnson (12 ppg/5.7 rebs) , Navjot Bains (7.4 ppg/7.2 rebs), and Matt Cooley (6.7 ppg/6 rebs) provide a solid core on the forward line.

Friesen was extremely busy and very successful with his recruiting efforts this past Spring and Summer.  7 new faces ready to step up, and 6 red-shirts working to make the grade for future campaigns.  Wing man, Andrew Morris, who moves to Abbotsford from UVic, has been offensively sharp in pre-season play, with a 21 point, perfect shooting game against Lethbridge.  Denver Sparks-Guest should be a ‘first 8’ player, with his experience at Simon Fraser;  he is a big guard with the skills to make an impact.

Friesen has been impressed with the early showing of 2 local high school recruits, Riley Braich and Daniel Adediran.  Another rookie to watch is Sukhman Sandhu (Tamanawis, Surrey, BC), a post transfer returning after a red-shirt year in a California JC, who should develop into a solid CIS competitor.

It’s hard to predict how this team will come together, with the number of newcomers to be worked into the line-up.  UFV has the leaders with a history of big-game success, but it remains to see if there will be enough cohesion to play at a high level consistently.

 Schedule –  Nov-Dec. – Saskatchewan, home/home Trinity W, UNBC, at Brandon  – 4 series Jan-Feb – MacEwan, at Calgary, at Alberta, Thompson R., Victoria, at UBC-O – 6


 

 Overtime –    

  • Vicissitudes of the Canada West regular season schedule – Wilfred Laurier (Waterloo, ON)  will have played more games in both B.C. and Manitoba than will Saskatchewan, even after the conclusion of League play.   Neither Victoria nor UBC plays any games in Manitoba … Brandon has 1 series in B.C.
  • Mack Roth is one scorer the Vikes will have to replace.

    Mack Roth is one scorer the Vikes will have to replace.

    Three starters from Saskatchewan’s ’15-’16 team beginning last season are no longer with the team.  Evan Ostertag graduated, Shawn Lathan left, and Jauqin Bennett-Boire left school early in the New Year, and is now red-shirting at UBC. Lethbridge lost 3 starters to graduation/5th year-  Jared Baker, Brandon Brine, and Rob Olson … TWU lost 3, with  Lucas Mannes, Dean Richey  (very early), and Kelvin Smith (5th year grad) .  The biggest group of starters, however, are gone from the UVic Vikes.  Reiner Theil, Brandon Dunlop,  and Mack Roth graduated, while Jordan Charles is not playing this season.

  • All-stars or all-rookie team players returning –  UBC has 3, in Jordan Jensen-Whyte, Conor Morgan, and all-rookie, Taylor Browne. Alberta has Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke (R), Calgary has Thomas Cooper and Lars Schleuter, TRU with Volodymyr Iegorov, and Jeff Tubbs (R), and Winnipeg has Denzel Blair-Lynch, and William Sessay (R) .  ‘Single stars’ – Manitoba has Keith Omoerah, MacEwan – Denzel James, and  Saskatchewan – Chan De Ciman (R).

 

Alberta and Victoria Win in East

 

 

Bears Beat Home Side at Naismith

Brody Clarke (L) and Mamadou Gueye (R) gave the Bears a big edge inside.

Brody Clarke (L) and Mamadou Gueye (R) gave the Bears a big edge inside, in a win at Queens.

at the Queen’s Golden Gaels Tournament in Kingston –   Alberta 73 Queens 65 – The Bears had a much steadier outing in turning aside the home team.  The forward combo of Mamadou Gueye (21 pts/ 9 rebounds) and Brody Clarke (19 pts/ 8 boards)  gave the Gaels more than they could handle in the paint.   Box Score ,   also Ottawa 84 Memorial 47

at the UBC-O  Heat Tournament – Saskatchewan  79 Thompson Rivers 71  OT – Two overtime losses in successive nights for the Wolf Pack.  “Same story as last night,” said  TRU Head Coach, Scott Clark. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds. We get the emotional high from making a stop but then don’t secure the loose ball. But it is early and we have lots to work on.”  No box score here.

Denzel james leads MacEwan to their 2nd straight in Kelowna.

Denzel james leads MacEwan to their 2nd straight in Kelowna.

  MacEwan 76  UBC Okanagan 62  –  The Griffs are getting our attention, with a pair of wins here, and their veteran-laced line-up appears to be clicking in the pre-season. 47% from the floor vs 37 for Okanagan, and Mac hits 10 treys against just 4 for the Heat. Denzel James scores 20 to lead MacEwan, with Thadius  Galvez adding 16 pts/6 boards/ 7 assists.  Off the bench, Aldrich Berrios scored  18 points for UBC-O.                 Box Score

> Saskatchewan faces MacEwan in a Sunday game in Kelowna

 

Lethbridge  91 at Fraser Valley 79  –  The ‘Horns came out firing in Abbotsford, as they hit 51% from the floor, as Mike Pierzchala had a game-high 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-6 from outside. U of L also got 19 from Zac Overwater, and 14 by DeAngelo Ashley. The UFV defense could not stop the ‘ Horns onslaught, but the Cascades were sharp on offense, shooting 48% from the floor, with Andrew Morris (Burnaby), a 6-5, 3rd year transfer from UVic going a perfect 7/7 on his way to 21 points.  Senior guard, Manny Dulay hit 17 pts/7 assists, while Navjot Bains tallied 14 rebounds plus 9 points.

Lethbridge completes their 3 game swing to the W. coast with a Sunday game at UBC.

at Valley City St. (ND)  85  Brandon   71     Despite a good shooting night, the Bobcats drop their 4th straight. 22 Brandon turnovers to only 11 for VC, and just 4 made free throws for BU against 15 for the Vikings.

In the East –

at the Carleton Ravens Tournament in Ottawa –  Victoria  68 Western Ontario 55 – The Vikes engaged their defense nicely vs the Mustangs, and showed some resiliency after a tough game 1 beating from Carleton. also Carleton 82 Laval 52 ,

at the Queen’s Golden Gaels Tournament in Kingston –

Alberta 73 Queens 65 – The Bears had a much steadier outing in turning aside the home team.  The forward combo of Mamadou Gueye (21 pts/ 9 rebounds) and Brody Clarke (19 pts/ 8 boards)  gave the Gaels more than they could handle in the paint.  also Ottawa 84 Memorial 47 

The Ontario Colleges powerhouse, the Humber Hawks ran the table to win the Waterloo Warriors ‘Naismith Classic’ , with an 80-68 win over the now struggling UQAM  Citadins.  In the 2nd game of the night at Waterloo  it was the Warriors 85 over Manitoba  82  .

at the UPEI, ‘Mickey Place’ Tournament –  Dalhousie 69 Maine- Ft. Kent 59  ,  Concordia 85 UPEI 69

Day 2 at the St. FX Tournament in Antigonish, NS –

In the  championship final St. Mary’s 83 St. FX  77 , and in the consolation, it was Holland College  94 Cape Breton  70.


Overtime –

  •   The Lethbridge Pronghorns will be disappointed that 2013 recruit, 6-7 Lincoln Anderson, a League MVP at Cardston (AB) HS, will be unable to play this season due to knees problems.  Considered a  possible ‘top 8’ rotation player for UL, he judged it was best to wait.