Wesmen, Pronghorns Highlight Week 3


Week 3 –  Pronghorns Go to Winnipeg, Two 3-1 Teams Tussle

Denzel Lynch-Blair and his Wesmen teammates host the Lethbridge Pronghorns this week.

William Sesay and his Wesmen teammates host the Lethbridge Pronghorns this week.    photo –    UW Athletics

Lethbridge (3-1) at Winnipeg Wesmen (3-1)  –  Here are two teams perched near the top, and a sweep for either would be a major coup.  The Wesmen are quick, aggressive on defense.  They are shooting the ball well (45% FG) and scoring more from 3 point range (10.3 per game) than in the past. The Ws also are +6 on their rebounding. Import guard Sean Tarver (15.8 ppg) has added offensive depth to the Winnipeg attack.  ’15-’16 all-star, Denzel Lynch Blair (15.5 ppg) has now expanded his game, and there are 5 more Wesmen who are contributing 8 ppg or more.

Lethbridge, like the Wesmen, are scoring just over 80 ppg, but not as much from outside.  They are also a +6 rebounding team, and the ‘Horns defense has been sharp at limiting the opponents 3 pt FG% (29%, which is 2nd in CW).  U of L have 4 scorers averaging double figures … Elliott Sentance with 18.8 ppg, Dejon Burdeaux at 17 ppg, Zac Overwater 14.8, and Mike Pierzchala 12.5.  Our call – In a tight match-up, UW has the home court.

Manitoba (2-2) at UBC (2-0)-  Manitoba won a 66-64 home court decision vs the ‘Birds last January, but that is the only time in 21 games dating back to 2001. This season the Thunderbirds are #2 ranked and unbeaten in CIS play, while Manitoba are 4-5 overall and 2-2 in Canada West play.

The Thunderbirds have scored 87 ppg and given up 63.5 ppg; their rebound margin is +19 per game! Manitoba has a strong veteran core, with a couple of key additions this season.  The problem has been that they are not consistently producing a winning team effort.   Our call – Two wins at home by UBC.

Thompson Rivers (1-3)  at Alberta (4-0)-  We were surprised to see the ‘new-look’ Wolves  steal one at Manitoba; now can they engineer another road upset in Edmonton?  Big Volodymyr Iegorov (18.5 ppg) has able assistance from 5 others in the ‘Pack, as Luke Morris, Derek Rhodes, Joe Davis, Jeff Tubbs and Mike Rouault are all 8 ppg+.  But mediocre shooting numbers and near 20 turnovers a game limit their offensive efficiency.

Mamadou Gueye leads the 4-0 vs this week at U of A.

Mamadou Gueye leads the 4-0 Bears vs TRU this week at U of A.

Alberta have Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke scoring and rebounding up front, plus import guard  Austin Waddoups and transfer Geoff Pippus both shooting 50% from 3 point range.  The Bears score near 87 ppg and allow only 64 ppg to their opponents, while TRU almost exactly reverses those numbers.   Our call –  The GBs in their own den, get the sweep over the ‘Pack.

Victoria (1-3) at MacEwan(1-3) –  Home court was only good for a 4-6 mark last year for the Griffs, but they look deeper this season at the point, with Adonis Monfort-Palomino, with a 10-11 man rotation, and the game-in, game-out efforts of Thadius Galvez and Denzel James. Mac needs to improve on a -5 rebound margin, and to tighten up on a defense allowing 85 ppg.

The Vikes were not sharp against Calgary last week, and they need to find their most effective combos.  Scott Kellum is a good looking rookie point man, and import, college transfer, Wayne Tucker J,r can score.  Now, do we see the typical gritty Vikes defensive effort, or do they continue to struggle ?  88 ppg against will give someone heartburn !   Our call- A split is the most logical.

Mt. Royal (1-1) at UBC-O (1-3) –  It’s very early to make this cliched pronouncement, but here goes, regardless;  neither of these teams can feel good about a split this coming weekend.  The Cougars have had a a glimmer of superior play this Fall, but this is a series where 2 games in the W column are needed.

Okanagan are even more ‘needy’ for a home sweep with a 1-3 mark.  The match-ups … Aldrich Berrios and Mitch Goodwin at guard for the Heat vs Derek Wolfe and Glen Yang for the Cougars.  Ryan Morck and David Manshrek of UBC-O with a big task facing Brett Layton and Josh Ross of MRU.   Our call-  Edge to the Cougars.

Brandon (2-2)  at Saskatchewan (2-2) –   The Huskies are coming off a tough loss to Winnipeg on Saturday, and have been leaning heavily on their versatile post man, Shane Osayande, who boasts a 22.5 ppg and 15 rebs  stat line. Alex Unruh, at the point, is 13 ppg/ 3 assists, but the shooting % for the rest of the ‘Dogs’ pales in comparison.  Sask. is last in Canada West in team FG%  at 38% and in 3 pt% at 27.4%. The talent is there.  It’s time for the Huskies to play to their strengths.

The Bobcats come in with 2-2 record, already ahead of last season !  Import guard Tyvon Cooper a proven scorer from the Jr. College ranks in the U.S. is at 19.8 ppg, but needs others to step up in the scoring column.  They allow 70 ppg … pretty good!  But score just 70 ppg, and shoot only inconsistently from the floor, and 59.8% from the line, last in CW.  This is a potentially winning defense, but they need more  shared scoring.  Our call – The Huskies should sweep at home.

The T'Wolves scoring ace, Rhys Elliot will look to get win #1 for UNBC this week.

The T’Wolves scoring ace, Rhys Elliot will look to get win #1 for UNBC this week.

Trinity Western (2-2)  at UNBC  (0-4) –  The Timberwolves at home, and they will be campaigning for a pair of wins to get their pack moving forward.  Trinity is showing signs of life, and they are not just going to roll over, however.  Rhys Elliot shoots 52% from the floor for the T’wolves, and is 19.3 ppg; he just needs Marcus MacKay, Vaggelis Loukas, and a few others to pull harder on the ropes !

The Spartans have Vartan Tanielien (14 ppg), Pogos Trunyan (13 ppg), and 3 others at or near double figures. TWU needs to shoot it better as a team, and defend the trey more consistently.  Our call-  This may be another split , we suspect. 

All 3 of Calgary, Fraser Valley, and Regina get a bye this week.


Little Change in Top 10 –

It’s early, and some of the top teams haven’t played a League game, so not much to report.

We still have 5 OUA teams crowding the rankings, with just 2 from Canada West, 1 from Quebec, and 2 from the Atlantic.

Carleton and Ottawa join the rest of Ontario for a full slate this week. McMaster and Brock meet tonight in the only Top 10 match-up.



Overtime –

  • “I was telling these guys before the game, I’m proud of them because so far they’ve been the toughest group I’ve had,” said Brandon Coach Gil Cheung, following his team’s win over UBC-O last weekend. “I can get on them, I can coach them tough and sometimes it’s tough love. Sometimes the truth is harder to say than blowing smoke up their butt, but they’ve responded and everyone has a role. They value their role and that’s the biggest thing that everyone values each other in that room.”   From the Brandon Sun story by Nathan Liewicki         
  • “Decades have passed since CBC covered something as populist as basketball, though hundreds of thousands of Canadians play the game and 49 university teams battle on the hardcourt. And while an estimated 12 million Canadians are involved in amateur sports in some fashion (whether as participants, coaches, administrators or referees), according to the sports gurus at CBC, they’re all primarily interested in watching wealthy people leap fences while seated on a horse.”  From a story by Wayne Kondro for CIS Sport / U-Sport.

Dinos and Huskies Get Set



No Contest for Dinos in Saskatoon

> Graham Shootout – U. Saskatchewan

David Kapinga with 9 steals has the Dinos rolling on Friday

David Kapinga with 9 steals has the Dinos rolling on Friday  – photo David Moll, UC Athletics

Calgary Dinos  110  Red Deer Coll. Kings 62 –  the Dinos ran amok, behind the 9 steals from David Kapinga, who added 15 points and 4 assists.  Thomas Cooper led UC scorers with 24 pts/ 8 rebounds/ 3 assists, while Jhony Verrone was a perfect 3/3 from the floor and 4/4 FTs for his 11 points in 14 minutes. Mambi Diawara matched Kapinga’s 15 points, as the Montreal product grabbed 5 rebounds as well.  Red Deer got 13 pts apiece from Shayne Stumpf and Ian Tevis.  64 Calgary points in the opening 20 minutes put the game out of reach.  The Calgary defense gave up just 22 points in the 2nd half.

at Saskatchewan Huskies 83  Algoma T-Birds 52 –  The Huskies dominate with 51 in the final 20 minutes, shooting 14/29 from 3 pt range for the game.  4 ‘Dogs in double figures, with Alex Unruh 6/6 FG and 4/4 from 3 for 16 points/5 boards/4 assists.  Shane Osayande also counts 16 and adds 8 boards and 4 blocks.  It’s 46-30 for U of S off the glass. Algoma gets 10 points each from Jermaine Lyle and Nathan Riley.   Box Score 

Calgary and Saskatchewan meet on Saturday to decide the tournament championship.

>  Lea Marc Printing Tournament – at U. Winnipeg

Winnipeg 91  Dakota College – Bottineau 77  –  The unbeaten (5-0) Wesmen have 5 in double figures, led by big man, Ryan Oirbans with 19 points and 8 rebounds, while William Sesay hits 10 rebounds and 4 assists.  Rookie Nacisse Ambanza chalks up 10 points, 4 board, and 6 helpers.  The Ws control the boards by a wide 59-39 margin.   Box Score    

Brandon 73   Manitoba  63 – The Bobcats get another win and Manitoba continues to struggle.  Icy 33% shooting from the floor kills the Herd in this one.  BU gets a gem from Earl Thompson Jr., with 26 points, 9 boards, and 4 assists. The ‘Cats hit 7 treys to just 2 for Manitoba. The Bisons have 20 points from Amarjit Basi.   Box Score

Winnipeg hosts Manitoba on Saturday in the downtown showdown, part 1.

> Golden Bears Invitational – at U of A

at Alberta Golden Bears 84  Nipissing Lakers 67 –  The Bears out-shoot the Lakers 50% to 36% from the floor, and this decides the hard-fought game. Mamadou Gueye has another stellar game, with 19 points / 11 rebounds, and newcomer Austin Waddoups   has 14 plus 8 big assists.  Marcus Lewis scores 16 and grabs 9 rebounds for Nipissing.  Box Score 

 UBC Thunderbirds 94 Western Ontario Mustangs 70

> Also out West –    at Lethbridge Pronghorns 71  Bishops Gaiters 69 –  The ‘Horns new British import, Elliott Sentance, looks like a ‘keeper’, as he continues to pace their offense, with 23 points/ 6 rebounds/ 4 steals.  Lethbridge out-shoots the Gaiters just enough from both the floor (41%-39%) and from the stripe (15/20 to 11/21) to make up for a 42-33 rebound deficit.  Mike Pierzchala chips in 18 for the home side, who get a solid win against a good Bishops squad.  The Purple have David Belanger with a nice double of 18 points and 14 rebounds.   Box Score  


> At the McGill Redbird Tournament-mcgill-copy

McGill Redmen 79  UBC-Okanagan Heat 59 – The Redmen take care of business on home court, as the defense holds the Heat to 34% FG shooting .  Jenning Leung hits 5/9 from 3 point range for the Redmen, and leads all scorers with 24. McGill hits 15 from outside as a team.  Okanagan gets 13 from Aldrich Berrios off the bench, and David Manshrek contributes 12 pts/ 5 rebs.       Box Score  

McMaster Marauders 87 Laurentian Voyageurs 68

> RBC Brock Classic – 

Regina Cougars 83 Guelph Gryphons 74 – The Cougars get 17 points from Johneil Johnson, as they make a big run in the 2nd half in their opening game at the Brock Tournament in St. Catharines. Alex Igual scored 11, and had 7 big assists.  Regina hit 10 treys to just 3 for the Gryphs, which really was the decisive factor in a nice road win for U of R. .

 Brock Badgers 78  Ryerson Rams 68

Windsor Lancers 79  UQAM Citadins  76

Dalhousie Tigers  84  York Lions 59

Also in the East –  

Cape Breton ‘Capers Classic’ –  Acadia 90   St. Mary’s 88 ,       St. FX 104 Cape Breton 88  , UPEI 101 Holland Coll. 85

 and   Queens 84  U. New Brunswick  83  OT


Overtime –

  •   Errata … the Bears and UBC T-Birds are not meeting at the GB Invitational.  We are also reminded that St. Catharines has an ‘a’ and not an ‘e’ in the middle.  Thanks to ‘old Badger grad’, Allen Wright, for his keen eye!  York Lions (no Yeomen) …. Actually it’s the meeting of the Lions and Tigers tonight! 
  • McGill Redmen play in the Quebec League … strong team, great school tradition.  Why do we have a ‘Redbird Classic’ Basketball Tournament?  Who are the Redbirds?  Confused Western writer needing more information!



UBC-O and Mt. Royal Previews



Heat and Cougars – Battling Game by Game

               –   2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

The effect of the new Canada West schedule, now ‘mixing and matching’ games among all 17 teams, is to give everyone a sense of unease.  No one plays the same teams.  You prepare for more teams.  The 6 teams from last year’s Explorer Division jump in to play some of the 11 from the Pioneer.

12 teams will make a playoff round.  We are here to tell you that there aren’t many, if any, schools who don’t see themselves among those 12.  That’s the optimism of the Fall.  That’s a way of moving forward with anticipation and promise.

That’s how we see Mt. Royal and UBC-Okanagan.  Neither team made the playoffs last year in the 6 team Explorer Division, where just 3/6 made it in.  The Cougars and the Heat have positive and bright coaches with improved and eager returnees, and each have added promising recruits.

Can their preparation and their team chemistry get them winning 9-10-11 or more games in order to make that cut?  They are readying themselves for the challenge, and will likely be on that fine line right through January and February.


UBC- Okanagan Heat
No playoffs                         8 wins   12 losses      (Explorer Division)

UBC-O logo

Returnees – 
5th year – Mitch Goodwin, 6-2 guard, Kelowna … 4th year – Cameron Friesen, 6-4 fwd, Abbotsford, BC … 3rd years – Aldrich Berrios, 6-1 guard, Burnaby, BC. David Manshrek, 6-4 fwd, N. Vancouver. Ryan Morck, 6-9 fwd, Airdrie, AB. Buzz Truss, 6-4 guard, Kelowna. Austin Penrose, 6-6 fwd, W. Vancouver.    2nd year – Spencer Thomas, 6-2 guard, Pickering, ON

New faces –   Matt Lafontaine, 6-2 guard,  1st,  Kelowna Sr. Sec.  Triston Matthews, 6-4 guard, 1st, N.Vancouver (Sentinal Sec) . Navtej Sandhu, 6-5 guard, 1st, Kelowna Sec.  Justin Melynchuk, 6-4 guard, 1st, Kamloops (St. Anne’s).  Davide Ciancio, 5-10 guard, 1st, Kelowna Sec.  Sam Striker, 5-9 guard, 1st, Kelowna (Heritage Christian) … Randy Jernidier, 6-6 fwd, 3rd, Guadaloupe, West Indies, tsf, Parkland JC , IL.  Noma Obaseki, 6-6 fwd, 2nd, Vancouver.

Coach Peter Guarasci is a patient man, with his team and himself.  “Our guys are fit, and they’ve worked hard in the summer, but we are still on the young side”, says the former Canada Basketball forward. “Also, I feel I’m more sure of how I want our team to play, going into my 5th year here.”

Veteran guards, Mitch Goodwin (L) and Aldrich Berrios (R) give the Heat good back-court leadership. photos - Greystoke Photography

Veteran guards, Mitch Goodwin (L) and Aldrich Berrios (R) give the Heat good back-court leadership.                                                              photos – Greystoke Photography

It does take a while to put together a competitive program at a relatively new school, but Guarasci is focused on developing a team with good size, strength, and a sense of the systems he prefers. Among his returnees Guarasci cites the work of big Ryan Morck who,  “ … worked very hard on our strength program.  He has come back stronger, and more fit.”  The coach expects Morck to be a bigger factor with his experience and preparation.

Another forward who will invigorate the interior play is David Manshrek, who missed last season due to injury. In ’14-’15 he averaged 13.5 ppg, 6.5 rebs as a ‘small forward’ capable of shooting the 3 ball.  The only 5th year player is Mitch Goodwin, a combo guard who logged 27 minutes,  12.7 ppg/5 rebs/2.5 assts.  He and point man, Aldrich Berrios give the Heat a dependable pair in the back-court.  Berrios scored a team high 14.5 ppg plus 2.5 assists.

“We have had a good Fall camp so far”, says Guarasci. “We’re way farther ahead, because the guys are more familiar with what we are trying to do in each situation.”  8 returning players who are now 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years are making it easier to prepare the squad. Buzz Truss, a big guard, and Cam Friesen at forward will be key factors in the playing rotation as well.

There is great anticipation as Kelowna Owls star, Matt Lafontaine, joins the Heat, and Guarasci says, “Matt is a very strong rookie, who will play some good minutes for us.  He,  Triston Matthews,  Justin Melynchuk, and Nav Sandhu have the size and potential we can build on for the future.”

The athletic Noma Obaseki returns after a year’s absence, and Guarasci is also impressed with the coachability and hard work he is getting from import forward, Randy Jernidier.
The outlook is hopeful, and there is more confidence coming from the Okanagan as Guarasci’s team comes together.

Schedule –  Nov-Dec … Trinity Western, at Brandon, Mt. Royal , at Thompson Rivers, at UBC  .   Jan-Feb … Regina, Victoria, at Lethbridge, at MacEwan, Fraser Valley

Prediction –   One of the teams scrambling for a playoff berth



Mt. Royal Cougars
’15-’16 – No playoffs (lost on a tie-breaker)     10 wins – 10 losses  (Explorer Division)

 Returnees – 5th year  – Derek Wolf, 6-2 guard, Penticton, BC.  4th years –  Ray Goff, 6-7 fwd, Okotoks, AB. Ryan Cunningham, 6-3 wing, Calgary. Noah Lewis, 6-4 guard, Comox, BC.  … 3rd year  –  Glen Yang, 6-2 guard, Calgary.  … 2nd years – Brett Layton, 6-8 post, Calgary. Tyis Yellowhorn, 6-4 guard, Piikani Nation, AB.  Wiande Kher, 6-5 fwd, Calgary.

New faces – Josh Ross, 4th , 6-4 fwd, Burlington, IA (Vancouver Is. U.). Matthew Guinto, 3rd, 5-11 guard,  Calgary (St. Marys Univ. Coll.). Nick Tancon,2nd,  6-7 fwd, Comox, BC (Trinity W.). Brodie Davis, 2nd, 6-2 guard, Calgary (SAIT). Charn Gill, 3rd, 6-0 guard, Calgary (St. Mary’s U.),  RS – Quinn Taylor, 3rd, 6-3 guard, Calgary (St. Mary’s U.)

The Cougars boast 6-8 post man, Brett Layton (17 ppg, 11.2 rebs), a mature 2nd year, who was a Canada West all-star last season.  Layton, Ray Goff, and TWU transfer, Nick Tancon, are the post trio for Coach Marc Dobell’s squad, who will try and run the floor and use motion to create  offense.  MRU were a solid rebounding team last year, despite size disadvantages on many nights.


Post man, Brett Layton (L) and guard Derek Wolf (R) will be key options in the Cougars’ offense.

The addition of talented VIU (the BC Colleges League) transfer, Josh Ross, will give the Cougs an added dimension on their forward line.  His last season’s stat line of 21 ppg, 11.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists holds promise for his new team.

The perimeter group is pretty deep, led by 5th year shooter, Derek Wolf (15 ppg),  and combo guard, Glen Yang (11 ppg, 2.9 assists) . Noah Lewis is a capable, energetic 4th year, and Tyis Yellowhorn has the size and shooting stroke to make a difference. A nice off-season pick-up is rookie point man, Craig Martin, a high school stand-out from Dallas, TX, who looks like he can be a solid floor leader.

The Cougars will be looking for better 3 point shooting (only 30% last season), and to limit their turnovers, which hurt their playoff run in several key games. “ We want to be better in transition, and in creating higher quality shots off our passing game”, says Coach Dobell.

MRU gets a bye to start the season, playing 4 series’ before the Christmas break, and 6 in the 2nd half. Like several other former Explorer Division teams, MRU are eager for the chance to play some of the more established ‘Pioneer’ schools this season.

Schedule –  Nov-Dec –  week 1 bye, at UBC-O,  MacEwan , Calgary home and home.  Jan-Feb – Brandon, at UNBC, UBC, at Saskatchewan, Trinity Western, at Manitoba.

Prediction – a fighting chance at a playoff spot.


Overtime –

  • On Friday, UBC-O plays Vancouver Island U., a powerhouse for the last several years in the BC Colleges loop.  The game is at Immaculate HS in Kelowna.  The Heat also play an alumni game at their home gym at 6 pm Saturday.
  • The Lakehead Thunderwolves will be hosting the Winnipeg Wesmen in the
    Vikes 5th year shooter, Grant Sitton - photo - AP Shutter

    Vikes 5th year shooter, Grant Sitton  –    photo – AP Shutter

    Thunderdome for non-conference games both Friday and Saturday night at 7:30pm (Eastern).  Both games are live on  OUA.TV

  • Grant Sitton, UVic’s 5th year wing man, as he and the Vikes look forward to their ‘Guy Petrie Memorial Tournament, “ … not making the playoffs last year leaves a bad taste in your mouth, makes you want to strive harder, it humbles you and makes you want to succeed more.”   More in this story in the Saanich News.
  • Coach Guy Vetrie died of a heart attack in 2003 at the age of 52, after having coached the Victoria Vikes for 13 years.  A native of Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Vetrie was a top player for Coach Ken Shields at Laurentian U. in Sudbury.  He was an assistant for a year with the Voyageurs, then Head Coach at the University of Saskatchewan for 9 seasons.  When the legendary Coach Shields moved on from his post at UVIc, he called on Vetrie to take over the reins for the Vikes. Vetrie won 530 games as a head coach, a National Championship in 1997, and had 6 Canada West  Coach of the Year Awards.

Feature Games this Weekend


‘Crucial Games’ On Opening Week

As Mike Raimbault, the Winnipeg Wesmen Head Coach said this week, “Every week we face a tough opponent, so we try not to look any further ahead ….”  That may be especially true this week, since it is the start of League play, with the attending nerves, expectations, and seeming import of these particular match-ups.  Here’s our preview  of Week 1-

Series of the Week –  (We might pick several, but …) 

Manitoba copy





Manitoba Bisons at Saskatchewan Huskies – Having lost 5 in a row, and 12 of 13 against the Huskies, Manitoba will be itching for a win or 2!  Both these teams have designs on a high finish and possible championship in March; the tough thing for the Herd is that they have consistently been ripped to shreds by the more ferocious Sled Dogs over the past 7 years. At Forward – Can Manitoba’s Wyatt Anders and Jonathan Alexander match Sask’s Matt Forbes (*we learn Friday that Forbes is gone for the season, with his broken foot!), and Trevor Severinski ?  Maybe more telling is the guard contest – the ‘new Dogs’, Jauquin Bennett-Boire, Shawn Lathan, and Chan DiCiman, along with sharp-shooting Huskies vet, Evan Ostertag,  will have to command the court vs the high scoring AJ Basi, Ilarion Bonhomme, and Justus Alleyn.

Wild-card factors – Dharnjit Dhillon and Keith Omoerah for Manitoba                      Mack Burns and Joe Barker for Saskatchewan .

Also, in the ‘Big Game’ Category –

In the words of a famous UC announcer, Lars Schleuter, s-h-o-o-o-o-ter!

In the words of a famous UC announcer, Lars Schlepper, is a  s-h-o-o-o-o-ter!

Winnipeg Wesmen at Calgary Dinos – 2 years ago, the Ws came to Calgary and beat the Dinos two straight, then last season it was Calgary returning the favour in downtown Winnipeg.  Winnipeg has played effective ‘small-ball’ with guard penetration, quick man defense, and the scoring of wing man Jelane Pryce.  Guards Denzel Lynch-Blair and James Farley are experienced vets, and the Wesmen have added William Sesay, a local high school star. Calgary answers in the back-court with David Kapinga (St. Mary’s HS, Calgary), Jhony Verrone, Josh Owen-Thomas.  Wing men Thomas Cooper and Lars Schleuter can score, and the Dinos are deep at forward, including returnees Mitch Ligertwood and Conner Foreman.

UBC's David Wagner

UBC’s David Wagner – tough inside !

Alberta Golden Bears at UBC Thunderbirds – Over the past 3 seasons, the Bears hold a 6-4 edge, but ‘the word on the street’ has UBC bringing a formidable line-up this year.  The ‘Birds are big … David Wagner (6-9, 245) and Luka Zaharijevic (6-7, 255) provide the muscle, and 6-9 Conor Morgan the inside-outside offense up front.  Jordan Jensen-Whyte moves to shooting guard  and the point will be Phil Jalapoor or Surrey, Holy Cross rookie, Taylor Browne.  Alberta has the strength on the forward line to battle the T-Birds; Mamadou Gueye is a scoring/rebounding dynamo. and red-shirt rookie  Brody Clarke joins 6-9 Sebastian Denault.

Victoria Vikes at Trinity Western Spartans – Who knows what to expect here?  UVic, who have struggled at times in October, are trying to adapt to life without Chris McLaughlin, while TWU has 2 notable additions in 7-1 Matt Hayashi, and 6-5 import guard, Dean Richey. Can the Spartans take advantage of home court for a big upset?

Regina Cougars at Brandon Bobcats – The green Cougs are being touted as ‘the team on the rise’, and have experience and scoring with the Tull brothers (Jonathan, Brandon), plus Aaron McGowan and Alex Igual a solid combo at the point. Brandon has so many new faces, including the intriguing, late-arriving BIG man, John Paul (6-11, 260)  but still features the talented import duo of DJ Jordan and Earl Thompson Jr.

Explorer Division –

UFV's Kevon Parchment is among the elite players in Canada West.

UFV’s Kevon Parchment is among the elite players in Canada West.

UBC-O Heat  at Fraser Valley Cascades –  David and Goliath, especially with the road start for the Heat; but, Coach Guarasci is looking for a step up this season, with more experience from vets like Mitch Goodwin, and David Manshrek, plus scoring from transfer recruit, Randall Mosca.  The Cascades have the power, however, with Kevon Parchment, Nate Brown, and Manny Dulay, plus they have home court.

Mt. Royal Cougars at MacEwan Griffins –  The best match-up this week in the Explorer, with a veteran-laden Griffs squad at home to a younger, but talented Cougars team.  Mac will want to protect home court, and their top forwards, Keith Gerdes and Ryan May will have to battle hard with MRU’s new-found size; for the Cougs Brett Layton comes in at 6-8, and ’T.T.’ Thokbuom is 6-9, providing help inside for 6-5 James Lefebvre.

 Rhys Elliott, high-scoring guard for the UNBC Timberwolves

Rhys Elliott, high-scoring guard for the UNBC Timberwolves

Thompson Rivers WolfPack at UNBC Timberwolves –  Wolves running wild in Prince George !  The Orange have a great addition in the skilled, strong, import forward, 6-7, Volodymyr Iegorov, who will nicely compliment Josh Wolfram’s 20 pts/10 rebounds pace. The T’Wolves like the home court, and Rhys Elliot can be a strong leader, but can they match the size and skill of the TRU front line, or the leadership at the point that the ‘Pack get from Reese Pribilsky.?

All these games are on Canada West TV


Overtime –

Coach Guarasci, UBC-O

Coach Guarasci, UBC-O

  • UBC-Okanagan Coach Peter Guarasci complimenting his team’s efforts in the Capitol News, Kelowna , “So far in practice, they’ve all made jumps and I’m really proud of them,” head coach Pete Guarasci said of his second year players.  “I think last year was more about getting exposure to this level and understanding the work it takes to succeed at this level.  They’ve all made some great jumps in practice, and now it’s time to transfer that into games.  That’s where our focus is, and I’ve told the whole team, especially that group, that I want to see a big growth year.”
  • The Carleton Ravens are 5-1 in pre-season, and not 2-1, as we reported.  Small omission of their House – Laughton Tourney.  (Thanks to Martin Timmerman –  CIS Hoops  for the correction) . Martin’s site is a wealth of information covering every one of the 4 Leagues in the CIS.
  • There could be 2 Winnipeg high school all-stars (2015) matched up against each other at the point guard spot this weekend in Calgary, as the Wesmen play the Dinos.  Calgary has Torrez McKoy, and Winnipeg, William Sesay, who were teammates on the Manitoba U-17 National Champions – 2014.   There are 27 Winnipeg high school grads on Canada West team rosters this season !

Previews – TRU , UBC-O


Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack – Scott Clark, 6th year

In a year of major change in many Explorer Division rosters, the TRU line-up is particularly  TRU Wolf Pack copyfull of fresh faces, and, although he’s not completely re-vamping his whole roster, Coach Scott Clark graduated key veterans, Brett Rouault, Tallon Milne, and Brett Parker, from the  2014-15 Wolfpack, who were an 11-9 playoff team.

The Wolves will depend heavily on  5th years, Josh Wolfram,  a Canada West All-Star forward, who played for Canada in the  ‘World Student Games’ in China this past summer, flashy point man, Reese Pribilsky,  and import strong forward, Gerard Gore.   Wolfie’s 18 ppg (including 46% shooting from the outside) and 10 rebounds put him in a select group of Canada West big men.  Pribilsky averaged 4.5 assists with a 2.0 asst/turnover rate, and also scored 13 ppg, while Gore and 3rd year forward, Luke Morris both scored near 5 ppg last season.

With only 4 returnees, Clark was busy on the recruiting trail last Winter and Spring, and added  7 new faces to his ‘Pack. TRU’s most intriguing recruit has to be the former U20 Ukrainian National Team player, Vladimir Iegorov.  Kamloops TV Sports -CFJC did this nice piece on Vladimir last week. With his size, maturity, and skills, this former pro import should be a most valuable addition for TRU.    Coach Clark also added another import in 6-2 combo guard, Albert Medrano (Gavilan Jr. College, CA) .

Closer to home, the Coach found some promising talent in 6-5 Michael Rouault, 6-4 Evan Helgason, 6-4 Jeff Tubbs, and 6-0 Evan Cave, as well as a Fraser Valley prospect in 6-2 Justin Mason from Surrey.  “They are rookies for us”, says Clark, but there is some good potential here, and we expect these young guys to work hard and make a contribution when their opportunity shows itself.”

TRU will stay fairly close to home base in their pre-season, with games at home in the Wolf Pack Tournament in mid-October vs Great Falls Univ. (MT), and Trinity Western , then Kwantlen College and Simon Fraser in Kamloops a week later.  The ‘Pack visit Northwest Univ. (Kirkland, WA)  for a game on Oct. 25.

Josh Wolfram can be a dominant force for TRU this season.

Josh Wolfram can be a dominant force for TRU this season.

Returnees – 

Josh Wolfram           6-10  F  5th year  , Kamloops

Reese Pribilsky         5-11  point 5th, Victoria

Gerard Gore             6-5   F ,  5th,   St. John’s, Antiqua

Luke Morris              6-5  F,  3rd,  Mission, BC

 Recruits – 

Jeff Tubbs               6-4 guard , 1st,  Kelowna,  Mount Boucherie

Evan Helgason         6-4 wing, Kamloops  (via a U.S. ‘prep’ school )

Michael Rouault      6-5  F  Vernon, Clarence Fulton  ’

Evan Cave              6-0  G  Kamloops, Norkam

Albert Medrano      6-2  G  Mountain View, CA, Gavilan Jr. Coll.

Vladimir Iegorov       6-7  F  Donetsk, Ukraine, MBC Mykolaiv

Justin Mason            6-2   G  Surrey , Lord Tweedsmuir



UBC-Okanagan Heat   Coach Peter Guarasci, 4th year   

UBC-O logo

Peter Guarasci believes in the ‘steady hand on the tiller’ approach to his coaching challenge at UBC-Okanagan. He has a group of young players, for the most part, with 9 on his roster who are 1st or 2nd year. The Heat come off a tough ‘trial by fire’ type of season in 2014-15, with a 3-17 record in the Explorer Division, and the former National team post man says, “We want to keep developing, and look for these guys to mature as players and students.”

The 7500 student campus sits in the Okanagan Valley, which can be a real positive for recruiting, but B.C. has 7 other university-level programs scouring the Province for players as well. Guarasci’s preference is to recruit and develop young talent, and suggests that his ‘team has some good prospects, who should help us compete more consistently, and deeper into games.”  Two college transfers bring some skills and confidence; Randall Mosca is a combo guard from St. Mary’s University , Calgary, where he scored 21 ppg in the Alberta Colleges League. Paulius Makulavicius is a 3rd  year wing who played high school in Vancouver, and transfers from Capilano College ( 12.5 ppg/ 4.5 rebs).

Mitch Goodwin is a key veteran guard for UBC-O

Mitch Goodwin is a key veteran guard for UBC-O

A 2nd year post man, 6-8 Brian Ademba, is very new to the game, but his Coach feels , “He is one of the hardest workers I’ve coached, and he improves with each session he has in the gym.  With his size and enthusiasm, I think he can be an effective CIS player eventually.”  His other young post men, 6-9 Ryan Morck and 6-8 Dean Johnston, will also be expected to step their games up and give Okanagan an improved inside presence along with 6-6 forward, Austin Penrose.

Three offensive leaders return for the Heat;  guard Mitch Goodwin ( 13.6 ppg, 4.7 rebs, 2.4 asst) , forward David Manshrek (13.5 ppg, 6.3 rebs), and point guard, Aldrich Berrios (12.4 ppg, 3.1 asst, 1.6 steals) should be a solid combo this campaign.  The team has just started Fall camp, and Coach Guarasci is happy to ‘take things a little slower’ in the pre-season;  “We want the kids fresh when we start playing for real in November, and we can’t forget that allowing them to get their bearings academically is a sensible approach in early September.  UBC-O will play the Lethbridge Pronghorns in Kelowna in early October, then face Trinity Western and Great Falls (MT) Univ. in the Thompson Rivers Tournament  Oct. 16/17.

For a bit of change of pace over the Christmas break, the Heat will be training with the UVic Vikes over on Vancouver Island.

Returnees – 

Mitch Goodwin   G  6-2,  4th year, Kelowna

Ryan Morck         F   6-9, 2nd  , Airdrie, AB

Dean Johnston    F  6-8,  2nd,   Port Coquitlam

Aldrich Berrios     G  6-1   2nd, Burnaby

Cameron Servatius  G  6-4,  2nd, Chilliwack

Cameron Friesen    W  6-4,  3rd, Abbotsford

David Manshreck    F   6-5,  3rd  N. Vancouver

Austin Penrose       F  6-6, 2nd, W. Vancouver

Brian Ademba        F  6-8, 2nd,  Nairobi, Kenya …

Buzz Truss            G  6-4, 2nd   Kelowna

Recruits – 

Spencer Thomas         6-2 G, 1st , Pickering, ON

Randall Mosca            5-10 G, 3rd, Calgary, AB , tsf St. Mary’s University College

Patrick Dujmovic         6-4 F , 1st, White Rock, Semiahmoo

Paulius Makulavicius   6-4 W,  3rd,   Vancouver, tsf  Capilano Univ. College


Overtime –

  • Former Alberta G’Bears mainstay, Jordan Baker, has joined Calgary Dinos grad ,
    Bears grad, Jordan Baker

    Bears grad, Jordan Baker

    Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson on the roster of Galitos – Tiey, in Barreiro, of the Portuguese Pro League. The 2 All-Canadians should both get a great shot at playing significant minutes with this club. 

  •  Pre-season games start early … Regina plays Medicine Hat College next Saturday in Moose Jaw, while both MacEwan and Alberta have Alumni games in Edmonton.
  •  Christine Stapleton, the former head coach for the powerful Regina Cougars Women’s  team of a few years ago, moves from the University of Waterloo’s Athletic Department to take over as the new Athletic Director at University of Calgary.  She is the 1st female A.D. in Dinos history.

Vikes – Huskies Share First


New Leaders in the Pioneer – UVic and Saskatchewan Sweep and Move Up

  Chris McLaughlin leads Vikes to a tie for 1st.

Chris McLaughlin leads Vikes to a tie for 1st with a big double-double vs Lethbridge.

at   Victoria  66   Lethbridge  62  –   The Vikes (12-4)  eke out a win (and a share of 1st place) over a willing Lethbridge crew, who led 45-41 after 3/4s.  The shooting numbers were not there for the ‘Horns, who played even with Victoria otherwise.  UVic was 40% from the floor, with 7/22 treys, while Lethbridge (6-10) settled for 37% and 6/17 from outside.  Chris McLaughlin and Marcus Tibbs carried the load for the Vikes with 27 and 25 points respectively, and the big man also tallies 13 rebounds.  The Pronghorns get 24 points/ 7 boards  from Brent Watkins, and 12 points/ 10 rebs by Brandon Brine. Box Score

at   Saskatchewan  101   Trinity Western 76 – Huskies (12-4) get the sweep and top spot in the Pioneer in resounding fashion, as they shoot 63% from the floor, with 26 pts from Dadrian Collins, including 6/10 from outside;  he gets help from Ben Baker’s 22 pts/ 7 boards / 5 assists.  Trinity (1-15) have a big game from Justin Bakuteka as he pours in 27 points, but Taylor Heinrichs is the only other TWU player in double figures with 13. Box Score 

at  UBC  93  Calgary 88 –   This one was another nail-biter in the final minute, as UBC grabs the split with Calgary going cold in the last 5 possessions. It was another huge game for Tommy Nixon of the ‘Birds, as he takes it inside for 32 points, including 14/16 from the line, and he claims 10 boards. Tonner Jackson helps UBC’s cause with 13 points and 9 rebounds. The T-Birds shoot 50% from the floor and 23/29 free throws (79%) to Calgary’s 48% and 21/25 charity tosses (84%).  Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson led a strong 4th quarter comeback for UC with his 27 points/ 4 rebs / 8 assists, and Lars Schleuter added 14 points.  The Dinos fall to 12-5, while UBC are now 10-6 in the Pioneer race.   Box Score 

at Alberta  86  Brandon 66   –  The Bears move up to 11-6 with the sweep, as they shoot 59% from the floor and 10/19 from 3 point range. Mamadou Gueye continues his fine play with 25 points/ 9 rebounds, and Joel Friesen adds 20 pts.  Brandon drops to 1-17, but get solid efforts from earl Thompson Jr who has 14 pts/11 rebounds, and 19 points from D.J. Jordan. Box Score

 Winnipeg  83 at Manitoba 67 – Another slow start for the Bisons, who are harassed by a swarming Wesmen defense, and give up lay-ups in transition, and it’s 40-22 at the half with Manitoba shooting a meagre 6/32 ( 19%) from the floor.  It’s too much ground to cover, and a waltz for the Ws, who are now 10-6. Winnipeg has 5 in double figures with Denzel Lynch-Blair having a strong game with 14 pts / 9 rebounds, and Chris Baxter scores 17 / 5 rebs/ 2 asst/ 2 steals.  The Wesmen shoot only 35% from the floor, but hit 29/34 from the line.  The game is a bit messy, as we record 22 turnovers for the winners – 23 for the Herd (9-9).  Manitoba are led by 17 pts each from Wyatt Anders and Amarjit Basi.  Box Score 



The Cascades Drill Mt. Royal, and UNBC catches TRU for 2nd

Big Nate Brown and his Cascades 'mates beat up on the MRU Cougars Saturday.

Big Nate Brown and his Cascades ‘mates beat up on the MRU Cougars Saturday.

 Fraser Valley 87  at  Mt. Royal  65 –  A quick 27-9 lead after 10 minutes kind of took the air out of this one as UFV eviscerated the Cougars zone. The Cascades (15-0)  shoot 52% on field goals, and 13/29( 45%) from 3.  Manny Dulay lights it up with 31, as he hits 9 treys in 14 attempts, and Vijay Dhillon is sharp off the bench with 16 points on 7/14.   MRU (6-9) hit only 30% from the floor, and 48% from the line.  James Lefebvre battles inside for 16 points and 9 rebounds for the Cougars.  These 2 teams play again on (Super Bowl) Sunday at 5 pm . Box Score 

at UNBC   78    MacEwan  67  –   Another 2 win weekend for the Timberwolves, who are on their way to a playoff spot in the Explorer at 9-7, in a tie for 2nd.  UNBC  get a big boost from Rhys Elliot, who scores 31 pts on 11/19, including 4/7 treys. The big boys kick in as well, with Devin McMurtry scoring 16 pts/ 11 rebounds, and Francko Kouagnia adding 10 points/10 boards.  Ryan May leads Mac with 15 pts, Keith Gerdes 14, and Denzel James 12, as the Griffins drop to 5-11.  Box Score

  at UBC-O 84  Thompson R.  75   –  An upset in Kelowna, as the Heat get their 3rd win vs 13 defeats by hitting the key shots to turn aside the  ‘Pack, who find themselves in a tussle for 2nd (9-7).  UBC-O hits 47% from the floor to 40% from the Wolf Pack. 24/31 (77%)  free throws seals it for Okanagan, with TRU just 13/19 at their end. Mitch Goodwin comes to life  for the Heat with 25 points, including 13/15 from the line, and both David Manshrek (11 rebs) and Aldrich Berrios (5 rebs) chip in with 21 points apiece.  Thompson Rivers gets 18 points/5 rebs/ 6 assists from Reese pribilsky, and Luke Morris adds 11 points/ 8 assists off the bench.  Box Score


CIS Games from the East  on Saturday –

Atlantic –   UPEI  96  Cape Breton 89 , UNB  77  at  Acadia  67 ,  St. Marys 79 Dalhousie 67 ,  at Memorial 97 St. FX  85

Quebec –  at Quebec-Montreal 65  McGill 59 , Concordia  79  at Laval  71

Ontario-   Carleton  87 at Algoma  46 , Queens 75  at  Western  74,  McMaster 85 at Toronto 63 ,   at Lakehead  86 Laurier  82,   York 89  at  Windsor 84  ,     Guelph 82  Brock 68 , at Laurentian 71 Nipissing 59



Skip Morgan, with 'some teammates' on the 1965-66 Dinos.

Skip Morgan, with ‘some teammates’ on the 1965-66 Dinos. (Sorry -fuzzy old photo)

 Overtime –

  •   Our old ‘fiery Dinos captain’, Skip Morgan, asks, “What do  Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson  and I have in common?”  The former Dinos player and coach claims to have been the 1st Dino to beat UBC with a last second shot. “In 1962 we were playing UBC in their gym and they made a foul shot to go ahead by one with seconds left in overtime.  I received the inbound pass and dribbled to the foul line in record speed, for me. “   The Vancouver ‘paper said, ” Morgan became air born at the foul line and did a double tuck in the air and banked the ball through the hoop at the buzzer for the win.”  The Skipper continues (as he will), “Of course Jarred only had to jump shoot over two men  and just get over half court, while I had to travel the length of the court, and penetrate thru five and come up with a creative move that no one had ever seen before. Still, I consider the two events put us in similar and distinct company.  “  ( Editor’s note : This is believable until the ‘double-tuck’ part, since Skip never elevated over 2-3 inches in his career. )
  •   Some big upsets on Saturday –  UBC-O beats TRU, Queens shocks Western, and York ambushes Windsor in the OUA, while the topsy – turvy Quebec League sees McGill lose to UQAM and Laval to Concordia.

Pioneer Leaders Need Momentum



It Could Be a  ‘Trap Game ‘ ?images

One would be understandably influenced to predict success for both Fraser Valley and Thompson Rivers this coming weekend, when they visit Edmonton and Prince George respectively.  We would look at Calgary at 9-2 and figure them being able to get wins at Lethbridge.    But, not so fast.  As coaches will always preach, we can take nothing for granted, and “each game is an important game’ .  The thing is, can players bring themselves to be equally up for each and every game?  We think not.

Hence, the term, ‘Trap Game’ –  When a supposedly superior team might be underestimating or looking past an upcoming opponent, and where that opponent could rise up and beat them ?  Consider  the Pronghorns, who, despite their current struggles, could be considered the slight favourites, having won 5 straight on home court vs the Dinos.  And, even though they seem invincible, with their 24 straight Canada West League wins, might the Cascades underestimate the ‘newbies’, the MacEwan Griffins?

At their peril, we suggest, since the Griffs have 3 home wins in this inaugural season in the League.   So too the Wolf Pack, as they head to Prince George, where the T’Wolves enjoy one of the best home crowds in Canada West, and UNBC is looking like a much better team than at the start of the campaign.  So beware the potential trap game.  Danger lurks.

Pioneer Division  Games This Week –

 Can Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson's return spark the Dinos at Lethbridge ?

Can Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson’s return spark the Dinos at Lethbridge ?








# 8 Calgary  (9-2)  at Lethbridge  (5-7) –  The Dinos come off a busy Holiday schedule, Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 6.02.30 AMwhere they lost 4 of 5 games,  but have had a bye week to allow ace 5th year scorer, Jarred Ogungbemi – Jackson, to heal up and return to action. Now, can they get a win at Lethbridge, where they are 0-5 in the past several seasons?  The ‘Horns Coach, Mike Hansen, suggests these are very big ‘rivalry games’, and ones his boys need to win.  Dinos Coach Dan Vanhooren wants to see his # 3 back on the court, and for his Dinos to return to the form that got them to 1st place.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 6.10.25 AMRegina (7-5) at  # 9 Saskatchewan (6-4) – Regina has won 5 straight League games, and added a sharp-shooting guard in Mike Malecha.  But ( a big BUT), the Cougs haven’t won a game in Saskatoon since November of 2003 !  The Huskies have been a bit of a yo-yo team this year, as they’ve split with Alberta, and Winnipeg, beaten the highly regarded Vikes, then been cowed twice at UBC. U of S come off a pair of road wins at Brandon … so, do we get a heated Saskatchewan Civil War, or will the ‘Dogs do the usual, and dispense with Regina in short order at the PAC ?

Winnipeg (5-5)  at  # 5 Victoria (8-2) –  Winnipeg, like their home-town rivals, the Herd, come off 2 losses on their own court, and the challenge is to get back into a competitive groove.  This is a tough place to carry out that mission, however, since UVic has won all but 1 of 10 games these teams have played on the Island since 1977. That game was last February, in the playoffs, so maybe there’s hope for the Ws after all.  Victoria looks like a team on the rise, and will be the favourites here, nonetheless. With these 2 defenses, ‘bet the under’.

Andriy Halushko, Bears' rookie 3 pt. shooter

Andriy Halushko, Bears’ rookie 3 pt. shooter

Manitoba (8-4) at Alberta (6-5) –  The Bears have won 5 straight games, if we include the Wesmen Classic, and they got 2 road wins at Winnipeg last week.  Manitoba will have a big mental hurdle to clear if they are to put the 2 UVic losses behind them. Alberta has won 9 of the last 11 meetings, but the Bisons offensive power will give them a test.  Alberta are the clear favourites as the best FG% team in Canada West, and allowing just 71 ppg .

Brandon  (1-11) at  UBC (5-5) – The Bobcats should try and enjoy the perennial ‘warmer West Coast weather’ , because the surging – 5 League wins in succession – T’Birds will not give them any quarter on the rippling hardwood of War Memorial.  Brylle Kamen should return, Tommy Nixon is inspired, and UBC is back playing defense. Brandon has some talent, but are among the worst shooting teams in Canada West coupled with surrendering 89 ppg against .

Trinity Western (1-11) gets a bye week.


Explorer Division –

Reese Pribilsky, the Wolf Pack point man is a reliable floor leader.

Reese Pribilsky, the Wolf Pack point man is a reliable floor leader.

Thompson Rivers (6-4) at UNBC (4-6) – The Wolf Pack play good team defense, they Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 6.26.59 AMshoot it well from everywhere, and they limit their turnovers.  TRU has a deeper rotation, featuring scorers Brett Rouault and Josh Wolfram.  UNBC’s Coach Todd Jordan says, “We are starting to learn how to play together, and guys like Francko (Kouagnia), Rhys Elliot, and Billy Cheng should have a strong 2nd half of the season.” The T’Wolves would surprise ‘experts’ if they beat the ‘Pack, but they will have to shut down the Wolves’ shooters, and crack the TRU zone.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 6.19.12 AM# 7  Fraser Valley (10-0)  at MacEwan (4-6)  –  The Cascades get it done at crunch time.  They are an excellent 4th quarter team, and are getting great leadership from a veteran line-up, including a more mature QB in Manny Dulay, and big man, Jasper Moedt.  UFV’s attack can come from their whole line-up, short as their bench might be. The Griffins trio of Ryan May, Lee Danderfer, and Denzel James could improve any line-up in Canada West, and the home team will ‘mix it up’ quite willingly with the Division leaders.

Mt. Royal (4-6) at UBC-Okanagan (2-8) –  (Yes folks, this weekend the Heat really are at home!)  Mt. Royal fly to B.C for the 2nd straight week, suffering through a sub-par 3 game losing streak with some poor team shooting, and too many turnovers.  Can their more experienced line-up get back on track against a much younger UBC-O aggregation ?  Coach Peter Guarasci holds out hope for an improving defensive effort, and for continued good long-range shooting from the likes of veteran David Manshrek. Let’s call these ‘must wins’ for the Cougars, and possible upsets for the Heat.


Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 12.01.48 PMScores from the Atlantic  –  

Memorial 83  Cape Breton 62

Dalhousie  72   St. FX  48

Saint Mary’s  89  Acadia  75



Overtime –

  • ‘Major Kulpa‘  (sic) …  we really should know where the games will be played.  We reported the Okanagan Heat as ‘hosting’ the TRU ‘Pack last week, and failed to pick up our error until Monday.  The games were always scheduled for TRU’s home court. Pay attention editor !
  • Bisons Coach, Kirby Schepp

    Bisons Coach, Kirby Schepp … in a calmer moment.

     Coaches in shirt-sleeves … as true fans, we’ve all seen it (and some of us may have done it in a former life) … the game gets heated, a call is made, a play is thwarted, a turnover occurs … the emotional coach rips off his snappy blazer and throws it angrily to the floor.  It happens, and, really, it has some entertainment value. Coach Kirby Schepp admitted he (and his suit jacket) got too carried away last week, as he witnessed the on-court mayhem which was negatively affecting his Bisons vs UVic.  But, at some point, so many bench bosses have done it.  ‘Let ye who’ve never tossed a coat in anger ….‘  We also note Todd Jordan, UNBC,  sans jacket at MacEwan last week, roaming the sidelines, exhorting his troops to re-double their efforts to aid the T-Wolves cause. Way to get involved, Coach !

  • The Alberta Golden Bears have 3 of the top 5 3 pt % shooters in CW –  Andriy Halushko is 47.6%, Youssef Ouahrig-46.4, and Ken Otieno – 46.3.  (Tops in the League?  Tommy Nixon, UBC – 51.2%, 2nd – Dominique Brooks, UFV – 48.1.)  Alberta is, by far, the best 3 pt shooting team , at 42.5% … next is Regina at 36.4 !

Winnipeg the Site for Key Games

It’s Back to Action in Canada West League Play 

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 1.05.48 PMWith the leaders, the # 7 ranked Calgary Dinos, on a bye week, the chasers have some intriguing match-ups in this first weekend after the long exam-holiday break.  Soon after the completion of the Annual Wesmen Classic, the focus point for Canada West play is, once again, the frigid climes of Winnipeg.  Alberta returns to the Duckworth Centre to face the Wesmen, who the Bears beat in a tight game in the final of the Classic, and # 6 Victoria, after having enjoyed a California trip last week, fly East to tackle the ambitious 8-2 Manitoba Bisons at the Investors Group Athletic Centre.

Alberta at Winnipeg –  Bears Coach Barnaby Craddock will be pointing to these 2

Alberta's Joel Friesen

Alberta’s  high scorer, Joel Friesen

games as a launching pad for the necessary boost of his team’s fortunes in the 2nd half of the season, after an arduous 4-5 opening half. 3 solid wins at the recent Wesmen Tournament gave the GBs a chance to familiarize themselves with the UW court, and they have now beaten Winnipeg in 3 straight games including 2 League encounters in Edmonton last season. U of A has Joel Friesen averaging 20.2 ppg, 3rd in League scoring average, and  last week’s tournament MVP, Ken Otieno, showed just how deadly his game can be. With the hopeful return to action of a couple of young forwards, Alberta Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 2.14.01 PMmay  be starting to play like the early-season favourites we predicted in the Fall.

Winnipeg had too many turnovers and not enough rebounds in the Classic final, and will be looking to lead- guard Jordan Clennon, and back-court mate, Chris Baxter, to clean things up on offense. Jelane Pryce has been their scoring leader (17.9 ppg and 7 rebs), with big Aussie, Ryan Oirbans grabbing 7.2 rebs/game. At 70.8 ppg against, their defense ranks 3rd in Canada West, and this week’s games may be a repeat of the 60 point scoring range with both teams stressing defense.  A split seems likely, unless one team is very hot or very cold.

Victoria at Manitoba –  CIS coaches obviously see the # 6 ranked Vikes as the team to Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 2.22.03 PMbeat in Canada West, even though they trail both Calgary and Manitoba in the standings.  The Bisons get a shot at halting any advance by Victoria, and it promises to be a battle inside, with the Vikes’ main man, Chris McLaughlin (18.8 ppg, 9 rebs – 5th in CW in both categories) and Reiner Theill (6.8 rebs) up against Wyatt Anders (11.5 rebs) , Jonathan Alexander (11.7 ppg, 6.6 rebs), and Alfreeman Flowers (6.4 rebs).  The

Amarjit Basi, Bisons' shooting guard

Amarjit Basi, Bisons’ shooting guard

guard match-up features the smooth-stroking outside shooter, Amarjit Basi (18.3 ppg), Andre Arruda, and Justus Alleyn for Manitoba vs  Marcus Tibbs (16.1 ppg) for the Vikes. Can the UVic defense halt the CW # 1 scoring offence of the Herd , or will Manitoba use home-court to get a big sweep of the west coast visitors?



Brandon's D. J. Jordan

Brandon’s D. J. Jordan

Saskatchewan at Brandon – The Bobcats have just 1 win in the past 11 games against the Huskies, but are on their home court, and coming off an encouraging showing in the Wesmen Tournament. Brandon will need continued sharp shooting performances from their group of leading scorers, led by imports, D.J. Jordan (16.4 ppg),  and Earl Thompson Jr. ( 16.1 ppg).  Ali-Mounir Benabdelhak and  Kenonte Ramsay are 2 veteran returnees who are expected to lead the ‘Cats out of the 1-9 hole they dug for themselves in the 1st half of the season. Saskatchewan are not satisfied to sit at 4-4, and will depend on the inside work of Matt Forbes (11.2 ppg,   13.5 ppg)  and the guard play of newcomer, Mike Scott (14.6 ppg), with returnees Evan Ostertag, and Ben Baker.  The Huskies are a reasonable bet to sweep, unless Brandon brings fresh energy and focus.

UBC at Lethbridge –  Both the ‘Horns and T-Birds are looking to be in the playoff mix, with UBC in an uncomfortable 3-5 predicament as they face U of L on one of Canada West’s better ‘home courts’.  The ‘Birds’ Tommy Nixon scored 16.6 ppg in the first 8 games, but he needs a lot more help from guys like forwards Brylle Kamen and Conor Morgan, plus a decided defensive improvement on their 83 ppg allowed to opponents. Lethbridge have received yeoman service from big men, Brandon Brine, Brent Watkins, and rookie, Zac Overwater, but, as a team, they give away more offense by turnovers (20.6 tpg) than any other CW squad. Home court should help the ‘Horns get a split, but the T-Birds are desperate for a pair of wins.

Regina at Trinity Western – Regina have the League’s leading scorer in Jonathan Tull (20-5 ppg), and they score the 2nd most points in CW at 82 ppg, but 18 turnovers/ game and allowing 80 ppg to opponents seems to limit their up-side.  Rookie post , Zach Michalicz has shown a scoring touch in recent outings, now where is the guard play to make this team a true contender?  For Trinity Western, Justin Bakuteka (14.6 ppg)  and  Taylor Heinrichs (10.7 ppg) have been their most consistent threats, with Denny McDonald capable of increasing his 1st half numbers.  It’s hard to overcome their 19 turnovers/game, and a  -4 rebound margin.  Regina has a chance to make-up some ground here, unless TWU finds new motivation.


Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 1.06.17 PMExplorer Division –

The Fraser Valley Cascades are ‘head and shoulders’ over the rest of this tidy 6 team loop, and they get home-court against an inconsistent Mt. Royal team to start their 2nd half.   UNBC go to Edmonton to play the MacEwan Griffins, who are in 4th spot, while Thompson Rivers have a short-hop bus trip down the Valley to Kelowna for 2 with the      last place Okanagan Heat.

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At Fraser Valley    Mt. Royal –  The Cascades are living off a League – best 69.4 ppg allowed to opponents, while their offensive production is hampered by a mediocre FG% of 42% and a CW worst from 3 point range at 27%.  They may have the perfect foil, however, in Mt. Royal, who are Canada West’s lowest scoring team at 69.8 ppg, and who have shot only 36% from the floor.   The Cougars are in a playoff position, but a rather tenuous one, if they don’t pick up their offensive pace. Fraser Valley’s inside strength, with Jasper Moedt (10.8 rebs/ 11 ppg),  Nate Brown (14.8 ppg/7.5 rebs), and

Deng Awak and his MRU teammates face a tough task at UFV.

Deng Awak and his MRU teammates face a tough task at UFV.

Kadeem Willis (11.5 ppg/ 7.5 rebs) will test the Cougars severely.

For MRU, James Lefebvre (10.4 ppg/6.1 rebs) and Kyle Wilson (6.5 rebs) will need help from several other teammates on the boards.  More scoring for the Cougars will have to come by committee, and Coach Marc Dobell suggests, “We need to share the ball, and work for higher quality shots”. UFV to sweep, unless Mt. Royal shooters really come to life, and the Cougars can get a workable percentage of rebounds.

at MacEwan    UNBC –   Mac  has the home court, where they’ve won 2 of their 4, while the T’Wolves are 0-4 on the road this year. The Griffins have 4 players in double figures, plus the depth inside to fight off UNBC’s Francko Kouagnia (16.5 ppg / 7 rebs) and Devin McMurtry (8.6 rebs, 8.5 ppg).  Look for guard, Denzel James (17 ppg/ 6 rebs/ 1.8 steals), and forwards Ryan May (9.4 rebs / 12.6 ppg) and Keith Gerdes (11.5 ppg / 6.6 rebs) to give MacEwan an edge in this series.

 UBC-O   at  Thompson Rivers –  Josh Wolfram is having a career season for the Wolf Pack, with 20.4 ppg and 11.9 rebounds, both right at the top of the individual stat lines, and the 6-11 4th year is also 10th in 3 pt. shooting at 43.3 %. Tres dangereuse !  He gets help inside from Tallon Milne, a 5th year, 6-8 post, who grabs 6.6 rebs, and shoots 54%;  at the guard, Coach Scott Clark has Reese Pribilsky delivering 4.4 asst/game, 2.8 steals, and scoring 10.6 ppg, while Brett Rouault is finishing his final season at TRU with 13.3 ppg.  The Heat lean on 2nd year forward, David Manshrek  (16 ppg, 7 rebs), 3rd year guard, Mitch Goodwin (15 ppg, 5.9 rebounds), and top rookie guard, Aldrich Berrios (12.5 ppg, 2.8 assists).  The UBC-O defense will have to play at their very best to have a shot at stealing one, especially on the road in Kamloops.


Overtime –

  • Calgary’s 5th year guard, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, will be restricted to ‘light – duty’ this week, but there are hopeful signs that his injured leg is coming around. The objective is to have the 5th year team leader back in full practice mode early next week.
  • A look at team stats for all Canada West squads had a few things jump out at us – the most remarkable is the mere 7-man rotation used by Coach Adam Friesen at UFV.  No argument, of course, with the results so far, but you have to wonder what happens with even a little injury trouble?

Giants Collide in the CIS


Top – Rated Teams Meet This Week

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* This is ‘Game -On’ time across the CIS, with so many compelling match-ups set to tip-off, from Cape Breton hosting New Brunswick all the way West for the # 8 Vikes welcoming the defending Canada West champion, Alberta Golden Bears on the Island.  

We also have … the ‘Clash of Titans’ in Ottawa (or, at least, the clash of the  # 1, 2,  and 3 teams in the Top 10,  the Ravens and Gee-Gees vs the invading Ryerson Rams).  BIG GAMES !  Also, the # 7 Saskatchewan Huskies try and extend their modest 3 game win streak out in Vancouver against the  alarmingly vulnerable UBC T-Birds (1-5). The Capers have dropped out of the mix in the Atlantic, and the 6-0 Varsity Reds will be a tough hurdle for CBU, even in the friendly confines at Sydney.

Final Week in Canada West’s ‘First Half’

The majority of Canada West teams play their final pre-Christmas League games this Friday and Saturday; the exception * being the Calgary Dinos and Alberta Golden Bears, who will meet in Edmonton on Fri. , Dec. 5 for the 1st of their home and home series.)  Here are this week’s match-ups –

The Pioneer Division

Alberta's Joel Friesen leads his Bears into Victoria.

Alberta’s Joel Friesen leads his Bears into Victoria.

The Feature Series this week …   Alberta (4-2) at # 8 Victoria (4-2) –  The Vikes will be happy to be back at Ken and Kathy Shields Court, after taking it on the chin twice last week at Saskatchewan.  You can bet that Coach Craig Beaucamp wasn’t too subtle in mentioning some defensive necessities against Alberta after his boys surrendered 82 then 95 points to the Sled Dogs.   Reiner Theil and company will have to contend with the GBs’ Joel Friesen (21.5 ppg/5.8 rebs/2.5 assts) and Mamadou Gueye (18.7 ppg/ 7.2 rebs/2 assts) , the 2nd and 6th high scorers in Canada West.  The UVic defenders will do well to respect the threat of 5th year Bears wing, Ken Otieno, who is averaging 10 ppg, but capable of 20+ in any game.  UVic depends on 5th year post Chris McLaughlin, who is  3rd in both scoring, at 19.8 ppg and  rebounding, with 9.5 rpg.  Theil, their ‘defensive captain’, grabs 6.5 rpg and will be charged with stopping either Gueye or Friesen.  The usual point guard tete a tete involves Alberta’s experienced Youssef Ouahrig and UVic’s  speedy Marcus Tibbs.  This is tough to call … more likely a split.


Coach Kevin Hanson knows his 'Birds need to take flight.

Coach Kevin Hanson knows his ‘Birds need to take flight  vs the Huskies this weekend.

# 7 Saskatchewan  (4-2)   at  UBC  (1-5)  – Across the ‘Strait’ (or the ‘Sea’, depending on your leanings) the Thunderbirds have to be doing a bit of soul-searching.  This is not your typical T-Birds’ performance to date;  the Huskies match-up gives UBC a shot at re-setting their gyroscope.  Two home wins seem unlikely, in the light of all that has transpired in their first 6 League games, but Coach Kevin Hanson is not without some weapons.  5th year stalwarts, Tommy Nixon (16.3 ppg/ 4.8 rebs) and Brylle Kamen (12.3 ppg /6 rebs)  have been leading, but they need more troops to play their parts. Let’s start with defense and rebounding … the ‘Birds are – 3 in rebound margin, and they’ve allowed opponents to shoot 50% from the floor, and 45% from 3 point range.  Enough ….

Saskatchewan lit up the usually miserly Vikes with a shooting barrage last week, and the ‘Dogs will hope to howl again in this road series.  Dadrian (Mr. Perfect) Collins, leads with 14.3 ppg, with Mike Scott at 13 ppg, and Evan Ostertag at 12.3 ppg. The key man for U of S is often the versatile Ben Baker (8.5 ppg/ 5.8 rebs/ 5.5 assts) with his floor direction and nose for the ball. The middle man,  6-6, 240, 4th year Matt Forbes, is the leading rebounder at 8.2 rpg.  The Huskies may be hunting in a pack, and have the sense that they can do mortal damage to their old rivals, UBC, to whom they have lost the last 5 times since 2011.  ‘Payback is a Dog’ – (The Stylistics, 1972).

5th year post, Wyatt Anders is the Bisons top man on the boards.

5th year post, Wyatt Anders is the Bisons top man on the boards.

at Manitoba (6-2)   Lethbridge (5-3)  – The Herd is restless.  They feel disrespected. They’re a game up on cross-town Wesmen, and still get no love in the CIS Top 10 discussions.  So here are the Antelopes, arriving in Winnipeg expecting a chilly reception, in more ways than one !  The veteran Pronghorns, led by  5th year ‘QB’, Jared Baker ( he of last week’s rare triple-double of 20 pts, 10 rebs, 11 assists vs Regina) haven’t won at Manitoba since January of 2005.  In fact, this is a see-saw series … all home, all the time.  The home team has won 11 in a row.

The Bisons’ Stephan Walton was either sick, hurt, or relegated in the key minutes of last Saturday’s win at Calgary, so it will be interesting to see how he responds vs U of L.  The big battle will be on the boards, with a decidedly more ferocious Herd featuring Wyatt Anders (2nd in CW at 10.9 rpg), with Jonathan Alexander and Alfreeman Flowers (6.8 rpg each) lending their muscle and leaping ability. Lethbridge responds with their trio of 6-10 Brent Watkins (8,5 rpg) , Baker, and Brandon Brine (6.1 rpg).  Home court is magic in this match-up –  a Bison sweep?


at  # 9  Calgary (6-2)   Trinity Western  (1-7) –  There is too much history with these Spartans (TWU have taken 4 of the last 5 games) for Calgary Coach Dan Vanhooren not to urge his boys to be ‘ready to rumble’.  Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson (19.1 ppg / 8 rebs/ 5 asst )  will get lots of defensive attention from Trinity, as befits last year’s scoring champ,

Josh Owen-Thomas , Dinos 4th year guard.

Josh Owen-Thomas , Dinos 4th year guard.

and the Dinos floor leader.  The key for Calgary will be the sharing of the rock, as they shuffle through a 10-11 man rotation, including  vets Matt Letkeman (5.5 rpg,  Phil Barndt,  and Josh Owen-Thomas,  along with ‘youngsters’  LJ Hegwood (5.2 rpg   and  Adonis Monfort – Palomino.  More balanced scoring has produced some of their best play in several seasons, and they will need that against TWU.

Trinity Coach Scott Allen has preached improvement on the fundamentals, but he fundamentally needs more out of talented  5th year forward Denny McDonald (10 ppg / 4.8 rpg)  and  strong forward, Taylor Heinrichs, (8 ppg/ 3/9 rpg). Also, son-of-the-coach point man, Tyus Allen, is tasked with delivering more assists (4.8 apg) and fewer turnovers (4.6 tpg), and he is progressing with that goal.  Justin Bakuteka leads the Sparties with 13.9 ppg and an aggressive defensive style (2.5 steals).  Calgary may get the sweep, but that will depend on their determination and offensive flow.

at Regina  (3-5)   Brandon  (1-7) – These old ‘Great Plains Conference’ foes come into this series from somewhat different perspectives. The Cougars can build some good

Regina's Jonathan Tull leads Cougars' scorers.

Regina’s Jonathan Tull leads Cougars’ scorers.           photo – sportshooter

feeling in the ranks by sweeping the ‘Cats and reaching a respectable 5-5 by the break. They have beaten some of the leaders … Calgary, Manitoba , Lethbridge … and can remain a ‘tough -out’ for the rest of the season. The ‘Two Tulls’, Brandon and Jonathan, are the best brother combo West of Ottawa, and their combined 33.7 ppg and 11.3 rebounds pace the Cougars attack.  Will Tallman is a big contributor at 9 ppg / 7.4 rebs, and Travis Sylvestre is a very useful 12.5 ppg / 5.5 rebs.  Regina sorely misses scoring guard, Alex Igual (14.5 ppg / 2 asst/ 2 steals), who remains  unavaibable with an injury.

Brandon are more on the desperate end of the scale, as they just won their 1st of 8 League games at home last weekend.  The Bobcats are in dire need of a couple of road wins, so they can edge a bit closer to the main peleton, and not be ruled out of the ‘Tour’ by virtue of being way too far back. The ‘Cats are not, obviously, dead, with 12 League games to go, but, if they were, the autopsy would reveal … a crippling  -14.7 in rebound margin, – 6 in turnover margin, and near the bottom of the League in assists.  Brandon shoots  37%  to their opponents  47% , 28% from 3 pt. range vs 39% for the other guys. Kenonte Ramsay , Earl Thompson Jr., Ali Mounir-Benabdelhak, and DJ Jordan can be the leaders in turning this around, but time is ticking.

The Explorer Division –

MRU's Awet Abraha has been quiet on the scoring front this season.

MRU’s Awet Abraha has been quiet on the scoring front this season.

The Feature Series – at Mt. Royal (3-3)    Thompson Rivers (3-3) –  Both these teams have designs on giving the Division leaders, Fraser Valley, a run for their money, but they also want to cement their positions as a playoff team.  (One of 3 from the Explorers).  Mt. Royal’s Coach, Marc Dobell says, “We’re coming off our best-played game in quite a while (in a 77-69 road win at UNBC) , and we’re needing that kind of effort and execution against a big and talented TRU team.”  The lack of consistency has led to some disappointing losses, and much of the blame surely is on the 17th best FG shooting of 35.6 %, leading to 17th in scoring (69 ppg), and combine that with the 13th best turnover rate 17.2 /game, you get inefficient offense.   Maybe that good feeling from last Saturday’s win will carry over to this series.

TRU has 3 stand-outs in Josh Wolfram, their 6-10, 4th year forward, who is topping Canada West in scoring ( 21.7 ppg) and rebounding (12.7 rpg), in Reese Pribilsky, a 4th year point who  averages 11.2 ppg / 4.2 assists, and Brett Rouault, a 5th year wing, scoring 12.4 ppg / 4.4 rebs. , while 5th year forward Tallon Milne chips in with 6.8 rebs and 9 ppg.  Coach Scott Clark’s boys are tops in CW FT % at 83%, and have the best turnover rate, just 11 per game.   A split might be expected at MRU, but the firepower of the ‘Pack may be too much for the low-scoring Cougars.

UFV's Jasper Moedt battles inside for the 6-0 Cascades.

UFV’s Jasper Moedt battles inside for the 6-0 Cascades.

at Fraser Valley  (6-0)          MacEwan (3-3) –  The newest entry in Canada West will be hard-pressed to stay with the Cascades out in Abbotsford.  UFV has the toughest 8 man rotation in the Explorer, with Manny Dulay running the show at guard, looking for Kevon Parchment, Jasper Moedt, Nate Brown, Kadeem Willis, and Dominique Brooks, all  bonafide  scoring threats. This team is allowing the fewest points on defense in Canada West at 68 ppg. , and they are 3rd in the League in points scored with 77.5 ppg.   Rock-pile.

MacEwan has been a positive surprise, with some veteran efforts by forwards Ryan May and Keith Gerdes, along with the explosive abilities of Denzel James, and saavy of guard, Lee Danderfer. The Griffs stay in games with great rebounding, and some timely scoring. But this may be a reach to expect them to stay with the Cascades on the road.

UNBC's Francko Kouagnia with the 'hook and go' in the post.

UNBC’s Francko Kouagnia with the ‘hook and go’ in the post.

at UNBC (1-5)   UBC-O  (2-4) –  Both these teams are works in progress, and one of them might have to get a sweep here to get into the mix for one of the top 3 spots at season’s end.  UNBC has the power game with Francko Kouagnia and Devin McMurtry, and they are hoping that the trio of Jeff Chu, Rhys Elliot, and Billy Cheng can give them some back-court rhythm.

Okanagan are improving each week, with Mitch Goodwin on the perimeter and David Manshrek inside; these are the 3rd and 2nd year vets respectively on an extremely young aggregation for Coach Peter Guarasci.  Expect the home court in Prince George to play a part in the outcomes, but stay tuned as rookies like Aldrich Berrios and Buzz Truss gain confidence for the Heat.


Other CIS Game results –

After a 16 point loss on Saturday in St. John’s, the Memorial Sea-Hawks surprised the visiting UPEI Panthers in the Sunday repechage …  Memorial 83  UPEI  80 …  dancing in the streets !

Ryerson keeps rolling (the opponent)  with a sound thrashing of visiting Laurentian …  Rams 84  Voyageurs 65.


Upcoming CIS action  (Weds – Fri) –

at Acadia   Saint Marys

UPEI at St. FX

#6  UNB  at Cape Breton

UQAM at Concordia

McGill at Laval

York at Queen’s

#4 McMaster at Western

Laurier  at Waterloo

at Queen’s  Algoma

Lakehead at Nipissing

at # 1 Carleton   Toronto

at # 2  Ottawa   Ryerson

at  Laurentian   Guelph

at # 5 Windsor  Brock


Overtime –   

Dinos hope to see the return of 2nd yr. guard, Jhony Verrone.

Dinos hope to see the return of 2nd yr. guard, Jhony Verrone.       photo  David Moll for UC

  •   Calgary guard, Jhony Verrone, an aggressive  2nd year defender and scorer, has been mostly absent from the line-up for 2 weeks, as he has been nursing a bad back.  Verrone can provide very valuable depth if he’s available, and his penchant for the timely steal can be a real catalyst for Dinos momentum. 
  • Wolf Pack Coach, Scott Clark,  after 2 home losses at the hands of the UFV Cascades  last week  “It is early in the season. The league title isn’t won or lost in the first half of the year. We have to play good basketball. There are a lot of games left. Our job is to continue to prepare and get a better.”  Photo and attached story by Andrew Snucins of TRU for the Vernon Morning Star.

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  •   Give us your opinion, questions, challenges, complaints, comments, information, reaction … see the little talk-back bubble in the upper right-  hand part of the post page?   Click on that, and you’re going direct to the hot-line !  The editor is dying to get your comments !

Bisons Bomb Brandon for 5th Win


Manitoba's Andre Arruda lays waste to the Brandon defense.

Manitoba’s Andre Arruda lays waste to the Brandon defense.

Bisons, Dinos With 5-1 Marks

  Pioneer – 

   at Manitoba Bisons  102   Brandon Bobcats  67  – Early and often for the Bisons (5-1), as they pour it on against the visiting ‘Cats, with 58 pts in the opening 20 minutes. Manitoba spreads it around, with 5 players in double figures, led by 19 from Amarjit Basi (4/11 from 3), and 18 by Andre Arruda.  The formula is followed, with Wyatt Anders again clearing the glass with 14 rebs./10 points for the Herd, who claimed 63 rebs vs 47 for BU.  Brandon (0-6) shoots 33% from the floor;  D.J. Jordan had 15 pts/6 rebs, and A-M Benabdelhak 13  pts / 7 boards.  box score


'JOJ' drives the Dinos winning effort at Regina.

‘JOJ’ drives the Dinos winning effort at Regina.

Calgary Dinos 70  at Regina Cougars  62 – It was a strong defensive effort from the Dinos on Saturday, as they dominated play in the 2nd half (36-27)  to move to 5-1, with 17 points/10 rebounds/ 6 helpers from Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson.  Rookie wing, Lars Schleuter, hit 4/6 from 3 pt range for 14 points, and Josh Owen-Thomas added 10 pts. Calgary limited Regina (2-4) to just 28% from the floor, and the Cougars could not score more than 6 points off of 19 offensive rebounds.   Jonathan Tull was the leader for the Cougars,  living on the foul line (10/13) for 21 points/9 rebs. Brandon Tull had a double of 15 points/10 rebounds for the ‘Cats.  box score

at Saskatchewan Huskies  71    Winnipeg Wesmen   68 –  The Huskies even their season mark at 2-2 by holding off a late charge by the Wesmen (3-3). Import guard, Mike Scott, led the way with 16 pts/ 5 rebs off the bench, and Saskatchewan got 15 points / 5 assists on 4/8 from outside by Andrew Henry, and 14 points/ 7 rebs from Dadrian Collins.   The Wesmen shot just 37% from the floor; their best was Jelane Pryce with 16 pts/ 11 rebounds, while Jamar Farley added 14 pts.  box score  

Kedar Wright leads the T-Birds to a big win at Alberta.

Kedar Wright leads the T-Birds to a big win at Alberta.

UBC Thunderbirds  89   at Alberta Golden Bears 84    –  The T-Birds (1-3) get the offense rolling in stark contrast to last night’s low scoring affair. A  23-13  edge in the 3rd quarter gave the ‘Birds the lead, and they stuck with it to finish out their 1st win of the season. The turnovers were 17-6 in UBC’s favour, and the visitors hit on 18/29 FTs vs 12/16 for U of A, who slide to 4-2 on the year. 5 Thunderbirds in double digits, led by Kedar Wright off the bench for 19, including 5/8 deep shots. Bench points (38-17 favour UBC) also came from post man, Brylle Kamen, with his 17 pts/  5 rebounds. Jordan Jensen-Whyte had 11 points and 6 assists. For Alberta, who hit 14/25 (56%) from beyond the arc, it was Joel Friesen with 23 pts/ 7 rebs, while Mamadou Gueye scored 21, and claimed 8 boards.    box score 

  Lethbridge Pronghorns  92  at Trinity Western Spartans  73 –  The ‘Horns (4-2) locate their ‘Mojo’, and blast the 0-6 Spartans , with 50% shooting from the floor, 48-34 control of the boards, and a 30 point final frame to cap their 4th win of the season. 6-10 Brent Watkins scores 24 and gets 9 boards, with Brandon Brine hitting 21 plus 7 rebs/5 assts, and Jared Baker has 20 pts/ 10 boards/ 5 helpers for his double.  Their inside game produces 20/26 free throws vs 7/11 for the dispirited TWU. Josiah Allison leads the Spartans with 15 points in just 13 minutes, while Justin Bakuteka adds 14 points, and rookie, Vartan Tanielian has 12.   box score  

Victoria Vikes (4-0) have the bye this week

  Explorer –

UBC-O logoUBC- Okanagan Heat  62  at Mt. Royal Cougars  44 –   Credit to the Okanagan Heat (1-3)  for aggressive defense to win their 1st of the season, and frustration for the home team, MRU (2-2), as they score just 1/2 of their Friday total of 88. UBC-O hits just 35% from the floor , but the Cougars are a death-defying 22%, with no one approaching double digit scoring. Four of the Heat manage to score in double figures, with David Manshrek combining 12 pts with 9 rebounds, and Aldrich Berrios collecting 14 pts/ 5 assists.  MRU gets 14 rebounds from James Lefebvre, but he (2/14) has the same cold hand as his teammates. MRU really fails to create good shooting chances, and their energy is not there for the 2nd consecutive Saturday.  box score 

at Fraser Valley Cascades  62  Northern B.C. T’ Wolves 60   –  The comeback effort (20-9 in the 4th) from UNBC (0-4) comes up short, along with Francko Kouagnia’s last second try to tie, as the Cascades escape with their 4th straight win to start the season.  The defenses dominate, as the shooting is dismal both ways – UFV is 35% from the floor, and UNBC only 33%.  The Timberwolves can merely look at their free throw stats ( 8/17 for 47%) to  find the simple reason for their loss. Dominique Brooks has 16 pts/6 rebs for Fraser Valley, with Jasper Moedt grabbing 10 rebs/ 9 pts, and Kevon Parchment adds 11/ 7 boards/ 4 assists.  UFV suffers through 21 turnovers … they hit all 7 of their free throw tries. The ‘Wolves get 16 pts/ 7 rebs from import guard, Rhys Elliot,  and 13 points from Michael Smith.     box score


 MacEwan Griffins  65  TRU  Wolf Pack  63 –  The Griffins win their 2nd Saturday game in 2 weeks, as they mount a 22-12 final quarter charge to beat the ‘Pack. Neither team shoots well, with the Griffs at 34% from the floor and TRU hitting only 30%;  the ‘Pack had real foul trouble, with both Josh Wolfram and Tallon Milne exiting in the 4th quarter, as the high scoring and leading rebounder, Wolfram sees just 17 minutes of floor time.

MacEwan has 4 in double figures with 17 pts/ 11 rebs from Ryan May, while Keith Gerdes hits 13 and grabs 9 boards.  It was Gerdes who scored at the buzzer to get the win for MU, after Brett Parker had tied it with a trey for the Wolves with 7 seconds left. Brett Rouault scored 21 to top the TRU scorers.   box score 


“More CIS Action on Saturday –

            Acadia  85  at St. FX  81

          at  UPEI  107   #6  Cape Breton   106 

          # 7 UNB  108  at Saint Marys   91

            Dalhousie  69  at Memorial  66

             #1  Carleton  82  at Laurentian   60            

            #2  Ottawa   113   at  Nipissing   62

           at #3 Ryerson   98   #4  Windsor  78              

            at #5  McMaster  81    Lakehead   73

            Western  75  At Toronto  68

            at Guelph 89  Algoma   61

             Laurier  87 at Queen’s   80


No games in Quebec  


Overtime –

  • Good observation by the play by play guys in Regina … why not get some kids with brooms or towels ready to clean-up the smudges when players hit the floor.  Fun for the kids, and no problem for the refs.
  •   No truer words … from Trinity Coach, Scott Allen, after a close home loss on Friday to Lethbridge, “We’ve worked hard enough to be successful, but I think it’s a mental game now. We have to become stronger and do it quickly because we’re digging ourselves into a really big hole and we have a tough schedule ahead.”  (From Mark Janzen, TWU Athletics).
  •   Manny Dulay, Fraser Valley’s 3rd year 3 point danger man, gets praise from Coach Adam Friesen, … he’s worked at his game, and showed his ability to finish inside with some layups and runners. He’s a tough guy to stop. Everybody knows he can shoot it, but he becomes a difficult check now that he puts the ball on the ground and can go by somebody.”  (From Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics).
  • In women’s play, Regina gets the sweep over Calgary  71 – 58  .