Thursday – Bears-Vikes, ‘Birds-‘Wolves

 

Can the Vikes and Chris McLaughlin get past the Golden Bears ?

Can the Vikes and  Canada West’s Player of the Year, Chris McLaughlin, get past the Golden Bears  in the Q-Finals?

Victoria and Alberta – Two Traditional Powers

In one Canada West Q-Final beginning on Thursday night, UVic hosts Alberta in a match-up of teams with a history of success at the League and National level.   The Vikes  have been to the last 2 CIS Nationals, but haven’t won Canada West since 2006, while the Bears were at the CIS Final 8  last season and in ’12 , and they were CW champs in both those years and in 2005.

Only one of these ‘power teams’  will move on to the Canada West Final 4.  The Vikes have home court, where they beat Alberta twice in League play, while the Bears have the longest current win streak , 8 games, in the League.  Key players and key numbers –

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The Golden Bears have a bit more depth (by minutes played), their defense is at least as good as UVic’s, and they shoot the 3 pointer better as a team.  The Vikes have 2 game-changers in McLaughlin and Tibbs, plus as good a rebounding team as there is in CW.

Youssef Ouahrig is another key for Alberta at the point, and Reiner Theill can hit the 3 and play the D for Victoria. Prediction – Home court edge in a 3 game series for UVic. 

 

5th year forward, Tommy Nixon, is UBC's ace in the paint !

5th year forward, Tommy Nixon, is UBC’s ace in the paint !

Timberwolves at Thunderbirds –  UBC  Has ‘Dynamic Duo’

In the other Thursday start, the Explorer Division’s UNBC Timberwolves (12-8), in their first-ever CIS playoff series (this is only their 3rd year in Canada West), step onto historic War Memorial Gym hardwood to face the 14-6 UBC T-Birds. UBC has been one of Canada West’s winningest programs, with 5 League championships  over the past 12 years. The ‘Birds slipped to 11-11 last season, and started 1-5 this campaign, but finished 13-1 since late November.  Key players and key numbers –

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The two dominant figures for UBC over that stretch have been Tommy Nixon, the Canada West scoring leader, and 6-9, Conor Morgan.  UNBC counters with their ‘bigs’ Francko Kouagnia and Devin McMurtry, plus a sharp-shooting Aussie import, Rhys Elliott.  The T-Birds bring more size and experience with  6-8, Tonner Jackson and 6-8, David Wagner,  and their 3rd year point man, Jordan Jensen-Wright, has grown more and more comfortable in that role.

The T’Wolves defense needs  to have a big series, and control the efforts of Nixon and Morgan, mostly inside.  UBC scores (highest ppg in Canada West) in the paint, and at the line !  Prediction – UNBC hasn’t turned it over, and they allow  fewer points, but this still looks like a 2 game sweep for UBC.

  >   Both  these series tip-off Thursday at 7 pm – Pacific

 

 Canada West Men’s Basketball Individual Award winners:

 

Huskies Ben Baker- Defensive Player of the Year

Huskies Ben Baker- Defensive Player of the Year

 Player of the Year: Chris McLaughlin, Victoria – As the ‘go-to man in the middle for the Vikesthe 6-10 McLaughlin led his team to a 15-5 season, and averaged 19.8 points per game 2nd in CW scoring, and 10 rebounds.  In his final season at Victoria, the Ontario native is a sure -fire pro candidate.

Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Baker, Saskatchewan – Leading the  Huskies (15-5)  to the #1 seed,   Baker finished  with 2.1 steals/ game,  and 7.7 rebounds, while contributing 12 ppg offensively. He also won this award in 2013.

 

 

 Calgary's  Lars Schleuter, is CW Rookie of the Year.

Calgary’s Lars Schleuter, is CW Rookie of the Year.     Photo – David Moll –  UC

Rookie of the Year: Lars Schlueter, Calgary – This 6-8, import wing-man from Germany is … “ a high percentage shooter with a quick enough release to handle the speed of our game and can run the floor very well”, says his Coach Dan Vanhooren.  He averaged 9.6 ppg and 3.2 rebounds, and defended opposing forwards very well, as he started every game for the Dinos.

 

Dan Vanhooren, UC Dinos, wins Coach of the Year.

Dan Vanhooren, UC Dinos, wins Coach of the Year.  Photo- David Moll, UC

Coach of the Year: Dan Vanhooren, Calgary – This is the first Coach of the Year selection for the Dinos 15 year head man, as he moves the team from 2 non-playoff seasons in 2013 and ‘14 to their 12-8 year this campaign, much of it spent in the CIS Top 10 rankings. Vanhooren has won 2 Canada West titles with his Dinos teams in 2004 and 2009.

 

 

 

Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Devin McMurtry, UNBC – The formidable 5th year rebounder was a peer-tutor, helping his teammates and other student-athletes with their studies, and also coached in the Jr. Timberwolves program.  The clincher, though, was his shaving is famous ‘flowing locks’ for the latest cancer fund-raiser!

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Overtime –

  • Further to the OUA’s use of the RPI as a decision-maker for playoff seeding … The RPI is a metric calculated on the following formula: 25 percent a team’s record, 50 percent a team’s opponents’ record, and 25 percent a team’s opponents’ opponents’ record.
  •  CIS Champions over the past 15 years – Carleton – 10 wins, including the last 4 seasons, Saskatchewan in 2010, Brock in 2008, Alberta in 2002, and St. FX in 2001, 2000. So 11 of 15 for the OUA, and 10/15 for Coach Dave Smart and the Ravens.  Canada West has 2 wins, as does the AUS, and Quebec hasn’t won since Bishop’s in 1998.
  •   Two big recruit signings for  Coach Mark Dobell of Mt. Royal, as theMRU has the friendliest ticket prices in the schools we checked for single game tickets. Cougars land Tyis Yellowhorn, a 6-4 combo guard from Chestermere (AB) High School. Yellowhorn, a key player on Coach Rob Wilson’s  powerhouse team ( 28-0 vs Canadian schools ), had been recruited by several other CIS schools, but stays close to home in the Calgary area. Coach Wilson says, “Tyis is a very good shooter, who builds everything else off that shot.  He makes good decisions as a ball-handler.“   The 2nd addition for MRU is Nate Wall, a 6-8 wing man from Holy Trinity, Okotoks, AB, and another highly sought -after grad, who Coach Dobell describes as having “ … a huge upside. He also shoots the ball really well, and can  put it on the floor.  He has some maturing to do physically (as do most high school grads), but we like his skills as a big kid.”

Wesmen Falter, Dinos Benefit

 

 

  Friday Night  in Canada West –

Dinos lose – but get 5th over the struggling Wesmen?

 (We’re on remote here fans – just the highlights)

 at Saskatchewan Huskies 89  Calgary Dinos 80 –  Like a punch to the gut … 33 Huskie points in the opening quarter. The Dinos crawl back to within 3 after 3, but no cigar!  Pretty tough when Saskatchewan shoots 60% from the floor, with Calgary a mere 48%. Dadrian Collins scores 21 for the ‘Dogs, with Ben Baker and Matt Forbes hitting 17. Calgary has a good game from Phil Barndt with 22, and Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson adds 17.  Saskatchewan (14-5) is one win away from clinching the #1 seed.  The Dinos fall to 12-7, but will finish 5th by our reckoning, as Winnipeg drops a key game to Regina.  Box Score 

Regina Cougars 74  at Winnipeg Wesmen  71 –   The Cougars (8-11) bring their ‘A  game’, shooting 51% FGs, led by Brandon Tull with 17 / 10 rebounds, with Jonathan Tull adding 18 pts/4 rebs/ 4 asst/ 3 steals. The Wesmen are cold at 38% from the floor, but have a chance at the finish, falling just short.  This game is very costly for Winnipeg, as at 11-8, they can only tie Calgary, and will fall to 6th, as the Dinos beat the Ws twice in League play.  Box Score 

  at Alberta Golden Bears 75  Lethbridge Pronghorns 57 –  After a 25-11 3rd quarter, it’s all over …. Bears are 13-6 and get # 7 in a row. They take advantage of 12 treys vs just 4 for the ‘Horns (7-12) .  Ken Otieno scores 15 with 7 boards and Joel Friesen 14 pts/7 rebs/ 5 assts. Rob Olsen for Lethbridge is the game high scorer with 23 points. Box Score 

at UBC Thunderbirds 98  Manitoba Bisons 82 –  The ‘Birds (13-6)  ‘declare‘( in cricket parlance) at 80-55 after 3/4s, as they hit 50% from the floor and 29/42 free throws vs 6/11 for the visiting Herd (9-10).  6 players in double figures for the Thunderbirds, including 12 points / 10 boards by Conor Morgan, and 17 pts/ 5 rebs/ 7 assts by Jordan Jensen-Whyte. Manitoba get 15 from Amarjit Basi, and they have 4 more players in doubles, but can’t defend the ‘Birds. Box Score 

  at Victoria Vikes 99 Trinity Western Spartans 79 –  The Vikes hit 52% from the field, as Marcus Tibbs runs free for 29 points, with 5/7 from outside, 10 assts/ 3 steals, while Chris McLaughlin chips in with 25 pts/ 8 boards. Victoria (14-5) takes it down to the final League game trying to catch Saskatchewan for 1st, but need a Huskie loss on Saturday. TWU win the rebounding 39-32, but little else, as their defense cannot slow down the Vikes. Justin Bakuteka scores 21 for the Spartans (2-17) and Denny McDonald 17.  Box Score 

 

Explorer Division … Cougars Can Snag 3rd, With Help

 at  Mt. Royal Cougars 78  MacEwan Griffins  71-  MRU looked like a flustered team at the half, and, trailing by 10 in the 3rd quarter, but they roared back to tie, then won the 4th decisively.  They move to 9-10, and are 1 win and a TRU loss away from a playoff spot. MacEwan’s Lee Danderfer connected on 7/13 treys for a game high 23 points, and Keith Gerdes adds 16, but they cool down in the final 15 minutes, shooting 36% as a team on the game. Mt. Royal owns the boards at 47-33, and shoots well enough to win. Manok Akwl and Awet Abraha both tally 17 points, while James Lefebvre -do what he do’ – 15 pts/ 15 rebs !  Box Score

at Fraser Valley Cascades 83  Thompson R. Wolf Pack 62 –  Fraser Valley stifles the ‘Pack attack, as the Orange (10-9) hit a paltry 29% from the floor. TRU’s leader,  Josh Wolfram, plays 19 minutes, but is not really himself, scoring just 7 and claiming 4 rebs. Joe Davis comes off the bench as the only Wolf to hit double figures with 10 in 12 minutes. The rebounds are 52-33 UFV !  The Cascades (17-2) get 22 points from Kadeem Willis and 17 by Kevon Parchment.  Box Score

UNBC Timberwolves  85 at UBC-Okanagan Heat  64-  Bang-zoom !  In an afternoon tilt, the Timberwolves dispense with the Heat in very short order.  As in the Thursday night affair, the ‘Wolves cut off the UBC-O offense, and, in the late-going, pulled away with a 41-25 2nd half. Rebounding was a big T-Wolves advantage at 46- 33, and 21/29 (72%) free throws beat the 14/22 (64%) of the Heat. 4 starters posted double figure scoring for the 12-8 Timberwolves, led by 16 pts/9 rebounds from the relentless Francko Kouagnia, and a robust 14 boards and 12 points from his ‘right-hand man‘ Devin McMurtry.  Okanagan, who finish League play at 3-17, had Dean Johnston with 12 pts, and 10 each by Noma Obaseki and Ryan Morck (9 rebs).   Box Score

 

 CIS Scores from the East –

AUS …  #8 UNB 77   at St. FX 72

Quebec …  Laval 72 at UQAM 60, at Bishop’s  76 Concordia 72

Ontario –  #1 Carleton 114  at Queen’s 45 , #2 Ottawa 90 at York 57,  #5 Windsor 103 at Algoma 66

at Waterloo 91  Nipissing 64, Laurentian 73 at Laurier 65

 

Overtime –

  • We noted the outstanding year for the MacEwan Women’s team in making the playoffs in their 1st year in Canada West.  The question has been asked , “Has any other school done this in their 1st year ?”  Well … yes !  Trinity Western Men, with a record of 8-14, tied for 6th in 2000-01, their inaugural CIS season.  They won the spot in a ‘tie breaker’, and lost in the 1st round, 2-0 to Simon Fraser.
  • The Calgary Dinos Women’s team, 9-9 and playing the 1st place, 15-3 Huskies,  look to be firmly in 7th spot for the playoffs, and would travel to the #5 Pioneer team … (Winnipeg, Regina, Victoria ?) for a play-in round best of 3 next weekend.
  • The Mt. Royal (Men’s) Cougars now depend on Fraser Valley to beat Thompson Rivers twice, and they need to take care of business themselves by sweeping the MacEwan Griffins who visit Jack Kenyon Court for the final 2 games on the schedule. If the chips fall for the Cougars, MRU and TRU would be tied at 10-10, and were 2-2 with each other in League play.  The tie breaker for 3rd spot would be Mt. Royal’s win over UFV on Feb. 1.  The 3rd Explorer team hosts a play-in series (best of 3) vs the 6th place Pioneer squad.

UNBC Stake Claim on 2nd

 

T’Wolves Ravage Home-town Heat

UNBC copy

UNBC Timberwolves 86  at                    UBC-Okanagan Heat 56 –  UNBC took a big step towards claiming the 2nd spot in the Explorer Division with a convincing Thursday win at UBC-Okanagan. The Wolves, now 11-8, dominate  with balanced scoring and a very strong floor game on offense, with only 8 turnovers against 18 by the home team.  UNBC’s defense effectively shuts off the UBC-O attack, and limits Heat shooters to just 35% from the floor vs 48% for the ‘T’Wolves. Francko Kouagnia led with 18 points / 9 rebounds, while Mitch Howden, a 6-5, 2nd year forward from Abbotsford, came off the bench for 16 points in just 13 minutes of play. Mitch Goodwin was the top scorer for Okanagan with 16 points, including 3/4 from outside. Box Score

 

Overtime –

Canada West Women’s Standings –

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  • Rob Poole, MacEwan U. Women’s Coach, “With the two divisions, looking at who
    Unknown

    It’s no surprise that Coach Rob Poole guided MacEwan to the playoffs in their 1st season in CW.

    we were going to be playing, we knew that we had a legitimate shot to be in the top three, because we’re bringing quite a competitive (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) team,” said coach Poole, whose Griffins won the ACAC championship last year and finished third at CCAA nationals.  With Poole, a highly regarded long-time  high school coach at Harry Ainlay, Edmonton,  the Griffs had a much better shot at success, we think.    From an Edmonton Sun article by Brian Swane.

 

  • The Calgary Dinos Women’s team, 9-9 and playing the 1st place, 15-3 Huskies,  look to be firmly in 7th spot for the playoffs, and would travel to the #5 Pioneer team … (Winnipeg, Regina, Victoria ?) for a play-in round best of 3 next weekend.
  • The Mt. Royal (Men’s) Cougars now depend on Fraser Valley to beat Thompson Rivers twice, and they need to take care of business themselves by sweeping the MacEwan Griffins who visit Jack Kenyon Court for the final 2 games on the schedule. If the chips fall for the Cougars, MRU and TRU would be tied at 10-10, and were 2-2 with each other in League play.  The tie breaker for 3rd spot would be Mt. Royal’s win over UFV on Feb. 1.  The 3rd Explorer team hosts a play-in series (best of 3) vs the 6th place Pioneer squad.

Explorer Race is Still On

 

Final League Games Crucial for ‘Pack, T’Wolves, and Cougars

Francko Kouagnia and his UNBC Timberwolves will be reaching for 2nd place this weekend vs Okanagan.

Francko Kouagnia and his UNBC Timberwolves will be reaching for 2nd place this weekend vs Okanagan.

While the Pioneer Division has all 7 play-off qualifiers finalized before the weekend’s play, the 6-team Explorer loop still has 3 teams vying for 2nd and 3rd behind the runaway UFV train.  UNBC starts tonight in Kelowna with 2 games against the cellar-dwelling UBC-O Heat, but Coach Peter Guarasci’ youthful Okanagan squad have shown they have made progress.  The T’Wolves’ big men, Devin McMurtry and Francko Kouagnia,  may be the difference in this series.

Thompson Rivers look to be without their star forward, Josh Wolfram, and are hand-cuffed on offense and on the boards as a result.  There’s no doubt that, at their best, UFV should take both games in Abbotsford, and, if that happens, TRU is in jeopardy of missing out on the post-season. Mt. Royal has to have a sweep on their home floor against the MacEwan Griffins if they are to get to 10-10, and possibly tie TRU and get 3rd on a tie beaker.

In the Pioneer, we have the 7th spot decided, and it will be the Manitoba Bisons, who will, after playing at UBC this week, wait and see where they go to play that 1st round series against the Pioneer #5 team. The 1 through 6 spots are up in the air, and with upsets a possibility, it may be smart not to do too much prognostication. But … Saskatchewan and UVic have the best chance of securing the top 2 spots, if they don’t stumble against Calgary or TWU respectively. Alberta, UBC, and Winnipeg will be in as well, with places to be  determined by weekend game results.

 

This Week in Canada West –

Thursday /Friday  the T’Wolves try and finish strong –  

UNBC Timberwolves (10-8)  at UBC-Okanagan Heat (3-15) –  The Wolves are aiming for 2nd in the Explorer Division and a bye to the round of 8 in Canada West playoffs, but beware the home-town Heat, who are coming on of late.  2nd game is Friday in Kelowna again.

Friday /Saturday  in the Pioneer Division –

Can Matt Letkeman and the Calgary Dinos get a win at Saskatchewan?

Can Matt Letkeman and the Calgary Dinos get a win at Saskatchewan?

Calgary Dinos (12-6)  at Saskatchewan Huskies (13-5) – The Huskies are very tough at home, and Calgary has just 1 win in 12 games vs Sask.  An upset is not impossible, but the odds say sweep for the Sled Dogs.

Regina Cougars (7-11)  at Winnipeg Wesmen (11-7) –  The Wesmen have won 5 straight vs the green Cougs, but Winnipeg has to be rattled by their loss at TWU last Saturday. Only if Regina can take advantage, which they haven’t, most recently.

Lethbridge Pronghorns (7-11)  at Alberta Golden Bears (12-6) – Alberta hasn’t lost a home game to Lethbridge since 2006.  The Bears are hot, and the ‘Horns are 2-6 since early January.  Bears sweep.

Manitoba Bisons (9-9)  at UBC Thunderbirds (12-6) – 2001 was the last win by the Herd over the ‘Birds, and U of M goes in on a 5 – game slide.  UBC gets will want to guarantee a playoff series on home court.

Trinity Western Spartans (2-16)  at Victoria Vikes (13-5) – The  win on Saturday was nice for the departing Coach Scott Allen at TWU, but the Vikes are playing the last 2 games ever at MacKinnon Gym.  History demands a pair of UVic wins.

 

And, in the other  Explorer Division games –

Awet Abraha (L) and Deng Awak  will have to be sharp for MRU to beat the MacEwan Griffins.

Awet Abraha (L) and Deng Awak will have to be sharp for MRU to beat the MacEwan Griffins.

MacEwan Griffins (7-11) at  Mt. Royal Cougars (8-10) – These 2 teams are very well matched, and you have to respect the Griffins showing in their 1st Canada West season .  Mt. Royal can make the playoffs with 2 wins, and they look better over the last 2 weeks. Their guards will need to make good decisions at the offensive end.

Thompson R. Wolf Pack (10-8)  at Fraser Valley Cascades (16-2) –  We’re not sure about the status of TRU’s Josh Wolfram, who has missed with injury since Jan. 30, and obviously that is a huge negative factor for their chances .  Fraser Valley, in ‘full battle readiness’ should finish with 2 home wins to get set for the playoffs.

 

 CIS Scores from the East –

Dalhousie 84  St. FX 70 – this puts X on the ‘endangered list for the AUS Tournament’.

St. Mary’s 78  Acadia 73

#3 Ryerson 104  Toronto 68 – no prisoners taken there !

Brock 62  Guelph  55

Up – coming –

#8 UNB at St. FX,  Laval at UQAM, Concordia at Bishop’s,   #1 Carleton at Queen’s ,  #5 Windsor at Algoma, #2 Ottawa at York, Nipissing at Waterloo, Laurentian at Laurier

 

Extra Spot in Nationals Almost a ‘Lock’ for the OUA 

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Carleton jumps to #1, and we await the next meeting of the ‘Ponies’ and the ‘Blackbirds’  in the playoffs.

Saskatchewan loses and drops back to #6, while Alberta and UBC are in at #10, #9 with impressive wins over the past couple of months. Calgary disappears with their loss to Alberta, as does UFV as they drop 2 of 4 games.

The OUA look like getting 4 teams in Nationals, and the real drama will be for all other Leagues to see who wins their way to Toronto (Ryerson) for the CIS Final 8. One team from the Atlantic – It looks like UPEI and UNB, but their tournament format allows for ‘sudden victory’ by a hot under-dog.

Quebec plays it’s Final 4 at Bishop’s, and that may give the Gaiters the upper-hand in a very tightly -bunched field. One team to the Final 8 for them as well.

Canada West will get 2 teams, with a minuscule shot at a 3rd via wildcard, but that seems far-fetched.  The Huskies and Vikes have the best chance to host the Final 4, as the top-seed, but the predictability has been lower this season than in many years past.

Bobcats and Spartans Play Spoiler

 

 

Huskies Rebound While the Vikes are Surprised in Brandon

Ben Baker , Huskies all-purpose guard .

Ben Baker , Huskies all-purpose guard .

Saskatchewan Huskies  74  at Lethbridge Pronghorns 67 –  The Huskies (13-5) get the split, and are again in a 1st place tie with UVic after the weekend’s play.  Matt Forbes scores 21 points for U of S, who shoot just 36% as a team, but are good on 21/30 free throws vs 11/15 for Lethbridge. Ben Baker scores 15 / grabs 7 rebs/ 6 steals  to further spark the winners. Lethbridge (7-11) are not nearly as hot from outside tonight (8/26 = 31%), and are hurt by the ‘Dogs more aggressive offensive style. Brandon Brine has a sharp game for U of L, with 25 points  and 8 rebounds, and Rob Olsen adds 16 points and 5 assists.  Box Score

at Brandon Bobcats  77    Victoria Vikes  76   –  In their last game of an otherwise Br Bobcatsdisappointing season, the Bobcats  capture just their 2nd of 20 contests by knocking off the top team in the Division, the #7 ranked Vikes (13-5). Overcoming an 8 point deficit in the last 6 minutes, Brandon (2-18) storms back on  a 9-0 run and holds on with a late lay-up by guard, Mikee Dosado. Kenonte Ramsay scored 31 points/ 5 rebs/ 5 steals to do the major damage for BU, with 18 points, 10 boards and 4 steals by Earl Thompson Jr.  aiding the cause. The Vikes shot 48% from the floor, and that included 11/22 from outside the arc, but 19 turnovers hurt them, then their offense shut down at the wrong time. Chris McLaughlin, getting extra defensive attention, was held to 14 points/ 7 rebs., while Mack Roth, with 20 points and Marcus Tibbs with 17 plus 11 boards led UVic.   Box Score 

UBC Thunderbirds  84  at Regina Cougars  69  –  The T-Birds (12-6) start and finish strong to get the sweep over the Cougars, with a 44-32 half-time lead, then a 24-19 final quarter.  The keys to the win were the huge free throw advantage of 22/34 for UBC to just 6/10 for Regina, and the ‘Birds’ 51-32 rebounding domination. Conor Morgan scores a season-high 30 points for UBC, with 12 rebounds, and Kedar Wright and Tommy Nixon score 13 apiece.  Regina (7-11) has Brandon Tull with 25.

TWU copyat Trinity Western  97  Winnipeg Wesmen  84 –  In a complete reversal of the form sheet, TWU runs up the 90+ points on offense rather than giving them at the other end.  The Wesmen defense is taxed by 53 % shooting from the Spartans, led by a virtuoso 33 point / 10 rebound display from 5th year forward, Denny McDonald in his final game in Langley. His fellow senior, Justin Bakuteka,  adds  18/ 6 rebs/ 4 assts/ 4 steals, giving Trinity just their 2nd win of the season. Winnipeg shoots 52% themselves, but are beaten 35-23 off the glass, and hit 3 fewer treys. The Ws get 20 points from Jelane Pryce, and 17  by  rookie, Denzel Lynch-Blair. Box Score

Francko Kouagnia leads UNBC to win over Fraser Valley.

Francko Kouagnia leads UNBC to win over Fraser Valley.

at UNBC Timberwolves 69  Fraser Valley Cascades  57 –  The Cascades absorb their 2nd loss  in as many weeks, as UNBC shuts the visitors down to 7 points in the 4th quarter and UFV is just 34% from the floor.  UNBC gets 4 players in double figures, with 17 points/ 12 boards by Francko Kouagnia, and 12 points / 13 rebounds from big Devin McMurtry. Kadeem Willis leads UFV with 19 points/ 7 boards, while Kevon Parchment registers 10 pts/ 8 rebs. UFV commits 20 turnovers and lose the rebounding 41-40, as they are now 16-2 on the season. The Timberwolves are 10-8, and have a shot at  2nd spot in the Explorer, as they finish on the road at UBC-O next week. Box Score

 

 

at Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack  66  Mt. Royal Cougars  62  –  TRU (10-8) fights back to get the split led by 5th year wing, Brett Rouault with 21 points and 6 rebounds, and Reese Pribilsky’s 10 points/ 10 boards / 5 assists. Neither team shot well, as defense dominated both ways. MRU get 19 pts/ 10 rebs.  from a hard-working James Lefebvre, and with Deng Awak adding 15 points / 12 boards; 20 turnovers limited the Cougars shot at the win in this one.  Josh Wolfram, their high scorer and big rebounder, not in the line-up for the ‘Pack, as he sits with an ankle injury.  It comes down to the final week for these 2 teams for the last playoff spot, it would appear.  Mt. Royal (8-10) at home to MacEwan, and TRU on the road in Abbotsford against the suddenly vulnerable UFV Cascades.  Box Score

 at  MacEwan Griffins 62  UBC-Okanagan Heat 59    –   The visiting Heat (3-15) give up a 45-37 lead after 3/4s, as a very spotty shooting night (29% from the floor) negates their chances for the W.  MacEwan score 25 points in the final frame, after struggling for the opening 30 minutes. Ryan May has 15 and Denzel james 14 for the Griffins. Mitch Goodwin has a game-high 22 points plus 6 rebs and 4 assts for UBC-O. Box Score

 

CIS Games from the East –

 AUS –  UPEI  104  at # 8 New Brunswick  95 ,  Saint Mary’s  92 Memorial 79 ,  Cape Breton 77  Dalhousie  71

Quebec – Concordia  51  McGill  44  ,   UQAM  71  Bishop’s  64

 Ontario at #3 Ryerson 80 Lakehead 65 ,  at #4 McMaster 71  Queen’s  49 ,  #6 Windsor 78 at Nipissing , Western  87 Laurentian 80 ,  at Toronto 73 Guelph 71 ,   Algoma 85  Laurier  82 ,  York  101 Brock  89

 

Overtime –

Big Senior Night game for TRU's Brett Rouault.

Big Senior Night game for TRU’s Brett Rouault.

  • This story  from Larry Read , the Sports Information Officer at Thompson Rivers, really demonstrates the special pride the schools,  teams, and coaches take in the graduation of their 5th year seniors. TRU has 3 players finishing out their CIS careers, Brett Rouault, Brett Parker, and Tallon Milne. Coach Scott Clark expresses his appreciation for their contributions to the growth of the Wolf Pack program, and for his special time with them.
  • Our L.A. correspondent, David Wells tells us that Kyle Peterson, the combo guard from Edmonton, who played 2 successful seasons with the Victoria Vikes then transferred to Lethbridge, has decided to eschew the opportunity to play for the ‘Horns.  Peterson has, apparently, chosen to serve a 2 year church mission in the Caribbean, so Coach Mike Hansen will renew his search for point guard talent.

Dinos – Bears Battle Thursday

 

Rivalry Game Can Change Fortunes

Calgary's Jarred Ogungbemi_Jackson and Alberta's Joel Friesen lead their teams into the Thursday show-down in Calgary.

Calgary’s Jarred Ogungbemi_Jackson and Alberta’s Joel Friesen lead their teams into the Thursday show-down in Calgary.

Alberta Golden Bears (11-6)  at #10 Calgary Dinos (12-5) –  The Big Game … just one this week for these 2 arch-rivals, and they are both eager for the win.  It really does change their playoff outlook with a W vs an L !  Calgary won the game in Edmonton back in December, but tons of ice has flowed under the bridge since then.  Bears have 5 wins in a row, and the ‘dynamic duo’ of Joel Friesen (19 ppg, 5 rebs, 2.2 asst) and Mamadou Gueye (17.5 ppg, 7 rebs, 2 asst) have been burning it up during that run.  When called upon, like Batman, 5th year wing, Ken Otieno (14 ppg,  5 rebs) will offer up a 20 point outburst to save the day.  The GBs get good floor leadership from Youssef Ouahrig (9 ppg, 4 rebs, 4 asst), and they are deeper up front with the presence of 6-8 rookie Sebastian Denault (7 ppg, 5 rebs in 19 minutes).

Phil B

Dinos Phil Barndt –                         Photo David Moll for UC

Calgary comes off a thrill-a -minute road series tussle with UBC, where they get a split, and are now sitting 3rd with 3 games left … 1 with the Bears and 2 at Saskatchewan. Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson is playing like a man possessed, and tallying team highs with 20.5 ppg, 7.4 rebs, 5.1 assts, and 1.6 steals.  His fellow 5th year, import forward, Phil Barndt, averages 10 ppg, 4.6 rebs, but has been more aggressive lately, witness a 26 pt/11 reb gem last Friday vs the ‘Birds. The Dinos are always looking for a couple of more stalwarts to step up and assert themselves; 2 prime candidates are Dallas Karch, who leads Canada West in FG% at .637, and has been reaching double figures more often lately, and the ebullient (look it up) Matt Letkeman, who, if he can avoid drawing too much attention from the officials, can do some damage inside.

Too close to call, really.  “Neutral corners … protect yourselves at all times.”

 

Friday / Saturday  in Canada West –

Brandon Tull, Regina

Brandon Tull, Regina –      Sportshooter photo

UBC Thunderbirds (10-6) at Regina Cougars (7-9) –  The ‘Tommy Nixon Show’ goes on the road !  A ‘fresh’ weekend in Regina, and a Cougars team with something to prove, perhaps?  Nixon, with a white-hot streak, now leads CW in scoring at 21.8 ppg, with his finesse/grappling style in the post, and 61% FG average with 52% from outside. Someone cover that dude!  With Jordan Jensen-Whyte looking sharp at the point, and Kedar Wright able to answer the call, UBC is better with the ball.  Their bigs seem to take turns with strong offensive efforts, and the Cougs may be over-run if they can’t defend all that size and shooting.  Regina has the Jonathan (20 ppg, 5.6 rebs) and Brandon (15 ppg, 5 rebs) Tull  brother combo, and forwards Travis Sylvestre and Will Tallman playing significant roles as well.  The T-Birds are riding the wave, and will be tough to beat here.

# 7 Victoria Vikes (12-4) at Brandon Bobcats (1-17) – The Vikes would dearly love to win out, and have someone deliver a blow to the Huskies, with whom they’re locked up in a 1st place Division tie. Brandon has flashes of brilliance, but they’ve been overly seasoned with disinterested rebounding, and porous defense.  Can they surprise the vaunted Vikes out there on the frozen prairie?  Yes, but you’d better get some inviting odds.  Chris MacLaughlin, Marcus Tibbs, Reiner Theil and company will not be allowed to stray too far from the game plan by Coach Beaucamp.

Huskies post man, Matt Forbes

Huskies post man, Matt Forbes

#5 Saskatchewan Huskies (12-4) at Lethbridge Pronghorns (6-10) –  Now, while the legendary home-court voodoo has been oddly absent for much of this season, the ‘Horns can still get ‘herded -up’ and  ride the talents of Brandon Brine, Jared Baker, Brent Watkins, and Rob Olsen.  They gave UVic a couple of good games out on the island, and should not be taken lightly.  The Head Huskie, Barry Rawlyk, will advise his pack accordingly, and the Green and Black will work to extend their 8 game win streak.  Matt Forbes, Connor Burns, Dadrian Collins, and Ben Baker make for tough crew on the boards (2nd best in CW at + 6.4), and their 47% FG shooting produces 83 ppg.  Lethbridge doesn’t match that, and their high turnover rate might make for voracious feeding by the ‘Dogs.

Winnipeg Wesmen (10-6) at Trinity Western (1-15) –  4 consecutive wins have revived the Wesmen, and they are establishing a ‘bend-but-don’t-break’ kind of formula based on a swarming defense. Jelane Pryce has been a consistent scoring leader, and Mark McNee is not far behind;  Jordan Clennon, Chris Baxter, and Travis Krahn are working well together in the back-court.  Trinity has Justin Bakuteka scoring, and both Denny McDonald and Taylor Heinrichs chipping in with points and rebounds, but 1 win in 16 outings ?  No puzzle, really … Winnipeg allows 70 ppg … TWU – 93 ppg !

Jasper Moedt, UFV's top rebounder

Jasper Moedt, UFV’s top rebounder

#9 Fraser Valley Cascades at UNBC Timberwolves (9-7) –   Will this be a ‘vengeful’squad of Cascades, trying to make up for a lone loss after 15 straight wins?  Or rather, do the boys follow anticipated (and paraphrased) wisdom of Coach Adam Friesen, who  might say, “We now have to concentrate on building for the play-offs.  Play good team defense, rebound as a team, and share the ball efficiently, just as we’ve done all season.”  (At least this is what we imagine the song sheet reads this week in Abbotsford). UNBC are happy on the home ice, with 6 wins vs 2 losses, and they have a modest 4 game win streak of their own as they join the hunt for 2nd place.  The  T’Wolves Francko Kouagnia –  Devin McMurtry  vs  the ‘Cades Jasper Moedt – Nate Brown tag team match-up will be well-worth the price of admission!  We also have the shooting artistry of Fraser Valley’s Manny Dulay  (9 treys in a game ?!) and  UNBC’s Rhys Elliot .  Big weekend in Prince George !

Mt. Royal Cougars (7-9) at Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack (9-7) –  You can’t blame the ‘Pack for looking over their shoulders after losing 3 of 6 and giving ground to UNBC.  They will host a Mt. Royal team who knocked off the mighty Cascades, and who still have designs on catching both of TRU and Northern B.C. (Hope springs eternal!)  The Cougars will need to win with defense, and try and keep the score in the 60s or 70s; they score 72 ppg vs 80 ppg for the ‘Pack, and how do they match-up with the TRU big men, 6-11, Josh Wolfram (19 ppg/10.6 rebs), and 6-8, Tallon Milne.  James Lefebvre accepts the challenge game after game, and the athletic MRU perimeter troops will have to do their part.

UBC-Okanagan Heat (3-13)  at  MacEwan Griffins (5-11) –  Has UBC-O found their groove, and can they build on an impressive win their last time out?  Team leaders, Mitch Goodwin and David Manshrek, are getting stellar efforts from super-rookie Aldrich Berrios, and the Heat will need all of that against Denzel James (18 ppg, 6 rebs), Ryan May (12.6 ppg, 8.4 rebs) and the Griffins.

 

The ‘Biggest’ (“Every game’s a big game ….”)  CIS Games this week –

Ottawa's Capital Classic on Friday

Ottawa’s Capital Classic on Friday

OUA –  In the ‘Capital Hoops Classic‘ on Friday –  #2 Carleton  vs #1 Ottawa ,  at #3 Ryerson  Guelph , #6 Windsor at Laurentian , Lakehead at Toronto , at #4 McMaster  Queen’s , Western at Laurentian, at #3 Ryerson   Lakehead , Guelph at Toronto.

AUS –  at UPEI  – Acadia , at Cape Breton – Dalhousie ,  at #8 UNB – UPEI 

Quebec – Concordia – McGill , UQAM  – Bishops  ( home and home series) Laval rests.

 

Overtime –

  •   Former Bears player, Dinos Coach, and Saskatchewan Athletic Director (Boy, did
    John Dewar - Yesteryear

    John Dewar – Yester-year

    this guy get around !) John Dewar, was in touch yesterday.  “I’ll always be a Dino in my heart”, he says. “Please say hello to Coach Vanhooren and all the alumni guys at Senior Night.”  He has another assignment this week, as he ‘rides  shotgun’ in a team van with his son Dan and the Marian Graham Falcons high school team as they play in the Harry Ainlay Tournament in Edmonton.  Dan coaches his 2 nephews (John’s grandsons) Addison (gr. 11) and (gr. 9) Alexander Dewar on the varsity Falcons, who are currently the #1 team in the Saskatoon City League.  Of course, Grandpa John is their biggest fan.    More details in this December story in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix by Don Rice. 

  •   “A lot can happen,” stressed U of S men’s coach Barry Rawlyk, whose team currently is tied with the Victoria Vikes for first in the Prairie Division and second overall in the Canada West conference at 12-4 behind only the Fraser Valley Cascades at 15-1. “We’re in a spot right now where we could finish anywhere from first to sixth (in the Prairie Division), really, but we can’t worry about anything else going on in the league. We just have to take care of the business in front of us.”    From another Star-Phoenix story, this one by Darren Zary. 

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.

Top 2 Teams Play in Calgary

 

Can Phil Barndt and his Dinos teammates get the best of the visiting UVic Vikes ?

Can Phil Barndt and his Dinos teammates get the best of the visiting UVic Vikes ?

 

The # 6 Ranked Vikes are at # 10 Calgary in This Week’s Feature Series

It’s hard to pick a favourite in the Pioneer Division in Canada West as , each week, we get ‘upsets’, hard-fought split series, and unpredictable results.  No team has convinced us that they’re clearly number 1.  (That’s with apologies to the 12-0 Explorer leaders, the Fraser Valley Cascades –  they just don’t have the same level of competition).

Victoria are a 1/2 game behind Calgary going into the weekend, and the Vikes seem to be the team  that CIS coaches suspect might come out on top out West when the dust settles in March.  Calgary had a strong 1st half of the season, but now face a ‘Murderers Row’ of teams to finish the schedule –  UVic, at UBC, 1 at home vs Alberta, then at Saskatchewan.  Rugged.  The Dinos will get the full treatment from a perennially stingy Vikes defense, and have to respond with an exceptional effort to get results this Friday/Saturday.

We have Canada West games starting  Thursday – 

Winnipeg Wesmen (6-6) at Brandon Bobcats (1-13) – This is the opener of their home and home series this week, with the 2nd game Saturday in Winnipeg.  Fresh off an intense weekend at Victoria, the Ws need to keep their focus against the lowly ‘Cats.  These

Brandon's Kenonte Ramsay -  photo by MacKenzie Berry

Brandon’s Kenonte Ramsay – photo by MacKenzie Berry

provincial rivalry games somehow draw out more motivation, and can produce improbable results. Saying that, we note that Winnipeg has won 10 of the last 12 meetings.  The Wesmen have Jelane Pryce scoring 17 ppg, and Travis Krahn seems to have found the range recently in this last semester of his 5th year. Brandon shot it well at UBC, but turnovers and a rebounding deficit torpedoed their chances.  The Bobcats’ 5th year import guard, Kenonte Ramsay (16 ppg) has been stellar of late.

Friday –

Vikes big man, Chris McLaughlin

Vikes big man, Chris McLaughlin                              Photo – Ali Lee, UVic

#6 Victoria Vikes (9-3) at #10 Calgary Dinos (10-3) –  Last January the Vikes pummeled the Dinos 92-64, and UVic has won  4 of the last 5 games between these teams.  This series may decide top spot in the Division, but the top 4 or 5 teams are so close now, that it may not, either.  (Thanks for that vague analysis!)  Calgary’s inside defense will be examined by Victoria’s aim of getting the ball to 6-10, Chris McLaughlin (19 ppg, 10 rebs).  Matt Letkeman and Phil Barndt’s ability to stay out of foul trouble could be key to the Dinos fortunes here.  Marcus Tibbs should be back for the Vikes, and he will help their attack.  How will Calgary fare on offense against the Vikes tenacious D ?

#8 Saskatchewan Huskies (8-4) at Manitoba Bisons (9-5) – Is Manitoba a contender this season ?  We think so, but they’ll have to prove it against a Saskatchewan team that’s beaten the Herd  10 of the last 11 times out !  The Bisons may have the strength inside to fend off Matt Forbes, Conner Burns and company … Manitoba’s Wyatt Anders is 2nd in CW rebounding at 10.2 rebs/pg, and he gets help from Alfreeman Flowers (6.4 rpg), and Jon Alexander (5.5 rpg).  Ben Baker is the ace for Saskatchewan , with his 7.8 rebs from the guard spot.  We would bet the games are in the 80s, and we may well get a split.

Alberta Golden Bears (7-6)  at Regina Cougars (7-7) –  The Bears and Cougars are in the ‘pack of chasers’ in the Division race at this point, and both teams will dream of a sweep to help them move upstairs.  Regina has won just 1 of 5 games vs Alberta in 3 seasons, and despite the home court, they go in as ‘under-Cougars’.   The Bears, the defending Canada West champs,  have the experience (Ken Otieno, Mamadou Gueye, Joel Friesen, Youssef Ouahrig), and a recent tradition of winning, but have been up and down this campaign.  The Cougars, with the League’s scoring leader , Jonathan Tull (20.2 ppg), along with younger brother Brandon (15 ppg), and Travis Sylvestre (13 ppg), are a more confident team, and may give U of A all they want, and more.

UBC Thunderbirds (7-5) at Trinity Western Spartans (1-11) –  The Spartans come off a bye week and step right into the path of a fast-moving freight in the form of the surging T-Birds, who’ve won 6 in a row, and have their eyes on further glory.  Could TWU catch UBC looking ahead to ‘bigger, more dangerous prey’ ?  Perhaps, but the disparity in recent form may be far too great to make a difference.  Tommy Nixon, Conor Morgan, Brylle Kamen, and Jordan Jensen-Whyte have this Thunderbirds team playing like some of their better teams of the past.  Trinity hasn’t shown that they have enough support for Justin Bakuteka, and their defense will have trouble containing the ‘Birds.

Explorer Division  –

UNBC's relentless forward, Devin McMurtry, will be a tough match-up for Mt. Royal.

UNBC’s relentless forward, Devin McMurtry, will be a tough match-up for Mt. Royal.                       photo-  UNBC Athletics

UNBC Timberwolves (5-7) at Mt. Royal Cougars (6-6) –  Here are 2 teams fighting for the 3rd and final playoff spot (10th seed in CW) in the Division.  The Cougars have home court, and come off 2 wins at UBC-O, and they may have found their offensive mojo.  “We shared the ball better last week … we got (or chose) better shots”, says Coach Marc Dobell. They also got a super weekend from their ‘Little – Big Man’, James Lefebvre, who posted 44 pts / 14 rebounds in the 2 games;  Lefebvre’s challenge this week will be to combat the power of the ‘Wolves big post man, Francko Kouagnia (15.7 ppg / 6.6 rebs).  UNBC also has the brawn of Devin McMurtry (8.5 rebs), and MRU has to get all hands on deck to do battle on the boards.

MacEwan Griffins (4-8) at Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack (7-5) –  TRU forward, Josh Wolfram, will be getting a lot of attention from the Griffins defense, with his League -best 10.7 rebounds and 19.3 ppg.  Mac’s Ryan May and company will have their hands full.  One of Canada West’s under-rated players is Reese Pribilsky, the 4th year Wolf Pack point man from Victoria’s Oak Bay HS; Pribilsky averages 11 ppg, 4.2 assists, and has a 2.0 asst/turnover ratio. MacEwan counters with another relatively anonymous character in Denzel James, a 3rd year, 6-2 wing from Edmonton, who  scores 18 ppg, delivers 2.8 assists, and 1.4 steals.

Okanagan Heat (2-10) at #7 Fraser Valley Cascades (12-0) –  The spirit may be willing for the Heat, but they are up against a buzz-saw here with the Cascades on their home court.  UFV are an experienced crew, with Manny Dulay, Kevon Parchment, Jasper Moedt and their predecessors  having reached the Canada West Final Four the past 3 seasons. UBC-O are the youngest team in the League, and, even with a possible rookie of the year – Aldrich Berrios at point guard – the Heat can’t match the Cascades. Okanagan will hope to get a strong team performance and keep it close.

Lethbridge gets a bye this week

Saturday in Canada West –

Pioneer – Victoria at Calgary, Brandon  at Winnipeg, Saskatchewan at Manitoba, Alberta at Regina, UBC at Trinity Western

Explorer – UNBC at Mt. Royal, UBC-O at Fraser Valley, MacEwan at Thompson Rivers

 

CIS Scores From the East –  

Tues –  Cape Breton 83  St. FX  65

Weds –  Guelph 92  Waterloo 60,  Acadia 72  Saint Marys 62

Tonight we have … a downtown Montreal affair with UQAM at Concordia.

Friday’s  ‘Big Games in the East ‘ – 

The Reds are the top team in the Atlantic.

The Reds are the top team in the Atlantic.

A 4 pt game in the AUS as #9 UNB hosts the inconsistent CBU Capers

Bishops is at Laval in the ‘Q’ (They play a Fri/Sat home and home. )

#2 Carleton is on the road at #5 Windsor, while #3 Ryerson plays a cross-town game against an up and coming York Yeoman team, and #1 Ottawa is in London to play a very tough Western Mustangs crew.

Saturday –  It’s Carleton at Western and Ottawa at Windsor in key OUA contests, while UPEI plays at UNB in the Atlantic.

 

Big Reversal for Bears and ‘Horns

 

Pioneer Division -Alberta Thumps the Bisons,  Lethbridge Handles the Dinos … ‘T-Birds Stay Hot at Home …

 

Brandon Brine's 30 points help 'Horns get a split with Calgary.

Brandon Brine’s 30 points help ‘Horns get a split with Calgary.

at Lethbridge 82  # 8 Calgary  70  –  As hot as the Dinos were on Friday, they couldn’t find the hoop with any consistency on Saturday, while Lethbridge seemed to find their groove at both ends, opening up a 34-22 lead, and expanding it to a 16 point game after 3 quarters.  Inside and out, Brandon Brine was ripping it up for U of L (6-8), with 30 points on 9/15 including 5/8 from outside.   ‘Horns Coach Mike Hansen rolled his line-up often, and got valuable contributions from his bench, as the ‘Horns defensive efforts cooled the Dinos right down. Calgary gets 15 apiece from Dallas Karch and Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, as they slide to 10-3 on the season.  Box Score

 

at  # 9 Saskatchewan  88 Regina 80  –  Another ‘tooth and nail affair’ for the provincial rivals as the ‘Dogs get a valuable sweep, and maintain their 10 year domination on home court.  Both teams shot well , but the Huskies (8-4) hit  more treys . A solid rebound advantage also gave the home team some breathing room.  Lots of free throw shooting …  U of S led by  18 points from Andrew Henry, 16 by  Matt Forbes. Regina gets 17 from Travis  Sylvestre, and  falls to 7-7.   Box Score  

 

 

Mamadou Gueye leads a determined Bears attack to a split with Manitoba.

Mamadou Gueye leads a determined Bears attack to a split with Manitoba.

at Alberta  96  Manitoba  73 –  Alberta (7-6) literally ‘come out with a vengeance’, and their defense stifles the Manitoba attack.  The Bears get a weekend split by playing hard on defense and smart at the offensive end, and use a massive 61-39 win in the rebound battle to tip the scales. It’s a physical game, with  74 free throws attempted, 3 foul outs, and 3 technical fouls. Intense.  For the GBs, it’s 25 points and 14 boards from Mamadou Gueye and 24 points from Ken Otieno. Manitoba ( 9-5) gets 18 from Amarjit Basi before he leaves on fouls, and Mike Holloway scores 14.  Box Score

 at  # 5 Victoria 78  Winnipeg  76 –   The Vikes, now  9-3,  held on for the win after Winnipeg took a 9 point, last minute run at the home team, with  Chris McLaughlin’s  basket proving the winner.  The teams were tied at 43 at the break, then UVic took an 8 point edge into the 4th, but the Wesmen (6-6) proved very stubborn. McLaughlin hit 16 pts and snared 12 rebounds, while   Patrick Pilato scored 14 and Reiner Theil 12  for the Vikes.  Mark McNee scored 21 for the Ws, who were out-rebounded 36-26 by the hosts.  Winnipeg might have won it from the free throw line, but hit only 61% (17/28) .  Box Score

at  UBC  107  Brandon 76  –  There was even rain indoors at UBC on Saturday, as the T-Birds (7-5) dropped 58% of their field goal attempts and deluged the Bobcats. 5 ‘Birds in double figures with Tommy Nixon spurring his team to their 7th straight victory, as he scored 22, claimed 12 rebounds, and had 4 assists and 4 steals. Conor Morgan also scored 22 for UBC, whose tough defending forced 21 Brandon turnovers. Kenonte Ramsay led the ‘Cats (1-13) scoring once again with 20 pts on 7/10 shooting.  Box Score

Trinity Western (1-11)  bye week.

 

Explorer Division –MacEwan Fights Back, but Cascades Get OT Win

Kevon Parchment powers UFV to an OT win at MacEwan.

Kevon Parchment powers UFV to an OT win at MacEwan on Saturday.

# 7  Fraser Valley 90  at MacEwan 83    – Credit to MacEwan, who dug in early in this one, trying to expunge the stain from Friday’s mauling and they have it tied at 35 after 20 minutes. We get a bizarre finish, with UVF ahead 70-66 in the last 30 seconds,  the Griffs’ Keith Gerdes makes 2 and draws a foul from UFV’s Nate Brown plus 2 technical fouls.  Gerdes makes 3 FTs (5 pt play !) and we have a tie.  Incredibly, the teams swap 3 pointers in the final 20 seconds to take it to OT. Fraser Valley ends the drama with 9 straight points to start the extra time, holding on for their 12th straight win (12-0).

Kevon Parchment has 22 pts/7 rebs/ 5 assts and Jasper Moedt 20 pts/ 10 boards for the Cascades, while MacEwan (4-8)  has all 5 starters in double figures, topped by 18 from Denzel james and 17 from Gerdes.  Box Score

 Thompson Rivers  81  at UNBC  71 –  The ‘Pack (7-5) look much sharper tonight, as they go 49% from the floor (to 39% for UNBC) , and establish a 42-30 lead at the half. The visitors win the rebound (40-37) and turnover (12-15) battles as well.  UNBC (5-7) hits 10 shoots from the outside to keep it respectable, but really, never in much doubt. Big man, Josh Wolfram re-emerges with 29 points and 16 big rebounds to pace the TRU attack, while Gerard Gore scores 10 points off the bench.  Devin McMurtry has a solid double of 18 pts / 14 boards for the T’Wolves. Box Score

James Lefebvre burns the Heat for 27 points as the Cougars sweep in Kelowna.

James Lefebvre burns the Heat for 27 points as the Cougars sweep in Kelowna.

Mt. Royal 85  at UBC-Okanagan 70   –   A big offensive effort by the Cougars, who even their record at 6-6, as they get 27 points from James Lefebvre, and 15 from Okanagan Valley native, Derek Wolf on 6/11 shooting.  49% from the floor is heady territory for MRU these days ?  Noma Obeseki grabs 11 boards for the Heat, leading both teams, while rookie, Aldrich Berrios cashes 25 points including 5/10 from beyond the arc. UBC-O (2-10) struggles at 33% from the floor;  there are 72 free throw attempts in a bit of a scramble, but the 2 squads combine to hit just 43 of them. Box Score

 

 

Saturday Scores from the East –

# 1 Ottawa 102 Guelph  68,  # 2 Carleton 105  Lakehead  58, # 4 McMaster Nipissing  , # 6 Windsor 94 Laurier 87

Toronto  95  Algoma 75 ,  Laurentian 89 Brock 81,  York  76 Queens 63 ,       Western  71 Waterloo  54

Bishops  59  Concordia 40 ,  McGill 73  Laval  42

# 10  New Brunswick 98  Dalhousie 57 , UPEI 90  Memorial  82,                         Cape Breton 69  Acadia  65

 

Overtime –

TRU Wolf pack Coach Scott Clark

TRU Wolf pack Coach Scott Clark

  • Theory of a playing rotation from TRU  Coach Scott Clark –    “We have only 10 guys on our roster so we usually play only eight or nine every night.  It’s our rotation and is natural for most basketball teams.  Some teams only go eight players.  You are trying to develop your young guys and keep people involved. As well, you are aiming at creating a good working environment where it’s more fun to come to practice when there is a prize at the end of it. That prize is playing.  If there is some sort of injury:  it’s part of the game. You have guys who can switch their roles slightly to adapt to that or any other situation.”  (Can we review that ?)
  • Fraser Valley's Adam Friesen.

    Fraser Valley’s Adam Friesen has his Cascades way out in front in the Explorer.

  • UFV Coach, Adam Friesen following the OT game with MacEwan on Saturday,  “The mental state we came into the game yesterday was a lot different than today.  We didn’t look for any shortcuts to success last night, but we did tonight. Hopefully this is a reminder of how we have to play moving forward.” Friesen … on (Kevon) Parchment’s game-tying triple and his OT heroics, said the fourth-year guard “won us the game.”“He took things into his own hands and was making plays all over the court,” Friesen marvelled. “The overtime and the final 30 seconds of regulation was basically him willing out the game for us.” (From a press release by Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics.
  •    The Vikes Head Coach, Craig Beaucamp, after the Saturday game –  “It was a trying weekend for us in a lot of ways,” said Beaucamp, whose squad was forced to compete without starting point guard Marcus Tibbs this weekend. “I am proud of the guys though. It was definitely a good character win.”  “Pat Pilato had a great bounce-back game for us tonight at point,” highlighted Beaucamp. “Chris was a warrior all weekend on the boards and Reiner was a force tonight. You could see it in (McLaughlin and Theil’s) eyes that they weren’t going to let us lose two-straight at home tonight.” – From UVic Athletics (Ali Lee)