These 7 Teams Look to Move Up in Canada West

 

 

Brandon Tull will be a senior leader for the Regina Cougars.      photo – Arthur Ward

 Regina – The Cougars go 9-11 and are good at their best, but are troubled by injuries in the 2nd semester.  Coach Steve Burrows will enter his 5th year at the helm, and faces the task of ‘renewing’ a roster which loses 3 veteran mainstays.  Travis Sylvestre, Stephen Shields, and Matt Augustine graduate, and more size will be crucial in the recruiting project.  The Cougs have dependable vets returning in Brandon Tull, Alex Igual, and Brian Ofori.  Burrows looks to the younger Hillis bothers, Ben and Samuel, and rookie star, Johneil Johnson to pick up some of the slack.  An infusion of talent, especially in the bigs, will be necessary if UR is to move up.

Thompson Rivers –   Coach Scott Clark loses a ‘franchise player’ in import forward, Volodymyr Iegorov, who graduates this Spring.  Clark could anticipate that challenge, but the veteran bench boss also has his rookie stand-out, Trent Monkman,  transferring to Victoria. The Wolf Pack, 8-12,  have been a play-off team in recent years, and Clark has worked successfully to develop his young talent. This coming season will test his resolve once more.  The Orange returnees include import guard, Derek Rhodes, strong forward, Luke Morris, guard, Michael Rouault, and scrappy point man, Madhu McConnell.  TRU will also be looking for some size in the recruiting process, and certainly more depth for this young group.

MRU’s import star, Josh Ross,  returns for his 5th year        Photo – Cougars Athletics

Mt. Royal –  The ‘Blue Cougars’ face a familiar challenge, as Coach Marc Dobell sees 2 big post men, Brett Layton, and Ray Goff leaving the roster along with 5th year guard, Derek Wolf .  Layton is wanting to start Law School, and Goff has had very tough nagging leg injuries, and is graduating early next year.  MRU does return guards Glen Yang, Noah Lewis, and Craig Martin along with import  scoring leader, Josh Ross, Ryan Cunningham, and forward, Nick Tancon.  Coach Dobell is waiting to announce his signees, and has not quite finished the process.  We do understand that L.J. Hegwood is looking to transfer in from SAIT, and that McNally HS (Calgary) star, 6-7 Diew Moses, may be headed to the Cougars as well.

MacEwan –  There will be significant change with the Griffins, as they say goodbye to Denzel James, Thomas Jereniuk, Cole Aikens, Keith Gerdes, and Tyler Wise as 5th year grads.  Thadius Galvez, their outstanding lead guard, is also on the move, and Coach Eric Magdanz is left with a major recruiting task.  Returnees Ryan Coleman, Harrison Lane, Adonis Montfort -Palomino, Ali Raza, and Atlas St. Paul-Butler will be counted on next Fall. The Griffs have younger players like British import, Jake Notice, along with 3rd year guard,  Tarik Scott, coming off an injury rehab, and a local red-shirt freshman, Deonte Doslov-Doctor.  Recent signees include Lincoln Anderson, a 6-3 guard from Cardston, AB, who comes off a 2 year Mormon  church mission, and 6-8, Ben Niles, from Kamloops (Valleyview Sr Sec).  Coach Magdanz is also excited about Dustin Gatski  (Westlock, AB), a 6-4 transfer after  1 year of Junior College in Wyoming, and Moreau Amadou  a 6-4 wing from   Sir Winston Churchill, Calgary.

Marcus MacKay will carry a big scoring load for the Timberwolves.

UNBC –  Starting last season at 4-4 last Fall, The T’Wolves struggled through 12 straight losses to finish at 4-16, well out of play-off contention.  They lose their slick guard, Rhys Elliot, along with Elliott Rowe, and Sam Zhang to graduation. Coach Todd Jordan will be looking to add some size and more punch to his roster this Spring and Summer.  The UNBC returnees should include big shooting guard, Marcus MacKay, lead guard, James Agyeman, Vaggelis Loukas, an active forward, and Anthony Hokanson, who is a skilled wing man.   Adam Pahl, a  6-6 wing from Okotoks (Foothills HS) , AB was announced in January, and he comes with high hopes.  Volodymyr Pluzhnikov, is a ‘tough-minded’ guard coming off the red-shirt list, and Jordan has a few more prospects he hopes to sign in the next few weeks.  “We need to get bigger, and to make big improvements in our rebounding”, says the 5th year Head man.

Trinity Western –  The Spartans, 3-17 last season, do not graduate any 5th years, and Coach Aaron Muhic suggests that his returnee list should include all of his current roster players. We have mentioned veteran guard, Tyus Allen, who is rehabbing his injured knee, but who will not be ready until at least the Fall of 2018.  The Spartans will return  import guard, Pogos Trunyan, their high scorer (15 ppg), along with 6-10 post Patrick Vandervelden (13 ppg/7.2 rebs), and Vartan Tanielian, a 12 ppg scorer at wing. Among his younger contributors will be guards Max Viitala, and Josiah Meppelink.  TWU have not announced any new signees or transfers.

UBC-Okanagan –  After an 8-12 record in 2015-16, the Heat cooled off to just 2-18 last season.  Coach Peter Guarasci, in his 5th year, loses guard Mitch Goodwin to graduation.  But, he also has 7 other roster players (Cam Friesen, Randy Jernidier, Ryan Morck, Austin Penrose, Buster Truss, David Manshreck, and Davide Ciancio) who will not return, which obviouly leaves a daunting task of recuiting this Spring. Aldrich Berrios, his high-scoring (17.6 ppg) guard is back for his 4th year, along with back-court rookies, Matt Lafontaine, and Tristan Matthews.  Noma Obeseki, an athletic small forward,  will be entering his 3rd year.  Owen Keyes, a 6’9” Kelowna Sr Sec. stand-out has already signed, and looks like a strong prospect. Jake Stokker, Penticton Sr. Sec  is another big man signee , details in this story from Kelowna Capital News 

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Overtime –

  • Mason Foreman, a 6-7 forward from Winnipeg, who most recently attended Athlete Institute Prep just outside Toronto, has signed with the Calgary Dinos for next Fall.  Mason’s father is Jeff Foreman, who was a 3-time CIS All-Canadian with the Winnipeg Wesmen (Great Plains Athletic Conference)  in 1992, ’93, and ’94. ( In 1994, Jeff was CIS Player of the Year, and he was also a member of the Canadian national team.)
  •  UVic will, later this week, induct two former basketball stars into their Vikes Hall of Fame. Spencer McKay , was a dominating post man for Vikes teams of the late 1980s – early 1990s, and Carol Turney-Loos, was a key to their 1980 National title.   More details in this Oak Bay News article   

Foothills City Hosts Two Feature Series’

 

Huskies and Thunderbirds visit the Alberta Foothills 

5th year wing, Dallas Karch of the Dinos              photo – David Moll

The Saskatchewan Huskies (8-4) are on the road for the 2nd straight week, again in Southern Alberta, in a ‘throw-down series’ with the Calgary Dinos (10-2) . Surely with added confidence from 2 wins at Lethbridge last week, the ‘Dogs will be looking to their big forwards and team rebounding for an edge here.  Guards Jaylan Morgan (Toronto) and Lawrence Moore (Chicago) are working well as a pair, and give good back-court leadership and scoring. Forwards,  Shane Osayande  and  Matt Forbes, are both capable of double-doubles in scoring/ rebounding every night.

Shane Osayande is the Huskies scoring-rebounding ace.  photo – U of S

Calgary have the higher scoring rate, and use an 11 + rotation to increase the pace at both ends.  The Dinos defenders have picked the opponent’s pockets the 2nd most in the League, led by guard David Kapinga, a consummate disruptor. Inside, UC has a 3 1/2 man post crew ( Matt Ellis, Mitch Ligertwood, Connor Foreman, and a bit of rookie Jeff Rodehutskors) , who will work at containing the Huskies stars.  2015-16 CW MVP, Thomas Cooper can score inside or out, and he will demand extra attention from U of S defenders.

It may be the depth of Calgary (Lars Schleuter, Jasdeep Gill, Dallas Karch, Jhony Verrone et al …) , or the inside game of Sask.  But, we can also expect foul shooting to play a part as it has done in recent, passionately contested games.  The series can put Calgary firmly at the top of the standings, or it could vault Saskatchewan into championship contention.    Games at UC – 8 pm Friday, 7 pm Saturday

 

The 11-1  UBC Thunderbirds, riding a wave after topping the U of A last week in Vancouver, bring an assured squad to S. Calgary for a 2 game set with the Mt. Royal Cougars.  Conor Morgan,  Jordan Jensen-Whyte, Will Ondrik, and A.J. Holloway lead a deep and experienced crew, who are scoring 88 ppg vs 72 pts for their opposition.   Coach Kevin Hanson has more talent at his disposal, with Patrick Simon, Luka Zaharijevic, and  Harpreet Randhawa ready on the front line.

The Cougars (7-5), who won 2 last week at UNBC,   answer with Josh Ross, Brett Layton, and Nick Tancon at the forward spot, but they will need the perimeter to assist on the boards, where UBC is +5  and MRU at -1 reb/game . The Cougars guards have taken good care of the ball, and the trio of Derek Wolf, Glen Yang, and Ryan Cunningham have been scoring at a more consistent pace.  We might, but won’t, call this an up-set possibility.  UBC is a heavy ‘over-dog’, but  MRU will compete.   Fri at 8 pm and an early 6 pm tip on Sat.

Fraser Valley (5-7) are also returning to Alberta, but this time to Edmonton for 2 against the 11-3 Alberta Golden Bears.  The Bears, smarting from a 2 game lost weekend in Vancouver, will be determined to get things back on course. That means Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke firing away up front, and Austin Waddoups playing his ‘whirling Dervish ‘ style on offense.  The Cascades need an exceptional effort both ways, but they do have shooters, in Manny Dulay, and Vijay Dhillon.  The UFV defense will be challenged by Alberta’s long-range snipers.  Bears a favourite, with a chance of a Cascades upset.       Friday at 8 pm Mountain, Sat at 7.

Lethbridge Pronghorns (8-6) fly to the Island, to meet the 5-7 Victoria Vikes on Ken and Kathy Shields Court this Fri/Sat. Two wins could serve to put the ‘Horns back in the top 4 mix, but they lost 2 at home to Saskatchewan last week, and weren’t really near their best on Saturday. The Vikes won 2, and now need to step it up even more against a better opponent in Lethbridge.  It’s Grant Sitton and rookie Scott Kellum leading the Vikes, and Dejon Burdeaux with Elliott Sentance called on to shepherd the Pronghorns.  We’ll suggest a split .   Friday tip at 8 pm / Sat. at 7 pm Pacific

 Regina Cougars (6-6) at Brandon Bobcats (5-9 ) –  One highlight this week will be to listen in again to the unmistakable colour commentary of ‘Cats coaching legend, Jerry Hemmings.  Keep it coming Coach !  Meanwhile, both Coach Steve Burrows (Green Cougars) and Coach Gil Cheung (Bobcats) are losing sleep trying to get their respective sides to ‘put it together for 40 minutes’. Twice.  Good match-ups – BU’s Tyvon Cooper vs Reg’s Aaron McGowan.  The Cougars’ Brian Ofori working full-out to control Brandon’s ‘Big Cat’, Earl Thompson Jr.   Guessing a spirited split, harkening back to the Great Plains rivalry.      Friday at 8 pm Central, and Sat. at 7.

Manitoba Bisons (6-6) at Trinity Western Spartans (2-10) –  A chance for the Herd to thaw-out in the Fraser Valley.  And to duplicate their 2 game sweep of the Spartans at the same venue last February.  All the signs point to Keith Omoerah, Justus Alleyn, A.J. Basi and friends extending their unbeaten string to 9 games (including their Wesmen Classic title).  But they’ve fooled us before. Trinity come off a bye, and may have their Spartans in a row, with bigs Max Vitala and Patrick Vandervelden becoming more convincing.  Guards Pogos Trunyan, and Vartan Tanielian can score; now can Trinity defend well enough to stop a Herd of Bison ?         Fri and Sat. at 7 pm Pacific.

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Scores from the East   –   Carleton  81  at Ottawa 40 –  And, this was the away game.

Carleton’s Connor Wood attacks the hoop at Ottawa. photo Verelie Wutti

A sobering realization for all other U-Sports teams across Canada, as the Ravens pick the bleached bones of the fallen Gee-Gees so meticulously.  UO are 9-1 in OUA action, and ranked #2 by coaches;  and they are allowed to shoot just 21% !?  The utterly commanding Carleton performance spread from shooting to rebounding, and ball-handling to all-out aggression. By half-time, witnesses to the dismantling just wanted to look away.   Two periods where the Ponies tallied single digits on the scoreboard.  The grey-clad victims were shooting a deathly 7% from the floor for much of that ugly opening 20 minutes.  The Blackbirds feed off this kind of physical superiority and mental torture.  Ottawa had no 2nd -chance points, according to their own stats crew.  Smothering team defense is a given, then Connor Wood  shoots, Kaza Kajemi-Keane penetrates, and the duo of Eddie Ekiyor and Ryan Ejim rule the inside for the reigning National Champs.   This is what they do, even to their toughest opponents.  Again this season.  Beware the Raven !    The Official Autopsy  

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Overtime – 

  • Are there different rules in the OUA?  Was there as much give and take in post offense-defense, or defending the dribble penetration as it appeared in the Carleton-Ottawa ‘bare-knuckler’ last night?  We don’t see the same accumulation of bruises and finger-prints on opponents’ bodies after a Canada West game where there are just 23 total fouls called.

    MRU’s Ray Goff

  • Our best in his recovery to MRU’s Ray Goff, a 6-7 post man (4th, Okotoks, AB), who suffered a head trauma in a recent practice.  Goff is expected to return, but is undergoing ‘watchful monitoring’ for concussion symptoms.  Already dealing with nagging knee issues, the likeable veteran didn’t need this latest episode.
  • When you have success as Carleton has had, in spades, over the past 17 seasons , you tend to attract talent via recruiting.  Players want to win.  Apparently some want to do that more than they wish to play.  Ravens’ redshirts would look pretty good on the active playing rosters of many teams across the country.  And, how many more stars from other programs might decide to play year 5 at a ‘winning’ program, rather than graduate in the same colours you’ve worn for the previous 4?  (These player decisions are made in other places as well, of course.  We just notice them more at Carleton, Ottawa, and some other traditional powers.

Gee Gees Capture Shoveller Title

 

 

  Ottawa win in Halifax … primed for OUA action

Caleb Agada is a the top player for Ottawa in their win at the Shoveller.

#4 Ottawa Gee Gees 78 Saint Marys  Huskies 69 –  Caleb Agada posts yet another double-double, as his 25 pts/ 12 boards lead the Gee Gees to the tournament title.  Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles has another strong game with a double of 12 points/ 10 rebs. Brian Rouse scored 19 to pace Saint Marys, while Theon Reefer scored 15 plus grabbing 14 rebounds.  Now 16-3 overall in U-Sport competition, UO are starting to look like prime contenders for an OUA and National crown.  With a line-up bolstered by 5th year McMaster transfer, Adam Presutti,  they win their 14th straight.  Resuming league play next week, Ottawa will be prepping for their mid-January showdown with the #1 Carleton Ravens.  Box Score   

  #10 Dalhousie   76  St. FX  71 – (  3rd place game) The Tigers take down AUS rival  X-Men, as Jarred Reid counts a game-high 25 points, while Kashrell Lawrence had 17 points, eight rebounds.  Cameron Walker led the St. FX scorers with 20. Box Score

 Acadia Axemen  89  Mt. Royal Cougars  75 –  (7th place game)  Not the deepest team in the country, MRU cannot be at top form without forward, Brett Layton, who sat this one out with an ankle sprain.  The Axemen out-shoot the Cougars 42% to 36% from the field, and use a big 20/29 to 9/15 free throw edge to distance themselves. Kyle Arsenault scores 29 pts and Erik Nissen 20 pts/ 9 rebs to lead Acadia.  Josh Ross responds with a double of 15 pts/ 11 boards for Mt. Royal, while guards Glen Yang and Craig Martin tally 12 pts each.  Box Score   

UPEI  Panthers  96  Queens Golden Gaels 86   – (5th place game)

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Classique Olga Hrycak at UQAM, Montreal –

Memorial Seahawks 79 UNBC  Timberwolves 70 –  Up 3 at the half, then tied after 30 minutes, the T’Wolves cannot hold back the Seahawks in the 4th.  Memorial scores 30 points to claim the tournament title at 3-0, while UNBC finishes 2nd at 2-1.  23 points for MUN from MVP, Vasilije Curcic, the 6-9 Serbian big man, and 19 by Davion Parnsalu.  The ‘Wolves  get 21 from tournamentt all-star , Rhys Elliott and 22 from wing man, Marcus MacKay.  Again without forward, Vaggelis Loukas, UNBC hang tough for most of the way, but fade in the final minutes.  (again, thanks to UNBC Coach Todd Jordan for texting us the stats )

 Guelph Gryphons 85  UQAM  Citadins  84

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 Vanguard U. (CA) 89  Saskatchewan 72 –  Shane Osayande tops the Huskies with 22 points.

Hope International (CA) 82  MacEwan   56 –  MacEwan is ‘not the same team’ that beat Vanguard last night.  Hope recovers from a loss to Saskatchewan.

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Overtime –

  • Happy New Year to you all !  Safe travels to all the teams still on the road back home.  And good luck as the League play starts up again this coming week .

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.


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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.

Best Game, Biggest Turnaround

 

 

 

Winnipeg Nips Saskatchewan in Overtime !  –  Our best game of the week –

Sean Tarver's 21 points helped Winnipeg edge Saskatchewan in overtime on Saturday.

Sean Tarver’s 21 points helped Winnipeg edge Saskatchewan in overtime on Saturday.

The Wesmen and the Huskies hook up for a shootout in the Saturday return bout in Saskatoon.  (U of S wins on Friday (76-68) in a fairly pedestrian fashion, as they are +11 from the foul line, shoot 36% from the floor and the Ws turn it over 21 times. )

But on Saturday both sides engage the ‘long-range bombing’ strategy … the Huskies are 41% from 3 point range (14/34), as Alex Unruh is 5/5 and Reid Thuringer (who?) is off the bench with 3/6 .  The Wesmen are not fazed, however.  At least not in the 2nd half, which they win 43-33 to tie it up, and send the game to OT.

Winnipeg are 17 of 34 for the game from beyond the arc, as  William Sesay is 4/5, Marcello Kambola, in 17 minutes off the bench, is 5/7 !  Who are these ‘masked marauders’? Sesay grabs 12 rebounds from his guard spot, while Denzel Lynch-Blair deals out 9 helpers.  Sean Tarver hits 8/12 from the floor, and 4/7 from 3 to lead the Ws with 21 points.  These are pearls here folks !

The Huskies’ Shane Osayande continues to shine, even in a loss, with his ‘usual’ double-double of 23 points and 17 rebounds.  The man shouldn’t wear a warm-up top … give him a green/white/black cape, and a phone booth !

There are 44 turnovers, which lent a ‘touch of zany’ to the proceedings, but the entertainment factor was high in this Prairie showdown, our best game of week 2.

 

Reversal  of the Week –   Mt-Royal – Lethbridge

The Pronghorns Mike Pierzchala was a double threat in the win over MRU on Saturday.

The Pronghorns Mike Pierzchala was a double threat in the win over MRU on Saturday.             photo – Pronghorns Athletics

Is it the water, or all those rabid fans ? On Thursday in Calgary, the Cougars get their season underway in grand style, as 3rd year guard, Glen Yang,  goes wild with a 32 point out-burst.  He shoots 13/19 FG, including 6/8 from outside, tallying 16 points each half. Derek Wolf, Yang’s 5th year dance partner in the MRU back-court, scores 23 points of his own, and Brett Layton cashes 17 points/ 13 rebounds.  Lethbridge commits 25 turnovers and lose 93-72.

Down to L.A. for the re-match on Saturday, and the ‘worm turns’ !   The Pronghorns are in full sprint, as they hit 48% of their field goals to a chilly 34% for the Cougars. A pair of local high school stars, Zac Overwater (LCI) and Mike Pierzchala (Winston Churchill), now 3rd year ‘Horns, stack their stats-lines and trample the Cougs.  The 6-8 Overwater scores 24 pts/5 boards, 3 asst/3 steals/ 2 blocks (and takes out the garbage?) .  The 6-4 Pierzchala is  20 pts/ 14 rebounds for a nifty double.

MRU are ‘dazzled by the bright lights’ of West Lethbridge, and out-rebounded 46-34. The 2 night turnaround, after the 83-60 U of L victory is  a whopping 44 points.  The ‘Wild West’ !


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Overtime –

  • Seen in the stands –  at the Vikes – Dinos games in Victoria  … former coaches Ken and Kathy Shields,  Don Horwood, Rob Poole, Steve Roth … players – James Newman (Jamie) UVic, Ross Bekkering, Calgary   … and a huge 10-strong family contingent  for UC Assistant Matt Skinn.
  •   Other CIS scores on Sunday –  Memorial 93  St. FX  79, Laval 66  Concordia  65 ,

Yang’s Hot Hand Stuns ‘Horns

 

MRU guard pair combine for 55 points in season – opening win Thursday

Career night for Glen Yang launches MRU to opening night win. photo MRU Athletics

Career night for Glen Yang launches MRU to opening night win. photo MRU Athletics

at Mt. Royal 93 Lethbridge  72 –  Mt. Royal opened big at Jack Kenyon Court,  counting 54 second half points to run away from the visiting Lethbridge Pronghorns.The Cougars get a career high 32 point game from Glen Yang, and his guard partner, Derek Wolf, tallied 23 points including 4/9 from 3 pt range.  The return of Josh Ross is also a big factor as both he, with 10 pts/13 rebs, and Brett Layton (17 pts/13 boards) register double-doubles.  Yang was the real sharp-shooter on the night, going 13/19 and 6/8 from outside.

The ‘Horns turned it over 25 times, which gave MRU extra chances.  Dejon Burdeaux scored 19 points for UL, plus 9 rebs, 5 steals.  Elliott Sentance rang up 13 pts/12 rebs for his double.  This drops the Pronghorns to 2-1, as they head home and await the return visit from the Cougars on Saturday .  Box Score


More CIS scores –

Atlantic – Saint Mary’s  90  Dalhousie 77

Quebec-  Concordia 70  Bishops 67, McGill 62  Laval 61

 


Canada West Friday –   all games on Canada West TV

UBC-O at Brandon  –  8 pm Central

Thompson Rivers at Manitoba –  8 pm Central

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan – 8 pm Central

Regina at MacEwan –  8 pm Mountain

Trinity W. at Fraser Valley –  8 pm Pacific

Calgary at Victoria – 8 pm Pacific

Alberta at UNBC – 8 pm Pacific


 

Overtime –

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  • The perils of predictions rise up to smack the commentator, as we see a previewed underdog , the MRU Cougars, prove us wrong with excellent guard play and great team efforts from their 9 man rotation.  The swings in game performances over just a week of competition give us pause for cautious prognostication from this stage onward.  We really have no idea how the game in Lethbridge will play itself out; we just know we have to respect the efforts of every Canada West team.

Calgary, MRU Open With Wins

 

 

Dinos and Cougars Top Visitors at Calgary Cup –

The Calgary teams dispatched the visiting Windsor Lancers and Regina Cougars in Calgary Cup action on Thursday night.  On the first of 3 nights of play, the Dinos and Cougars both played solid games while taking a good look at their whole line-up.

Calgary 99  Windsor 64 

UC's Thomas Cooper hits for 24 points in an opening win vs windsor

UC’s Thomas Cooper hits for 24 points in an opening win vs Windsor

Taking up where he left off last season, 5th year import guard, Thomas Cooper led all scorers with 24 points / 5 rebounds/ 4 steals as the Dinos shoot 49% to the Lancers’ 25%.  Lars Schleuter scored 13 pts/6 rebs for Calgary, while Micqueel Martin notched 16 pts to pace the visitors.  Box Score  

Mt. Royal 85 Regina 73

Glen Yang delivers 8 helpers in a win for MRU over Regina.

Glen Yang delivers 8 helpers in a win for MRU over Regina.

The MRU Cougars clearly out-shot their Green cousins from Regina, with 46% from the floor vs 35% for U of R.  6-8 Brett Layton was a one- man wrecking crew for the home side, with a 20 point/10 rebound double, going 10/15 on FG.  Glen Yang (14 pts/8 assists) and Derek Wolf, who was 4/8 from outside for 14 points were a sharp guard combo.  Regina had Alex Igual with 11 points’ 10 boards, and 3 others in double figures.   (No box score).

Friday action in Calgary has Regina at the Dinos, and Windsor facing MRU.

 

In Brandon, it was the visiting Lakehead Thunderwolves on the top end of an 84-70 final.  The ‘Wolves used a 23-11 advantage over the Bobcats in the 3rd quarter to pull away after just a 2 point lead at the half.  No box score.

> In Winnipeg on Friday – Manitoba Bisons Tournament –  Laurier vs Manitoba, Lakehead vs Winnipeg

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.

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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.

10 Wins is the Target for Pioneer

 

 

Can You Count To 10 ?

Can the Bears and Mamadou Gueye de-rail the HUskies shot at the playoffs?

Can the Bears and Mamadou Gueye de-rail the HUskies shot at the playoffs?                                       photo – U. Alberta Athletics

10 is the magic number for entry to the playoffs as a Pioneer Division team,  especially if you’re the Saskatchewan Huskies ! Canada West’s Evan Daum has produced a playoff possibility primer for the fans going into this week’s play, and that’s a great service to those many of us, who are mathematically challenged ! Here’s Evan’s analysis –

Who’s clinched in the Pioneer (seven playoff berths): Calgary, UBC, and Manitoba have all clinched a playoff spot.
Possible clinches this weekend: Calgary can clinch first overall with a sweep of Regina.
Regina can clinch a playoff spot with a win against Calgary,  or a Saskatchewan loss against Alberta … Winnipeg can clinch a playoff spot with a win against Lethbridge
Lethbridge can clinch a playoff spot with a sweep of Winnipeg … Alberta can clinch a playoff spot with a sweep of Saskatchewan.

We are not, however, afraid to go out on a limb by making assumptions based on past performance. so the real key series is Alberta at Saskatchewan.  The Bears are in with a win to get to 10!  Everything hinges on the Huskies record over the next 4 games. 2 at home with the Bears and 2 down the highway in Regina  next week vs the Cougars. The ‘Dogs need to win all 4, or they’re gone, if we assume Lethbridge can win at least 1 of 4 games (and they can and will, as they finish with 2 at home vs Trinity W) .  Winnipeg already has 9 wins, and has the tie-breaker with 2-0 over Saskatchewan.

Victoria Vikes (7-11) get the bye this week.

 In the Explorer –  (three playoff berths):
The analysis from Mr Daum  Thompson Rivers has clinched first …  UFV can clinch a playoff spot with a victory against Thompson Rivers , or a combination of losses by MacEwan against UBCO and Mount Royal against UNBC …  UBCO can clinch a playoff spot with a sweep of MacEwan and one Mount Royal loss.

GriffinsHome copy
Yes, well,  we look at this week’s MacEwan at UBC-O series as the crucial set.  A sweep by either team will get them in is our ‘guesstimate’ … Mac has a useful win over TRU, should they be tied for 3rd.  MRU needs to sweep, then get help from TRU beating Okanagan twice, and UNBC over Mac at least once.   Now the head starts to hurt …. We have to like UBC-O, since they’re at home, but if they split this week, Mac has a shot if they beat UNBC twice to finish.  OK, that’s confusing enough.  Let’s play !

Pioneer-

Thursday / Friday  –  

Calgary's Torrez McKoy and his 'mates have a home series vs Regina this week.

Calgary’s Torrez McKoy and his ‘mates have a home series vs Regina this week.                          photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

Regina at Calgary –  Homers !  That’s what these teams are against each other recently … at Calgary, the Dinos are 5-0 in the last 5 League games vs the Cougars, and at Regina, it’s 6-2 Cougars over the Dinos in that same time frame.  Motivation here is about equal, with Calgary looking to clinch 1st place, and Regina wanting to boost their playoff ranking.  Key match-ups are –  point – UC David Kapinga, Torrez McKoy  vs UR Alex Igual, Aaron McGowan …wing – UC  Thomas Cooper vs UR Jonathan Tull … forwards – UC  Matt Letkeman, Lars Schleuter vs UR  Stephen Shields, Will Tallman.  Big crowds expected … tough, competitive games !  (both at 8 pm Mtn)

Friday / Saturday –  
Lethbridge at Winnipeg –  Does this Lethbridge  zone defense seem explicitly designed to play the Wesmen?  Can the quick, tenacious UW defense slow down the quick-strike ‘Horns attack ?   Do Dejon Burdeaux, Rob Olsen, and Brandon Brine light-up the Ws with their potent offensive power?  Can Denzel Blair-Lynch get enough scoring help to stay with the scoring pace of the Pronghorns?  8 pm Central for both nights. Tune in to Canada West TV for these and other highlights

Alberta at Saskatchewan – This series has had a major impact on Canada West standings for a number of years;  usually it has been in a battle for 1st, 2nd, 3rd , but now it’s for playoff survival.  The ‘Dogs are backed into a corner, and have to fight for a post-season spot with 2 wins this week.  Alberta is coming off a pair of wins last week, and would love to sideline the Huskies. Mamadou Gueye has his game in order for the Bears, and, if their guards can slow down Chan DeCiman , Evan Ostertag and Co. , they may do just that. Both games are at 8 PM Central.

UBC at Brandon –  A few factors in play here … The ‘Birds have bombed the Bobcats 10 straight games  dating back to 2008.  This is not a ‘banner year’ for the ‘Cats (1-15) … the T-Birds are prepping for playoffs that will see them ultimately host the CIS Nationals.  We’re not sure that Brandon’s  D.J. Jordan and Earl Thompson Jr. can, between the 2 of them, score enough to overcome the difference in depth between these teams.  We’ll ‘bravely’ call UBC to sweep.  Games are 8 pm  Fri/ 7 pm Sat – Central.

Manitoba at Trinity Western –  This is a miss-match of one team, Manitoba, working their way to a possible CW title, and another, TWU, fighting for just a bit of respectability.  Manitoba has so many players now ‘running with the Herd’ … A.J Basi, Justus Alleyn, Keith Omoerah, Wyatt Anders, Jonathan Alexander and more.  Trinity usually counts on a hot hand from one or both of Kelvin Smith and Lucas Mannes, and it has not been enough.

A Hot Time in the Okanagan !

The eyes of the ‘Explorers’ are on Kelowna, where the UBC-O Heat try to stay ahead of their primary rivals for 3rd place, the MacEwan Griffins.  In Abbotsford, we see if Fraser Valley can muster up enough fresh bodies to take a serious run at the vicious TRU Wolf Pack, who have been terrorizing the Division for much of the season.  And, over in Prince George, Mt. Royal needs 2 wins over UNBC and their prayers answered elsewhere, if the Cougars have any hope of a post-season appearance.  Games are 8 pm and 7 pm Pacific time for all 3 series in the Explorer. (3 playoff spots at stake).

Mitch Goodwin and the UBC-O Heat have a vital series at home vs MacEwan.

Mitch Goodwin and the UBC-O Heat have a vital series at home vs MacEwan.

MacEwan at UBC-Okanagan –  The Griffs are the masters of the weekend split, having gone 1-1 in 6 of their 9 series to date this season, including the November pair with Okanagan. The Heat have won 3 of their last 4 games, and, when they get scoring from 4 and 5 players, they have beaten everyone in the Explorer.  Neither team, however, has been all that predictable.  So … Mitch Goodwin and Aldrich Berrios vs Denzel James and Thadius Galvez ?  Not really !  The ‘supporting cast is critical for both squads.  Too tough to call this series, but a sweep would be a surprise, either way.

Thompson Rivers at Fraser Valley – It has been the recent habit of the Cascades to win at home and struggle on the road; in late November in Kamloops, UFV were trounced by 14 then 30 by the ‘Pack.  Fraser Valley are 7-1 at home, and have responded to many challenges this season, but Thompson Rivers may be too much to handle, with their size and skill.  Nate Brown needs Kevon Parchment back, and Manny Dulay has to have a hot Vijay Dhillon as an option. It could happen, but the odds are longer than they have been in years.

Mt. Royal  at UNBC  –  The Timberwolves have had a rough go this year, made worse by losing their injured point man Billy Cheng and dropping all 8 of their games since the Christmas break. MRU’s post tandem of James Lefebvre and Brett Layton may give UNBC real trouble, and the guard match-up with MRU’s Glen Yang vs Elliot Rowe for the ‘Wolves may be decisive.  The Cougars have some developing depth, but haven’t proven their ability to win 2 games in a weekend.


 

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The Calgary Dinos climbed another spot this week from 5th to 4th as they win 2 games to extend their winning streak to 10.  UBC jumps over McGill into 7th ranked, and, despite their gaudy 14-2 record, Thompson Rivers stays in 9th spot.

The Ryerson Rams continue to impress at #1, and Ottawa is in 2nd again, just ahead of the defending CIS champs, the Carleton Ravens. In the OUA this week, we see the Ottawa teams travel to SW Ontario  … #2 UO and #3 Carleton take on #6 McMaster and #5 Brock.

 

Dinos Top ‘Horns in Firefight

 

Round 1 to Calgary in a high-scoring affair –

Thomas Cooper's 24 points led the UC Dinos to a key win over UL on Friday.

Thomas Cooper’s 24 points led the UC Dinos to a key win over UL on Friday. photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

at  #5 Calgary 101  Lethbridge 91 –  As advertised, it was an offensive show on Friday in Calgary, as the 5th -ranked Dinos solved the UL zone in the 4th quarter, after seeing a 17 point – 2nd quarter lead disappear in the 3rd.  Again rolling over his line-up, with 10 players at 10 minutes +, Dinos Coach Dan Vanhooren got good guard play from both Torrez McCoy and David Kapinga at the top of the attack. 5 UC players in double figures, led by the ever-reliable Thomas Cooper with 24 plus 7 rebounds/ 3 assts. Lars Schleuter (17 pts/6 reb)) and both Matt Letkeman and Dallas Karch with 14 points,  pushed the attack, while Matt Ellis claimed 8 boards in just 13 minutes. UL got 21 apiece from Brandon Brine (8 reb) and Dejon Burdeaux, but Burdeaux’s foul trouble hampered the ‘Horns down the stretch.  Calgary is now 13-3, and Lethbridge in a 9-6 log-jam in the middle of the playoff pack.  Box Score

Bisons get game one of the Red River Rivalry on Friday at home.

Ilarion Bonhomme and the Bisons get game one of the Red River Rivalry on Friday at home.  photo – Manitoba Athletics

at  Manitoba 79 Winnipeg 65 –  The Bisons (12-5) opened with a rush, taking a 27 -14 lead after 10 minutes, and held the Wesmen to 36% from the floor to get a big intra-city win at UM tonight. Manitoba hit 47% FG against the tough UW defense, as A.J. Basi did his thing, hitting 23 points with 6/13 from outside, and Keith Omoerah helped with his 17 pts / 9 rebs/ 5 asst. The Wesmen (9-6) got 20 points from Denzel Lynch-Blair, and some good rebounding by Ryan Oirbans (12) and William Sesay (11), but were ineffective at the offensive end in the 2nd half when they needed a rally.  Box Score

Just for our two visiting B.C. schools in the Pioneer Division (UVic in Regina, and TWU at Alberta), we’ve ordered up a virtual ‘heat wave’ in Saskatchewan and Alberta –   Regina +2, and Edmonton +3 ! Shorts weather out here boys ! Did it help the Vikes and Spartans on Friday ?    A-h-h … No ! )

 Regina  85  Victoria 73 –  The Cougars (9-6)  had the hot hand at 49% from the floor as Jonathan Tull played the lead role with 23 points / 6 rebs/ 4 assts/ 2 steals, and ‘little brother’ Brandon cashed 16 points / 4 assists . The home side controlled the boards (44- 35) , with 6th man, guard Aaron McGowan, grabbing 7, and Stephen Shields 6.  10 Regina 3-pointers vs 4 for UVic really put a stamp on it. The Vikes (7-10) had 17 from Mack Roth and 16 by Jordan Charles, but went down 58- 31 at the half to take any drama out of the contest, as they lose their 5th straight.  Box Score

at Alberta  78 Trinity Western  58  –  A stingy Bears defense chokes off the Spartans offense (29% FG) , and the home team uses a 30 point 2nd quarter to stake themselves to a 49-27 lead at the break.  Mamadou Gueye has a stellar effort with 28 points and 8 rebounds for U of A (8-8), and Brody Clarke chips in 17 points / 5 boards.  Kelvin Smith had 15 points for TWU (1-14), who were out-rebounded 52-37.  Box Score
 at Saskatchewan  77 Brandon  76 –  The Huskies carve out a win, despite 4 missed free throws with seconds left, giving the ‘Cats a shot to win … but, no.  U of S led throughout, but never put it away, as Brandon came to within 1 on several occasions .  D.J. Jordan scored 33 points for BU, with 4 of the Bobcats 10 treys (vs only 3 for the Dogs). Saskatchewan had 4 players in double figures, led by 5th year guard, Evan Ostertag with 15, and Shayne Osayande with 13 plus 6 boards. Earl Thompson Jr. hit 20 points / 8 rebounds for Brandon, but they fall to 1-14, while U of S goes to 5-10.  Box Score


Fraser Valley Out-shoots Heat in Kelowna

Nate Brown and the UFV Cascades take a road win over UBC-O.

Nate Brown and the UFV Cascades take a road win over UBC-O.

Fraser Valley  81  at UBC-Okanagan 65 –  Still with Canada West’s shallowest bench (8 players) , the Cascades play a solid team game. Led by 18 points from Nate Brown (8/11) plus 14 points / 8 rebounds by Kevon Parchment,  UFV hits 55% from the floor as they climb to 10-5.  UBC-O (7-8) cannot do better than 35% from the field, and, despite several mini-runs in the middle frames, they could not challenge in the 4th. 12 points / 8 rebounds from Mitch Goodwin and 13 points each from Aldrich Berrios and Cameron Friesen were Okanagan’s best.  Box Score

 

at Thompson Rivers  87  UNBC 70 –  A slow (13-24 ) start didn’t faze the ‘Pack, as they rang up 31 in next ten minutes and pulled away for a comfortable win in the 2nd half.  52% shooting for TRU (13-2) against 32% for UNBC spells big trouble for the visitors, as Josh Wolfram scores 25 plus 8 rebounds, and Volodymyr Iegorov notches 21 and 10 rebounds to lead the way. Marcus MacKay finds the range for 27 points for the T’Wolves, with an amazing 9/15 from 3 point range; this is not enough, however, to prevent UNBC from dropping to a Division low 3-12.  Box Score

Glen Yang has a big night for MRU as they beat MacEwan on Friday.

Glen Yang has a big night for MRU as they beat MacEwan on Friday.                          photo-  MRU Athletics

 at Mt. Royal 83  MacEwan  74 –  The first game of this crucial set goes to the Cougars as they ride the 26 points from Glen Yang, who converted all 12 of his free throws.  The fouls were a big factor in the outcome, as Mac had 28 to 15 for MRU; that translated into 24 points for the home team to just 7 for the Griffs. The Cougars’ James Lefebvre, with 16 points/ 5 reb, and Brett Layton 12 points / 10 boards also figured prominently for Mt. Royal, who are now 6-9 and tied with the Griffins.   MacEwan got 18 points from Denzel James and 12 points / 11 boards from Chris Mooney, but 22 big turnovers  resulted in 25 Mt Royal points, spelling doom for Mac.   Box Score

 

 


 

More  CIS Scores   –  
Thurs  …  Quebec –  UQAM  82  McGill  78  , Concordia  72  Bishop’s 53
Friday … Atlantic – at St. FX 88  UPEI  85 (ouch!)  , UNB 107  at Saint Marys 97 ,                                  at Acadia 76 Cape Breton 73
Ontario –  at # 1 Ryerson 105 Laurier 82, at #2 Ottawa 78  #3 Carleton 72 ,     # 4 Brock 77 at Toronto 71 , at Windsor 82 Laurentian 62 , Lakehead 78 at York 63, at Algoma 96  Waterloo 68 ,  at Western 75 Nipissing 43 , at Queen’s 93 Guelph 81


 

Overtime –   

  • Manitoba wing man, Keith Omoerah,  on the excitement around the home and home series with Winnipeg, “Every time you play your hometown rival it’s your toughness (that matters),” Omoerah said. “The playbook kind of goes out the window a little bit. It’s just who’s going to play the hardest that weekend. Whoever plays the hardest usually comes out with the victory.”   From the Winnipeg Sun – Kirk Penton.
  • A celebration of the  Life and Accomplishment  of famed  Alberta Colleges coach, Phil Allen, will be held at the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton on Wednesday, February 17  at 10:00 am in the main gymnasium. There will be a reception to follow. Players, Alumni, Colleagues, Family and Friends are all welcome. Please RSVP or contact the family directly – joelallenx@gmail.com