Play-Off Schedule … All-Stars

Play-off Schedule Highlights an ‘All- Alberta Bracket’

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Chris Mooney and the MacEwan Griffins will host their ‘Older Neighbours’, the U of A Golden Bears, in a very compelling play-in series this weekend in the Alberta capitol.

The Canada West play-off schedule has been decided, and the stars aligned on the weekend, as teams fell into the exact order necessary for the Edmonton schools, Alberta Golden Bears and MacEwan Griffins, to meet in Round 1 of the Canada West play-offs.  And, the seedings also lead to that series winner traveling to Calgary on March 3 to play game one in the 1/4 Final against the #1 Calgary Dinos.

The Regina Cougars earned home court with their win over Saskatchewan on Saturday, and the UBC T-Birds get the 3rd seed with a sweep of Winnipeg. MacEwan secures the #8 seed by edging MRU for third in the Explorer.  Here’s the play-off draw –

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All – Stars and Most Outstanding Player –

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos, is our Outstanding Player of 2015-16 photo- David Moll, UC

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos, Canada West’s ‘ top player’               photo- David Moll, UC

Our pick as the Most Outstanding Player is Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos … top team, leading CW scorer, a strong rebounder, who can also pass and play defense. A clutch performer in so many games for the Dinos this season, he has decided many games with timely plays.

We have to pull our punches a bit on the All-Stars … here are 15 players who deserve the nod, and could or should be on one of two Canada West All-Star teams :
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Let’s also check in on the Women’s Play-off Picture –

Saskatchewan gets a decisive win at Regina on Saturday, earning a weekend split, the top spot in the Pioneer, and #1 seed for Canada West Play-offs.  Calgary beats Alberta, and knocks the Pandas back to 3rd spot, and the #4 seed.  MacEwan wins the Explorer Division, and gets the #2 seed for play-offs.  Here’s the Women’s Tournament info –Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 8.46.39 PM


Overtime –   

  • Some fine players finished up their CIS careers Saturday, with their teams missing the playoffs –  Evan Ostertag of Saskatchewan, James Lefebvre of Mt. Royal, Billy Cheng (injured) and Colin Plumb of UNBC, Kelvin Smith of Trinity Western, and Reiner Theil, Brandon Dunlop, and Mack Roth of Victoria.  Fine players, who will all earn their degrees (some a 2nd degree) this Spring, or in the very near future.  The best of what CIS Sport is all about.  Well done, gentlemen !
Brody Clarke, Bears, our Rookie of the Year.

Brody Clarke, Bears, our choice for CW Rookie of the Year.                                    photo – U of A Athletics

  • Correction !  Since the CW Rookie of the Year must be 21 yrs or younger, we have to eliminate Brett Layton from the Rookie team, but he is certainly in play for our All-Star selections.  So, our Rookie team is –  William Sesay, Winnipeg, Chan DeCiman, Saskatchewan, Torrez McKoy, Calgary, Colby Jackson, Alberta … and, our Rookie of the Year,  Brody Clarke, Alberta.
  • The game times are all over the map for the upcoming play-off series’ !  We will make sure to note these as we get closer to ‘game days’.  We’re all the way from 2 pm – 8 pm for tip-off (local times).  Each school has it’s own gym sched, preferred times, conflicts and the like.  No predictability at all.


Dinos and Wolf Pack – Top Playoff Seeds


Dinos Sweep Bears … Regina gets big home win

Speedy guard, David Kapinga, and the Calgary Dinos

Speedy guard, David Kapinga, and the Calgary Dinos are the top seed for the Canada West playoffs.

#4  Calgary 79  at Alberta  66 –  The Dinos win their 13th straight in finishing the home and home sweep of their Northern rivals. The 2nd half was key for Calgary, as they go 46-34 to pull away, using 23/29 from the foul line to good advantage. Thomas Cooper scores 19 and adds 8 rebounds, while Jasdeep Gill tallies 16 points/ 4 assists in the win, bringing UC to 17-3 on the year. Alberta finish at 10-10, in 6th spot, beating out Winnipeg in a tie-breaker.  The Bears’ Mamadou Gueye is the game’s high man, with 22 points/ 9 rebounds, and Brody Clarke scores 17.  U of A has a very short trip to their ‘play-in ‘ series next week, as they meet the MacEwan Griffins on the North -side of the river in a best-of-three.  Box Score

Travis Sylvestre comes off the bench to lead Regina to a win over the Huskies on Saturday.

Travis Sylvestre comes off the bench to lead Regina to a win over the Huskies on Saturday.

at Regina 84 Saskatchewan 74   –  The Cougars struggle early, but catch some rhythm later in the 2nd half for a clutch home win over the arch-rivals;  UR grabs 5th place at 11-9, and will host Winnipeg in one of two best-of-three, ’play-in’ series next weekend.  Regina out-shoots the Huskies 46% to 35% from the floor, but U of S (8-12)  stays in it for most of the game, hitting 12 treys to the Cougars’ 4. Travis Sylvestre has a solid game for UR, with 19 points/ 6 boards / 4 assists coming off the bench, and both Brandon Tull (5 steals) and Aaron McGowan (4 reb/3 asst) score 14.  Saskatchewan get 24 from Evan Ostertag in his last game for the ‘Dogs, and Shane Osayande scores 17 and adds 15 rebounds, as he continues to impress.    Box Score

at Lethbridge 96   Trinity Western 75  –  The Spartans get to within 3 at half-time, but the Pronghorns run away and hide with a 59 point blitz in the 2nd, as they connect on 15/38 tries from beyond the arc vs 8/25 for TWU. Both Zac Overwater and Brandon Brine put up 20 points, with Overwater adding 5 rebounds and 5 steals.  Rob Olsen has 15 points / 8 boards / 5 assists for the 4th place ‘Horns (12-8) . TWU finish a very difficult campaign with a 1-19 mark; they have Lucas Mannes scoring 20 plus 9 rebounds, and senior wing man, Kelvin Smith adds 16 and 9 boards as well.  Lethbridge gets a 1st round bye in the playoffs, and will play at UBC in their quarter-final series in 2 weeks.  Box Score

at #6  UBC 79   Winnipeg  67 –  The Ws stick with the ‘Birds until the 4th quarter, but much better UBC shooting decides the issue – 49% to 39% from the floor. The Thunderbirds grab 2nd place in the Pioneer, and get home court in the March 4-6 quarter-final series vs Lethbridge.  Very balanced scoring for UBC tonight, with all 5 starters in double figures, as David Wagner converts his inside game for 17 points / 7 rebounds, while Conor Morgan, with 9 and Will Ondrik, 8, lead T-Bird rebounders. Winnipeg get 15 each from Jamar Farley and Jelane Pryce, and Ryan Oirbans has 9 points / 10 rebounds.    Box Score

at Victoria 90  Brandon 74 –   The Vikes get a good shooting game, and cruise to their 9th win, as Mac Roth has a great final contest in UVic colours with 21 points, and Reiner Theil also shows his best as a 5th year grad, at 13 points / 11 rebounds. Earl Thompson Jr. is the game’s high scorer for BU, with 25 points to go along with 10 rebounds.  UVic  are 9-11, and Brandon just 1-19, as both teams miss the playoffs.  Box Score

CIS  #10 Manitoba  (15-5) has the bye in this final weekend of League play.


Explorer –  MRU gets a sweep, but Mac  hangs on to 3rd

James Lefebvre has another strong game for the Cougars on his senior night at MRU.

James Lefebvre has another strong game for the Cougars on his senior night at MRU.

at Mt. Royal 94  Fraser Valley 83  –   The Cougars repeat with a strong 2nd half to catch and pass  the visiting Cascades, as UFV sits starters later in the game.  59 points in that half turns the tide, after Fraser Valley led by 9 at the break. James Lefebvre leads MRU scorers with 19 plus 4 rebounds, and Brett Layton continues with his double-double outings, posting 17 points / 15 rebounds / 6 steals. UFV are hurt by 18 turnovers vs only 9 for the Cougars. The Cascades are sharp from long range, with 12/24 from outside, led by 4/5 by Manny Dulay (14 points), while Kevon Parchment scores 18 plus 7 boards and 7 assists.  Mt. Royal are tied in 3rd place with MacEwan at 10-10 , but the Griffins win in a tie-breaker (a win over TRU).  Fraser Valley get a bye next week then travel out to Manitoba for a quarter-final series with the Bisons.   Box Score

UNBC 83 at MacEwan 74 –  You have to hand it to the UNBC T’Wolves (4-16) in the final game of a tough season; they come out and battle for a road win, shooting 47% from the floor, and take the rebounding 40-39, while committing just 10 turnovers. Rhys Elliott again provides the punch on offense with a game-high 24 points/ 5 rebounds, and Colin Plumb finishes strongly, with his 19 points / 9 boards / 6 assists.  Mac (10-10) won’t like to lose going into next week’s 1st round of the playoffs, but they do get there, in 3rd after a tie-break decision over MRU. Ryan Coleman has a nice game for the Maroon, with 17 points / 10 rebounds for a double-double.  Box Score

at T. Rivers  88    UBC-O 79  –  The ‘Pack (16-4) get a sweep to go into the playoff bye week as the #2 seed in the Canada West play-offs; they will host the MacEwan – Alberta winner.  56% shooting on the night, and a 30 point 3rd quarter puts TRU clear, and they hold off a UBC-O rally in the 4th. Josh Wolfram nets 25 points and grabs 6 boards, while Volodymyr Iegorov tallies 19 points, and Luke Morris 17 off the bench. Aldrich Berrios has 17 for Okanagan (8-12), and both Buzz Truss and Mitch Goodwin score 16 apiece. Box Score


More CIS Scores from Friday –
Atlantic – at #9 Dalhousie 94 UPEI 81 ,  Cape Breton  85  at St. FX   78
Quebec –  Concordia  at Bishop’s
Ontario –  at  #2 Carleton 105  Waterloo 40 , at #3 Ottawa 109  Laurier  79,  at #5 McMaster 85 Laurentian 66,   at #7 Brock 86   Nipissing 69 ,  Windsor 78 at Western 72 ,  at Lakehead 88  Toronto 77 , at Algoma 71 Queen’s 60


Overtime –   

  • Several schools who are hosting games this weekend are suffering reduced attendance because of ‘Reading Week’, as students are off campus in many cases. I assume this was part of the issue at Mt. Royal, as the term ‘Crickets’ could have applied to the small gathering on Friday for UFV at MRU games. Actually, there are a number of schools which have ‘chronic apathy’ when it comes to attendance at their games; it is one of the bigger challenges for Canada West Athletics and member schools.
  • David Wells, our ‘Deep South. Alberta’ correspondent,  tells us he expects

    ‘Pronghorns Nation’ welcomed Brent Watkins to Senior Night celebrations on Saturday.

    Brent Watkins, the 6-10 California import who was such a popular player with UL for 2 seasons (2013-15),  to be one of 4 UL ‘seniors’ honoured on Saturday night. Watkins , who was involved in tragic career-ending auto accident last summer, is in town along with family members, in a reunion with the team and community. ‘Wellsie’ also expresses fear in the ‘Horns camp that Dejon Burdeaux’s recurring ankle/leg problems may be worse this time, and may prevent him from any play-off action. . Also, Spencer Lambert hasn’t made a return from injury , and his number 20 has been worn by Brian Prenoslo,  a 6’4″, 4th year transfer from Red Deer Univ. College.

‘Horns A Win Away From 4th



Lethbridge senior guard, Jared Baker, and his 'Horns team can XXXX

Lethbridge senior guard, Jared Baker, and his ‘Horns team can clinch 4th spot in the Pioneer with another win Saturday.

at Lethbridge 99  Trinity Western 81 –  The Pronghorns offence carves up the Spartans D, with scoring spread through the line-up. Brandon Brine hits 21 / 6 boards, 4 assists, with Josh Sparkes playing a strong game off the bench at his guard spot, with 15 points/ 4 asst/ 3 steals. The ‘Horns outstanding lead guard, Dejon Burdeaux, plays under 2 minutes, then leaves with a sprained ankle. U of L are 48% from the floor vs 39% for TWU, who turn it over 19 times to 12 for Lethbridge. Lucas Mannes is the game-high scorer for Trinity with 27, including 5/10 from 3 point range. The ‘Horns are now 11-8, with a good shot at 4th in the Pioneer.  TWU falls to 1-18.  Box Score

UBC, sparked by big wing man, Conor Morgan, make short work of the visiting Winnipeg Wesmen on Friday.

UBC, sparked by big wing man, Conor Morgan, make short work of the visiting Winnipeg Wesmen on Friday.  photo –  UBC Athletics

at #6 UBC 99  Winnipeg 52 –  ‘Cruel-shoes’ for the Wesmen, as UBC  (15-4) scores 56 in the opening half to take out all the suspense, and they look a lock for 2nd in the Pioneer. The ‘Birds shoot 50% from the floor vs 22% for Winnipeg, who are overwhelmed by the bigger and more physical T-Birds, who win 56-29 on the boards. Everyone scores for UBC, led by 15 points / 12 rebounds by Conor Morgan. The Wesmen (10-9) have no answer, with Marcello Kambola their top scorer at 14 points off the bench. Box Score

Saskatchewan 73 at Regina 66 –  Full speed ahead for the Huskies, who were on the attack vs a somewhat nervous Regina team.  The 28 of 34 foul shots made by the visitors demonstrated their more aggressive approach, and made the big difference, as the Cougars were a paltry 10/18.  Game !  Especially when you consider the 53-37 rebounding edge to the Sled Dogs.  5 Huskies in double figures led by 17 points / 11 rebounds from big Shane Osayande, and 11 points, 5 reb, 3 asst by Alex Unruh off the bench.  Jonathan Tull was 9/18 from the floor for the Cougs for 24 points, and his brother, Brandon scored 13, but , as a team they shoot only 34% field goals.  Regina drop to 10-9, while the Huskies are now 8-11. Box Score

at Victoria 68 Brandon 55 –  The Vikes (8-11) trail by 8 at the half, but fight back in the final 20 minutes behind 22 points from Grant Sitton off the bench. Vic hits 9 treys vs only 1 for the Bobcats. Brandon (1-18) has 19 points / 13 rebounds from Earl Thompson Jr., and 18 points / 4 steals by D.J. Jordan. Box Score

TRU's Josh Wolfram has a big double, and his Wolf Pack clinch 1st on Friday . photo TRU Athletics

TRU’s Josh Wolfram has a big double, and his Wolf Pack clinch 1st in the Explorer  on Friday .
photo- TRU Athletics

at T. Rivers  77  UBC-O  66 –  The ‘Pack sew-up 1st in the Explorer, as they out-shoot the Heat 45% to 35% from the floor, and hit 10 treys to 7 by the visitors. Josh Wolfram scores 20 for TRU (15-4) plus 10 rebounds/ 4 blocks, with Volodymyr Iegorov adding 16 / 8 rebounds/ 5 assists. Mitch Goodwin of UBC-O is the game-high scorer with 24 points and he adds 9 boards, as Okanagan drop back to 8-11.  Box Score

at MacEwan 85 UNBC 68 –  Over by 1/2 time, with a 47-23 Griffins edge, and they coast to their 10th win against 9 losses for the season. Every one of the 12 players dressed for Mac hits the score-sheet, led by 16 points each from Thadius Galvez and Denzel James, as they shoot 51% as a team from the floor and 11/12 from the line. UNBC are just 34% on FG, getting 17 points from Marcus MacKay and 8 points / 12 rebounds by Colin Plumb, as they drop to 3-16.  Box Score
at Mt. Royal 85  Fraser Valley 70 –  It was 26-25 after 1 quarter, and we had a running game both ways; but late in the 2nd the Cougars pull away, and take a 9 point lead to the break.  UFV, already without big man, Nate Brown, then put Kevon Parchment then Manny Dulay, and Vijay Dhillon (18 points) on the bench, reasoning  apparently, that guaranteed 2nd place, they save the starters for playoff minutes, and give the reserves a run.  MRU gradually build on their lead, and it is a forgone conclusion early in the 4th, with 23 points / 17 rebounds/ 6 steals by Brett Layton, and 19 points/ 9 rebounds/ 4 blocks from James Lefebvre.  MRU are 9-10 and UFV 12-7.   Box Score

  More CIS Scores from Friday –
Atlantic – at Acadia 103  New Brunswick 88, at St. FX 95 Saint Mary’s 88
Quebec – # 8  McGill 69 at Laval 68
Ontario – #1 Ryerson 78 at Lakehead 65, at  #2 Carleton  97 Laurier  60 , at #3 Ottawa 85 Waterloo 60,  at #5 McMaster  81 Nipissing 65 , at Guelph 84 Toronto 79 , Brock 70  Laurentian 67 , York 68 at Algoma   67


Overtime –   

  • UVic Coach, Craig Beaucamp, like all CIS coaches, values the accomplishments of his graduating student-athletes, “… this is Brandon Dunlop’s third stint with the Vikes and he as been to the national championships and has been a great leader for this program. He is a teacher and will be a pillar in the basketball community on the Island for many years to come. I give full credit to all three [graduating] players  (Dunlop, Reiner Theil, Mack Burns) this season for the leadership roles they displayed. It’s easy to lead when you’re winning but harder during a rebuilding process. I’m proud that all three guys will graduate with degrees, [Dunlop] with his second.” –  From the Victoria Times-Colonist.

Canada West – Last Regular Season Games


Dinos vs  Bears, and Huskies vs  Cougars are Always Fierce Battles

Jonathan Tull and the Cougars will be pumped for the U of S Huskies series in Regina.

Jonathan Tull and the Cougars will be pumped for the U of S Huskies series in Regina.

Saskatchewan at Regina – The Huskies own 20 wins over the Cougars against 1 single  loss since 2007.  That’s domination, by a program that has had quite a run of powerful teams.  It has to be in the minds of the Regina team members, and give the 8th place Saskatchewan squad the focus they want coming to their final weekend of a rough season. U of R are pleased to have made the playoffs, as they describe in this Leader-Post article by Ian Hamilton.
But the Cougars, players and coaches do not intend to look past the always intense Saskatchewan series, “Not a chance,” (Travis) Sylvestre said. “It’s the U of S, so regardless, that game is circled on the calendar.” “We don’t know who we’re playing (in the playoffs) or where, so why worry about it?” (Coach Steve) Burrows added. “Just play the game in front of your face, which is Friday night against the U of S.
A hard-fought split in these games would be our best bet, we think.


Jasdeep Gill, Dinos

Jasdeep Gill,  and the Calgary Dinos are in Edmonton to play the Golden Bears Saturday.

Calgary at Alberta – The Dinos may have the top seed locked up, but any game against the Bears is cause for ‘full battle-stations’ !  Neither team will concede anything here, with Alberta looking to finish as high as they can to 5th spot, realistically.  Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke will be a challenging match-up for the parade of forwards Coach Dan Vanhooren has been employing for Calgary. The often stingy Bears defense will be a key factor, if they want to bump off the Dinos, the #4 ranked CIS team.  (This is a one game deal – Saturday at 7 pm in Edmonton, but there’s a chance that these 2 teams could meet again in the quarter-finals in early March. )

Trinity Western at Lethbridge –  ‘The friendly confines, at last !’  The Pronghorns are delighted to be back in L.A., on home grasslands, to finish up the CW regular season, after having been on the road and gone 1-3 over the past 2 weekends. U of L will be prohibitive favourites over the 1-17 Spartans, especially with a possible home court for quarter-final playoffs at stake.  The ‘Horns will likely have Rob Olsen back in action, and they should get 2 against Kelvin Smith, Lucas Mannes and TWU.

Winnipeg  at UBC – The Wesmen beat UBC once in Vancouver, but that was in October of 2000, and since then the War Memorial Gym has been most unfriendly to UW (not unlike many CW teams).  The Winnipeg defense could slow down the UBC charge, but the T-Birds are back with more size, in David Wagner, and a more cohesive mix in the back-court, as Phil Jalalpoor gets support from A.J. Holloway. A Winnipeg win in either game would be a big upset.

Brandon at Victoria – Two teams really playing out the string, as neither has a playoff chance.  The Vikes won the CW title just a year ago, and will want their seniors, Reiner Theil, Mack Roth, and Brandon Dunlop, to go out with a couple of good games to finish up at their home court. The ‘Cats have shown they can play with some stronger teams, but it usually doesn’t last for the full 40 minutes.  If the Vikes engage the strong defense, Brandon will be in tough for a split.

The Manitoba Bisons get the bye on this final weekend of League play.


Explorer Division – MacEwan Has the Edge for 3rd Playoff Slot

Ryan May, MacEwan forward

Ryan May, MacEwan forward

UNBC at MacEwan –  The Griffs get 2 wins at home, and they’re in their 1st-ever Canada West post-season. Mac has won 3 of 4 in the past 2 weeks, and are 2-0 vs the T’Wolves (in P.G.) earlier on;  the one game was very close, however, and Thadius Galvez and company need to be sharp both nights. UNBC haven’t won in the 2nd half of this season, and would have to have brilliance from Rhys Elliott (quite possible), and extraordinary performances from guys like Colin Plumb, Marcus MacKay, and Austin Chandler.  The Griffins can smell the play-offs, and they seem likely to respond.


Fraser Valley at Mt. Royal –  There is a slim chance that UFV could catch Thompson Rivers for 1st in the Explorer, but Coach Adam Friesen is urging his players to keep their edge against an improved MRU squad,  Says Friesen, “We want to go into this weekend and stay sharp and keep our rhythm going (into playoffs).” (From Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics). The Cougars, still mathematically alive for 3rd, boast top rookie rebounder, Brett Layton, and senior post man, James Lefebvre, but Kevon Parchment and his ‘play-off tough’ Cascades teammates will be a tough hurdle.

Reese Pribilsky and his TRU teammates want to finish strong.

Reese Pribilsky and his TRU teammates want to finish strong.       photo – TRU Athletics

UBC-Okanagan at Thompson Rivers – If there is a team in the whole League who will want to ‘tune-up’ for the play-offs, it would be the Wolf Pack.  They lost 2 at Fraser Valley, and will want to get the belief back prior to the post-season. The Heat won a game from the ‘Pack in January in Kelowna, and they are still chasing 3rd place.  Mitch Goodwin and Cam Servatius have been solid for UBC-O lately, but TRU, when they’re really clicking, just may have too much offense for the Heat.



Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 10.38.20 AMThe Ryerson Rams are still #1, and go on the road to play Guelph and Lakehead this week (spoiler alert with the Thunderdome in play!). Carleton and Ottawa are 2 and 3 with no other games left this week or next that should change the top 3.  Calgary stays at #4, after their 11th and 12th straight wins, and McMaster and UBC move up over Brock.  McGill is, tenuously, the top team in Quebec, as is Dalhousie in the topsy-turvy Atlantic.  Manitoba reaches the Top 10, after a strong season, as they await playoffs for 2 weeks.



Matt Letkeman, as a Team Canada member back in his rookie season.

Matt Letkeman, as a Team Canada member – 2010

Overtime –

  • Calgary Dinos graduating senior, Matt Letkeman, in an emotional interview after his Senior Night at UC last Saturday,  “Every year has its own stories, its own guys, its own relationships, its own friendships,” says Letkeman, a six-foot-six starter. “To have the privilege to stay around this long … pretty cool !   details in this Calgary Herald article by Scott Cruickshank.


  • Kelly Olynyk, who was named an ambassador for UBC in promoting the March 17-20 CIS Nationals, ”I’m excited to be an ambassador for the CIS Men’s Final 8 Championship to be held this year at UBC,” said Olynyk …. “As someone who grew,  up playing basketball in this province, I know how great this is for the game in the region. From  
  • The Dinos land one of Western Canada’s top recruits in 6-8 Jeff Rodehutskors  of Chestermere (AB) , who said to Calgary Sun writer Rita Mingo at a Tuesday press conference,   “The Dinos are playing so well right now, and they have so many young players. And Coach Dan … we’ve built a good relationship. He’s been I think to more of my basketball games this year than his son’s hockey games. He’s shown that level of commitment to me, and it’s something I felt comfortable with.’’  More in the article in the Sun .
  • Amir Ali, Manitoba senior guard, speaks for his Bisons’ teammates in stating their goal for the upcoming playoffs,  “We’re confident we can go up against anybody,” said Amir, adding, “You always say it’s about the journey, not the destination, but from Day 1 a lot of us have been saying banner or bust.”  From Jeff Hamilton, Winnipeg Free Press.

Decisive Wins in All 5 Pioneer Games


Calgary Streak to an Even Dozen – 1st Place !blk dinos copy

at #4 Calgary 95  Regina 79  –  It’s like a repeating film loop or a recurring nightmare for the Cougars, who, as they had on Thursday, sped to a 1st quarter lead (tonight 28-19) , then saw the Dinos storm back to a 5 point 1/2 time advantage. Again on Friday, the Division  leaders keep pulling away, with 49 points in the last 20 minutes, as they win their 12th straight game. Thomas Cooper adds a 30 point night for a 72 point weekend total, and has 6 rebounds/ 3 asst/ 3 steals. David Kapinga is a thorn in the ‘Cats paw once again with his 10 points, 5 asst, and 4 steals, as UC forces the visitors into 20 turnovers. Alex Igual hits 5/9 from 3 point range to lead Regina scorers with 19, plus 5 rebounds.  Calgary clinches 1st in the Pioneer at 16-3, while Regina drops to 10-8 going into the final week of League play.    Box Score

Brandon Brine leads 'Horns to a nice road win at Winnipeg.

Brandon Brine leads ‘Horns to a nice road win at Winnipeg.

Lethbridge 78 at Winnipeg  52 –  No contest tonight in Winnipeg as the Pronghorns (10-7)  hit 50% from the floor to just 37% for UW, and Lethbridge wins the rebounding 40-30 in out-scoring their hosts in every quarter. Brandon Brine rings up 25 for Lethbridge with 4 rebs/4 asst, while Chris Maughan scores 14, and Zac Overwater 10 plus 7 rebounds.  Winnipeg (9-8)  gets 13 points/ 5 rebounds/ 5 assists from William Sesay, and 11 points / 6 boards from Marcello Kambola. No Denzel Lynch-Blair for the Wesmen tonight ?  Box Score

at Saskatchewan  80  Alberta 52 – The Huskies (7-10) still cling to a faint hope of  a playoff chance  as they thump the visiting  Golden Bears (9-9) behind the 27 points of rookie guard, Chan DeCiman,  while senior guard, Evan Ostertag, and big Trevor Severinski score 12 points each.  The Dogs are up 63-33 after 3/4s, and it’s game over, as Sask strike for 16/34 from 3 point range vs 5/21 for the Bears.  15 points and 7 boards from Alberta’s Brody Clarke, the only U of A player in double figures.   Box Score

#7  UBC 85 at Brandon 67 –  The T-Birds dominate, with a hot (54% ) shooting night, and they hold the ‘Cats to just 36%. 5 ‘Birds in double figures, as Jordan Jensen-Whyte hits 17 ppoints, 8 rebs/ 5 asst/ 2 steals, and David Wagner scores 18 to go with 6 reb/ 3 asst.  Chris Stanhope has a 20 point game for Brandon, while Earl Thompson Jr. hits 14 plus grabbing 8 boards.  UBC goes  to 13-4, while Brandon is at 1-16.  Box Score
Manitoba  101 at Trinity Western 67 –  Blow-out, as the 3rd place Herd rumble for 70 points in the 2nd half in shooting 57% vs the Spartans 34% from the floor.  Justus Alleyn scores 20 points/ 7 reb/ 3 asst/ 3 steals, and Keith Omoerah adds 10 boards / 9 points / 7 assists/ 2 steals for UM , who are now 14-5.  TWU has 21 points/ 5 reb/ 3 asst from Lucas Mannes , as they fall to 1-16. Box Score


Griffins Road Win Gives Them a Share of 3rd

MacEwan  66 at UBC-Okanagan  59 –  Little things make the difference for the visiting Griffins … they force 19 Heat turnovers, hit 16 / 23 from the line vs 12/15 for UBC-O, and grab a couple of extra rebounds.  From 1-0 in  the first minute of the opening quarter, Mac leads all night, as they respond to every small run made by the home side.  It is, indeed, Denzel James (15 points/ 5 rebounds) and Thadius Galvez (12 points), who lead MacEwan to this key road win, as they are now tied for 3rd at 8-9 on the season. Okanagan gets 16 from Cam Servatius off the bench, and 14 from Mitch Goodwin, but could never really threaten the visitors in this one.   Box Score

UFV's Kevon Parchment rains on TRU for 33 points in Cascades' home win.

UFV’s Kevon Parchment rains on TRU for 33 points in Cascades’ home win.

at Fraser Valley 82          #9 Thompson Rivers 79 –  Here’s a game where foul shooting is the difference;  UFV hits 83% on 20/24 from the line vs 13/21 (62%) for TRU.  Not only was Kevon Parchment back in the Cascades line-up, but he produces a clutch 33 point night in the big match-up, and he chips in with 14 rebounds, and 4 assists. Vijay Dhillon scores 17 for Fraser Valley, as they get to 11-6, in 2nd place, while TRU remain on top in the Explorer with a 14-3 mark.  Reese Pribilsky is the top man for the ‘Pack with 21 points / 6 assists, while Luke Morris totals 18 points / 9 boards.   Box Score

Mt. Royal 76 at UNBC 75  –   MRU trail the whole game, but storm back in the 4th quarter , winning it on 9 points in the final 45 seconds, including a pair of Derek Wolfe free throws with 1 second left. The veteran guard, Wolfe,  has 14 on the night, but the Cougars high man is rookie Brett Layton who pots 18 points and adds 14 big rebounds. James Lefebvre continues his run of good ’ball for Mt. Royal with 17 points / 6 rebounds, as the Cougs move up to 7-10.  UNBC (3-14) has 31 points from their shooting guard , Rhys Elliott, and 18 by Marcus MacKay.  Box Score

 Other CIS Scores Friday –
Atlantic – at #10 Dalhousie 76 Cape Breton 74 ,  at Saint Marys 97 Acadia 92
Quebec – Bishop’s 83 UQAM  75
Ontario – at #6 McMaster 96   #2 Ottawa 90 , #3 Carleton 90 at #5 Brock 65,  at Queen’s 99 Western 90,   Algoma 62 at Toronto 57, Windsor 86 at York 85  OT, Lakehead 84 at Waterloo 64 , at Laurier 102 Guelph 91


Overtime –   

  • Belated congratulations to the UC Dinos Women’s team, who play an amazing back-and-forth game vs #3 Regina on Friday.  Behind 25 points from post, Kelsey Lund, and 18 from veteran point, Kristie Shields, Calgary hangs in against the very well-drilled Regina team, who got 24 points, mostly inside, from Alyssia Kajati . They go to OT, and the Dinos young stars, Anmol Mattu and Brianna Ghali fuel a 24-12 UC outburst for the win. This was the Cougars’ second loss of the season as their record falls to 15-2 while the Dinos climb to 14-4.  >>> On to Friday, and the Cougars avenge the loss, as they top Calgary 83-71. 
  • What’s the state of officiating across the CIS ?  Do things differ from one region  to another, and how are referees trained to improve their game-time performance?  And, how do referees’ associations and the various levels of basketball across Canada moving to assess and increase the quality and consistency of reffing in the Canadian game?  Writer Wayne Kondro suggests one obvious idea, “Given that Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment pockets millions annually from the sale of Toronto Raptors paraphernalia and tickets in Canada, and has a vested interest in the long-term development of the game here in the North, what if some of us stopped schlepping to Toronto to attend games and buy those fabulous “We the North” T-shirts unless and until Canada’s team opens its coffers for grassroots initiatives aimed at the greater objective of elevating and developing the game in the country, including a fund to improve officiating?  More details in Condor’s piece in CIS Sport.

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 !


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.


Two Weeks – ‘Do or Die’ Games



 Two weeks will decide playoff slate in Canada WestScreen Shot 2016-02-08 at 1.48.24 PM

As we look at the slate of games ahead for this week, we are reminded how difficult it usually is to get a sweep in Canada West this season, with the parity in our League.  When the top 3 or 4 teams do win a pair, as we saw last week, it separates them from the pack.
Ergo … the UC Dinos snatch a nail-biter from U of L on Saturday, and now have a real shot at the #1 spot.  Manitoba Bisons, with 2 wins over Winnipeg,  finish up at  TWU this week, and appear to be solid in 3rd place with a predicted sweep. Regina Cougars made a big move by getting 2 from UVic, but they now have 4 competitive games, at Calgary, then at home vs the dreaded Huskies.

The UBC Thunderbirds come off a bye week, and head way East to Brandon for a series we might call a mis-match, but the ‘Cats will be wanting to spoil the party for the ‘Birds.  UBC is home vs Winnipeg to finish the regular season, and they could really de-rail the Wesmen in their run for the playoffs.

Lethbridge Pronghorns stay on the road, and they need at least a split in Winnipeg to secure 4th, assuming they can win 2 at home against Trinity W in the final week.  It gets very sticky at this point, as the Winnipeg Wesmen need 2 wins in their last 4 (home vs Leth., at UBC) to be higher than 7th, and 1 to get into that last slot.  Alberta Golden Bears have 3 games left, and need 1 win to get into the playoffs; the Bears are at Saskatchewan then home for 1 game vs Calgary; the U of S Huskies need 4 wins to finish, which will be tough against traditional rivals like U of A and Regina.  UVic Vikes do not control their own fate, and are most likely out of the post season, with a best record of 9-11 if they beat Brandon twice at home in the final week.

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Mac and Okanagan Duel for Third – Explorer DivisionScreen Shot 2016-02-08 at 1.48.38 PM

We have a ‘must -win’ situation  for both UBC-O Heat and MacEwan Griffins this week, as they square-off for 3rd place.  It is likely to be one of 2 or even 3 series splits this week, with not much separating the teams, especially when you take home court in consideration .  The Heat taking 2 might be a surprise, but would lock it up for them, while MacEwan need to make up ground over the final 2 weeks just to get to a tie-breaker scenario.

The top 2 teams are in Abbotsford, and a split seems reasonable here, but only if Kevon Parchment is back in action for the Fraser Valley  Cascades as they face the 14-2 Wolf Pack of TRU.  UFV is 7-1 at home and 3-5 away, while TRU are 7-1 both home and away; the ‘Pack are favoured, but we see the Cascades vets answering the call here.

Mt. Royal Cougars have a chance to sweep at UNBC , but the T’Wolves showed on Saturday at TRU that they have some fight remaining, despite their 3-13 record and their injury woes.  The Cougars are 2-6 on the road, and need a big weekend to improve on that mark.

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The Payton Manning ‘Thanks to All My Teammates’ Awards

The opening week of February was, indeed, ‘The Turn For Home’ , with now just 2 weeks

Ilarion Bonhomme returns to the Herd, and will make a difference.

Ilarion Bonhomme returns to the Herd, and will make a difference.   photo – UM Athletics

left in League play.  We saw so many games last weekend  demonstrating how the ‘stars can truly shine’, and also how much the fate of the team depends on their lesser-known teammates, who come through with essential contributions in critical situations.

Keith Omoerah tallies 39 points, 25 rebounds, and 7 assists to drive the Bisons to a sweep in the Winnipeg ‘Derby’ … but let’s celebrate also the return to the Herd of back-up point man, Ilarion Bonhomme, who gives great experience and depth of scoring, leadership, and defense as the playoffs approach.

Thomas Cooper produces 51 points, many crucial hoops in the 4th quarter, along with 12 rebounds and 13 assists in 2 wins over Lethbridge … but outside shooters, Lars Schleuter and Josh Owen-Thomas go 14/23 from 3 point range for a major impact in a key series.

Mamadou Gueye is the ‘Big Bear’ at Alberta, with his terrific 55 point, 15 rebound, 7 assist series as the GB’s hold tight to the final playoff spot … we also give a nod to red-shirt rookie Brody Clarke, who is a steady force in the front line, as  he counts 33 points, 11 rebounds, 4 asst, 4 steals.

Jonathan Tull steps up again as the top offensive threat for the Regina Cougars, as his 47 points, 12 boards, 5 assists, and 6 steals propel the Cougs to a sweep of the UVic Vikes (their first such double over Victoria in ‘recorded history’) … Tull gets help from several ‘mates, including guard Alex Igual, who is double figures both nights, and the duo of Brian Ofori (17 pts/ 7 rebs) and Aaron McGowan (16 pts/ 8 reb/ 5 asst) , who came off the bench, into the breach, aiding in the big come-back on Saturday.

Fraser Valley splits their series at UBC-O, and they lose their all-star wing man, Kevon

UFV’s Manny Dulay is a key vet in the ‘small, but mighty’ Cascades line-up.

Parchment, for the Saturday game … however, the Cascades see  the return to form of two integral veterans, guard Manny Dulay (40 points, 10 rebounds), and big man Nate Brown, with 37 points and 11 rebounds  in the series.  Let’s hope we see Parchment recover, so UFV can field their best team down the stretch.

MacEwan have the dynamic Denzel James with his 48 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals in a split with Mt. Royal. The Cougars respond with their consistent pair in the post, James Lefebvre (36 pts, 13 reb) and rookie Brett Layton, the League’s top rebounder (10.4 rpg)  … off the bench for the Griffs, fortunately, comes Ryan Coleman, a veteran forward, who scores 15 points / 5 rebs Saturday in their win.  For MRU, the 1st year wing man, Neil Phillip displays his full range of talent, with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 3 blocks in the 2 games.

Manitoba and Regina Get Huge Wins

Bisons in OT over Wesmen and Regina Catches Vikes in the 2nd half

 Manitoba copyManitoba 82 at Winnipeg 74  OT  –   Down by 7 at the half and 5 at the 3/4 mark, the Bisons take the lead half-way through the final stanza, but Winnipeg fights back to get it to extra time.  12-4 Herd in that session as they get the sweep with a win at UW to advance to 13-5, and now solidly in 3rd spot.  Keith Omoerah has a stellar performance with 22 points and 16 rebounds, helping UM control the glass by a 57-41 count. Both Justus Alleyn and A. J. Basi cash 15 points for Manitoba who matched a somewhat cold shooting night from Winnipeg, both  hitting just 37.5% from the floor.  The Wesmen (9-7) have James Farlay with 17 points, and William Sesay scoring 9 and grabbing 11 boards. Box Score

 Regina  91   Victoria 82  –  The Vikes were better on Saturday in Regina, taking a 4 point half-time lead, but the Cougars win the 2nd half 49-36 to get a critical sweep, as they are in 4th at 10-6.  UVic, last year’s League champs may be outside the play-off picture, as they drop their 6th straight to fall to 7-11. Jonathan Tull comes up big for U of R once more, with his 24 points/ 6 boards / 4 steals, and he got help from 16 points / 8 rebounds / 5 assists by 6th-man Aaron McGowan. Victoria had balanced scoring, with 5 in double digits, led by 15/ 5 reb/ 4 asst from Grant Sitton, and 10 points / 11 boards by Reiner Theil. Box Score

Lars Schleuter's late trey catapults Dinos to Saturday win.

Lars Schleuter’s late trey catapults Dinos to Saturday win.

at  #5 Calgary 88  Lethbridge  84 –  A 20 point Dinos lead at the break was erased by agame Lethbridge squad, who made a massive comeback, hitting 52 points in the final 20 minutes. Calgary was reeling, and stuck on offense, as the ‘Horns switched to Man-D, and confused the UC attackers. It was tied at 79 with 3 minutes left, and UL had all the momentum; a Thomas Cooper free throw and Lars Schleuter’s 3 point shot put Calgary back in front, and they held on with hoops from David Kapinga and Cooper, and a big blocked shot from Dallas Karch.  UC goes 10 in a row and are in 1st spot at 14-3, while the Pronghorns fade to 9-7.  Cooper led all scorers with 27, plus 5 boards and 10 assists, while Schleuter finished with 18 including 6/9 from 3 point range. For UL, it was Brandon Brine scoring 19 and 7 rebounds, with Rob Olsen adding 18 points.  Box Score

at Alberta  83  Trinity Western 60 –  With a smothering defensive game, the Bears never trail in this home win, moving them to 9-8 on the season. Mamadou Gueye continues his hot play for the weekend, with 27 points / 7 reb/ 5 assists, and Brody Clarke adds 16 points/ 3 asst / 3 steals. TWU shoots only 36% to 47% for the U of A; Kelvin Smith is the lone Spartan in double figures with 11 points.    Box Score

 at Saskatchewan 81   Brandon 61   –  The Huskies looked like a refreshed team, as they get great scoring from a lengthened bench corps, led by 22 from guard Alex Unruh, and big man, Trevor Severinski, with 14. The U of S out-shot (46% to 40%) and out-rebounded (43-35) the Bobcats, taking control with a 51-24 edge in the sandwich sessions. Brandon’s D. J. Jordan hit 18 points / 6 reb and Earl Thompson had 15 points, but the ‘Cats go to a dismal 1-15 while the Huskies are now 6-10.    Box Score

Okanagan Get a Clutch Home Win over UFV

Mitch Goodwin leads Okanagan to a huge home win over Fraser Valley.

Mitch Goodwin leads Okanagan to a huge home win over Fraser Valley.

at UBC-Okanagan 68  Fraser Valley   65 –   The Heat (8-8) help their play-off cause with a clutch win courtesy of 3 points from Randall Mosca in the final seconds. This is a toughly contested game with many lead changes throughout, as Mitch Goodwin tallies 24 points for UBC-O, adding 5 reb / 5 asst. UFV cost themselves with 18 turnovers; Manny Dulay hits 24 points for the Cascades (10-6) including 5/10 from beyond the arc, and Nate Brown contributes 19 points / 7 boards.  Box Score 
at Thompson Rivers  70  UNBC 56 –   The Wolf Pack lead all the way; they are just too much for the T-Wolves in out-shooting the visitors 45% to 31% from the floor, and 44 rebounds vs 30 for UNBC. Albert Medrano scores 14 to lead TRU (14-2), while Josh Wolfram has 12 rebounds and 8 points. UNBC (3-13) gets 14 points and 5 rebounds from Saje Gosal.  Box Score

Denzel James scores 30 to propel his Griffs to a big win at Mt.Royal.

Denzel James scores 30 to propel his Griffs to a big win at Mt.Royal.

 MacEwan 78  at Mt. Royal   73 –   The Griffins (7-9)  bounce back for a crucial split on the road vs MRU, as the visitors make a 28-15 outburst in the 2nd quarter stand-up for the win. Mac outshoots the Cougars 48% to 39% from the floor, and make 18/24 free throws to 12/23 for the Cougs (6-10).  MacEwan gets a big 30 point game from Denzel James (6 reb), plus 16 points / 6 boards / 5 asst from Chris Mooney. Mt. Royal are paced by 20 points / 8 reb from James Lefebvre, and 12 points / 12 boards by Brett Layton. Box Score

More  CIS Scores  on Saturday –  
Quebec – #6 McGill 74 at UQAM  60   , Concordia 64   at  Bishop’s  61
Atlantic – at St. FX  96  UPEI  90  , at Saint Marys  86 UNB 77  ,  at Acadia 87  Cape Breton 79, #10 Dalhousie 83 at Memorial 78
Ontario –   at Toronto 79 Laurier 60  , at Windsor 93 Nipissing 71 , Guelph 102  at York 98, at Algoma 81  Waterloo 68  , at Western 61 Laurentian 50   , at Queen’s 80  Lakehead 72

Overtime –   

  • A.J. Basi, with an example of why the local rivalry is inevitably the more intense; after the Manitoba Bison’s game 1 win over Winnipeg on Friday,  “It feels good,” Basi said. “Just in general, beating the Wesmen, we don’t really like those guys. There’s always a rivalry there. On top of that we won the Duckworth Challenge, and we’re one step closer to clinching a home playoff series.”  From the Winnipeg Sun – Kirk Penton.
  • UNBC Coach Todd Jordan, on his team’s effort in Friday’s loss at  TRU, despite their injury problems taking away firepower and depth, “I don’t think the score reflected the effort we put in today” explains … Jordan. “ I was happy with our guys. We had a really weak second quarter that put us in a tough spot. We are pretty banged up and injured and have a lot of young guys seeing lots of minutes.”  From a story in News Kamloops.
  • Just in case you missed it yesterday …
    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 –

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 –

Huskies Clip ‘Horns in OT


Huskies and ‘Horns go down to the wire in Saskatoon –

Huskies' Shawn Lathan connects on a game-winning OT trey.

Huskies’ Shawn Lathan connects on a game-winning OT trey.  photo – Huskies Athletics

 at Saskatchewan 90  Lethbridge  89  –   The Huskies (4-8) catch Lethbridge (6-4) late in the 4th quarter, with some ‘Horns turnovers leading to hoops from Chan DeCiman and Shane Osayande, but the ‘Horns get it to OT with a last second 3 point shot from Rob Olsen.  Shawn Lathan returned the favour at the end of OT, with a winning trey at the 20 second mark, then Shane Osayande blocks a shot to preserve the win for U of S. 5 Sask. players in double figures with 18 each from Lathan and Osayande, who also adds 8 rebounds. The Huskies get  26/35 free throws vs just 12/15 for the visitors, as Lethbridge shoots 50% from the floor to 35% for the Dogs, and still lose !. UL are led by 22 points from Rob Olsen, who is 4/6 from outside,  19 points/8 boards by Dejon Burdeaux, and 17 / 9 rebs by Brandon Brine.  21 Lethbridge turnovers hurt their cause, and they lose the rebound battle 41-34.   Box Score

 UBC 76  at Manitoba 66 –  The 2nd game to UBC, and a split for the series (prophetic on Coach Hanson’s part ….) The T-Birds get off to a sprint start at 20-9 after 10 minutes, and their defense squeezes Manitoba enough that the Herd hit only 31% on the night. UBC (9-3) hits 8 treys vs 3 for UM, and the ‘Birds scoop 50 rebounds against 44 for the Bisons. Phil Jalalpoor leads the visitors with 19 points/ 5 rebs/4 assts, while Jordan Jensen-Whyte scores 18 / 5 assts, and Conor Morgan hits 14 and snares 10 boards. Manitoba (8-4 )  have 4 players in double digits, led by 18 from Justus Alleyn, 17 by A.J. Basi, and 10 points / 11 boards from Keith Omoerah. Box Score

  Victoria 66  at   Alberta  60 –   Another split of competitive teams, as the Vikes (7-5) capitalize on a 48-36 rebounding margin and very careful ball-handling with just 4 turnovers. poor Cold shooting from the floor with good defensive efforts from both teams (35%-34%) , but, with no D at the free throw line, the Bears are 12/14 and UVic goes13/15. Victoria got 16 apiece from Grant Sitton and Jordan Charles, along with 15 points/ 8 rebounds by Mack Roth.  Alberta (5-6) were led by 16 points and 9 boards from Mamadou Gueye, and 13 / 6 rebs by Brody Clarke.   Box Score

Thomas Cooper's 28 points vs Brandon keeps Calgary atop the Pioneer.

Thomas Cooper’s 28 points vs Brandon keeps Calgary atop the Pioneer.   photo – David Moll, UC

Calgary 85  at  Brandon 79  –   The Dinos trail for much of the game, in fact through until the 5 minute mark of the 4th, as the ‘Cats, led by D.J. Jordan looked ready for the upset.  Calgary (10-3) went on a 14-6 run to finish the game, with key defensive stops, and some clutch play by Jasdeep Gill, Josh Owen -Thomas, and Thomas Cooper.  Cooper, who had only 11 on Friday, buried 28 tonight, and added 5 boards and 6 assists. Owen-Thomas and Lars Schleuter each scored 11, as UC hit 44% FG and 19/26 free throws. BU’s Jordan filled it up for 3/4s, and netted 29 for the night , while Troy Grant hit for 22/ 6 rebs/ 3 assts/ 5 steals, but Brandon loses their 10th straight. Box Score


TRU pulls out a tight win at MacEwan

Thompson Rivers 71  at  MacEwan 69  –    The Wolf Pack (12-2) have to overcome a 5 point deficit after 3/4s, and they get key hoops from both Volodymyr Iegorov and Reese Pribilsky to do just that.  MacEwan (5-7) had their chances, but cooled off in the last 5 minutes to slide back to 5-9 on the season. Josh Wolfram was the high scorer for TRU with 21 points / 8 rebounds, while Iegorov counted 15 points / 10 boards, and Pribilsky hit 17 pts/ 7 assists. The Griffs got 16 points / 10 rebounds from Thadius Galvez, and 17 points / 7 boards / 3 steals by Denzel James. Box Score

at Mt Royal  79  UBC- Okanagan 57  –   The home-standing Cougars go up 42-22 at  the half, and that’s virtually the match, as MRU   get a weekend sweep and a share of 3rd place in the Explorer with the Heat and MacEwan at 5-7.  Okanagan hit a paltry 28% from the field, and commit 19 costly turnovers in the loss.  Brett Layton scores 19 and rips 12 rebounds for MRU , and he gets help from his post partner, James Lefebvre, with 17 plus 5 boards. Mitch Goodwin was the game’s high scorer for UBC-O at 22 points, but no other Heat player approaches 10.   Box Score  

at Fraser Valley 62  UNBC  47  –  Strong defensive play by the Cascades to win convincingly for the sweep, and move up to 8-4 for the season. UNBC is flirting with a non-playoff season at 3-9, having dropped 3 straight, as they shoot only 32% vs 46% for UFV. 16 points each from Kevon Parchment and Nate Brown, and 11 rebounds from Parchment for his 2nd double-double of the weekend. 10 points from Austin Chandler was the highlight for Timberwolves.  Box Score

CIS Scores on Saturday –
Atlantic-  at UPEI 92 Acadia  90 , UNB 86  Dalhousie 71, Memorial 109  at                 Saint Marys 105  ,    St. FX at Cape Breton  ppd, weather
Quebec –  Concordia  71  UQAM  66, Laval 73  McGill 52
Ontario –  Ottawa 75  Carleton 73 , Ryerson 97  Queen’s 81,  Windsor 87  Algoma 80,  McMaster 105  Laurier 81, Brock 81  Waterloo 69 , Nipissing 84  Laurentian 73

Overtime – 

  •  A.J Holloway, the T-Birds 4th year guard from Tacoma, WA (Bellevue C.Coll) is starting to live up to the promise he showed as a Jr. College star in Washington.  “Over the holiday, on our California trip, A.J. really played well, and we see him as a bigger contributor in the 2nd half of the year”, said Coach Kevin Hanson.
  • In a conversation prior to the weekend’s play, Coach Hanson suggested that
    UBC bench boss, Kevin Hanson.

    UBC bench boss, Kevin Hanson.

    these double-header weekend series are not his favourite scheduling method.  Says the 16 year Thunderbirds head man, “It’s tough for 2 teams who are fairly evenly matched to play a repeat game the next night. If you win the 1st game, you feel you’ve accomplished your goal,  and it’s hard for the players to come back with the same intensity.”  Hanson says he much prefers the ‘split-weekends’, for example, playing 1 vs Manitoba , then 1 against Winnipeg.  Better for the fans and the teams. Coach Hanson points out, “We’re the only League in the CIS that does this consistently, and it hurts us, even in the National rankings.”  He adds, “Do you think Carleton and Ottawa would want to play on back-to-back nights?”   (More on CW scheduling later in the season).