Bisons and Bears Contest Canada West Title Game

 

 

 

Bisons Beat Dinos With 3 point Accuracy

A.J. Basi leads Manitoba into the Canada West Final

 Manitoba 74  Calgary  72 –  Manitoba continues their amazing path through the 2nd half of the Canada West schedule, then beats first UBC, then tonight, Calgary, to earn a shot at a Canada West title.  And, the Herd will travel to Halifax to  compete in their 1st U-Sport Nationals in over 30 years. Coach Kirby Schepp’s squad did it with the 3 point shot for much of the game, as they hit 11/19 (58%) to Calgary’s 3/23.

The Dinos got close through  the Bisons’ 25 turnovers, but their cold shooting (39% to 47% for UM) wouldn’t allow them to convert 21 more FG attempts into a win. 4 Manitoba players hit double figures, led by the 19 points of A.J. Basi, who, along with Keith Omoerah (17 points/ 14 rebounds) were both 4/5 from outside the arc. Ilarion Bonhomme scored 13 and had 6 rebounds, and his speed gave Calgary defenders problems.

Calgary missed 2 shots in the final 5 seconds, and never quite caught the Herd in the dying minutes. Thomas Cooper had 17 points/ 7 rebs for UC, but Bisons defenders allowed him just 6/24 from the floor, and he was blanked on all 6 of his 3 point attempts.  David Kapinga had 13 pts/ 3 steals, and Jasdeep Gill counted 12 for the Dinos.  UC must now win the 3rd place game at 3 pm Saturday vs Saskatchewan, and hope for a wildcard berth into Nationals.     Box Score  

 

Alberta 83  Saskatchewan 70 –  The Bears win every period from the Huskies, as they swarm the 2 U of S big men, and deny good looks to Huskies’ shooters. Alberta shot the ball well,  at 46%, with Mamadou Gueye  weaving a masterpiece with his dominating

Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye scorches U of S with his 30 points

play. The explosive 4th year forward struck for 30 points/ 8 boards, and had everything from 2 treys,  to an alley -oop dunk, then cleaned up inside with some timely rebound hoops in the 2nd half.

Austin Waddoups scored 20 for the GBs, and he controlled the pace, adding 4 assists. Despite losing all-star post man, Brody Clarke,  to fouls early in the 4th frame, Alberta managed to limit Saskatchewan’s inside game. Shane Osayande had just 10 pts / 9 rebounds for the Dogs before he too fouled out near the end.  Lawrence Moore had 19 for U of S, mostly on slick drives to the hoop, but he hit just 2/9 from the outside, and his team was 9/38 from deep range (24%) to Alberta’s 12/30 (40%).  Big Matt Forbes was one of a pair of Huskies at 11 points and he added 8 rebounds, but he was frustrated by the double -team coming from the Alberta defense.

The Bears will play Manitoba for the Canada West championship on Saturday at 8 pm.  They will join Manitoba as the 2 CW teams qualifying on Friday for the Nationals in Halifax next week.    Box Score   

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In the East –    

The Ontario Wilson Cup Semis   #1 Carleton 89  #4 Brock  64,  #2 Ryerson 76  #3 Ottawa 75   Final and 3rd place game Saturday

Atlantic Tournament   Quarter-Finals –  Acadia 73  Memorial 65, and  St. Mary’s 80 St. FX  79 .    Semis on Saturday  #10 Dalhousie vs Acadia ,  UNB vs St. Mary’s  on Saturday (6:30 and 8:30)    The championship final is Sunday at 4:30.

Quebec –  Semi-Finals … McGill 59  Laval 48,  UQAM 81 Concordia  71    The Quebec Final goes Saturday.

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Overtime –

  • Saskatchewan and Regina will play a ‘Provincial Final’ for the Canada West Women’s title on Saturday.  In Friday’s semis in Saskatoon, it was the Huskies over Alberta  72 – 62, and Regina beating Winnipeg 81-70.
  • Injuries added up tonight, with Jaylan Morgan making a strong effort for the Huskies, but he was favouring his injured leg late in the game.  Calgary’s 5th year forward, Dallas Karch, took a bad fall, banging his head, and did not return for the remainder.
  •  Teams already qualifying for the Nationals, which are March 9-12 in Halifax  –  Host, Dalhousie … OUA reps, Carleton and Ryerson, Canada West reps Alberta and Manitoba.  Still to come – the AUS camp, the Quebec champs, and a wild-card team.

Final 4 ‘Wide Open’ – Friday Semi-Finals

 

 

Berths in U-Sports Nationals Up for Grabs

One win away.  For the 4 teams in this week’s Final 4, their clearest focus may well be the one major step they have to take to get to the National Championship tournament in Halifax on March 9-12.   Win Friday, and you’re in.

This makes for as intense a game as they will have played all year.  The host Calgary Dinos won last year’s Canada West Final, and went on to reach the championship game vs Carleton last March in Vancouver.  The largely veteran Dinos are aiming for a repeat appearance, but will have a real tussle with the Manitoba Bisons. The Herd have not played in a National Final 8 Championship since 1985, and they are aching to seize this opportunity.

Both Alberta and Saskatchewan have had fairly recent runs to a Nationals Tournament, with Alberta in 2014 and Saskatchewan in both 2014 and 2015.  The Bears and Huskies split their regular season series in Saskatoon in early February, and their Friday tip-off at 3 pm will continue a fierce rivalry .

5th year Huskies forward, Trevor Severinski, hopes to find some magic against the Golden Bears                  Photo – Huskies Athletics

# 9 Saskatchewan Huskies  vs #8  Alberta Golden Bears –  Saskatchewan are worried about the Bears’ ability to put up points, and Alberta’s staff will be devising strategies to defend the post combo of Shayne Osayande and Matt Forbes.  The 3 point shot could obviously be a difference maker, as it has been for Canada West’s best long-range shooting team, U of A,  much of the regular season.

The Bears’ Mamadou Gueye shoots 41.5% from 3 point range, and he’s the 5th best of the GB’s shooters from outside the arc ! (Gueye is 12th in CW, and, of course, he has a few other skills to bring to the party.)  Austin Waddoups 46.8%, Andre Kelly 44.7%, Geoff Pippus 42.6%, and Ivan Ikomey 42.2%.  Hot.  And the Bears still have the inside threat of all-star post man, Brody Clarke.

The Huskies Osayande can take over a game.  He’s a walking, leaping, shot-blocking, double-double.  And his muscular ‘mate,  Forbes, has that 5th year zeal as he steps on the stage for one of his last performances. The ‘Dogs may live and die with the 2 -way games of their guard corps, Lawrence Moore, Jaylan Morgan, and Alex Unruh.  Getting Morgan back is vital to their cause, as is the rejuvenation of the offensive threat posed by ‘small forward’, Trevor Severinski.  This 5th year shooter has found his shooting eye at just the right time.

This is a ‘street fight’ kind of game, which we see as a toss-up.  Shake hands and go to a neutral corner.   It’s a matinee game time of 3 pm .   Canada West TV

Calgary’s Mitch Ligertwood should be a key figure vs the Bisons.                   Photo- David Moll – UC Athletics

#5 Calgary Dinos  vs  Manitoba Bisons –  The Bisons come off a 2 game road sweep of the previously 25-1 UBC Thunderbirds.  They should be on a ‘Wanted Poster’ !  Armed and dangerous !  The 4 pillars of this team, Ilarion Bonhomme, A.J. Basi, Keith Omoerah, and Justus Alleyn averaged 33.5 minutes apiece, and tallied 88% of the Herd’s points in Vancouver.

Bonhomme is most dangerous as a penetrator, and Alleyn has been their ‘drop dead’ scorer for most of the season.  Omoerah is a multi-faceted weapon, with his rebounding, scoring, and leadership.  Basi has been a streaky shooter, but has a knack at crunch time.  The Dinos will know that they can’t give him too much free room.  Off the bench Coach Kirby Schepp utilizes veterans Malik Irwin and Joey Nitychoruk along with all-rookie forward  James Wagner.

Calgary will be playing a variety of ‘small ball’, very likely.  Mitch Ligertwood had a strong series in the post against TRU, and he has the experience from last year’s Final 4 to inspire his efforts.  The ‘overall team effort’ is the key factor, according to Coach Dan Vanhooren, and he looks to the defensive skills of perimeter  players led by ultra-quick David Kapinga,  shooting guard Thomas Cooper, and his side-kicks, the gritty Jhony Verrone, the spidery, energetic, Mambi Diawara, and skilled rookie, Max Eisle.

Veterans Dallas Karch and Jasdeep Gill are 5th year players who are wanting to go out as winners, and they have both shown an ability to make an impact.  This match-up produced a split on the season’s opening weekend at UC;  we should expect a rousing affair, and quite possibly a ‘down-to-the-wire’ finish.           8 pm on Canada West TV

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In the East –    

Carleton’s Connor Wood, OUA Player of the Year.
photo – Ottawa Citizen

The Ontario Wilson Cup Final 4 has  #1 Carleton vs  #4 Brock at 4:50 Eastern time , and #3 Ottawa vs #2 Ryerson  7:50  from Carleton U. in Ottawa   Both on  OUA TV   The OUA Final and 3rd place game are the next afternoon.   For more detail, check in with Mark Wacyk’s comprehensive  CANhoops.ca  blog, with great OUA coverage.

Atlantic  –   The festive annual tradition of the Atlantic Tournament at the Halifax Scotia Bank Centre will tip-off on Friday with the two Quarter-Finals –  Acadia vs  Memorial  at 6:30  Atlantic time , and  St. Mary’s vs  St. FX  at 8:30.  Both of these games are available live on AUS TV    .   Friday’s winners will play the 2 top seeds , UNB and Dalhousie on Saturday (6:30 and 8:30)  with the championship final going Sunday at 4:30.   Dalhousie will be the host team for the U-Sports Nationals.

Quebec –   Top seeded McGill will host the RSEQ Tournament in Montreal starting Friday as well  – The Redmen meet  4 seed, Laval, in one game, and Concordia plays UQAM in an all-Montreal affair in the other semi.  The Quebec Final goes Saturday.

 

Overtime –

  • There is some heated discussion surrounding the one ‘At-Large or ‘Wild-card’ spot in the March 9-12,  U-Sports Final 8 Nationals  to be awarded by a Coaches Committee after play this Sunday.  We wrongly suggested that Canada West has a rule that only Final 4 teams can be considered.  Apparently not, so UBC is able to receive consideration, despite having lost 2 straight to Manitoba in CW Quarter-Finals.  Who knows how this will go?  The results this weekend will be a big factor, of course.  It seems to suggest in the U-Sports Final 8 Selection Criteria  that teams advancing further down the play-off trail be placed in a category 1 ‘cluster’ of teams for consideration.  This is one of the sections which lends more subjectivity to the exercise.
  •  Calgary Coach Dan Vanhooren, on his feelings about 4th year guard, David Kapinga’s absence from the CW all-star list.   “Vanhooren was pleased with Kapinga’s performance, calling him an “unrecognized all-star.”  “It’s a shame that a player with that level of talent doesn’t get recognized by our league in that fashion,” he said. “I think that he’s clearly one of the better players in the league and he showed that in the fourth quarter (in last Friday’s win over TRU) . He’s an all-star in my mind.”   From a story in UC’s student newspaper, The Gauntlet. 
  • Forward Lars Schleuter is side-lined for the Dinos

  • Two significant absences last week as their teams qualified for the  Final 4  were  Jaylan Morgan of Saskatchewan  and Lars Schleuter of Calgary.   Huskies Coach Barry Rawlyk suggests, “ He’s worked hard to recover, and made significant progress, so  we are expecting Morgan to be back in the line-up for the Semi-Final Friday vs Alberta.”  Schleuter, however, doesn’t expect to be in action this week for the Dinos, and he said “It’s tough to watch from the sidelines, but I have confidence in my teammates this week”.

 

 

 

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.

Bears Have Toughest Path to Title

 

 

 Bears path is the rockiest 

photo- brody clarke, Alberta

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

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

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

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

Calgary hosts Fraser Valley in a Thursday-Friday series –  

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

logo UFV

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

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

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

 

Canada West Schedule  this week-                  

 Thursday, Jan 12  –  

Fraser Valley Cascades  at #5  Calgary Dinos

Friday, Jan 13 –

Fraser Valley Cascades  at #5  Calgary Dinos

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

Saskatchewan Huskies at Lethbridge Pronghorns

Mt. Royal Cougars at UNBC Timberwolves

Winnipeg Wesmen   at Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack

Manitoba Bisons  at Regina Cougars

Victoria Vikes at UBC-Okanagan Heat

MacEwan Griffins at Brandon Bobcats

Saturday, Jan 7 – 

Bears at Thunderbirds

Huskies at Pronghorns

Vikes at Heat

MRU Cougars at Timberwolves

Wesmen at Wolf Pack

Bisons at R. Cougars

Griffins at Bobcats

Trinity Western Spartans at home, resting …

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Scores from the East – 

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

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

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Overtime –

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

 

 

 

3 Teams Moving Up the Standings

 

 

Teams Making Headway – ‘Horns and Wesmen tied up, and UFV surges

We have 3 teams getting a sweep in League play last weekend … Lethbridge –  Now with 8 wins, they get a home sweep over UNBC, and will host Saskatchewan in a ‘heat – check’ kind of match-up this coming Friday/Saturday.  Their addition of Junior Sesay will add depth, especially if he rounds into game shape in the next couple of weeks.   Winnipeg –  also with 2 wins at home (TWU), are tied for 4th place with the ‘Horns.  The Ws have a ‘friendly schedule’, but Coach Raimbault will be reminding his troops that any team is dangerous (TWU !).    Fraser Valley –  get to .500 with as good a pair of games as they’ve played this season. The Cascades guards can fill it up, as they did vs MacEwan, and their bigs are starting to make a larger ‘foot-print’.

Just flesh wounds for the Bears, T’Birds,  and Dinos as each of the U-Sport Top 10 squads take a loss in the head-to-head action.  The Huskies rise up with a ‘renewed purpose’ to take 1 from UBC, and their new guard, Lawrence Moore, will be a plus as they challenge the other contenders.  (***  12 teams to make the play-offs)

High Impact Performers last week –

The smartly dressed Conor Morgan takes over as CW scoring leader.

UBC’s Conor Morgan (25.3) supplants the Dinos Thomas Cooper (24.3) as Canada West’s scoring leader, helped by that 30 point game in Saskatoon.  Next are UL’s Elliott Sentance at 19.6 ppg, Mt. Royal’s Josh Ross at 19.3, and Saskatchewan’s Shane Osayande with 19.0.

Mr. ‘Double-Double’ (no, not coffee!)  Osayande  tops the rebounding at 11.0, just ahead of MRU’s Brett Layton, 10.9 (16.2 ppg for his double), with Josh Ross of the Cougars just under at 9.9 rpg

Quirky stat … The top 5 shooters  from beyond the 3 pt arc are from Alberta schools!  Charn Gill, MRU– 53.8%, Austin Waddoups, Alberta -52.2%, Geoff Pippus, Alberta-50.9%, Ivan Ikomey, Alberta- 50%, and Jasdeep Gill, Calgary-47.6%

Other than Morgan’s ‘Top 10’ game -breaking effort (and his 52 pts/11 rebs/ 5

photo- aldrich berrios

50 point weekend for Okanagan’s Aldrich Berrios      photo –  UBC-O Athletics

blocked shots in the Sask series), here are some more  star performers from January’s 1st week –  Mt. Royal’s Brett Layton, at less than 100% physically, still pours in 42 pts and grabs 33 rebounds vs Brandon … the Bobcats’ Earl Thompson Jr returns the favour, with his 39 pts/ 28 boards in 2 tight games …  Elliott Sentance records 2 doubles for the Pronghorns, as his accurate artillery fire nets 40 points, and he adds 21 rebounds … his ‘Horns’ ‘partner in crime’, Dejon Burdeaux, directs the UL action in their sweep, with his 44 pts/6 asst/5 steals …  Max Vitala, TWU, racks up 40 pts in 2 games at Wpg … Aldrich Berrios totals 50 points in a productive home weekend for his UBC-O Heat  …  Berrios’ 5th year Heat teammate, Mitch Goodwin steps up both nights as well, with 43 pts/11 rebs …  5th year forward Keith Gerdes does his best for Mac with his 2 game series of 45 points at UFV.

Single game wonders include  – The Cascades’ Manny Dulay, with a very hot hand, going 7/9 from 3 pt range in scoring 23 pts/ 5 steals in Saturday’s 2nd straight win over the Griffs … Grant Sitton hit 30 pts/ 7 rebs in helping the Vikes to a road win on Friday at TRU …  6-7 Patrick Vandervelden spurs on the Spartans as he hangs up a most impressive 20 pts/ 18 rebs double at Winnipeg.

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Atlantic  Standings –

This isn’t something you see every day, week, year.  In fact, when was the last time the mighty SeaHawks ruled the roost in the AUS?   The ‘smart money’ might say that Dal Tigers will eventually rise to the top.  Meanwhile, Vasilije Curcic (17.4 ppg/ 8.6 rebs) and ‘mates are enjoying a season to remember ‘On the Rock’ !

Cape Breton, on the other hand, are looking for the least little ray of hope, as their fortunes have certainly faded.

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Overtime –

  • One has to love the ‘glass-more-than-half-full’  attitude of Trinity Coach Aaron Muhic !   His team plays very well at Winnipeg in a close loss on Saturday,  “We were very focused tonight,” said  Muhic. “Our team competed. Anytime we hold a team to under 38 per cent from the field, we have a chance to win. That is what we worked for and we had a chance to win. I thought that Patrick (Vandervelden), Tee (Maberry, ), Max (Vitala), and Vartan (Tanielian ) were amazing on the boards. This was by far our best game rebounding thus far.  I’m proud of our team effort tonight.”
  • Canada West Women’s –  Top 2 –  Alberta 11-1 ,  Winnipeg 11-1 …  In hot pursuit – UBC   8-2, Regina 8-2 …  Play-off  threats – Calgary  7-3,  Fraser Valley 7-3, TWU 7-5, Victoria 6-4,  Saskatchewan  6-4 .  Teams are very close on any single game.  Calgary hands Alberta their 1st loss on Saturday, and Trinity gets an upset roadie over Winnipeg as well.  There may not be a clearly dominant team, or even 2 or 3 who are so far ahead.  The 2nd half will be very competitive!

Bears and T’Birds Fight Back

 

Canada West Leaders gain road splits in feature match-ups

 

Alberta’s Austin Waddoups buries the winner against Calgary

# 8 Alberta  81  #3 Calgary 80 – The Bears (11-1) win a real ‘nail-biter’ courtesy of the 8 key points from speedy guard, Austin Waddoups , in the final 3 minutes.  His 3 foul shots , then a natural 3 point play set the table for a tense final minute, as Brody Clarke hits free throws to give the changing lead back to Alberta.  After a Thomas Cooper dunk off a steal, Calgary  goes back ahead at 19 secs.  A leaning jumper by Waddoups finds the mark with 6 secs remaining, and that’s the winner. The Bears win the rebound (39-27) and  FG%  (47%- 43.5%) battle , but Calgary forces 28 U of A turnovers to keep it close.  Mamadou Gueye has a much better night than he did Thursday, with his 22 points/ 5 boards, while Waddoups hits 19 pts/ 5 rebs/ 6 assts.

The Dinos (8-2) spread the scoring, as Jasdeep Gill hits 4/5 from 3 point range for 14 points in just 17 minutes.  Cooper is held to only 14, which is 10+ below his average.  This is an intense match-up, and Alberta responds to Thurday’s disappointment with a gritty team effort in Calgary to get the series split. Box Score  

UBC’s Conor Morgan goes for 30 points in win at Saskatchewan

# 2  UBC  83  Saskatchewan 74   –   Conor Morgan’s 30 point night sparked the T’Bird attack, as they get a big road split with a much sharper offensive display on Saturday.  Now at 9-1, UBC established a 12 point lead at the break, and pulled away in the 3rd, as they hit 46% FG to 40% for the Huskies (6-4). Taylor Browne came off the bench for the Thunderbirds to score 11 points/ 6 rebounds. U of S gets 20 pts/ 8 rebs from Shane Osayande, and 16 points each from Alex Unruh and Matt Forbes.    Box Score   

at Winnipeg 84 Trinity Western 80  –  The  Wesmen (8-4) may have been caught ‘counting their chickens’ on Saturday, and the underdog Spartans (2-10) gave them a real run. The visitors hung in right down to the final minutes, but went cold on offense just at the crucial time.  Winnipeg hit 3 more 3s, hit 3 more foul shots, and committed  9 fewer turnovers to win a close one.  William Sesay shone for the Ws, with 21 points/ 7 rebs/ 4 steals, and Denzel Lynch-Blair was tough, with 19 pts/ 8 rebs/ 6 assists for UW.   Max Vitala played another strong game for Trinity with 24 points/ 5 rebs, and Patrick Vandervelden had a career night with 20 points and 18 big rebounds.  Box Score    

Earl Thompson Jr. leads the Bobcats to a road win at MRU

Brandon 86  at Mt. Royal  80 –  The Bobcats (4-8)  got a road win after Friday’s close -call, as they shot 51% from the floor.  All 5 Brandon starters were in double figures, with 13 points/ 16 rebounds from the relentless Earl Thompson Jr.  MRU’s Brett Layton scored 18 and snared 17 boards, while Josh Ross hit 18 points/ 7 rebs/ 5 asst.  This one hurts for the Cougars on their home floor, as they drop  to 5-5.      Box Score   

Lethbridge 76 UNBC  63 –  The  Pronghorns (8-4) get the sweep with a 45-33 2nd half surge.  UL benefit from 20/24 from the line compared to just 7/9 for the visiting T’Wolves, who can only manage 36% from the floor.    Dejon Burdeaux leads Lethbridge once more, with 20 pts/ 6 rebs/ 3 assts, with Elliott Sentance chipping in with 15 points and 10 boards.    UNBC’s top scorer, Austin Chandler, has a game-high 21 plus 5 rebounds/ 3 blocks.  The Timberwolves fall to 4-8.      Box Score  

at Thompson Rivers  78  Victoria  71   –   The ‘Pack roar out to a 23-8 lead after 10 minutes, and move to 6-6 as they never lose control of this one. TRU shoot a hot 53% from the floor as Volodymyr Iegorov scores 20, Joe Davis 19, and Derek Rhodes 17.  The Wolves deploy just 7 players for all but 2 minutes, and they dominate UVic on the glass (39-23) .  Scott Kellum leads the Vikes (3-7) with 15 points/ 5 assts, and Grant Sitton has 12 pts/ 6 rebs/ 4 assts/ 4 steals.      Box Score   

at UBC-Okanagan 79  Regina  70 –   The  Heat match the Cougars down the stretch, and are full marks for just their 2nd win of the CW season.  UBC-O shoots 49% from the field. led by  Aldrich Berrios’ 21 points, and 18 from his ‘wing-man’  Mitch Goodwin.   Johneil Johnson comes off the Regina bench for 23 points, as they fall to 6-4.    Box Score  

Manny Dulay nails 7 of 9 from 3 pt range to help UFV to a sweep

at Fraser Valley  89   MacEwan  82  –  A very satisfying sweep for the Cascades, as they climb to 5-5 on the year, while Mac may be in dire straits at 3-9.  A season’s best 56% from the floor for UFV, as Manny Dulay lights it up with 7/9 from outside the arc, finishing with 23 pts./ 5 steals.  Vijay Dhillon of the Cascades drains 4/5 long ones of his own for 19 points.  Keith Gerdes comes up big for the Griffins with 25 points, including 7/12 from 3 pt range.   Box Score 

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In the Atlantic – at St. FX 85  UNB  66 ,  #10 Dalhousie 90 at UPEI 86 , Saint Marys  70 at Memorial  93

In Quebec –    UQAM 68  at Concordia  67

In Ontario – #1 Carleton 101  Waterloo  60 , at #5 Ryerson 98 Guelph 76,at   Laurentian 95 #9 McMaster 87 ,  at Nipissing 69  # 6 Brock  66,  #4 Ottawa 87  Laurier 58   , Windsor 78  Queens 77  ,  at Western Ont. 81 York  71,  Toronto 74  Lakehead 64

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Overtime –

  •  There are also some highlight jams in Canada West action this and every season.  Who has the top ‘flush’ of  the season ?  Maybe it’s the UFV Cascades Nav Bains in this Friday win over MacEwan !  Coach Adam Friesen liked it, as he tells us in this article by UFV’s Dan Kinvig. “Nav’s dunk is one of those things that he’ll probably remember for a long time, and it got the crowd and the team pumped up,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said afterward.
  • Canada West Women’s scores on Saturday –  Calgary 60 Alberta 57, Saskatchewan 73 UBC 69,  Regina 80 UBC-O 60, Trinity W. 72  Winnipeg 68, Fraser V. 59  MacEwan 55,   Brandon 92 Mt. Royal 85, Lethbridge 73  UNBC 69, Victoria 80 Thompson R 70

Dinos Break Bears’ Bubble

 

 

Disruptive defense drives Dinos to  significant win

Thomas Cooper and the Dinos claim a big road victory over Alberta.  photo – David Moll, UC

#3  Calgary  71 at  # 8 Alberta  58 –   The Dinos hand the Bears (10-1) their 1st loss in League play, and move up to 8-1.  Hammer and tong through the opening 20 minutes, and the teams focused on throwing a defensive blanket over each other.  The top 2 teams in 3 pt %  in Canada West shoot a combined 6/23 (26%) in that 1st half.  Some timely hoops by Jasdeep Gill and Thomas Cooper give the visiting Dinos a 33-29 edge at the break.  A 19-5 Calgary run to start the 3rd, stake them to a 16 point lead, and their defense smothers the Bruins the entire night.

The Bears defense was their ace in the hole going in, but Calgary exhibited the more disruptive full-court harassment, and took the home team out of their offensive rhythm.  Neither team really rolled it on offense, but the Dinos had a quick run, and that proved the difference.

Calgary get a game high 22 points from Cooper, and his 9 rebounds are tops as well.   Gill comes off the bench for 12 points, including 2/3 from outside, while David Kapinga has 11 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 steals .   Alberta, who shoot just 31% from the floor, have a solid effort from Brody Clarke with his  15 pts/ 7 rebounds.  Mamadou Gueye is largely held in check, but he manages 11 pts/ 9 boards for U of A.  These two arch-rivals meet again on Saturday (7 pm Mountain) in Calgary as UC tries to duplicate last season’s sweep in this home and home set.  Box Score 

________________________________________________

In Quebec – Laval 70     #7  McGill 63

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Overtime –

  • In Women’s action tonight –  Alberta 67 Calgary 54 – Pandas(11-0) with 3 players in double figures, with 16 pts/ 11 rebs by Elle Hendershot.  Calgary (8-3), high scorer is Anmol Mattu with 12, but they commit 25 costly turnovers.  Tied after 3/4s, the Pandas maul the Dinos 25-2 in the final frame!
  • “Vlad has played well,’ says ( TRU Head Coach Scott) Clark. “ I am proud of him. He has gotten better. I thought he was good last year (where he was named a Canada West third team all-star). I think he is gotten better this year. That is a testament to him. He has really bought into what we have asked him to do. He works hard. He is great with the younger guys. We will need him to play well down the stretch.”
  • Well, so much for no imports for U of S !   We note the addition of 6-3, 3rd year, Lawrence Moore (Chicago), who transfers  after 2 seasons at Bakersfield Jr. College .  With his last season’s 49% FG average and 3+ assists a game, he should be a bonus in the Huskies back-court.  Moore will be in uniform against UBC this weekend.

Dinos and Bisons on a Collision Course

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

Our season previews start with a pair of teams who both figure to make a hard run at the March 2017 Canada West Final 4.  Despite being early in Fall camp, both the Calgary Dinos  and the Manitoba Bisons will be looking ahead to their meeting in Calgary for the opening weekend of play in November.

Calgary Dinos
– 2016 Canada West champions   – 17 wins  3 losses

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-9-05-27-am

5th year stalwarts, Dallas Karch (L) and Jasdeep Gill (R) will be primed for a big 5th year with the hometown Dinos.

Returnees – 5th years – 6-5,Thomas Cooper, 6-7, Dallas Karch, 6-5, Jasdeep Gill … 4th years- 6-0, Jhony Verrone, 6-7, Mitch Ligertwood, 6-6, Connor Foreman, 6-7, Sunvir Johal … 3rd years – 5-11, David Kapinga, 6-7, Lars Schleuter,        6-7, Matt Ellis.
New faces – Mambi Diawara, 4th yr, 6-5 wing, Montreal (Lamar State C.C. TX) , Aloysius Calaghan, 4th yr, 6-0 guard, Calgary (MRU), Max Eisle, 1st yr, 6-4 guard, Ulm, Germany, Jeff Rodehutskors, 1st yr, 6-8 fwd, Chestermere, AB, Sasha Pojuzina, 1st yr, 6-6 wing, Regina, Jake Neilsen, 1st yr, 6-3 guard, Cochrane, AB, Ethan Scott, 1st yr, 6-2 guard, Vancouver, (Orangeville Prep, ON)

blk dinos copyThe Dinos went all the way to the CIS Final last March, where they lost decisively to the mighty Carleton Ravens. The temptation is to focus on how you can return to the Final 8 next Spring and win the ‘Cup’ next time.  But, that was then … this is now.

This Fall U. Calgary appears deep, experienced, big, with good team quickness.  But, even in their opening series of the ’16-’17 season on November 4/5, the Dinos face a formidable foe in the Manitoba Bisons. Coach Dan Vanhooren says, “We’re excited about this group of guys”, but knows it is a long road through a rugged League schedule.

UC returns 71.8 ppg in scoring, lead by last year’s top CW sniper, Thomas Cooper, (25.8), and tall wing man,Lars Schleuter (12.5).  The explosive quickness of David Kapinga and Jhony Verrone lead the back-court defense, and both are opportunistic scorers. That guard experience and the growing confidence of forwards Matt Ellis and Mitch Ligertwood should make up for the loss of Josh Owen-Thomas and Matt Letkeman, last year’s senior leaders.

Both Jadeep Gill and Dallas Karch are veteran players with size and toughness, with Gill a big offensive threat, and Karch with his speed and quick jumping ability. Connor Foreman will provide post depth, as will rookie, Jeff Rodehutskors, an extremely athletic big man.
Newcomers Max Eisle, a lead guard with experience in the German League, and Mambi Diawara, a dynamic wing transfer from his Texas JUCO, will be in the playing rotation. Sasha Pojuzina is a high school recruit with size and skill.
Schedule –  Nov/Dec – vs Manitoba, at Victoria, home/home with Lethbridge, h/h with Mt. Royal …  Jan/Feb – h/h with Alberta, vs Fraser Valley, vs Saskatchewan, at Regina, at Thompson Rivers, vs MacEwan.             Prediction –  Top 3 team


Manitoba Bisons
’15-’16 – Lost to Calgary and UBC in CW Final 4        – 15 wins 5 losses

A J Basi (L) and Keith Omoerah (R) head up a talented, veteran Bisons crew.

A J Basi (L) and Keith Omoerah (R) head up a talented, veteran Bisons crew.

Returnees – 5th years –   5-11, Amarjit (AJ) Basi, 6-0, Ilarion Bonhomme, 6-6, Jonathan Alexander , 6-7, Brett Jewell … 4th years –  6-5, Keith Omoerah,   6-3, Justus Alleyn, 6-5, Malik Irwin, 6-4, Keenan Benarroch , 6-5, Joey Nitychoruk  … 3rd year-  6-7, Osahon Eghosa … 1st years (after red-shirting), 6-5, Dharmjit Dhillon ,  6-6, Raj Sidhu , 6-0 Keiran Zziwa
New faces –  (all 1st years) James Wagner, 6 – 7 fwd, John Taylor (Winnipeg) , Zach Giesbrecht, 6-1 guard, John Taylor, Cam O’Hara,  6-7 forward, St. Paul’s HS (Winnipeg), Joel Adu Quaye, 6-6 forward, St. Paul’s  (Winnipeg), David Mugugu, 6-5 forward , Kildonan-East Collegiate (Winnipeg).

Manitoba copyThe Bisons were right on the cusp last season, but just missed a trip to Nationals with 2 losses  in the Final 4.  They graduated their top rebounder, Wyatt Anders, but still have size with Jonathan Alexander, Brett Jewell, Keith Omoerah, and Osahon Eghosa.  (Eghosa suffered through salmonella poisoning in a trip to the U.S. this summer, and will be working his way back to ‘match fitness’ this Fall.) Adding 6-7 rookie, James Wagner, who played on the Canada U-18s this past summer, has  Coach Kirby Schepp exclaiming, “He may be our top recruit in the recent history of our program !”.

Canada West all-star, Omoerah (13 ppg), Justus Alleyn (15.6 ppg), and Amarjit Basi  (18 ppg) were offensive leaders last season, and the veteran import point man, Ilarion Bonhomme, a former Brandon Bobcat, has proven to be a great addition.

Joey Nitychoruk is a ‘high-energy’ player, who transferred last year from Lakehead, and Schepp expects him to be a solid contributor. A slow start last year may have given the Herd a tougher road at play-off time, but, with so much experience returning, we can expect them to be more ready for this campaign. They had better be, because they have one of the toughest front-end schedules before the Holiday break!

One very impressive stat is that 15 of their 18 roster players are Winnipeg high school products; an amazing pool of home-grown talent! “We are very proud of our ‘Manitoba content’ on our roster”, says Schepp.
Schedule –  Nov/Dec – at Calgary, vs Thompson Rivers, at UBC, vs Alberta, h/h with Winnipeg … Jan/Feb – at Regina, at Trinity Western, vs UNBC, at Brandon, vs Mt. Royal                            Prediction – Top 5 team


New Schedule ‘Not Universally Popular’

What is the RPI, and why will it bother us?  Learn more as we examine the shiny new schedule which Canada West has rolled out for the coming season.  No more ‘Pioneers’ and ‘Explorers’, as we’re all one big, happy, 17- team Canada West League now!  (Actually there may be the odd coach here or there who is a smidge shy of happy.)    Because … there are a few oddities to the new format –

The 'tricky math' of the RPI tries to smooth out the new schedule.

The ‘tricky math’ of the RPI tries to smooth out the new schedule.  But it is apples vs oranges in this set-up.

> Schools don’t play the same teams.  You see, each school has 4 designated ‘traditional rivals’, who they play every year … 8 games … then they play 6 of the remaining 12 teams … 12 games  = 20
> So we miss 6 teams each year , but get them the following year.
> Who makes the playoffs ?  “ The top 12 teams based on winning percentage at the conclusion of league play … “
> How do we break ties ?  Well, here are the first 4 tie breakers in the manual –  when Two Teams are Tied:
1. Win/Loss record in head to head competition.
2. Win/Loss record versus common opponents.
3. Each teams RPI ranking.
4. Points difference in head to head competition between the tied teams.
Three or More Teams Tied:
Use the same procedure as a two‐teams tied. Once one team has been separated from the tied group, go back to step one with the remaining tied team(s).
> How are the playoff teams ranked ? “The top 12 teams are then ranked 1 to 12 based on each team’s RPI standing in order to account for the various strength of schedules faced by each team.”  Er-ah ?!  (The OUA people may get this, but we Westerners are scratching our heads !)
> What is the RPI ?  “ Each team’s RPI is based on the following formula: = 25% team winning percentage (WP) adjusted for home and away wins (1.2 for an away win and 0.8 for a home win), 50% opponents’ average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents’ opponent’s average winning percentage (OOWP) .  O-h-h-h-h-h-h … now it’s clear.  (Actually, could either Tyler from Winnipeg or Martin from Waterloo give us a formula for this ?  As always, we need math help !)


 

Overtime –

  •  Ex-Calgary Dino, Robbie Sihota, has signed a new one-year
    Robbie Sihota

    Robbie Sihota

    contract with MAFC Budapest of the Hungarian A Division. Last season the 6-6 forward, who heads into his 7th year as a pro, scored 18.5 points per game (3rd in league) and snared 9.3 rebounds per game (4th).
    Sihota had previously played in the Dutch League, Switzerland, Germany, and in Edmonton of the IBL.

  • Brandon Brine, the Lethbridge Pronghorns’ 5th year Canada West all-star last year signed a pro deal with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos in Spain. The 6-7 Aussie will be missed by UL, but is expected to be one of the top players for his club in Miraflores.
  • The powerhouse Carleton Ravens landed another big recruit in August in 6-9, Eddie Ekiyor of Ottawa,  This was a late switch  for the widely recruited Canada Basketball team member, who had originally signed with Xavier (Cincinnati), an NCAA Div 1 school.
  • It was great to hear Coach Marc Dobell answer his office phone at Mt. Royal University;  the personable 13 year coach of the Cougars returns to Fall practice after some time away recovering from a heart attack.  We wish him well, not only with his team, but in a full recovery health wise .

Carleton Dumps Dinos With the Deep Ball

 

The ‘Mighty Ravens’ still rule supreme in CIS basketball ! 

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photo – Ben Nelms

  Carleton 101  Calgary 79   –   The Ravens bombed the Calgary Dinos defense with a barrage of treys, and ruled the boards at both ends to give themselves a nice 26-14 lead after a quarter. It never really got closer after that, and any brief Calgary threat was usually answered with another deflating 3 ball. A bit of simple math … 16 x 3 = 48 … 7 x 3 = 21  (do we see where this is going ? )  That’s a 27 point gap, and way too big a chasm to cross with what the Dinos had going on offense.Carleton R

This is not a new story at this time of the year.  Actually (in jest), Carleton is slipping; last March they beat their arch-rival, Ottawa, by a 93-46 count !  This does not make tonight’s result taste any better to Calgary, the Canada  West champions. This game snaps an 18 game Calgary win streak, and crushes a dream any school has of winning a National title.

We said the Ravens were champions until they lost in this event: they come back and do this for the 6th straight year, and for the 12th time in 14 years.  Astounding, brilliant, dynastic, and so frustrating for any team running into this powerhouse in the CIS Nationals. You are not happy unless you win your final game, and that, in a way, is lamentable.

Gavin Resch hits 6/12 treys, Connor Wood 5/12, Tajinder Lall 2/2, Cameron Smythe 2/4 … carpet bombing, and most discouraging for Calgary defenders. 49% from the floor is Carleton, and 44% from 3 point range … Calgary hits  39% from the floor, and 25 % from outside.

Resch totals 18 points, Wood has 22 / 4 rebs/ 4 asst, and the quick and powerful Kaza Kajami-Keane finishes with 15 points/ 10 big assists/ 3 steals.  Big men Guillaume Boucard (12 points/ 10 boards/ 2 blocks) and Ryan Ejim (12 points / 6 boards/ 4 blocks ) made the Dinos face a defensive wall they could not scale, and the two converted on inside sorties by the Blackbirds.

Calgary’s Thomas Cooper had a lot of floor time (in a fall-down/knock-down way), and seemed slower and slower getting back up in the late going. He finishes with 25 hard-earned points/ 7 rebounds/ 4 assists, but was hounded by white – jersied  defenders at every turn. David Kapinga scored 15, and Lars Schleuter scored 9 and added 9 boards.

Two championship teams played in the CIS Final on Sunday at the Mitchell Centre on the UBC campus. Carleton takes the National title once more, and with it the familiar crown of CIS domination.  Calgary holds the Canada West trophy, but will be asking questions of themselves until they get back to action next Fall.   Box Score 

 

Ryerson  85  Dalhousie 75  –  In this 3rd place game, the Rams looked like making short work of things, going out front 20-11 after 1, then 45-30 at the half. Led by their 2 most potent scorers, Aaron Best and Adika Peter-McNeilly, who went on a 2nd quarter run, Ryerson was threatening a runaway.
But , as they have done for many games this season, the Tigers came back with a vengeance, and closed the gap to 4 with a minute and a half left . Jarred Reid’s 3 point shot made it 78-81, but the Rams steadied themselves with 4 straight free throws to close it out.
The #1 OUA team got very even scoring, with 4 starters in double figures, led by 15 from Jean – Victor Mukama, who added 6 rebounds / 2 blocks.  Best was next with 14 to go with 6 rebounds, and 3 steals , and Peter-McNeilly scored 13 / 8 rebounds/ 3 assts.
Dalhousie, the AUS champions were led by the 19 points from their all-star, Kashrell Lawrence , and he had 8 rebounds and 2 steals. 5 other Tigers scored in double figures, with 13 each by Jordan Aquino-Serjue and Sven Stammberger.
Ryerson shot 49% from the floor to just 32.5% for Dalhousie, and that was really the difference in the end.      Box Score


 

Overtime –

  • Carleton’s interim Coach, Rob Smart, on the winning culture this program has developed,  ”We really try to foster a culture of healthy competitiveness where it’s OK to want to fight, it’s OK to want to battle every single day and prove yourself,” said Smart, Dave’s nephew. “It doesn’t mean you’re some kind of egomaniac it just means that for those two hours you compete and it’s the most fun thing to do.”  From CBC.ca Sports
  •  The announced attendance was 4300 approximately, and certainly this crowd and those for much of the week were disappointing to veteran observers, and, we would guess, to the UBC organizers.

Carleton vs Calgary for the CIS Title

 

Jasdeep Gill provides the clutch hoops as Calgary defeats #1 Ryerson

 photo - Rich Lam - UBC Athletics

Calgary’s Jasdeep Gill drives against Ryerson’s  Juwon Grannum in Saturday’s 2nd semi-final . photo – Rich Lam – UBC Athletics

 

 Calgary 98  Ryerson 87  – The Calgary Dinos have now beaten the Quebec and OUA Champions to earn their shot in the CIS Final against the Carleton Ravens, the 5 time defending champs (11 in 13 seasons). Not an easy path, but Calgary has found a way, and they ride a wave of momentum built up over 18 straight victories.
Up 47-38 at the break, the Dinos saw Ryerson fight back to within 5 in the 3rd quarter, then, up steps 4th year wing man, Jasdeep Gill, hitting a pair of treys 25 seconds apart to restore a double digit margin. Gill hits a 4th quarter 3 to halt another Rams rally, then converts a 3 point play off a layup near the 3 minute mark, to give Calgary the breathing room once more. Free throws from David Kapinga and Thomas Cooper finished off the Ontario champs, as the Dinos now look at getting past the Ravens for their first-ever National title.
Cooper has 30 points / 11 rebounds and Kapinga totals 26 points/ 6 boards/ 6 assists to drive the offense to the momentus win.  But it was Gill, cheered on by his personal 24 member ‘entourage’ / family, who seemed to come to the fore at those times when his team most needed him; 23 points , including 4/7 from outside/ 4 rebounds.
Ryerson get 22 points/ 8 rebs/ 4 asst from Adika Peter-McNeilly, 20 points by Ammanuel Diressa, and 15 points / 10 rebounds/ 3 blocks from big Kadeem Green.
Calgary hits 12/25 attempts from beyond the arc to just 6/39 by the Rams.  Ryerson stays in touch much of the way with 27/32 free throws vs 20/32 by Calgary.  UC plays Carleton in the 5:30 Championship final, while Ryerson are in the 3 pm bronze medal game against the Dalhousie Tigers.   Box Score

Carleton returns to final as Ejim leads the way

 Carleton's Mitchell Wood guards Dalhousie's Sven Stammberger in the 1st semi final at the CIS nationals in vancouver on Saturday. photo- Rich Lam - UBC Athletics

Carleton’s Mitchell Wood guards Dalhousie’s Sven Stammberger in the 1st semi final at the CIS Nationals in Vancouver on Saturday.              photo- Rich Lam – UBC Athletics

Carleton 76 Dalhousie  66 – The Ravens will try and defend their championship for a 6th straight title vs Calgary on Sunday night.  Dropping out of the #1 spot in the CIS Top 10 this season, and this year playing without the explosive offensive power of the Scrubb bothers, as in past seasons, CU has once more  shown their competitive edge on the CIS’ biggest stage.

Carleton out-played the smaller Dalhousie crew, with 46% shooting from the floor vs just 35% for the Tigers, and by grabbing 41 rebounds to 37 for Dal. Carleton defensive efforts thwarted Dalhousie efforts to close the gap, as shooters were denied, and drive lanes closed off.  The size of CU delivered 7 blocked shots, and made the Tigers settle for rushed or low percentage attempts.

Dalhousie did force 21 Carleton turnovers and 19 Tigers points, but never the run necessary to put a significant dent in the CU lead. The Ravens were led by the all-round play of Ryan Ejim, who had 20 points/ 5 rebs/ 3 asst/ 2 steals, and 18 points on 4/9 from outside by Conner Wood. Dal got 18 points / 5 rebs from Kashrell Lawrence, and 16 points by Aquino-Serjue Jordan.  Ritchie Kanza-Mata goes for 10 points/7 rebounds/  6 assists.   Box Score

 

UBC Takes 5th with win over Ottawa

UBC's Taylor Browne takes it to the hoop vs Ottawa in Saturday's 5th place game. photo - Rich Lam - UBC Athletics

UBC’s Taylor Browne takes it to the hoop vs Ottawa in Saturday’s 5th place game.            photo – Rich Lam – UBC Athletics

 UBC 93  Ottawa 76 –   The T-Birds capture the Consolation final by finishing strong in this free-scoring affair;  48 second half points allowed the home team to pull away, and dispense with the drama the ‘Birds had suffered in their first 2 tournament games. ‘Red-hot’ is the only description for the UBC attack, as they rip-it for 68% from the floor, and 20/23 free throws.

Ottawa, without their CIS Player of the Year, Mike L’Africain, (ill, injured?), played a solid game, but could not match the pace and sharp-shooting of the hosts.  In this battle of 3rd – place Conference teams, the Thunderbirds came with all guns blazing, and all 5 starters score in double figures.  The Gee-Gees subbed more frequently, and may have played with less urgency.

UBC gets 25 points from 6-9 Conor Morgan plus 8 rebounds; guard Phil Jalapoor , with 19 points / 6 assists, and wing man, Will Ondrik, with 16 on 6/7 plus 6 boards, were big factors in the win. The Gee-Gees have Caleb Agada and Matt Plunkett with 18 apiece, with Agada contributing 4 assists. Plunkett  cashed 6/10 from beyond the arc for all of his scoring.    Box Score


Overtime –

  •  Graduating 5th year all-star, Josh Wolfram on his feelings towards his TRU teammates ,    “ They have put in their best every single day. We go at it every day and every guy comes out of the dressing room with their head held high. It is a really great team. I will remember everything from going to the Final 8 to the little things that the guys who don’t play much to Reese, Vlad and myself who play 37 minutes a game. There is something special about each and every guy.” (Ed. Note – Well put, young man !) From Larry Read , TRU Athletics.
  • School Spirit !  5 members of the Dinos Women’s Basketball team leave school Friday, jump in a car, and make the 14 hour trip to Vancouver to support the Men in the Saturday semi-final  !  IMG_0250 (back) L-R  Anmol Mattu, Kristie Sheils, Emma Nieuwenhuizen ..                front – Freya Szmidt, Brianna Ghali, with UC Athletic Director Christine Stapleton.