Canada West Major Awards and All-stars

 

UBC Dominates Canada West Major Awards

The UBC Thunderbirds claimed 4 of the 5 major awards voted on by Canada West coaches for the 2016-17 season.

Conor Morgan is Canada West Player of the Year – photo  UBC Athletics Rich Lam

Most Outstanding Player – Conor Morgan, UBC, 4th year forward – “Not only did Conor have a great season statistically by leading Canada West in scoring, he also took on a more advanced leadership role on our team. Conor’s hard work in the off-season made him a more complete player this season, and the results showed.” – UBC head coach Kevin Hanson.

Top Defensive Player – Jordan Jensen-Whyte, UBC, 5th year wing –  “Jordan is the consummate team player. He will do anything asked and it all starts at the defensive end of the floor with him. His effort level is contagious and influences the younger players on our team. He has had a remarkable five years at UBC and will go down as one of the top defensive players in school history.” – Coach Kevin Hanson.

 Rookie of the Year – Scott Kellum, Victoria, guard – “Scott was one of our most consistent players all season. By the end of the season he was our starting point guard. It is rare to have a first-year player make such significant contributions to the team in their first season. His future is very bright if he continues to work hard.” – Victoria head coach Craig Beauchamp.
Ken Shields Award  (Academics and Service to the Community) –  Phil Jalalpoor, UBC, 4th year guard – “Phil’s work ethic on the court is matched by his dedication to his academics. He is the prototypical student-athlete and a role model to his teammates. Through his hard work, Phil was able to attain Academic All-Canadian status. He is leader within the greater UBC community and has a bright future both on and off the basketball court.” – UBC Coach, Kevin Hanson.
Coach of the Year – Kevin Hanson, UBC – In his 17th season as the UBC Head Coach, Hanson wins this award for the 6th time.  He was also chosen as the CIS (U-Sports) National Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2010.  His T’Birds had a Canada West League best record of 19-1 in the regular season.
15 All-stars chosen by Canada West coaches

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos   –  Photo – David Moll, Dinos Athletics

 First Team All-Stars

Brody Clarke / F / Alberta / 2 / Toronto, Ont.

Conor Morgan / G, F / UBC / 4 / Victoria, B.C.

Thomas Cooper / G / Calgary / 5 / Chattanooga, Tennessee

Shane Osayande / F / Saskatchewan / 4 / Toronto, Ont.

Volodymyr Iegorov / F / TRU / 5 / Donetsk, Ukraine

 

Manny Dulay , Fraser Valley photo- UFV Athletics

Second Team All-Stars

Austin Waddoups / G / Alberta / 3 / American Fork, Utah

Jordan Jensen-Whyte / G / UBC / 5 / Calgary, Alta.

Manny Dulay / G / Fraser Valley / 5 / Surrey, B.C.

Dejon Burdeaux / G / Lethbridge / 4 / Oakland, California

Justus Alleyn / G / Manitoba / 4 / Winnipeg, Man.

 

Matt Forbes, Saskatchewan Huskies

Third Team All-Stars

Tyvon Cooper / G / Brandon / 2 / Middleton, New York

Brett Layton / F / Mount Royal / 2 / Calgary, Alta.

Matthew Forbes / F / Saskatchewan / 5 / Regina Beach, Sask.

Grant Sitton / G, F / Victoria / 5 / Brush Prairie, Washington

Denzel Lynch-Blair / G / Winnipeg / 3 / Toronto, Ont.

Scott Kellum, UVic Vikes

 All-Rookie Team

Andre Kelly / G / Alberta / Mississauga, Ont.

James Wagner / F / Manitoba / Winnipeg, Man.

Johneil Johnson / G / Regina / Lake Echo, N.S.

Scott Kellum / G / Victoria / Issaquah, Washington

Narcisse Ambanza / G / Winnipeg / Toronto, Ont

Cascades Ride Dulay to Game 3

 

 

‘If Manny Dulay crosses centre, is he in shooting range ? ‘

 Fraser Valley 78  at Winnipeg  71 –    “Magic Manny’ Dulay has given us the 3 game series we suspected we would have with these 2 evenly- matched teams.  In an extremely well-played game (only 14 total turnovers between the teams), it was the killer shooting

Precision shooting by UFV’s Manny Dulay takes the teams to game 3. photo – UFV Athletics

display by the 5th year guard from Surrey that fuelled the Cascades win in game 2.

In this virtuoso matinee performance, Dulay was an incredible 7 of 7 from way outside, as he scored 29 points/ 6 rebs/ 5 asst/ 3 steals.  Mark Johnson stepped up for 14 points, as he was 2/3 from 3 pt range, as well as claiming 7 rebounds.  The middle of the game saw the visitors tallying 49 points, and today they were able to limit Winnipeg in any small 4th quarter surge.

The Ws get 22 points from the highest scoring non-starter in Canada West, import guard  Sean Tarver. Winnipeg’s Ryan Oirbans is effective again with 16 pts /10 rebs, but the difference was the 12/22 (55%) UFV shooting from beyond the arc.  The Wesmen hit just 5 treys, and thats a 21 point spread !  14/15 from the line helped Winnipeg, but that was not enough to have the home side threaten in the end.   Box  Score    The 3rd and deciding game is Saturday at the same 3 pm Central time.        This and the other play off games available   On Canada West TV

Justus Alleyn leads Manitoba to a series sweep over Regina.   photo- Jeff Miller – Bisons Sports

at Manitoba 88  Regina   80  –  The Bisons claim a spot in the quarter-finals, with a strong opening half, where they open up a 13 point advantage, looking more relaxed and ready than on Friday.  The Herd expand that lead in the 3rd quarter, then hold off a late Regina flurry for the sweep of this series.

Once again tonight, it’s guard Justus Alleyn leading the way for UM with 20 points/ 3 steals, while back-court mate A.J. Basi hits 18 points.  There are 5 Bisons in double digits, as they shoot 48% from the floor, and 41% from 3 pt range ( Alleyn is 4/8 outside and Malik Irwin 2/2 and 10 pts) . Turnovers played a role, with Regina committing 19 and Manitoba 17, while the home side wins the rebound battle 45-36.

Brandon Tull leads the Cougars in their final game of the season, with 19 points/ 4 steals.  UR got 13 points apiece from Johneil Johnson and Travis Sylvestre.   Box  Score    Manitoba earns a date in the Q-finals with the UBC Thunderbirds out in Vancouver starting next Thursday.

Tyvon Cooper scores 30 as the ‘cats win game 1 over TRU. photo- BU sports

at Brandon  101  Thompson Rivers 95  –  Break up the Bobcats !   Finding a  new team confidence, the ‘Cats send their fans home smiling, as they hit 55% from the floor and join the visiting T’Wolves in a  53-55 track-meet in the final 20 minutes.  No one blinked as both teams let it rip, with Brandon hitting 2 more treys (and 52% from 3 pt range)  for the difference.

Tyvon Cooper had a slick 30 points/ 8 rebounds for the Bobcats, while Earl Thompson Jr ‘hit for the cycle’ with 20 pts/ 6 rebs/ 6 assts/ 3 steals.  All 5 BU starters were in double figures, with big John Paul registering a double of 11 pts/ 10 boards, and Pookie Saunders  posting 14 pts/ 5 rebs/ 7 assists/ 5 steals.

TRU responded to a 48-40 half-time deficit with a big offensive eruption in the 3rd and 4th quarters.  Volodymyr Iegorov displayed his play-off mettle with 29 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 steals, and Joe Davis had one of his finer nights, cashing 24 points and grabbing 7 rebounds.     Box  Score        Game 2 is at 7 pm Central on Saturday.

Mike Pierzchala has a big 31 pt night in the ‘Horns series opening win.     photo – Levi Balan

at Lethbridge  97 Victoria 85 –  The ‘Horns repel a spirited UVic comeback in the 3rd quarter, and finish strong to capture game 1 after putting up 29 in the 4th.  The home side gets a scare, as Dejon Burdeaux, their powerhouse guard leaves with an awkward fall late in the 3rd.

Burdeaux gets some timely ‘corner work’ from his seconds, and, much to the collective relief, he’s back for a solid final 20 minutes. The big gun for UL on the night was Mike Pierzchala, with a sparkling 9/11 outside shooting display, leading to 31 points.  Also aiding a team 52% from 3 pt range was Elliott Sentance with his 21 points on 5/9 from outside, plus 8 rebs/ 7 assists.

The Vikes spread their scoring pretty well, as they get 14 pts each from Grant Sitton (9 rebs), and Taylor Montgomery-Stinson (7 boards).  UVic had 3 others in double figures, with a good team shooting night (44% FG, 41% 3 pt, and 17/19 from the line).   Victoria could not match the Pronghorns energy in the final 10 minutes, and they will need a Saturday win to extend the series.  Box  Score     Game time Saturday is 7 pm Mountain.

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Winning is Tough for Canada West’s Newest Schools

Only 2 of the 6 ‘Explorer Division teams from last season made the play-offs this campaign.   And these were not the latest entries to Canada West;  both Fraser Valley (2006) and Thompson Rivers (2005) have been in the League for some time now. The Wolf Pack and the Cascades have both enjoyed some success in play-off competition over those years.  Trinity Western joined Canada West in 1999, then, a year later, the 4 Great Plains schools were added – Brandon, Manitoba, Regina, and Winnipeg.

This season we see the newest of our 17 teams, Mt. Royal, MacEwan, UBC-O, and UNBC, all on the outside looking in at the post -season play-downs. The TWU Spartans, who are also out, have had a few brushes with championships with Jacob Doerkson and company, but have ‘fallen on harder times’ in recent seasons.

No team outside of Victoria (16), Alberta (11), UBC (9), Calgary (5), Brandon (1), Lethbridge (1), and Saskatchewan (1) have ever won the Canada West title.  There were, of course, championships won in the GPAC by Brandon, Manitoba, and Winnipeg.

This season’s play-off slate prompts us to consider the old saw, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”, as we have Calgary, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and UBC the top 4 seeds, awaiting their opponents for the quarter-final series. We do believe the newer schools can become more competitive, and, on many nights, they have been already.  It’s not easy, however, to build a consistently strong contender in the early years of participation in Canada West.

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In the East –  Friday    

Atlantic – at #10 Dalhousie 88  Saint Marys 81 ,  at Acadia 88  St. FX 82,  at UNB 99 Cape Breton 93 – a good effort by the Capers, but they remain O-for.

Quebec –  at Laval 73 UQAM 62

Ontario –   at #1 Carleton 82  #5 Ryerson 77-  Good game.  Makes the play-offs more interesting !  at #3 Ottawa 74  Toronto  54 , at Queens 70 York  60, Laurentian 87 at Algoma 64, at Lakehead 66 Waterloo 62

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Overtime –

Nova Scotia star, Andrew Milner, signs with Calgary.

  • Andrew Milner, a 6-3 guard from Antigonish, NS,  has signed with the Calgary Dinos for the Fall of 2017.  Milner, who was a member of 2 Nova Scotia Provincial teams which won Canadian Championships in 2015 and 2016, will graduate this June from Rothesay Netherwood School (NB) .  Calgary Head Coach Dan Vanhooren says, “Andrew is very skilled and dedicated young player, and we look forward to his joining our program.”

 

  • All 4 of Canada West’s 1st round play-off sites are on the Prairies … teams seeded 5 – 8. Manitoba, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, and Brandon are hoping home court will give them the edge, and they can move on to quarter-finals next week.
  • Women’s Canada West 1st Round Play-offs –   (Best of 3 series’) Thursday, Brandon 56 at Trinity Western 48,  Friday  ,  Calgary 67 at Fraser Valley 48,  at  UBC 74 UNBC 61,  at Victoria 67 MacEwan 54 ,  at Trinity W 70  Brandon 57 – goes to a 3rd game Saturday  .     Interestingly, all 4 of these series are in B.C.  The Women’s top 4 seeds are 1 Saskatchewan  2 Regina   3 Winnipeg  4 Alberta.

 

 

Home Teams Post Big Comeback Wins

 

Wesmen wait for final quarter to launch big comeback

Denzel Lynch-Blair leads Winnipeg to a game 1 win.

at Winnipeg  82 Fraser Valley 76  –     The Cascades break clear in the 3rd quarter after a give and take opening half, and the visitors take a 12 point lead.  That got the Ws’ attention, and they came on strong in the 4th, to the tune of 24-7, for the comeback win in the opening game of their best of 3 play-in series.

Fraser Valley had been loose and shooting accurately in the opening 30 minutes, but cooled off completely in the 4th quarter, as they slowed down, and rarely got a high quality shot off in the late going.  Still up by 10 with 5:30 left, UFV scored nothing from there, allowing a 16-0 Winnipeg run.

The Wesmen got scoring leadership from Denzel Lynch-Blair, with his 23 points/ 9 rebs/ 4 assists, and post man, Ryan Oirbans, with 21 points/ 15 rebounds.  Sean Tarver added 18 pts for UW, who out-shot Fraser Valley 49% to 44% from the floor, and forced 20 UFV turnovers to 13 of their own.  UFV had 19 from Andrew Morris off the bench, and 4 more players with double digits, including Anthony Gilchrist’s 12 pts/ 10 rebounds. Box  Score

Amarjt Basi’s hot hand fires up the Herd in their comeback over Regina.                                          Photo – Jeff Miller, Bison Sports

at Manitoba 94  Regina  84 –  In cricket, one side goes to bat, scores their points, then may ‘declare’  their score enough for a win.  The other side comes to bat, and often, they are all-out for far fewer runs.  This game was a bit like that cricket match.  Except the 52-36 Cougars lead after their 20 minute at-bats didn’t hold up … not nearly.

The Herd thundered back with a 58-32 trampling of Regina in the final 20, and they didn’t even slow down to check the state of their victims.  This got ugly for UR in the 3rd quarter particularly, as they lost most of their lead, and saw the Bisons cresting the hill. 20 more field goal attempts for UM, from the effects of more Cougars turnovers, and more Manitoba rebounds. AJ Basi broke out for 26 points for the winners, and he had help from Justus Alleyn (16 pts) and Keith Omoerah (12 pts/ 11 boards).  Regina had 19 pts/ 12 rebs from Brian Ofori, and 16 points from Brandon Tull, but the hoop got decidedly smaller in the 2nd half, as their shots bounced away.  Box Score  

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In the East –  Wednesday – OUA – Brock 80  Western 65, Windsor 91 McMaster 87 OT

Thursday – Quebec –    McGill  72  at Concordia  45  … McGill makes a statement in grabbing the regular season summit.

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Overtime –

Johneil Johnson, Regina rookie guard. photo – Arthur Ward, U. Regina

  • Johneil Johnson the Regina rookie stand-out, on his 6th man role for the Cougars,  “I do what I need to do,” said Johnson, a 6-foot-1 guard from Lake Echo, N.S. “Being a first-year guy, getting the opportunity that I have, I’m just thankful for it. I’ve been able to play comfortably on the court and I’m learning from the older guys. I’m having fun.”   From Rob Vanstone in the Regina Leader-Post  

Long Road for 1st Round Play-off Teams

 

 

 4  Competitive Series in 1st Round of Playoffs

              … Thursday start for ‘Play-in’ series’ in Canada West

As the top 4 seeds, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and UBC rest-up, heal, and prepare, there is no slow-down for the 8 teams heading into the ‘Play-in’ series this weekend.  Games start at Manitoba and Winnipeg on Thursday night in two of the best of 3 sets, with Brandon and Lethbridge hosting series’ to begin on Friday.

Here are the match-ups –

Keith Omoerah contributes to the Bisons offense in many ways.      Photo – J. Miller, UM Sports

#12 Regina Cougars at # 5 Manitoba Bisons –  If we look at the past history between these teams, we might be tempted to call this a lock for the Herd.  Manitoba has beaten Regina in 15 of the most recent 16 meetings, including a January sweep at Regina (84-75, and 93-81).  But the Bisons have not been as convincing over the past month, with a couple of losses at Brandon, then close calls with UNBC, and both nights last weekend against Mt. Royal. Regina comes off a solid weekend at home, where they swept the TRU Wolf Pack.

The Cougars and Bisons are both laden with experience;  Regina features guards Alex Igual (14.7 ppg/ 4.6 rebs/ 3.3 assts), Brandon Tull (13.5 ppg/ 4.5 rebs) and rookie, Johneil Johnson (12.2 ppg/ 3.7 rebs). Forwards, Brian Ofori (13 ppg/ 6.3 rebs) and  Travis Sylvestre (9 ppg/ 3.6 rebs) have played well of late.

Manitoba have a strong, veteran group, with Justus Alleyn their top scorer at 17.4 ppg/3.6 rebs, and the all-around play of Keith Omoerah (13.2 ppg/ 8.7 rebs).  AJ Basi (13.3 ppg) and Ilarion Bonhomme are dangerous back-court threats.  James Wagner, a big rookie can give the Bisons a boost inside, along with veteran post, Brett Jewell .  The question remains, ‘Which team can pull together and win 2 games this weekend?’  The home court favours Manitoba, and UBC awaits the winner .  (Central) 7:30 pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (if a 3rd game is necessary)

Winnipeg’s William Sesay will be a key factor vs Fraser Valley.

#10  Fraser Valley Cascades at #7  Winnipeg Wesmen –  This is the other Thursday start, and we have two guard – oriented teams facing off after both just had road trip weekends.  The Cascades have the quick turnaround from a bus-trip up and back on the icy, snow-packed Coquihalla Highway to Kelowna last weekend.  Wash the uniforms, pack the bags, attend a brief 2 days of classes, and off they go to Winnipeg.  The Wesmen come off a 2 loss weekend in Victoria, and somehow have to ‘right the ship’ , and win the home series vs a UFV squad that has won 4 straight to finish the season.

5th year Cascades back-court shooters, Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon against  Winnipeg’s Denzel Lynch-Blair, Sean Tarver, and rookie,  Narcisse Ambanza. The much improved Fraser Valley post man, Nav Bains, battling with the Ws’ big Aussie import, Ryan Oirbans.  Talented complimentary players like the Wesmen’s William Sesay and Jamar Farley  vs Fraser Valley’s Denver Sparks-Guest, Mark Johnson, and Andrew Morris.

The Cascades have won 5 of the past 7 meetings, but the Wesmen have home court.  This is looking like a 3 game series.  Note the different game times (Central) –  Thursday at 7 pm, Friday at 3 pm, and Sat. , if necessary, again at 3 pm.  The Saskatchewan Huskies will host the winner in the quarter-finals. 

UVic’s Grant Sitton will be a focus for ‘Horns defenders this weekend.        photo – UVic Athletics

#11 Victoria Vikes at #6 Lethbridge Pronghorns –  Prior to last weekend’s play, the Vikes were literally hanging by a thread, and needing a home sweep of a good Winnipeg team to make the post-season.  They got that sweep, and now are in S. Alberta to face the ‘Horns, who own 2 League wins over the Vikes in January at Victoria.

The Pronghorns are the clear favourites with their guard leader, Dejon Burdeaux (17.1 ppg/ 5.4 rebs/ 4,5 asst/ 3.6 steals) , taking the team on his back, and leading them to key wins.  3 of Burdeaux’s main ‘wing men’ are the sharp-shooting British import, Elliott Sentance (17.6 ppg/ 7 rebs/ 40% from 3 pt),  Mike Pierzchala (11 ppg/ 6 rebs), a threat to ‘run the table’, and 6-8 Zac Overwater (11.6 ppg/ 4.3 rebs.

The Vikes have leaned very heavily on 6-8 Grant Sitton, who’s surely a Canada West all-star, with his 20 ppg/ 6.8 rebs/ and 1.2 steals.  UVic’s only other double digit scorer is rookie import guard Scott Kellum (13.2 ppg), who hits 44% from 3 pt range, and chalks -up 2.4 asst per game.  Justin Kinnear is close to 10 ppg at forward, and he will need help from  Jake Newman and Hassan Abdullahi on the glass, if the Vikes are to stay with the ‘Horns.

We like Lethbridge as the home team here;  Victoria will have to make another jump forward if they hope to get the wins.  Game times are (Mountain) 7 pm on both Friday and Saturday, and 3 pm for a Sunday game, if it’s needed.  The winner here travels to Edmonton to play the Bears in the quarter-finals.

#9 Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack   at  #8  Brandon Bobcats –  The Bobcats host their 1st play-off series since 2009 in the old gym  ( SI Director Matt Packwood tells us).  This is the 1st one in their new ‘Healthy Living Centre’.  These teams have only played 9 times, ever, with the most recent a BU home win over TRU in January of 2014, so we can’t rely on trends!

We will watch a compelling battle of the big men, as the ‘Pack bring 5th year, 6-7  import, Volodymyr Iegorov, along with 6-5 Luke Morris, and 6-5 Joe Davis, who are all double digit scorers , with Iegorov among the League’s top rebounders at 9.1 rpg. Brandon responds with high-scoring Earl Thompson Jr (16.2 ppg/ 8.6 rebs), 6-5 Chris Stanhope, and a surging giant in 6-11 John Paul from St. Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean.  Brandon’s guards are led by shooter, Tyvon Cooper, while TRU has wing man, Michael Rouault, and import guard, Derek Rhodes.

There will be some new-found excitement surrounding this Bobcats team at home, and, if they can limit their turnovers and continue their improved shooting, they may pull this off.  The ‘Pack played in the CW Final last year, and this young team are looking to take another crack at it.  Only improved guard play and team defense will get them to the next round.  It may take 3 games to sort this out.  Winner goes to Calgary to face the Dinos in quarter-finals. 

 

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Overtime –

  • UBC Coach, Kevin Hanson, with comments about the RPI system, whereby his 19-1 T-Birds finished as the  4th play-off seed,  “Overall, it’s frustrating but we have known that it’s been coming for a few weeks,” said Hanson.   “It is out of our control and we’re not whining about it. Our players are long over the shock. We are getting prepped to play whomever is put in front of us.  (From  Howard Tsumura’s ‘Varsity Letters’ blog  )
  • In that same ‘Varsity Letters’ posting from last weekend, Hanson reports that Conor Morgan has an ankle injury, but is expected to be ‘shooting by the end of the week.’  Guard Phil Jalalpoor is also getting treatment for an ankle injury. UBC has a bye as a top 4 team this week, and will be at home vs the winner of the Manitoba – Regina series Feb . 23-25.

 

 

Vikes Sweep Over Winnipeg Gets Them In

 

 

 

 

Grant Sitton’s shooting propels Vikes to a sweep over Winnipeg. photo- Vikes Athletics

at Victoria 79  Winnipeg 78 –  A massive win for the Vikes, who avoid a tiebreaker scenario for the final spot.  They look to be 11th, with their 9-11 record, while Winnipeg are either 7th or 8th, awaiting the Bears-Horns Sunday game. Grant Sitton, on his Senior Night, lights it up for 27 points/ 12 rebounds for Victoria, and his 5 points in the final 30 seconds snatches victory for the home side, who trailed by 4.  Sean Tarver led the Ws with 23 points, while Narcisse Ambanza added 19, and Denzel Lynch-Blair 18.   Box Score    

at #7  Alberta  97  Lethbridge 86 –  The 2 Alberta rivals warmed up cautiously in the opening 10 minutes , then hit the ‘Go button’ with the Bears winning the last 3 stanzas by an 81-75 count. Geoff Pippus is hot for Alberta, with 24 points and 5/8 from deep, to go with 5 rebs/ 4 steals. Mamadou Gueye tallied 19 pts/ 7 rebs, as Alberta (14-5) is 1 win away from claiming the top seed for playoffs. Lethbridge (12-7) shoots it well, but hits 3 fewer treys, and 14/20 from the line vs 26/29 for the home side. Dejon Burdeaux has a big scoring night for the Pronghorns, with 35 points/ 5 rebs/ 3 steals .  UL are looking like 6th place finishers on the play-off seeding, regardless of their  result tomorrow against U of A.   Box Score          2nd game, Sun at 7 pm

at Manitoba  71  Mt Royal  68  –  In the 2nd close win in a  Bisons sweep, the home team hits 10 treys on 18 tries, and snares 46 rebounds vs 35 for the Cougars.  Down by 9 at the half, MRU won the 2nd, but couldn’t quite catch Manitoba.  Mt. Royal falls just short of a play-off spot, with their 8-12 record tying them for 12th with Thompson Rivers.  On the 2nd tie-breaker (since the 2 teams did not play each other), TRU come out on top with a split vs Manitoba back in November ; they were equal in results with other common opponents.  Justus Alleyn leads Manitoba with 20 pts/ 8 rebs, while MRU have 4 in double figures with both Josh Ross (15 pts/ 10 rebs) and Brett Layton (15 pts/ 12 boards) with a double-double again tonight.    Box Score  

at Regina 79  Thompson Rivers 74 –  Closer tonight for the Wolf Pack, but Regina (9-11) comes from behind in the 4th quarter to nab the sweep, and claim a play-off spot.  TRU (8-12) are in as well, but go back to B.C. after their 4th straight loss. Brian Ofori pours in 22 for the Cougars, and grabs 8 boards;  rookie guard, Johneil Johnson has 17 and 7 rebs.  Volodymyr Iegorov scores 16 for the ‘Pack, and adds 12 rebounds.   Box Score  

Calgary’s Dallas Karch enjoys a strong game on his Senior Night.  photo- UVic Athletics

at #6 Calgary 95  MacEwan 87  – It’s another free-wheeling affair, as the Griffs work hard trying, in vain, to nab a post-season berth, as the 2nd half, in particular, was played at high speed. Thomas Cooper posted 32 points for Calgary, and had 10 rebounds on a very successful Senior Night. Jhony Verrone was solid again for the Dinos, scoring 20 pts/ 8 rebs.  Thadius Gálvez was his elusive best for GMU, hitting 30 pts, and had 6 boards, while Denzel James  totalled 19 pts/ 8 rebs/ 3 assts.  The Dinos can finish 1st or 2nd in the play-off seeding, depending on the result of Sunday’s Alberta-Lethbridge game.  Box Score 

#9 Saskatchewan 77  at UNBC 57  –  The Huskies leave no doubt at the half, with a 37-16 spread, and their defense stifling the Timberwolves’ attack. U of S look set in either 2nd or 3rd seed for the play-offs.  Saskatchewan hits 53% from the floor, with Trevor Severinski the top man with 20 points on 6/10 from 3 point range.  Sam Zhang, in his final game for the ‘Wolves, is their leading scorer with 18 points/ 5 rebs.  Box Score  

#2 UBC 104  at  Trinity Western 72 –  Even without an injured Conor Morgan in the

UBC’s Conor Morgan sits out with a leg injury. photo- UBC Athletics

line-up tonight, the Thunderbirds (19-1) are too much for the Spartans (3-17) in the final game of the  regular season. 5 ‘Birds in double figures, with Jordan Jensen-Whyte cashing 23 pts / 8 rebs/ 4 assists, and Isaiah Familia adding 20 points/ 11 rebounds. TWU have Pogos Trunyan with 21 points on 5/11 from outside, but the next highest was Tea Mayberry’s 10 points.  UBC finishes 4th in the final Ratings Percentage Index, based on strength of schedule.  Box Score  

Fraser Valley 85 at UBC-O  78 –  Tied after 3/4s, the Cascades win the 4th quarter and the game by 7 points, with 5th year guard, Vijay Dhillon, hitting clutch shots down the stretch. With the team shooting 54% from the floor, Andrew Morris led UFV with  14 points, with Dhillon and Manny Dulay both scoring 10.  Fraser Valley finish 11-9, and are bound for 10th place in the RPI table.  UBC-O finish their season at 2-18, as Aldrich Berrios leads all scorers with 24 points.   Box Score   

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In the East on Saturday  – 

Atlantic – at UNB 99 St. FX 86, at St. Marys 93 Acadia 90, at Memorial  106 UPEI 92

Quebec – Laval 70 at Bishops 68,  Concordia 63 at UQAM 52

Ontario –  #1 Carleton 114 at York 50,  Western Ont 88 at Laurier 65,  at Waterloo 84  Windsor 69, at Guelph 74  Lakehead  62,  #3 Ottawa  72 at  Queens50  , at McMaster 76 Algoma  61

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Canada West  play-off grid – Sunday

Buenos Noches !

 

 

 

 

Regina Roars Back to Dump the Dinos

 

Tull leads Cougars to much-needed home win

Regina’s Brian Ofori flushes one in the Cougars’ win over Calgary.  photo  UR Athletics

 at Regina 82  #5 Calgary  81 –  This may be the game that revives the Cougars (7-9) , as they erase a 20 point 2nd half deficit, and beat the Dinos down the stretch. Brandon Tull  leads the way with 20 points, as Regina shoots 53% from the floor, and deposits 31 in the bank in the final frame. Johneil Johnson comes off the bench for 16 pts, and Brian Ofori is big in the comeback with 14 pts/ 8 rebs/ 6 asst.  The Dinos lose another back half of a series, and surrender 56 points in the 2nd half.  UC’s high scorer is Thomas Cooper with 20 pts/ 7 rebounds, while David Kapinga hits 11 points, as they fall to 12-4.    Box Score

at #9 Saskatchewan  90 Mt. Royal 87 –   The Huskies had to fend off an inspired MRU squad, who are up 6 at the break, but see U of S pile up 52 points in the final 20 minutes. Double-doubles from the forward pair of Shane Osayande (23 pts/ 14 rebounds) and  Matt Forbes (20 pts/ 12 boards) paced the Huskies (12-6) to the win.   Guard Lawrence Moore cashes 10/10 free throws, as Saskatchewan has the home court blessing of 27/30  from the line vs just 9/13 for Mt. Royal.  The Cougars (7-9)  are close in the final 4 minutes, but never catch the Dogs.  Josh Ross scores 21 for MRU, and Brett Layton has 19 pts and 7 rebounds.   Box Score  

at Manitoba  77 UNBC  68 –     The Bisons outshoot the T’Wolves in a fairly evenly contested 2nd game.  Justus Alleyn, who has often been the leading trigger man for the Bisons offense, goes 7/11 for 19 points/4 asst in the 10th UM win, and 6th straight.  Manitoba (10-6), also had Keith Omoerah with 8 pts/  11 boards, and AJ Basi tossing in 12 pts/ 4 asst.  The 4-12 Timberwolves could never nose into a lead, even though they came within 1 and 2 at several stages in the 2nd half. Rhys Elliott scores 19 for the visitors, and Vaggelis Loukas posts a double of 12 pts/ 11 boards.   Box Score   

at MacEwan 77  Winnipeg  62   –  Good Mac defense, and cold Wesmen shooting (33% FG) give Mac a split, with a big win at home.  Out-scoring  Winnipeg 36-25 in the second half, the Griffs team – rebound for a 52-43 edge, and convert 18/28 from the line to Winnipeg’s 9/19. Denzel James scores 15 for Mac  (5-11) and adds 8 boards, with 3 others in double figures – Thadius Galvez 13 pts/ 7 rebs/ 4 asst,  Ryan Coleman 12 pts/ 9 boards, and Keith Gerdes 12 pts/ 8 rebs.   For the Wesmen (10-6), it’s Denzel Lynch-Blair with 20 pts/ 5 rebs, and Narcisse Ambanza scoring 16.     Box Score

The ‘Horns Dejon Burdeaux returns to help earn  a sweep of UBC-O.   photo- UL Athletics

at Lethbridge  83 UBC- Okanagan 61 –  Dejon Burdeaux  returns for the Pronghorns, and leads them with 20 pts and 5 steals. Elliott Sentance keeps pace with 16 pts/9 boards, as UL takes good advantage of 29 Okanagan turnovers, and move up to 12-6. UBC-O  shoots just 35%, with 6 treys vs 11 for the ‘Horns. Lethbridge is better from the line, with 20/23  vs 19/30  for the Heat. Austin Penrose scores 16 for UBC-O  (2-14)    Box Score  

 

 

Thompson Rivers 79  at Fraser Valley 67 –  The Wolf Pack (8-8) use their superior size, and take it to the hoop, forcing Fraser Valley to foul in this B.C show-down series.  Volodymyr Iegorov (14/16), Trent Monkman (9/10), and Joe Davis (5/5)  lead the ‘Pack to a 91% FT night and a 29-9 differential in points from the stripe.  Iegorov with 25 pts/ 12 boards, and Luke Morris with 14 and 10 rebs both record valuable double-doubles for the Orange.  The Cascades  (7-9) have Manny Dulay with 20 points/ 7 rebs, and Vijay Dhillon scoring 14, but they are out-rebounded 49-39 by TRU.    Box Score   

at #2 UBC 87  Brandon 53 –  Again tonight the T’Birds (15-1)  spread the minutes and the scoring, as Conor Morgan hits 21 pts and 19 rebounds, while Jordan Jensen-Whyte adds 16 pts/ 5 rebs/ 4 asst.  26 turnovers spell trouble for the Bobcats, and they shoot just 36% from the floor, while watching UBC hit 19/25 free throws vs BU’s 6/12.  Earl Thompson Jr manages just 11 points as the top scorer for Brandon (7-11) . Box Score   

at Victoria  69   Trinity Western  65 –  With the game tied at 65 with 4 minutes left, the Vikes Grant Sitton scores the only 4 points to finish, and the home team gets the sweep.   Victoria (7-9) have Scott Kellum as their spark-plug, as he goes 8/10 from the floor, including 5/6 from outside for 23 pts/ 4 rebs. Trinity (2-14) can never get un-tracked offensively, as Patrick Vandervelden is their top man with 16 pts/ 13 rebounds.   Box Score    

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Other U-Sports games on Saturday –

AUS – at UNB 84 Acadia 74, St Marys 105  at UPEI 98, Dalhousie 73 at Cape Breton  70

Quebec – Concordia 75  at Bishops 69 , at UQAM 70 Laval  65

Ontario – #1 Carleton 80 at Western Ont. 56, #3 Ottawa 78 at Windsor  64, at #6 Brock 89 at Guelph 62, Nipissing 65  at York  63, Laurentian 85 at Queens 64, Toronto 65 McMaster  57,  Laurier 82   Waterloo 75

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Overtime –        

Howard Tsumura’s major contributions to Post Media amateur sports coverage will be missed.

  • Canada West, B.C. Colleges, and B.C. High Schools will all feel the loss of veteran sports writer, Howard Tsumura, who announced Friday that he is taking his leave from the Vancouver Province newspaper immediately.  Tsumura’s coverage of amateur / school sport in British Columbia was phenomenol, and his week by week features had depth, perspective, and great connections with all the young athletes and their coaches.  Our thanks to Howard for his amazing work.  Good luck on your soon to be announced career move.
  • Mahmoud (Junior) Sesay (Winnipeg)  has left the U. of Lethbridge and the Pronghorns basketball team. The transfer from UVic , who had been away from the League for several years before joining the ‘Horns in January, apparently has some sort of medical issue making it very difficult to continue.

 

 

Winnipeg Teams Eke Out Close Wins

 

 

Manitoba and Winnipeg get wins in tense affairs

AJ Basi is a key man both ways for the streaking Herd.     photo – UM Athletics

at Manitoba 86  UNBC 85 –  The T’Wolves throw a scare into the Bisons, as the visitors lead by 2 after 30 minutes, after tallying 31 in the 3rd quarter. 2 free throws each by AJ Basi and Ilarion Bonhomme allow the Herd to slip by for the win in the final minute.  Basi leads Manitoba (9-6) with 23 points, while Justus Alleyn kicks in with 21.  The home-standing UM shoots 18/26 from the line vs only 6/9 for the visiting UNBC (4-11).  Marcus Mackay is red hot from long range for the ‘Wolves, hitting 8/10 for 28 points.  Box Score  

Winnipeg 89 at MacEwan 85 – Another game tonight where the favourites are pushed to the limit, as the Griffins pour in 37 points in the 4th quarter to rattle the Wesmen. Mac hits 12 treys to the Ws 5, but Winnipeg (10-5) enjoy a rare visiting team edge in the foul shooting, with 22/29 vs just 7/11 for the chagrined home side.  6 Wesmen in double figures as they shoot 48% as a team;  Denzel Lynch-Blair is their high man with 18 points, while Sean Tarver adds 17. MacEwan (4-11) get 22 points/ 5 rebs from Keith Gerdes, and 21 points/ 7 rebs/ 9 assists by Thadius Galvez.    Box Score  

#9 Saskatchewan  82 Mt. Royal  62 –  A 20-6 advantage in the final 10 minutes allows the Huskies to pull away for their 10th win of the season. Their defense holds the Cougars (7-8) to just 36% from the floor, and U of S dominates the boards 48-21. Matt Forbes has another strong game for the ‘Dogs with 26 pts/ 12 rebounds.  Derek Wolf replies with 21 pts for MRU, but big gun, Brett Layton, is limited to just 6 pts/2 rebs.   Box Score  

#5 Calgary 86 at Regina 70 –  With every Dinos player hitting the score sheet, and the team cashing 14/28 from 3 point range, Calgary stormed to a 69-47 lead after 3/4s, and  waltzed home. Regina hit just 4/21 long range attempts, and that decided the contest. David Kapinga and Mambi Diawara went a combined 8/9 from outside for 16 points apiece to pace the 12-3 Dinos.  Johneil Johnson was the game high scorer for the Cougars (6-9) with 22 points.  Box Score  

UBC-O rookie, Matt Lafontaine, has a big game at Lethbridge.  photo – Heat Athletics

at Lethbridge  75  UBC- Okanagan 71 – No Dejon Burdeaux for Lethbridge , and no Mitch Goodwin or Ryan Morck for the Okanagan Heat.  You have to give the Heat (2-13) great credit for a gutsy effort, where they were thwarted by some unfriendly officiating, as much as by their ‘Horns opponents. UBC-O shoot all of 5/7 from the line to 26-31 for the home side. Incroyable! Heat rookie, Matt Lafontaine scores a game-high 22 pts, with 6/8 made from 3 pt range. Austin Penrose works hard for 10 pts and 11 rebounds, but the visitors come up just short.  The Pronghorns (11-6) survive without their king-pin, Burdeaux, as 4 players hit double figures, topped by the 15 pts/ 8 rebs/ 4 assts  from Elliott Sentance. Box Score  

at Fraser Valley  80 Thompson Rivers 72 –  The Cascades (7-8) shoot it better (46% to 41% FG) , and they take better care of the ball (15 TOs to 20 for TRU).  Erasing a 5 point half-time deficit in the 3rd quarter, UFV finish strong (22-14) in the final 10 to garner the win.  6 Cascades players are in double figures, led by 17 by Andrew Morris off the bench, and 13 each from  Manny Dulay, Mark Johnson, and Anthony Gilchrist.  TRU (7-8) have Joe Davis as their high scorer with 25 pts/ 12 rebounds, with Volodymyr Iegorov tallying  21 points.  Box Score

at #2 UBC  127  Brandon  62 –  The T’Birds go with the ‘scorched earth’ strategy, and they have 4 players off the bench scoring in double digits.  The whole UBC team play 11 or more minutes, as they shoot 54% FG, and rack up an incredible 34/43 from the free throw line.  Jordan Jensen-Whyte is the high man for the Birds (14-1) with 23 pts. , while Earl Thompson Jr. leads the Bobcats (7-10) with 14. Box Score 

at Victoria  72  Trinity Western 63 –  Victoria (6-9) put in a very workman-like effort in winning in almost every category.  Grant Sitton is the top gun for the Vikes yet again, with his 26 points/ 8 rebs, while Scott Kellum manages 17 points off the bench. Patrick Vandervelden scores 19 points for the Spartans (2-13). Box Score  

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Thursday scores from Quebec – Concordia 75  Bishops 55,  UQAM 70 at Laval 66

Other U-Sports games on Friday –

AUS – Acadia 84 at UPEI 68, Saint Marys 93at UNB 80, Dalhousie 85  at Cape Breton 67

Ontario – #1 Carleton 104 at Windsor 54, #3 Ottawa 91 at Western Ont. 55, at #6 Brock 74  #4 Ryerson  65, At Guelph 76  Algoma 58,  Nipissing 93  at Queens 84,  Laurentian  79 at York 58

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  • Overtime –        
  • UFV Cascades Coach Adam Friesen, on his 5th year, guard Manny Dulay, one of the best-ever , 3 point shooters in Canadian University Basketball  “ …  he’s transitioned himself into our starting point guard the last couple of years. He’s a play-maker for us, a shot-maker, and obviously he can still shoot the outside shot. He’s become a leader, too, and especially here in his senior year.”   From a  story in The Now (Newspaper, Surrey, BC)  by Tom Zillich  
  •  Regina Coach Steve Burrows,  lauding his 4th year guard, Brandon Tull, on Tull’s reaching 1000+ points as a Cougar.  “It’s a tribute to him and it didn’t have anything to do with me,’’ Burrows said with a chuckle. “He loves the game and he has a passion for it. He works at it every day. He was in here in the morning and what he’s done is a tribute to how hard he works at it.’’  From a story in the Regina Leader-Post by Murray McCormick.
  • UVic Head Coach Craig Beaucamp, with a coach’s take on Trinity Western,   their 2-12 opponent, … “Trinity scores a lot of points. We need to be better defensively than we were last week against Lethbridge.”  (Editor’s note – TWU also gives up an average of 94 ppg ….)    As far as the Vikes prospects for a playoff spot, the Coach says … “You might look at our record and think we would be well out of it, but actually, we are not,” said  Beaucamp. “We control our own destiny. We have to stay healthy [some Vikes are dinged up physically], remain resilient, stay positive, don’t panic, and keep things simple.”  From the Times-Colonist story by Cleve Dheensaw. 

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

Top 5 Lists – Canada West

 

Our Top Teams, Players, Rookies in the 1st Semester

Import guard, Austin Waddoups , is a big reason that the GBs are at the top of CW standings.         Photo – U of A Athletics

Top 5  ‘Notable’ Teams  –

  1. Alberta Golden Bears –  10-0 is a big surprise.  We thought Alberta would be in contention, but a clean slate at the 1/2 way mark ?  Outstanding.  Good additions, and more experience with returnees. Defense allows 68 ppg, and offense is cranked up to 86 ppg, 3rd in CW. Tougher 2nd half sched, with Calgary, at UBC, UFV, at Saskatchewan, Lethbridge.
  2. UBC Thunderbirds – 8-0 and coming together with vets and newcomers.  The ‘Birds have had a couple of close ones in the final couple of series vs UVic and Manitoba.  UBC starts the 2nd half at Saskatchewan, home vs Alberta, and at Mt. Royal.  Survive that, and the T’Birds could be top seed.
  3. Calgary Dinos –  They tripped over Manitoba in game 1, but are the top scoring team in CW at 7-1, scoring 95 ppg.  Coach Vanhooren is looking for more consistency, but the depth and talent is there.
  4. Manitoba Bisons –  This team is the ultimate puzzle at 4-6.  The Herd have a tough 1st half sched, but they admit to being disappointed in their start.  But, after beating Winnipeg twice to finish, they have the 2nd half schedule to make a big turnaround.  Maybe as high as 4th ?!
  5. Mt. Royal Cougars –  Under-rated is an apt description.  The Cougs are 5-5, and we suggest they could duplicate that mark in the next 10, and qualify for the play-offs.  4th in CW ppg scored @ 85.4 ppg, they are one of the top shooting clubs (45% from the floor – 4th), 5th best in ‘ball control’.

Top 5  Players in the League –  (Alpha order …  up for grabs, we think.)

Calgary’s Thomas Cooper is Canada West’s top scorer again this season.   Photo- UC’s David Moll

Thomas Cooper, Dinos – The ‘Reigning Champion’ leads the scoring race with 25.6 ppg, and is a ‘prime-time finisher’. He scoops 6 rebs/game, and averages 2 steals.

Volodymyr Iegorov, TRU Wolf Pack –  The big Ukrainian import ‘carries the water’ for the ‘Pack, with his 18.6 ppg/ 9 rebounds and 3.9 assists.  We expect him to finish strong, and give his team a good play-off shot.

The Huskies Shane Osayande is ‘ripping it’ every time out this season. Photo- U of S

Conor Morgan, T’Birds – Putting up some big numbers, and has been ‘unstoppable’ at times.  25 ppg while shooting 61.5% FG, plus 6.6 rebs.

Shane Osayande, Huskies – Averaging a double-double of 20 ppg and 11.6 rebounds !  A constant force on a team which has been inconsistent at times. He blocks 2.5 shots per game.

Josh Ross, MRU Cougars – This import transfer is a player!  Another who posts a double-double ‘every night’ !  Scoring 19.6 ppg / 10 rebounds/ 3.8 assts.

Others-  Keith Omoerah – Bisons, Mamadou Gueye – Bears, Elliott Sentance – Pronghorns, Thadius Galvez- Griffins,  David Kapinga – Dinos,

Top 5 CW Rookies – (again with the alpha list)

Winnipeg rookie, Narcisse Ambanza, is a big factor the the Wesmen.

Narcisse Ambanza – Wesmen,  22.2 mins …  The front-runner in this crop, with his scoring and rebounding.  11.9 ppg/ shoots 53% FG / 3.7 rebs/ 2 asst

Max Eisle – Dinos,  15.6 mins … Not the big minutes, or the scoring numbers, but he is tough, skilled, and a top-notch defender.   3.1 ppg/ 41% FG/ 2 asst/ 1.3 steals

Johneil Johnson –  Reg. Cougars, 17.9 mins …  Has been the key man in a couple of games.  He possesses an impressive all-round game. 10.1 ppg/ 48% FG, 3 rebs/ 2 steals

Scott Kellum –  Vikes, 28.3 mins …  A confident player with great leadership qualities.  Playing too many freshman minutes, probably. 9.4 ppg/ 38% from 3 pt/ 2.3 rebs

Andre Kelly – Bears, 18 mins …  Has the game to be a top-notch player as he matures.  Solid numbers for the top team. 6.6 ppg/ 44% FG/ 1.7 asst/ 2.3 rebs

 Others … Tyrell Laing- Timberwolves, Craig Martin- MRU Cougars, James Wagner – Bisons.

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Overtime – 

  • A major facilities announcement from U. Saskatchewan, with a donation from the Graham family, enabling the Huskies to build new practice/tournament courts at the planned Merlis Belsher Place.  From CTV News, Saskatoon 
  •   The Bisons A.J. Basi, in his team blog, on Manitoba’s rough start in the regular season, … “we were disappointed to drop a few close and winnable games. We can’t blame anyone but ourselves for our inconsistency. We all still believe we belong amongst the top teams in our league.”

Morgan Has a Huge Weekend

 

 

UBC’s Conor Morgan leads our ‘Stars of the Week’ list in Canada West

Player of the Week - UBC's Conor Morgan

Player of the Week – UBC’s Conor Morgan

Conor Morgan – UBC …  The Thunderbirds ‘Big Bird’ brings the pain to the Vikes in his home -town on Friday, then at War Memorial in Vancouver on Sunday.  60 Pts,  17 rebounds,  5 assists 4 steals is a big-time weekend!

Denzel Lynch-Blair – Winnipeg … The shooting guard helps the Ws to a pair of wins over Brandon with his 48 pts, 16 rebounds , 5 assts, and 5 steals.

Tyvon Cooper – Brandon … He came in with a rep as a big scorer, and he’s very consistent for the ‘Cats as a passer as well. Two game totals of 47 points, 9 rebounds, 13 assists, 5 steals.

Grant Sitton – Victoria … continues to be the mainstay for his Vikes.  They come close to knocking off the T’Birds in Vancouver on Sunday. 40 pts, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals in the 2 rivalry games.

Volodymyr Iegorov – Thompson Rivers … The big man scores 42 points, grabs 22 rebounds, and has 8 assists in the ‘Pack sweep of the Okanagan Heat.

Earl Thompson Jr. – Brandon … 43 points, 16 rebounds in the 2 game set with Winnipeg, with a big double-double on Thursday.

More outstanding players from Week 5 … Keith Omoerah – Manitoba … The wing man records a pair of double-doubles, as he totals 28 pts/ 20 rebounds in 2 tough home losses to the Bears.   Josh Ross – Mt. Royal  38 pts/ 22 rebs … Brody Clarke – Alberta  33 points 15 rebounds …  Thomas Cooper – Calgary  36 pts/ 11 rebounds/ 5 asst/ 7 steals …  Tyler Wise – MacEwan  27 pts/ 11 boards Saturday win over MRU … Aldrich Berrios with 27 points/ 9 rebs for UBC-O in the tight loss … Austin Waddoups – Alberta … The import guard shoots out the lights in Friday’s win at Manitoba, 31 pts/ 3 assists.


 

Who’s the best ‘6th Man’ in Canada West this season ?

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Calgary Dinos ace 6th Man, Jhony Verrone.

Calgary Dinos ace 6th Man, Jhony Verrone.               photo – Canada West Hoops

These players do not regularly start games.  They come in for energy, to change the pace, to defend a hot opponent, or to give relief to the lead guard, the post in early foul trouble, or a shooter who is cold on the night.  We look at the ability to score coming off the bench like Johneil Johnson, defend like Jhony Verrone,  rebound like Michael Rouault and Tyler Wise, and handle the ball as smartly as, well, Verrone.

The 6th man knows he’s getting in, but sometimes not exactly when that will be.  He knows his time off the bench may be limited, and that his efficiency on the court is very important if his team is to thrive.  Less than half-way through the schedule, we’ve picked our top 5 ‘relievers’, but all on our list are doing a great job for his team.

1. Jhony Verrone – Dinos,  2. Michael Rouault –  Wolf Pack,  3. Max Viitala – Spartans,  4. Narcisse Ambanza – Wesmen,  5. Johneil Johnson – Green Cougars.


 

Prairie City Rivals Tip-off Thursday

There are three cross-town rivalries in Canada West (we count Langley and Abbotsford as separate ‘kingdoms’).  In this final week of League play prior to the exam break and the Christmas Holidays, schools involved in all three of these ‘City Wars’ are poised for battle.

Mt. Royal vs Calgary in the Crowchild Classic are one of three Prairie 'City Wars' on tap for Thursday night.

Mt. Royal vs Calgary in the Crowchild Classic are one of three Prairie ‘City Wars’ on tap for Thursday night.

The longest -standing  of these is Winnipeg – Manitoba in the ‘Duckworth Challenge’, with Calgary – Mt. Royal (Crowchild Classic)  and MacEwan – Alberta  (‘ North – South Games’ ?)  relative late-comers.  All 3 games are at 8 pm local time on Thursday , with the Women’s games at 6 pm.

Thursday –  Wesmen at Bisons ,  Dinos at Cougars,  Griffins at Bears                      Saturday – Bisons at Wesmen, Cougars at Dinos , Bears at Griffins