Basi Latest to Go ‘Euro-Pro’

 

 

AJ Basi to Play Pro in Britain

Bisons’ grad, Amarjit Basi, will play in Newcastle, Britain.

The dream of a very young Amarjit Basi was to play basketball at a high level.  The 5th year graduated captain of the Manitoba Bisons has been moving on to a higher level since he was 9 and 10 years old.  After helping the Bisons, under Coach Kirby Schepp, to the 2017 U-Sport Nationals in Halifax, Basi, a slick ball-handler and deady outside shooter, recently signed with Newcastle in the British Div. 1 professional ranks.  (Story in the Winnipeg Free Press).

He joins many Canada West grads who are continuing their playing days with professional teams in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.  We wish AJ the best in Britain, and the same to UVic’s Grant Sitton (Slovakia), Calgary’s Thomas Cooper (Germany), and  Thompson River’s Josh Wolfram (Czech Republic).

 

New Canada West Campaign Prompts Logo Changes

The ‘New Canada West’ re-brand is yet another change  for what started as the Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and this is a whole League promotion to launch a new marketing effort.  The details of this new branding are itemized here at their new web-site.

As the League moves forward, so do several schools, with new logos for their teams.  On our  header you will see the up-dated looks for the Brandon Bobcats and the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.  We have also included the new logos for both the Mt. Royal Cougars and the UNBC Timberwolves in this story.

 

One of the most important things the League and it’s schools can do is to make a yearly effort to increase their appeal to potential fans.  University sports may deserve a bigger presence in mainline media than they currently receive, but it is encumbent upon the League and individual schools to become more active in capturing that market.

___________________________________________________________

NCAA vs U-Sports Scores   –

Hofstra (Div 1 – NY) 88 at McGill 76, Hofstra 99 at UQAM 87, Hofstra 110

at Bishops  51, Hofstra 85  at UQAM  62,   Siena (NY- Div 1) 79  at McGill 71

St. Francis (Brooklyn -Div 1)  75 at Concordia 66, Carleton 73  Siena  66,

McGill 80  St. Francis 67, Ottawa  80  Ramapo College (Div 3 – NJ)

_____________________________________________________________

 Overtime – 

 

  •  Lethbridge signs highly-rated Edmonton guard, Awak Piom, at 6-5 , (Harry Ainlay High School), he was instrumental in helping the Titans win  back-to-back provincial championships in 2014 and 2015  Details from U of L

 

  • Nice story in the Kenora Miner and News about the U. Winnipeg Women’s Team, on a team-building weekend reaching out to young players in Kenora , Ontario   These community connections are an important part of every Canada West program!

 

 

New CW Schedule Creates Inequity

 

Canada West Rolls the Dice With a Complicated Schedule Switch   
The Canada West schedule has undergone a major shift for the up-coming cwest2016-17 season, with many hours of consideration by Athletic Directors and League personnel before trashing the Pioneer – Explorer format of recent years in favour of a new 17 team loop featuring a ‘modified and unbalanced’ slate. As we reported last year, Canada West President, Ian Reade (U of Alberta, Athletic Director) lauded the changes,  “We were able to go through a collective problem- solving process to get to a format, and come together on this one. This allows us to guarantee that traditional and geographic opponents will have the opportunity to play each other annually, while eliminating the perception of having two tiers within the conference.”

In trying to accommodate (or create anew) ‘regional rivalries’ the League has each school playing  4 geographically proximate rivals every season, then 6 of the remaining 12 schools every 2nd year.

ANNUAL OPPONENTS BY SCHOOL –
Alberta – Calgary, Lethbridge, MacEwan, Saskatchewan
Brandon – Regina, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Winnipeg
UBC – UBC-Okanagan, UNBC, Trinity Western, Victoria
UBC-Okanagan – UBC, Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers, Victoria
Calgary – Alberta, Lethbridge, Mount Royal, Saskatchewan
Fraser Valley – UBC-Okanagan, UNBC, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Lethbridge – Alberta, Calgary, MacEwan, Mount Royal
MacEwan – Alberta, Lethbridge, Mount Royal, Winnipeg  … Winnipeg?
Manitoba  – Brandon, Mount Royal, Regina, Winnipeg  … Mt. Royal?
Mount Royal – Calgary, Lethbridge, Manitoba, MacEwan
UNBC – UBC, Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Regina – Brandon, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg
Saskatchewan – Alberta, Brandon, Calgary, Regina
Thompson Rivers – UBC-Okanagan, Fraser Valley, UNBC, Victoria
Trinity Western – UBC, Fraser Valley, UNBC, Victoria
Victoria – UBC, UBC-Okanagan, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Winnipeg – Brandon, MacEwan, Manitoba, Regina

And here are the opponents for each team for the ’16-’17 season …

Victoria – at Reg2, Cal2, Mac2, UBC1/1, at TRU2, at Okan2, Leth2, TWU2, at UFV2, Wpg2
UBC – at TRU2, Man2, Vic1/1, Okan2, at Sask2,  Alb2, at MRU2, Bran2, UNBC2, at TWU2
Fraser V – Sask2, TWU1/1, UNBC2, at Bran2, Mac2, at Cal2, at Alb2, TRU2, Vic2, at Okan2
Trinity W- at Okan2, UFV1/1, at UNBC2, Reg2, Leth2, at Wpg2, Man2, at Vic2, at MRU2, UBC2
Okanagan- TWU2, at Bran2, MRU2,  at TRU2, at UBC2, Reg2, Vic2, at Leth2, at Mac2, UFV2
T. Rivers- UBC2, at Man2, at Alb2, Okan, at UNBC2, Vic2, Wpg2, at UFV2, Cal2, at Reg2
UNBC – at Wpg2, Alb2, TWU2, at UFV2, TRU2, at Leth2, MRU2, at Man2, at UBC2, Sask2
Alberta – Bran2, at UNBC2, TRU2, at Man2, Mac1/1, Cal1/1, at UBC2, UFV2, at Sask2, Leth2
MacEwan- at Leth2, Reg2, Vic2, at MRU2, Alb1/1, at UFV2, at Bran2, Wpg2, Okan2, at Cal2
Calgary – Man2, at Vic2, Leth1/1, MRU1/1, Alb1/1, UFV2, Sask2, at Reg2, at TRU2, Mac2
Mt. Royal- Leth1/1, at Okan2, Mac2, Cal1/1, Bran2,at UNBC2, UBC2, at Sask2, TWU2, at Man2
Lethbridge – Mac2, MRU1/1, at Wpg2, Cal1/1, at TWU, UNBC2, Sask2, at Vic2, Okan2, at Alb2
Regina – Vic2, at Mac2, at TWU2, Sask2, at Okan2, Man2, at Bran2, at Wpg2, Cal2, TRU2
Saskatchewan – at UFV2, Wpg2, Bran2, at Reg2, UBC2, Leth2, at Cal2, MRU2, Alb2, at UNBC2
Brandon – at Alb2, Okan2, at Sask2, Wpg1/1, UFV2, at MRU2, Mac2, Reg2, at UBC2, Man2
Manitoba – at Cal2, TRU2, at UBC2, Alb2, Wpg 1/1, at Reg2, at TWU2, UNBC2, at Bran2, MRU2
Winnipeg – UNBC2, at Sask2, Leth2, Bran1/1, Man1/1, TWU2, at TRU2, at Mac2, Reg2, at Vic2

Schools clearly choose whether or not to engage in the ‘home and home’ format with regional rivals … some do and some don’t.  The Dinos have 3 such 1 and 1 series, while Winnipeg, Lethbridge, MRU, and Alberta are playing 2 reciprocals each.  But seemingly obvious chances to play the home and home are passed up by Saskatchewan-Regina, UBC-O – TRU, Brandon-Manitoba, and Trinity W-UBC.

UBC T-Bird

T-Birds lead the list of ‘power teams’ in CW.

Vs ‘Traditional Powers’ ( in 1985-86, Lethbridge had the temerity to win Canada West, and Brandon won in 2001-02 … since 1986 we have UBC with 9 titles, Victoria with 8, Alberta has 7,  Calgary has won 4, and Saskatchewan 1)  We include the Huskies as a power team because of their recent record in League play and presence in the playoffs.

Where is the balance when  Winnipeg has just Sask and Victoria to face, while both UBC-O and TWU have only UBC and UVic,  and the Vikes are slated vs just Calgary and UBC? Meanwhile, Lethbridge has to contend with all of Calgary, Sask, Victoria, UBC, and Alberta, and TRU gets Alberta, Calgary, UBC, and UVic

No games between … Calgary – UBC, UVic – Sask, or UVic -Alberta … Manitoba misses UVic, Lethbridge, and Saskatchewan.   UBC doesn’t play Fraser Valley? Little wonder that virtually every Canada West coach has registered disdain for the unbalanced schedule.  But, the League officials point out that every other year you will play the teams you missed the previous year.

So every 2nd year, for example, Calgary will play UBC, Trinity W., Winnipeg, Brandon, UNBC, and Okanagan (non-regional ), with the following year dropping those and getting UVic, UFV, Manitoba, Regina, and Thompson R.  As someone pointed out … “So we get home games every 4 years vs UVic and UBC, who are both traditionally big spectator draws?  Terrific !”

The one saving grace, if you want to look at the big slate of play-off games, is that 12 of the 17 teams get into the post-season merry-go-round.  Of course, if you’re 13 or 14, you may be unhappy, and certainly number 5 and 6 will have a beef in missing a 1st round bye if they deem their schedule tougher than that of the ‘favoured 4’.

Comment is welcomed ….

Overtime –

  • The CIS Men’s Basketball Final 8 returns to it’s ‘traditional site’ in
    TRU's Josh Wolfram

    TRU’s Josh Wolfram signs pro contract in the Swedish League.

    Halifax for the next 2 seasons (March ’17 and March ’18), with bids being entertained in the coming years. The Women’s Tournament will be in the West for the next couple of years, with Victoria hosting in March ’17 and Regina in March ’18.

  • TRU’s graduating All-star, Josh Wolfram has signed a pro contract to play in Sweden this coming Fall/Winter.  The 6-10 forward, was among the leaders in both scoring and rebounding for the Wolf Pack,  Canada West Silver-medalists in his senior season.  Josh has signed a guaranteed contract with Umea Basket of the Swedish League. More details in this News Kamloops article. 
  • Riley Schaus, the top prospect out of the Brandon City League,  has signed to play for the home-town Bobcats under Coach Gil Cheung. Cheung likes the 6-1 Crocus Plains HS star for his ‘fine-shooting, and great determination’.  (Name another Crocus Plains star who became a CW All-star back in the 1990s.)
  • Adonis Montfort-Palomino, ex-Dinos, who was originally slated to go to Cape Breton this Fall, has decided, probably due to the coaching change with Matt Skinn moving to Calgary, that he will play at MacEwan.  Closer to home, friends, and likely more familiarity with the program.
  • Some other notable signings … 6-3 guard, Andre Kelly (Mississauga, ON) to Alberta, Regina lands Johneil Johnson, a 6-0 guard from Nova Scotia, UBC adds Aussie import, 6-5 swingman, Jerome Thompson, plus Isaiah Familia a 6-2 guard from Windsor, ON.

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.   

Consolation Semis are Both Close Affairs

Two consolation games see teams bounce back and play well

  Ottawa 78  Thompson Rivers  77 –  The first consolation semi on Friday had a strong effort from both teams despite the obvious disappointment  of 1st round losses they had suffered the night previous. Multiple lead changes, as both teams made good use of the outside shot, especially TRU, who went 13/21 from long range.
Ottawa also made 13 deep ones, but took 39 shots to get there. Caleb Agada, with his Ott G-Gspenetration down the lane, was the game’s high scorer with 24 points (7 rebs/ 4 assts) on 9/17 shooting, with MacKenzie Morrison hitting 4/8 attempts from 3 point range for 16 points.
TRU got a great game from big forward, Volodymyr Iegorov, who counted 21 points/ 6 rebounds, and hitting 4/6 from outside. Josh Wolfram scored 14 and added 12 rebounds, and Luke Morris scored 15 with 6 boards.
Ottawa advances to the Consolation final at 12 noon on Saturday vs UBC, while that’s the season for the ‘Pack, who see the final game for stars Reese Pribilsky and Josh Wolfram.   Box Score

 UBC 69   McGill 68 –  With another red-hot start, UBC led 43-27 at the break, and carried a double digit lead into the 4th quarter.  But, like Thursday’s game the ‘Birds saw this one slipping away in the final minutes;  the Redmen stormed back with a 22-11 last UBC T-Birdquarter, as Jenning Leung hit 3 treys within a minute’s play .
McGill would not let go, despite trailing for the whole game, until the final minute, when they caught and passed the hosts. With 25 seconds left, Jordan Jensen-Whyte hit 2 clutch free throws to get the win for the locals. David Wagner had 21 for UBC / 6 rebounds, while Conor  Morgan scored 16  points/ 4 rebs. The Thunderbirds shot 49% from the floor to McGill’s 36% , but the visitors cashed 9 long balls to only 4 for the home side.
Leung and Dele Ogundokun both scored 15 for McGill, with Ogundokun adding 5 rebs/ 5 steals. UBC’s 25 turnovers almost caused a complete reversal in this game, and the McGill rally was helped by their 37-34 rebounding advantage.
UBC goes on to the Consolation final on Saturday at 12 noon vs Ottawa, and the young McGill team are done for the season. Box Score


 

 

Saturday’s schedule –

12 noon – Consolation final : UBC vs Ottawa

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 1.21.33 AM

3:00 pm – Championship semi-final 1 –  Dalhousie vs Carleton

5:30  – Championship semi-final 2 –  Calgary vs Ryerson

>>> Carleton has 11 CIS titles in the last 13 seasons … UBC has 2 titles, in 1970 and 1972 … neither Calgary nor Dalhousie have ever won this National Champioship.

Both Championship semis will be shown on Sportsnet 360.

Ravens, Rams, Dinos, Tigers on to Semis

 

Ejim’s rebounding carries Ravens to semi-finals

8 offensive rebounds and 26 points by Ryan Ejim pace Carleton to a Q-final win over TRU.

8 offensive rebounds and 26 points by Ryan Ejim pace Carleton to a Q-final win over TRU.

 Carleton 91 Thompson Rivers  75 –  The relentless Carleton effort on the offensive boards paid off with 10 extra chances by half-time, and the Ravens are up 38-33.  The most remarkable thing is the lack of 2nd quarter scoring, as the teams come out of quarter 1 with a 29-23 count, then cool off considerably.  CU hits just 33% from the floor in that opening 20 minutes .

Foul  trouble for TRU big men, Josh Wolfram and Volodmyr Iegorov , threatens to torpedo the ‘Pack’s effectiveness, but they finish the game with the line-up intact. As the game enters the 3rd quarter,  it’s a 5 point game Carleton’s way, but that rebounding, and some improved 3 point shooting by the Ravens extends it to 9-10-12. Brief rests for the TRU starters don’t appear to be enough, and they are flagging with 4-5 minutes left.

Ryan Ejim does the ‘blue collar’ work for Carleton, seemingly claiming every 2nd miss on the O-glass, as he tallies 26 on 11/14 shooting, all within 6 feet of the hoop. CU’s 54-37 rebounding edge is led by Ejim’s 14, and Guillaume Boucard’s 13 rebounds. Connor Wood scores 18 points on 5/13 from outside, and the winners get 15 apiece from Bouchard and Tajinder Lall.

The ‘Pack are led by the 22 points of Gerard Gore and 14 points / 10 boards from Voldymyr Iegorov. TRU hits 47% from the  floor, but only 5 treys to 11 for the Ravens.  Josh Wolfram comes on in the 2nd half, scoring 17 points, as he and Reese Pribilsky close out their memorable careers in this championship competition.
Carleton’s attacking style wears down the Wolves, whose lack of depth inevitably caught up with them in this level of play.  The Ravens move on to the semi-finals on Saturday against Dalhousie, while TRU plays Friday at 5 pm  in a consolation match with Ottawa.     Box Score

 

Tigers steal Ottawa’s thunder with aggressive defense down the stretch

Richie Kanza-Mata and his Dal Tigers teammates use their pressure defense to edge the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Richie Kanza-Mata and his Dal Tigers teammates use their pressure defense to edge the Ottawa Gee-Gees.  photo Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Dalhousie 87  Ottawa  83  –  Two unusual sequences turn this game in Dalhousie’s favour: just before the half, and down by 7, the Tigers steal, and Jarred Reid hits 2 free throws on an intentional (clear-path?) foul, so Dal gets the ball as well. On the buzzer,  Jordan Aquino-Serjue makes a 3-point bomb, and it’s 52-50 !  Then in a  mini-run by the Tigers in the 2nd half, Ottawa turns it over 3 out of 4 trips, and Dal takes the 4 point lead mid-way through the 4th.

The pressure from a quick and determined Tigers team gave Ottawa fits as the game moved into the late stages, 24 trips to the line for 16 points gave the Atlantic champs the edge vs 5/10 for the Gee-Gees. Both teams shoot the ball well, with Dal at 50% and Ottawa 49% from the floor, as UO lives and dies with  the long ball (12/35).  Dal’s fast hands and faster feet produce 24 Ottawa turnovers , resulting in 31 Dalhousie points.
Ritchie Kanza-Mata closes strongly and racks -up 24 points to lead the Tigers, adding 4 assts/ 3 steals, while Kashrell Lawrence uses his power on the inside to score 14 / 6 rebounds / 4 steals.

The Ponies have Matt Plunkett hitting 5/10 from outside for 17 points, and Mike L’Africain, the CIS Player of the Year, scoring 16 / 3 rebs/ 7 assts. The Tigers play in Saturday’s 3 pm semi-final against the 5 time-defending champion, Carleton Ravens, while Ottawa go to the Consolation side vs Thompson Rivers at 5 pm Friday.
Box Score

 

Kapinga’s thievery leads to late heroics for Calgary over McGill

Calgary's defensive ace, David Kapinga, harasses McGill ballhandlers in a Dinos win Thursday in Vancouver.

Calgary’s defensive ace, David Kapinga, harasses McGill ballhandlers in a Dinos win Thursday in Vancouver.

Calgary  72  McGill  69 –  Tense.  This was the tough, tight game we anticipated, with defense controlling things much of the way, and deciding it at the finish as Calgary’s David Kapinga picked McGill’s pocket twice in the final minutes .  Free throws were also critical as Dinos shooters were 10/10 in the 4th quarter, including  2 by Thomas Cooper to give them the 3 point lead.
It was a physical game , with a lot of contact on drives to the hoop, and a little rolling around on the hardwood after loose balls.  McGill got off to a good start, hitting some pure treys by Jenning Leung, and getting strong rebounding early. Calgary’s 25 point 2nd quarter was the difference, in a game where hoops became more and more scarce.

The Dinos Thomas Cooper was shackled  for much of the game, but still snuck in 21 points, with 7/10 from the line.  The Redmen pressured Calgary’s 3 point shooters and allowed little open space out on the perimeter. The Dinos  hit only 5 treys vs 10 for the Reds, and that kept McGill out front for a good part of the 2nd half.
Calgary had 12 points from Johnny Verrone coming off the bench, and Kapinga scored 11/ 2 asst/ 4 steals. Cooper led their rebounding with 9, with Lars Schleuter and Matt Letkeman grabbing 5 each.

McGill were led by 19 from Dele Ogundokun / 5 res/ 4 assts, and 15 from Leung, with 5/10 from outside.   McGill had 19 turnovers and Calgary 17, in what was, at times, a very scrappy contest.  The Dinos pull one out with some stingy defense and good foul-shooting in the final minutes, and they move on to the 5:30 semi-final on Saturday, and the Redmen will play in the 5:00 consolation game Friday.  Box Score

 

On the brink, the Rams storm back for the OT win vs UBC

Coach patrick Taham and his Ryerson Rams 'snatched victory from the jaws of defeat' vs UBC in their Thursday Q-final.

Coach Patrick Taham and his Ryerson Rams ‘snatched victory from the jaws of defeat’ vs UBC in their Thursday Q-final.

 

Ryerson 109 –  UBC  101 –  Just when the UBC student section (with 2:10 left – far too early)  were suggesting in a loud chorus that the Ryerson Rams were ‘Over-rated’ ,  the T-Birds’ Conor Morgan fouled out,  the OUA champs dug deep, hit free throws, a lay-up off a steal, and a 3 pointer to take it to OT !
The Rams are now the attackers, and create the better chances in extra time, to pull out a classic win to continue their route to the semi-final.  UBC has to leave wondering how this could have happened, when they looked so solid in the early going, and made some clutch hoops early in the 4th to ‘dare to dream’ of the 8 – 1 upset !

Adika Peter-McNeilly paced the Rams with 25 points/ 9 rebounds, and both rugged, yet smooth guard, Ammanuel Diressa, and the late game hero, Jean-Victor-Mukama counted 19 apiece.  Ryerson won the battle on the boards 42-31, and out-shot the Thunderbirds 21/27 to 13/17 from the foul line. UBC’s David Wagner was dominant inside in the first 3/4s to score 22, but Ryerson defenders made it harder for him later in the going. Jordan Jensen-Whyte was also a stand-out for the ‘Birds, with 25 points on slashing drives and 8/9 from the line.
Ryerson won this game with some more intense interior defending, and opportunistic conversions off UBC misses toward the end of regulation.  It was a testimony to the resilience of a championship team, and they played their best when it counted most.
In the end they appear to have been rated pretty accurately ….

Ryerson, the OUA champions vs Calgary , the Canada West title winners, at 5:30 pm Saturday in the 2nd semi-final.  UBC plays McGill at 7 pm Friday in the late Consolation game.  Box Score


 

 

Overtime –

  • Headline of the week, in  ‘Kamloops This Week’ – ‘WolfPack draw Ravens; fan bus departs Thursday’ … details , “Fan buses will depart from Thompson Rivers University for UBC on Thursday morning, in advance of the Wolf  Pack’s tournament-opening matchup.  Buses will depart from the Campus Activity Centre at 7:30 a.m. For $20, fans receive a game ticket, transportation to the tournament, a t-shirt and pizza and pop for the return trip. Coffee will be available in the morning, from 7 a.m. until departure.”  Great work by TRU to get their fans to the game!
  • Dalhousie Coach Rick Plato , with confidence in his team, “If the Tigers claw their way into national semifinals, they’ll be making Dalhousie basketball history”, Plato said. “I think there is redemption on their part,” he said of his players. “Knowing how close they were to … for the first time ever, getting Dal to a national semifinal.”  (Lost to UVic 57-56 in round 1 last year).  “I believe in these guys,” Plato said. “They’re not the biggest, they’re not the fastest, they’re not the quickest, but as a group – they’re a pretty special team.” Simply put, Plato said, “if we play our game, we’re going to win.” From Kristen Lipscombe, Vancouver Metro News

CIS Final 8 Tips Off Thursday !

 

Connor Wood and the Carleton Ravens still have 'The Cup' until someone wrestles it away ! photo - Ravens Athletics

Connor Wood and the Carleton Ravens still have ‘The Cup’ until someone wrestles it away ! photo – Valerie Wutti, Ravens Athletics

1 pm (Pacific)  Quarter-final #1 –  Ravens on the way to another championship ?

#2 Carleton Ravens (OUA finalists) – The Ravens are  CIS champs for 11 of the past 15 years !  As such, there are many expert observers who suggest they are the team to beat again, here in Vancouver.  They lost a tight one to Ryerson, but that was at the Rams’ Carleton RMattamy Centre, and, if they were to see each other again in Sunday’s final this week, it’s on a neutral floor.
Meanwhile, they face another strong team in TRU, and it’s almost home turf for the ‘Pack, playing only a few hours drive from Kamloops.  With Interim Coach Rob Smart Jr. going 10 deep regularly, CU has experience, size, and the offensive pace and defensive intensity to take charge of a game very quickly.

Kaza Kajami-Keane is their floor leader at 6-1, and he’s a dynamic 2-way player, and a 1st team OUA all-star.
Guillaume Boucard, a 6-5 swing man, is  2nd team all-OUA, and 14.6 ppg / 5.5 rebs.
6-2 Gavin Resch, a senior leader, is a sharp-shooting guard,  with 10 ppg/ 45% from 3 pt range , while 4th year, Connor Wood is a big  6-4 guard, who has found  his shooting range of late, and can hit the open trey.
Carleton doesn’t figure to lose in the opening round, and should be considered a serious threat to ring up their 6th straight CIS title.

#7  Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack (Canada West finalists) – The Orange are breathing the rarified air this March, with their 1st appearance in a Canada West Final 4 and a trip to Nationals in their home province.  So, do they just ‘enjoy the trip’, or are they strong enough to stay with a team like the Ravens?

Coach Scott Clark had a veteran team, then added the muscular Ukrainian, Volodymyr TRU 'PackIegorov, to an already impressive set of forwards. Clark believes in this team, and has them playing extremely well, with a League record of 16-4, and win over UBC in  last week’s  CW Final 4. The Wolves are big, they shoot it well, and they have great court leadership from 5th year guard, Reese Pribilsky, and 6-11 ‘small-forward’ Josh Wolfram.

6-6 Gerard Gore has shown that he is ready to step up and fight it out inside with bigger opponents, and Iegorov has the size and strength to rebound and defend, but also the shooting touch from any range.
TRU will also need ‘best games’ from the likes of 6-5 Luke Morris and 6-2 rookie guard, Jeff Tubbs, if they are to keep it close.  Not an impossibility, but betting against the ‘Blackbirds’ is a ‘bum’s game’.


Unknown

Mike L’Africain, U. Ottawa’s OUA Player of the Year

3 pm (Pacific)  Quarter-final #2 –  Gee-Gees have the experience and the star-power

#3 Ottawa Gee-Gees (Wildcard team, 3rd in OUA) – The Gee-Gees have been vying with Carleton for Ottawa, OUA, and CIS honours for a few years now, and they’ve come up just short on many notable occasions. Coach James Derouin has one of the more experienced teams here, and will try and get the Ponies over that last hurdle with some outstanding seniors. Mike L’Africain was chosen the OUA player of the year,  can trigger a potent offense, and will hit the big shot.Ott G-Gs
Caleb Agada, the Gee-Gees’ all-Canadian forward,  missed 3-4 wks with an ankle injury, but has returned to form, and gives OU a cagey, tough, talented 2-way presence inside.  Agada is the top defender for Ottawa and the OUA defensive player of the year.
6-8, 4th year forward, Nathan McCarthy,  and 6-7, 2nd year, Brody Maracle   are ‘solid low post contributors’ (according to our Ottawa expert!) . Matt Plunkett is a 6-6 shooting wing man, who compliments L’Africain.

All three OUA teams are possible winners in this 2016 Final 8 Tourney, and they couldn’t be blamed for looking ahead to facing each other. Ottawa and Carleton, as they’ve done so many times recently, are on a collision course, with wins in the Q-finals, and we would flip a coin for that one.  But let’s give Dalhousie their due as AUS Champs, and don’t overlook them as a respectable opponent for the G-Gs.

Dalhousie Tigers (Atlantic Champions) – Dalhousie (according to our inside source in the Atlantic ) is a  … “tough,  quick, physical , and relentless squad. Nothing seems to phase them, and they seem to have been winning every close game in the AUS over the last season and a half .” Dal Tigers

Their Coach, Rick Plato, the AUS Coach of the Year, is in his 3rd season,  and took the Tigers to the Nationals  last year.  He was a CCAA Coach at Mount Saint Vincent for 25 years,  prior to joining Dal.

The Tigers change their defensive stripes throughout the game, with changeable alignments “ … including   3-2 and 2-3 zone,  full court 2-2-1 pressure , and a ‘kamakazie’ , denying, switching and trapping man defense they employ to disrupt and create turnovers in crunch -time.

Key players –  “ #22,  Kash Lawrence  is the  back to back AUS Tournament MVP , at 6’3”, he plays in the  paint with the shoulders of Dwight Howard ; he’s a great rebounder and finisher and tough as nails.”
“ #11 – Ritchie Kanza-Mata –  First Team AUS All Star,  and 2015 AUS Defensive Player of the Year; he  organizes his team and leads their pressure defense.”

“#7 – Sven Stammberger –  He is the most – improved player in the AUS this season, for sure;  had a 42 point game this year, and is their best 3 point threat from the ‘small-forward spot. “

“#12 – Jordan Acquino-Serjue, was the CEGEP MVP in 2015, and is AUS Rookie of the Year  this season. He is a solid defender and a  good pull- up jump shooter.”

The Tigers have had the ‘magic’ for the past 2 years in the Atlantic, but can they carry that into this tough match-up with an Ottawa team that was top-ranked going into the season last Fall, and who still look like contenders for the Championship here in March ?


 

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos, Canada West's Most Outstanding Player photo- David Moll, UC

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos, Canada West’s Most Outstanding Player photo- David Moll, UC

 

6 pm (Pacific)  Quarter-final #3 –  Two League champs with contrasting styles

#5 McGill Redmen  (Quebec League Champions) – Both Coach Dave Deaveiro, Cadet National Team Head Coach,  and RSEQ Coach of the Year, and some of his team have had experience in this Tournament. The Redmen played in the Final 8 in 2013 and 2014.
McGill is one of the best defensive teams in the country, employing a ‘grind- it- out’  style, McGill Redwith switching defences being a main weapon.  Our Eastern scout tells us , “ They’ll  do whatever they can to make opponents feel uncomfortable, including a 2-2-1 (full-court press) back to match-up 2-3 zone or man.”  Coach Deaveiro says, “It’s probably the deepest team I’ve had at McGill and probably the most athletic team, so we’re able to do a few things we haven’t done in the past.  It gives you some options for doing things, so you’re not as predictable.”
Key players –  #23, 6-4, 5th year, Vincent Dufort – RSEQ 1st Team All Star, “ … he’s their ‘point forward’, and can do everything.”  – 10ppg, 8rpg, 2nd on the team in assists – Team MVP !
#4 – Jenning Leung, 6-1, 3rd year – the point guard is the leading scorer , at 12 ppg, a solid 3pt. shooter.
#3 – Dele Ogundokun, 6-2, – RSEQ Defensive Player of the Year, he scores 10.5 ppg
#21 – Tychon Carter-Newman, a 6-3 guard, in his 5th year – A former Laurentian University stand out , he’s a strong presence on the wing.
#12 – Noah Daoust, 6-7, 230 – “Originally committed to the USA now a super-sub – 6’9″ and their best 3 point shooter – He finishes most games and is an X-factor for McGill.”

#4  Calgary Dinos  (Canada West Champions) –  Having won their last 16 CIS games, the Dinos have a lot  of momentum and confidence entering this Tournament.  Calgary has not played McGill, but had losses to Ottawa and UNB at Christmas, while the Redmen beat the Ponies and the Reds in October.

That lapse in time has seen Calgary Coach Dan Vanhooren solidify a substitution pattern Dinos14which has the Dinos going 10-11-12 deep in every game, with more players taking on significant roles week after week. UC has a ‘starting 5’  of  point, David Kapinga, combo guard, Josh Owen-Thomas, swing-man, Thomas Cooper, forward, Lars Schleuter, and post man Matt Letkeman.
From there, it’s a steady flow off the bench for, combo guard, Johnny Verrone,  guard/forward Jasdeep Gill, rookie guard, Torrez McKoy, forward, Dallas Karch, and post men, Mitch Ligertwood, Matt Ellis, and Connor Foreman.
Key players –  The 4th year import transfer, Cooper, leaps up, with his Canada West best scoring – 25.8 ppg, to go with 7.5 rebounds, and several timely assists each game. Schleuter , the Canada West Rookie of the Year in 2015, is a 3 point sniper (44.2%) who scores 12.5 ppg, and has become a solid defender inside, and an aggressive rebounder.   Kapinga, who grew up in Calgary then moved to Kentucky for part go high school, ‘walked-on’ last Fall, and has been a prime factor in the Dinos run, with his quickness and strength.
Calgary can score in bunches , and will test the vaunted McGill defense.  Two League champs teeing off, and we expect a very close, hard-fought quarter-final.


 

 

5th year wing man, Aaron Best, is a driving force for the OUA champion, Rams.

5th year wing man, Aaron Best, is a driving force for the OUA champion, Rams.                         photo – Ryerson Athletics

8 pm (Pacific)  Quarter-final #4 –  Can the host T-Birds knock off #1 Rams?

UBC Thunderbirds (Host, 16-4 in Canada West regular season) – The T-Birds last held this Tournament in 1972, when they won the Championship under Coach Peter Mullins, at War Memorial Gym.  In the 4 team event, the ‘Birds beat Acadia 87-80 in the final.  More recently, they have appeared in 2013, 2011, and lost in the Final in both 2010 (Saskatchewan), and 2009 (Carleton).  (You could say Coach Kevin Hanson is hungry for a title, after having knocked loudly on the door!)  UBC will be tough at home, although this is a ‘new arena’ setting, and not their cozy old War Memorial.UBC T-Bird
Key Players –  Jordan Jensen-Whyte is a 4th year wing man, who has ‘bulked-up’ from his days at the point. Leads ‘Birds scorers at 15 ppg (3.1 assts) with his attack -the -hoop style.
6-8, Conor Morgan, is a potential game breaker, who can score from anywhere … 14.8 ppg, he leads the rebounding at 7.3 rpg.
6-4 point man, Phil Jalalpoor, has stepped in this season and is the leading 3 point shooter (42.1%), and very efficient in running the offense.
6-8 post man, David Wagner, is a potent inside scorer, averaging 12.5 ppg / 5.5 rebs
The Thunderbirds key will be to make it a ‘ground game’ vs the speedier Rams, and to control the boards, allowing their attack to dictate the pace.

#1 Ryerson Rams (OUA Champions) –  In winning the Ontario Wilson Cup for the 1st time in their history, the Rams beat an extremely deep field of competitors, including the 5 -time defending CIS champs, Carleton, in the final . With their gaudy 89.3 ppg scoring average (tops in the OUA), the Rams will happily engage UBC in an offensive fireworks display!  The Rams have won 16 of 17 games (Guelph ?!) since the holiday break, and have played a very tough schedule in doing that. Unknown
Coach Patrick Tatham, the Ontario Coach of the Year,  goes 10-11 deep, with 5 players averaging in double figures, and they limit opposition teams to a 37% FG average at the defensive end.
Aaron Best leads the Rams’ scoring at 17.8 ppg plus 7.4 rebounds, and is an OUA 1st team all-star
Anika Peter-McNeilly is a 6-3 guard, who scores 15 ppg / 5.5 rebs, and is also a 1st team OUA all-star.
Ammanuel Diressa – a tough, 6-4  competitor at the guard spot, he’s a 2nd team All-OUA … averaging 14.9 ppg, 5.3 rebs, 3 assists.
Kadeem Green , at 6-8, is a defensive stopper in the middle … 7 rebs and 2 blocks a game
Their confidence is way up there, and they are primed to go deep in this year’s Final 8 Tournament.


Overtime –

 

  • UBC Thunderbirds’ Head Coach, Kevin Hanson, on the impact of hosting the CIS Nationals at UBC,  “When you think about it, it’s absolutely amazing that the last time the event was held at UBC was over four decades ago,” said Hanson, whose team sat at No. 6 in the national rankings this week. “That is a phenomonal amount of time to pass when you are trying to build a brand for CIS basketball in this country.  So we have to share our love of basketball … and the Final 8 is a tournament that needs to be shared.”  Nice story from Howard Tsumura in The Province. 
  • Ryerson Rams star, Aaron Best, after they win the OUA championship for the 1st time in school history.  ”It’s big for the university, it’s big for all of us, it’s big for the alumni, the players who’ve played here, it’s a testament to all the work that everybody’s put in,” said Best standing on the court post-game with the OUA banner draped around him. “Just to see this come to Ryerson and to win it this way
    Ryerson Coach, Patrick Tatham

    Ryerson Coach, Patrick Tatham

    is a really good feeling.”  From the ‘Eh Game’ – Yahoo Sports 

  • J-u-u-u-s-t in case there’s any confusion as to the goals / expectations of the #1 ranked Ryerson Rams going into this week’s CIS Championship, here’s Coach Patrick Tatham’s take on it, “I think the guys want a different colour medal, something other than the bronze medal we got last year at CIS finals,” said the interim head coach “The guys are hungry and they’re definitely ready to go.”  From The Star, Toronto
  • Torrez McKoy , Dinos rookie point guard, on the experience of playing in Nationals early in his career, “Just getting the opportunity to play as a rookie is really special and I don’t take it for granted either,” said McKoy. “It’s awesome how we have a group of guys where everyone can come off the bench and contribute. We don’t just have six or seven guys deep; we usually have 10, 11 guys. It’s hard not to feel the pressure because it’s everyone’s first time. But after that first couple of minutes from the first game, it’ll be easy from there.”  From Rita Mingo, The Calgary Herald

Dinos Claim Canada West Crown

 

 

First half scoring out-burst gives Calgary control

Calgary Dinos' Jasdeep Gill raises the Canada West Championship trophy as his teammates look on.

Calgary Dinos’ Jasdeep Gill raises the Canada West Championship trophy  as his teammates look on during post -game celebrations on Saturday..

Calgary Dinos  91  Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack  84 –  In 2008, as were reminding ourselves recently, the Calgary Dinos lost both games as the host of that year’s Final 4, and did not qualify for the CIS Nationals.  It was a crusher, but, that was then, and this young, deep, and determined Dinos crew of 2015-16  didn’t carry that baggage into this weekend’s Canada West Championship Tournament.

 

Winning their 16th straight game and capturing their 6th Canada West crown was no simple task, however; once again spotting their worthy opponents, the TRU Wolf Pack, an early 10 point lead, Calgary played from behind.
But, as they had done last night, that turnaround was fairly quick, and UC led by a 25-21 count after 1st quarter. By that time, Coach Dan Vanhooren had employed 11 players, and he kept coming with fresh troops for much of the 30 minutes to follow. The ‘Pack, who Dinos14were the 16-4 Explorer Division winners, closed the gap later in the game, and took it to the home team with 48% field goal shooting, including 10/16  (63%) from 3 points range.
Thomas Cooper wove some magic in the 2nd quarter to help put Calgary up 53-40 at the break, with a series of nifty mid-range jumpers, and some angled kisses off the glass in traffic; the CW Player of the Year totals 24 for the game and has 4 rebounds/ 5 assists/ 2 steals.  Lars Schleuter did a lot of the heavy defensive work on Wolfram, and still shot it well, with 14 points including 4/7 from 3 point range, plus 6 rebounds. Mitch Ligertwood scored 12 points / 6 boards off the bench, and both Jasdeep Gill (3 steals) and Josh Owen-Thomas counted 11 points apiece.  David Kapinga was clutch for Calgary once more with his 9 points/ 7 assists/ 5 rebs/ 3 steals.
Gerard Gore, a solid 6-6 forward worked his way into the interior of the Calgary defense for many of his 22 points for the Orange, and he claimed 10 rebounds. Volodymyr Iegorov hit for 17 points , with 3/5 from outside, and Reese Pribilsky was 4/5 on his long bombs to score 14 plus 6 rebounds. Josh Wolfram was somewhat held in check by some good Dinos defending, as the 6-11, 5th year all-star counted 15 points and had 8 rebounds.
Calgary forced 17 TRU turnovers to 13 of their own, and they shot 13/15 from the line, with 9/9 by Cooper.
This is the 3rd Canada West win for UC under Coach Vanhooren, and, in a post game interview, Cooper credited the coach for ” …  having the confidence in me and my team.  This win means everything.  This is what we worked for, and we all played our part to get this done.”    Box Score

 


In the ‘3rd place game …

UBC Thunderbirds  101  Manitoba Bisons 72 –  The air was out of the Bisons’ tires as soon as they tipped this one off … 30-10 after 1 quarter.  UBC shoots 50% for the game vs 32% for the Herd.  It was a tough game to get the motivation meter beyond 3/10 for Manitoba, and UBC knew they were prepping for a big CIS Final 8 back home next week.
Conor Morgan scored 28 for the ‘Birds on a red-hot 7/8 from beyond the arc, while rookie guard, Taylor Browne kicked in 15, with 4/5 deep balls. 16/29 as a team from 3 point range will usually put you in good shape !
Keith Omoerah hit 13 points for Manitoba, and both A.J. Bas and Joseph Medrano tallied 12.  Box Score


More CIS Play-off action, Saturday –
Quebec Final – McGill Redmen 78  UQAM Citadins  67
Ontario , Wilson Cup Final – Ryerson Rams  73 Carleton Ravens  68   … and in the 3rd place game there, it was the Ottawa Gee-Gees  90  Windsor  Lancers 77.


 

Overtime –

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  •  So we have our field of 8 teams for the CIS Nationals in Vancouver, March 17-20.  It’s Calgary, Thompson Rivers, and UBC from Canada West … Ryerson, Carleton, and Ottawa representing Ontario … the Quebec champs, McGill, plus the Atlantic Tournament winners, Dalhousie.
  • The CIS selection / seeding committee will make the wildcard selection (Ottawa) official on Sunday, and they will seed the field within a few prescribed guidelines –
    • Conference champions (Calgary, Ryerson, McGill, Dalhousie) must be seeded in the top 6 spots.
    • Trying not to match-up teams from the same conference on the 1st round.
    • The team’s record against all other teams in the championship.
    • Strength of schedule.
    • Playoff performance.
  • How about this, considering all those factors?
    •  1.  Ryerson  vs  8.  UBC
    • 2.  Carleton  vs  7. Thompson Rivers
    • 3.  Calgary  vs  6. Dalhousie
    • 4.  McGill  vs  5. Ottawa

TRU and Calgary to Meet in CW Final

 

Dinos blow by Bisons in a decisive win in semi-final #2

Johnny Verrone plays a key defensive role as UC beats Manitoba in the CW semi-final.

Johnny Verrone plays a key defensive role as UC beats Manitoba in the CW semi-final.

Calgary Dinos  100  Manitoba Bisons  74 – For a slow starting team over the course of the last several games, the Dinos have managed to pull together for key wins on each opportunity.  Friday’s CW semi-final was easily the biggest of those to date, as the confident Manitoba Bisons came to town talking of a slot in Nationals and time for a Canada West title.  But David Kapinga refused to bend to the pressure, with his blend of tenacious darting defense and speedy drives to the glass at the other end. Ditto Thomas Cooper, whose scoring seems like an inevitable diet of delicate in-the – lane jumpers, sprinkled with a few treys for good measure.

27 points / 8 rebounds for Cooper, and 23 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists for Kapinga, as Calgary came from down 14-4 after 4 minutes to up 25-20 at the end of the 1st quarter. Everyone played and hit the score-sheet for UC, with Jasdeep Gill adding a change of pace early on to shift the momentum; both Gill and Johnny Verrone finished with 11 points apiece.

Manitoba came out with A.J. Basi making some tough shots, and Justus Alleyn and Brett Jewell getting to the rim early on.  But the defense let the Herd down, as Calgary scored often in transition, and had established a 9 point lead at the half. The Dinos forced 22 Bisons turnovers, and hit 8 treys to 5 for Manitoba. Basi led UM with 17, Jewell with 12, but Manitoba shot just 37% from the floor to Calgary’s 50%, and the flood-gates opened.

The Dinos advance to the Canada West Final at 8 pm Saturday vs Thompson Rivers in a battle of the two divisional winners; they will both be joining the hosts, UBC, at the Nationals next week in Vancouver.  Manitoba will play the T-Birds Saturday in the 6 pm game for third place, with no other significance than seeding for UBC in the Final 8.      Box Score

 

The Orange prevail in the battle of B.C.

Reese Pribilsky guided his TRU Wolf Pack to the Canada West Final and a spot at Nationals.

Reese Pribilsky guided his TRU Wolf Pack to the Canada West Final and a spot at Nationals with a win over UBC on Friday in Calgary.

Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack  72   UBC Thunderbirds  69 –  In this  semifinal # 1, it was the ‘new guys on the  block’, the Wolf Pack, surprising the UBC T-Birds , with a slick passing offense and some very sharp-shooting in a masterful 2nd half. As advertised, the ‘Pack had superior point – guard play from 5th year Reese Pribilsky, who hit the shots and TRU Wolf Pack copymade the decisive passes as TRU pulled by UBC with a 23-17 3rd quarter, then kept coming in a tense final frame. Neither team established an inside game, with some solid interior defense forcing deeper tries. Josh Wolfram led the ‘Pack with his soft touch producing 23 points and he grabbed 14 rebounds for the stellar double-double.  Pribilsky  scored 17 including 3/5 from long range, and he had 4 assists/ 2 steals.
The Thunderbirds seemed to lose their offensive rhythm in the final 20 minutes, and often settled for the long ball, where they were only 6/26 (23%) for the game . Jordan Jensen – Whyte provided some highlights for the ‘Birds with his slashing moves at the hoop, as he tallied 19 points on 9/18 from the floor plus 5 boards. David Wagner scored 15 / 9 rebounds, and Conor Morgan had 14 and 6 boards. But when the chips were down, the Wolf Pack got the clutch scores from Wolfram and Volodymyr Iegorov, while UBC were frustrated by a zone defense from TRU.

Thompson Rivers grabs a spot in the CIS Nationals with the win, and have a shot at their 1st – ever Canada West title on Saturday. UBC, of course, are the hosts of next week’s Nationals, and have their spot in the tournament.  Box Score


 In Eastern Canada … more CIS Play-off action –
Quebec Semi-Finals in Montreal –  UQAM Citadins 70  Concordia Stingers 63 ,  McGill Redmen 76 Laval Rouge et Or 69
Ontario , Wilson Cup Semis, at Ryerson U. in Toronto –  Carleton Ravens 82  Ottawa Gee-Gees 74 ,  Ryerson Rams  96  Windsor Lancers 77


 

Overtime –

  • Calgary Coach Dan Vanhooren after the Friday win over Manitoba, “Our team Dinos14has worked very hard for this (spot at Nationals); guys have bought- in to the roles they are playing and everyone is contributing. Our game is dependent on our defense, and we are generating points from that with efforts like we got tonight from Johnny Verrone, David Kapinga, and Mitch Ligertwood.”
  • One remarkable detail from this year’s OUA Wilson Cup Final 4 is that 3 of the 4 teams have an interim head coach.  Carleton, of course, has the legendary Dave Smart taking a year away and Rob Smart, an Assistant since 2005, taking his place.   Ryerson’s Roy Rana is also on a year’s leave, and his replacement, Patrick Tatham, was named OUA Coach of the Year earlier this week . Former Lancers star point man, Ryan Steer, is the interim head man for Windsor, as he fills in for Chris Oliver.
  • Speaking of coaches on the move, Matt Skinn has resigned as the coach at
    Matt Skinn, rejoining family in Western Canada.

    Matt Skinn, rejoining family in Western Canada.

    Cape Breton; the head man with the Capers for 4 seasons, Matt also was Head Coach of the St. FX Women’s team for 4 seasons, and prior to that was an Assistant with the Calgary Dinos under Dan Vanhooren. Skinn decided to make a move back to Calgary to rejoin his fiancé , Karmen Brown, who has started a career with the Calgary Police Service. Calgary is Karmen’s home town, and Matt has his brother, mother, stepfather and grandparents living in British Columbia. “That’s just where I knew I had to be”, said Skinn.  More details in this article in the Cape Breton Post.

  • Thomas Cooper, UC Dinos 4th year Canada West All-star and the CW Player of the Year, on his drive to excel,  “I set the bar high for myself. I want to win everything, team, individual, everything.  I’d rather have the team goals over the individual ones any day. At the end of the day, I want the Canada West championship and hopefully the national championship.”  From story by Rita Mingo in the Calgary Herald.
  • On a stormy Thursday West of the Rockies, a travel crisis faced the two B.C. Unknownschools playing in this weekend’s Canada West Final 4 .  The Thompson Rivers ‘Pack were forced to ‘grab a bus’ after a vicious storm shut down flights out of the Kamloops airport, and the UBC T-Birds waited (presumably somewhat nervously) until this morning, and boarded an early flight to Calgary.  Not the best for prep, but the forces of nature are fickle, and will mess with our plans on occasion !  (At least they’re playing against each other.)

 

Final 4 is a Big Step for Every Team

 

Nothing taken for granted as teams prepare for the Canada West Final 4

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 2.17.20 PM

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 2.31.04 PM

The draw for the March 11-12, Canada West Final 4, at the University of Calgary, reflects the history of this 17 school League in each of the semi-finals.  We have the UBC Thunderbirds, a charter member of the original 6-team League (UBC, Victoria, Alberta, Calgary, Lethbridge, Saskatchewan) , facing the Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack, who joined in the 2005-06 season, the former Cariboo College.  The 2nd semi features the host team, Calgary Dinos, against the Manitoba Bisons, who, along with  Brandon,  Regina , and Winnipeg, joined in the 2001-02 season after playing in the  4 team Great Plains Athletic Conference prior to then.

The 4 coaches are all experienced at different levels, with both Calgary’s Dan Vanhooren and UBC’s Kevin Hanson having guided the Dinos and T-Birds for 16 seasons.  Scott Clark of TRU began at Simon Fraser, where he coached for 15 years, then moved to the Wolf Pack in  2010.  Kirby Schepp, the head man for the Herd since the 2009-10 season, was a successful high school coach and provincial team coach prior to moving to UM.

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 2.54.12 PM

UBC has won 2 National titles (1970, 1972), and they are 10-time Canada West champions, while Calgary have 5 League titles, but are are still chasing their first CIS crown.  Manitoba win the ‘CIAU’ Nationals in 1976, but have never won a Canada West championship.  This is the first time in the Final 4 for both the Bisons and the Wolf Pack.  We remind ourselves, however, that the players on these 4 teams in this particular season, are focused on their team and teammates, and not carrying the ‘weight of history’. It will be special for any one of the teams to win next weekend, and to qualify for the March 17-20, CIS Final 8 National Championship at UBC.  This anticipation and excitement is reflected in post game comments from several players –

Thompson Rivers’ 5th year, all-star forward , Josh Wolfram may have expressed it best –   “This is an incredible feeling,” Wolfram explained afterwards (following game 3 of last weekend’s Q-finals vs Regina). “When you look at where we were three years ago. This is a dream come true—to win a playoff series on our home court and head to the CanWest final four.  I can’t even describe the feeling.”  From Larry Read, TRU Athletics

Calgary’s David Kapinga and Josh Owen-Thomas , “This is huge,” admitted Kapinga. “At halftime (Saturday) we talked about the games we had previously, where we were down but then we picked it up. It’s really good to have a game like this … nothing is going our way. We’ve done it before, so let’s do it again. So confidence-wise it really helped us.”  “ … we know if we don’t have a strong quarter, we can come back from those deficits,” added Owen-Thomas. “Alberta’s a tough team. We’ve gathered a bit of momentum; we just have to keep it going in the Final Four.”  From Rita Mingo, Calgary Herald


 

Overtime –

  • And, in this corner !  OUA Semis match heavyweights … The Ottawa
    Can champs repeat ?

    Can Carleton do it yet again?

    Gee-Gees and Carleton Ravens , last year’s OUA and CIS finalists, will meet Friday in one OUA semi-final at the Mattamy Centre of Ryerson U. in Toronto.
    The other semi has the host, Ryerson Rams vs the underdog, Windsor Lancers.
    The 2 OUA Saturday  finalists and a 3rd team (not necessarily the winner of the bronze medal game)  will be the OUA reps at CIS Nationals.

 

  • McGill hosts RSEQ Tournament –
    Semi-finals on Friday – Laval vs McGill ,  UQAM  vs Concordia
    Final on Saturday –  Winner to the CIS Nationals
  • Atlantic Championship Tournament –  On Sunday in Halifax, in the Championship game for the AUS, it was a thriller, with the Dalhousie Tigers nipping the PEI Panthers in the final minute …   Dalhousie 87  UPEI  85  
  •  The U of C is also hosting the Calgary High School Boys  City Finals on Friday and Saturday at the Jack Simpson Gym.  The Junior Finals are Friday – Div. 3 at 11 am, Div. 2 at 1 pm, and Div. 1 at 3 pm. The Senior Boys trio of Divisional Finals go at the same times on Saturday.

Dinos Sweep Bears, Wolves Win Game 3

 

Calgary shakes off rough start and beat the Bears in the 2nd Half

David Kapinga was the catalyst for a big 2nd half comeback, as the Dinos eliminate Alberta.

David Kapinga was the catalyst for a big 2nd half comeback, as the Dinos eliminate Alberta.   photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

at Calgary 87   Alberta  77 –  The Dinos’ David Kapinga put the fire back into his game and that of his teammates, as he was the chief architect of the withering pressure defense, which turned the game from the Bears’ by 13 at half-time to a Calgary lead, 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter.  Steals, tips, recoveries, stops, and defensive rebounds were the recipe for a 2nd half Calgary surge, and entree to the Canada West Final 4.
The Bears were the more aggressive team early on, with forwards Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke riding rough-shod over their defenders.   “We were really flat in the 1st half, and they came out strong”, acknowledged Vanhooren. “But we get some real defensive spark from David, Matt (Letkeman), and all the guys to start the 3rd, and we just kept coming.”
Post men, Letkeman and Mitch Ligertwood, fought the battle well in the final 20, and made life much tougher for the Bears big men. It was the 3/4 court press, however,  which rattled the U of A guards, and changed the momentum in the Dinos favour.
5 Dinos in double figures, as Thomas Cooper had 24 on 11/12 from the line, despite a difficult shooting night from the floor. The lightening-quick Kapinga filled the stat sheet with 15 points/ 4 rebs/ 5 assists/ and 3+ steals. Three other starters, Lars Schleuter, Josh Owen-Thomas, and Letkeman each tallied 12 points. Calgary forced 19 Alberta turnovers, and hit 26/35 free throws vs 19/23 for the GBs. Both the powerful rookie, Clarke, and the slick 3rd year wing man, Gueye, finished the game with 20 points for Alberta, with Mamadou grabbing 10 boards, and Clarke getting 8.
By winning this series, Calgary, who won the Pioneer Division, earned the right to host next weekend’s Canada West Final 4.    Box Score

 

 

Wolf Pack power too much for a short-handed Cougars crew

Reese Pribilsky scores 27, and his Wolf Pack are headed to Calgary for the Canada West Final 4.

Reese Pribilsky scores 27, and his Wolf Pack are headed to Calgary for the Canada West Final 4.   photo- TRU Athletics

 at Thompson Rivers  86   Regina  73   –  The Cougars show great determination to  somehow get the game to within 1 point, with just 5 minutes left, after trailing by a 45-33 count at the break. Regina may just have not had quite enough legs left in this 6th game in 9 days. The visitors shoot just 29% from the floor, and TRU is 42%, as they get a masterful effort from their 5th year leader, Reese Pribilsky at the point.

Pribilsky’s  27 points on 8/16 and 4/7 from 3 open things up for the powerful ‘Pack forward corps, and Voldoymyr Iegorov (21 points/ 14 rebounds) plus Josh Wolfram’s 15 points and 15 boards punish the visitors. Gerard Gore (15 points/ 7 rebs) chips in to the potent Orange attack, as they go into the Canada West Final 4 with this clutch 3rd game win.
Regina had a tough fight to get to this point, and they showed great resiliency to force a 3rd game against Thompson Rivers. Jonathan Tull bounced back on Saturday with 17 points/ 7 rebounds, while  brother Brandon scored 14 and 7 boards of his own. Brian Ofori worked extremely hard all weekend, and chalked up 9 points and 12 rebounds for U of R , doing what he could to give his team a chance.     Box Score


 Other CIS Scores –
Atlantic Championship Tournament –  Semi-Finals
Dalhousie 75    St. Mary’s  74,   UPEI  87 Acadia 66

 Ontario Quarter-Finals –  Windsor 79   #5  McMaster 78 , Ryerson 93  Lakehead 71, Ottawa 73 Queen’s 72,  Carleton 90 Brock 52


 

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