Opening round in Winnipeg gives us …
The Manitoba Bisons will move onto the semi-final round against the tournament host and fierce intra-city rivals, the Winnipeg Wesmen. The draw-master hoped desperately for this match-up, and the Duckworth Centre should be full for this game on Thursday at 6 pm CST.
Victoria 90 Brandon 66 – In the opening game of this year’s Classic it’s 48-29 at the half , and Vic looks clearly the better team on the day. As he has for the whole season, Grant Sitton , ‘The Splendid Splinter’, leads the Vikes scoring with 21, and he adds 9 boards. Wayne Tucker Jr has 12 pts/ 4 asst. Earl Thompson Jr of the Bobcats earns a double of 14 points/ 11 boards , but 27 BU turnovers and 36% FG shooting slams their chances. UVic will meet Alberta in the 2nd semi on Thursday, while Brandon will play Lakehead on the consolation half. Box Score
Alberta 79 Lakehead 77 – An Austin Waddoups running trey at the buzzer treats the Bears to a 44-32 spread at the break. The Alberta zone confounds the Lakehead attackers for much of the 2nd quarter, with very little inside scoring. Not so in the 3rd quarter, however. as the Thunderwolves come alive, and hit 7 treys and score 17/19 from the FT line to take a brief lead . The Bears’ Mamadou Gueye splashes a last second 3 point shot to snatch the win for U of A, who looked rattled by the ‘Wolves rally. Brody Clarke scores 22 for Alberta and Austin Waddoups adds 17. Lakehead get 16 from Henry Tan. Box Score
Winnipeg 79 Algoma 65 – Trailing by 10 after 3/4s, the host team in this Wesmen Classic hit the ‘go switch’ for the final 10 minutes and poured in 34 points to zip past the T’Birds. 3rd year CW All-star, Denzel Lynch-Blair, led with 22 points and rookie Narcisse Ambanza posted 16 for the Ws. Both William Sesay and Ryan Oirbans hauled down 12 rebounds apiece for UW. Algoma got 15 points from Sean Clendenning, but their 35% shooting including just 6/31 from outside made it impossible to hold a lead. One oddity with this game ? No one got fouled … well, hardly anyone, as the 2 teams combined for only 11 attempts from the line. Non-aggression pact ? Box Score
Manitoba 100 Regina 79 – The Bisons, the defending Classic champs, rumbled over the Cougars with a 50-35 lead at the break, then a 32 point barrage in the 3rd frame. 56% shooting by the Herd eclipsed the cool 35% for Regina. Joey Nitychoruk led Manitoba with 21 points/ 7 rebs, going a perfect 10 of 10 from the floor, while Justus Alleyn added 15 points for the UM who had 5 players in double figures. Samuel Hillis led Regina with 19 points. Box Score
Great Falls 88 Calgary 85 – A spirited comeback by Calgary, spurred on by the 15 second half points from David Kapinga, and 7 team treys in the final 20 minutes. The Dinos are out-shot in the 1st half, with the Argos hitting 8 treys vs 3 for the visitors, who trailed 48-41 at the half. Thomas Cooper scores 22 for the Dinos, with 15 from Kapinga. Isaac Howard of UGF is 7/11 from 3 point range for 21 points. Box Score Next up for the Dinos is a drive to Billings and games Thursday vs Rocky Mountain College, and Friday vs a very strong Montana-Western team.
Lethbridge 80 Montana St.- Northern 65 – The ‘Horns look very sharp in handing the Northern Lights their 1st losss of the season. Zac Overwater racks up 25 for UL, while import guard, Elliott Sentance, adds 17. In a key mid-season addition, “Junior” Sesay, a 6-3 guard from Winnipeg, who previously played 1 season for Victoria, dressed for the Pronghorns tonight. Also seeing his first game was Mark Rodehutskors, a 6-6 red-shirt from Chestermere, who will be counted on in future campaigns. (Red shirts can dress for limited non-League games without losing eligibility). This report courtesy of David Wells in Lethbridge. No Box Score available.
No score for the UBC game vs the ‘Orange Owls’ of Future College , CA played at Phoenix. UBC has games slated with Phoenix JC on Thursday, and Cochise JC on Friday.
The Mt. Royal game vs Dalhousie in round 1 of the Shoveller Memorial in Halifax is on AUS-TV at 8 pm Atlantic time (5 pm Mountain)
We have no TV info for the UNBC game vs UQAM in Montreal.
- The lack of play- by- play on the early games via Canada West TV from the Wesmen Classic shouldn’t throw us off too much. But we can only think how much more engaging this would be with ex-coach, now Athletic Director at UW, Dave Crook on the mic! Really, there must be a budding young sports broadcaster somewhere in Winnipeg who’s itching for some ‘on-the-job-training’!
- From Dave Crook’s Classic memories – “The 50th is a wonderful thing for the Classic. Hardly any events reach their 50th year these days, for this tournament to reach 50 is amazing!” Crook also admits that as a young kid he was a Bisons’ fan, but has now ‘seen the right path’ !
- Former shooting star for the Wesmen, Ken Opalko, reminds us that back in the ‘80s this tournament was known as the ‘Golden Boy Classic’ . How many of you from outside of Manitoba know why ‘Golden Boy’ ? (Other than former Dinos big man, Ian Ferguson, of course !)
- We phone Wesmen Coach, Mike Raimbault, to wish him and his team good luck at the Classic, and who intercepts the call? Living legend, former Vikes coach, Ken Shields, who must have cadged a seat in First Class with UVic from the coast. Ken has been a mentor and friend of Coach Raimbault since Mike’s tenure with the Timberwolves of UNBC when they won the CCAA championship.
- 50th Wesmen notes … Do the Brandon Bobcats know the #1 East to Winnipeg ? Sidney, Bagot, Portage, Dacotah. In their sleep ! … There’s a suspicion that the Bisons are confident of passing the Wesmen in CW League play. But who goes to the 50th Final ?