Bears Hold on for 7th Win



 Waddoups on fire for GBs in tight finish at Manitoba

Austin Waddoups' big game leads U of A over the Bisons.

Austin Waddoups’ big game leads U of A over the Bisons.

#10 Alberta 88  at Manitoba  85 –  The Bears (7-0) remain unbeaten with a road win, as they dodge multiple Manitoba attempts to tie it up in the final 30 seconds. Alberta are 53% from the floor and the Herd are right there at 52%.  The visitors, however, cash 10 treys on 18 tries to just 5/18 for the Bisons, and that proves decisive.  This is a tough blow for Manitoba, who drop to 2-5 despite having 5 players in double figures.  The UM defense had no answer for Alberta’s Austin Waddoups , who led all scorers with 31 points, including 6/9 from the outside.     Bears – Waddoups 31 pts/ 3 assists, Brody Clarke 18 pts/ 7 rebs   Bisons  Keith Omoerah 18 pts/ 10 rebs, Justus Alleyn 17 pts/ 6 rebs, James Wagner 16 pts/ 5 boards.   Box Score  

Winnipeg 87  at Brandon 81  –  Winnipeg (6-2) roars back from a 10 point deficit after 3/4s, with a 27-11 final 10 minutes.  The Bobcats were looking good on the home court, and shot 46% from the floor, led by strong games from both Tyvon Cooper and John Paul.  The Ws took advantage of 25 free throws (making 18) to just 7/14  for Brandon, and the ‘Cats turned it over 18 times to only 12 for UW.   Wesmen-  Denzel Lynch- Blair  29 pts/ 10 rebs, William Sesay 21 pts/ 9 rebs   Bobcats – Tyvon Cooper 20 pts/ 5 rebs/ 5 asst, John Paul  20 pts/ 13 boards.  Box Score   

Tyler Wise is strong inside for the Griffs at MRU.

Tyler Wise is strong inside for the Griffs at MRU.    photo – MacEwan Athletics

  MacEwan  93  at Mt. Royal  75 –  Just 24 hours, but there’s a 42 point swing in favour of the visitors from Thursday’s MRU win.  Mac (3-5) looked like the team with more zip, as their whole line-up worked hard for this road victory.  Denzel James, Thadius Galvez, and Tyler Wise led the charge in a 55 point 2nd half for the Griffs. MRU cooled off tonight, shooting 42% FG, and were out-rebounded 49-36 by a more aggressive MacEwan squad.    Griffins- Tyler Wise 27 pts/ 11 rebs, Denzel James 26 pts/ 5 rebs/ 6 asst, Thadius Galvez 16 pts/ 5 rebs  Cougars – Josh Ross 26 pts/ 8 rebs, Brett Layton 12 pts/10 boards.   Box Score  


Regina 107  at Trinity Western 74  – It was 54-24 at the half. Turn out the lights at the Langley Events Centre … game!  TWU did come back in the 2nd half with 50 points, but they also surrendered another 53 to the insatiable Cougars. 51% FG shooting including 15/33  from outside for the visitors. Regina, who had 7 players in double figures,  moves up to 3-2, while Trinity drops to 2-5 on the season.   Cougars  – Johneil Johnson  16 pts, Alex Igual 15 pts, Ramiro Martinez  14 pts  Spartans – Vartan Tanielien 23 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 asst, Patrick Vandervelden 17 pts/ 8 rebs      Box Score 

at Thompson Rivers 78   UBC-O 75 –  Playing at home, the ‘Pack are behind to their Okanagan rivals by as much as 12 points early in the final frame. Behind the timely scoring of Derek Rhodes and Michael Rouault, TRU (2-5) nips the Heat (1-6) at the wire, however.      Wolf Pack –  Derek Rhodes 25 pts/ 4 asst, Volodymyr Iegorov 20 pts/ 9 rebs/ 6 asst   Heat –  Aldrich Berrios 227 pts/ 9 rebs, Buzz Truss 16 pts.  Box Score  



UNBC 66 at Fraser Valley  63 –   Trailing by 8 at the half, the T’Wolves (3-4) play a sharp 3rd quarter to snatch a 3 point lead then fight back in the last 2 minutes after UFV (2-3) takes a slim lead.  In a break-out game, transfer guard  James Agyeman (Laurier) is the game high scorer from his point spot for the Wolves. UNBC shoots only 31% from the floor, but hit more FTs and more 3 pt shots to take the W.    Timberwolves  – James Agyeman 22 pts/ 7 rebs/ 4 asst, Vaggelis Loukas 7 pts/ 8 rebs  Cascades    Vijay Dhillon 13 pts  Box Score 

#2 UBC 82   at Victoria  69 –   The T’Birds move on to 5-0 with a win in Victoria, as they establish their 13 point margin after 3/4s and hold steady from there. UBC wins with a rebounding (37-30) and a turnover (7-13) advantage over the Vikes.  UVic (2-5) shot the same 49% as the Thunderbirds, but could not make any headway on the scoreboard.  Thunderbirds – Conor Morgan 23 pts/ 6 rebs, Jordan Jensen-Whyte 20 pts/ 5 rebs  Vikes –   Wayne Tucker Jr. 21 pts/ 4 rebs, Grant Sitton 16 pts/ 111 rebs/ 3 blks   Box Score 


Friday scores from the East –

Quebec … Laval 80  at UQAM  71

Ontario … #1 Carleton 79  at Nipissing 59 , #4 Ottawa 74 at Laurentian 59 , #8 Ryerson 111 at  Algoma 61 , Queens 76 at  Lakehead 75



Overtime –


  •   Saskatchewan’s 3rd year wing man, Jaylan Morgan (Brampton, ON), on his experience in his 1st season with the Huskies. – “I believe everything happens for a reason. I’ve been put in this position for a reason and i’m going to take full advantage of it and help this team win as many games as possible,” Morgan said.  From a Global News story by Ryan Flaherty. 
  • Before Friday’s game in Victoria, the Vikes had won 8 of the past 11 meetings between these long-time rivals. Before their Friday game in Winnipeg, the Bears had a 9-5 record over the Bisons since 2010.
  • We are amazed and impressed by the timely ‘return to duty’ by both Lethbridge coach, Mike Hansen, after having had hip surgery only just about a month ago, and of MRU coach, Marc Dobell, who is back on the bench following a summer ‘heart episode’.  We know their teams appreciate their coaches’ presence, and their passion for the game.  We wish you both the best as you manage your recovery.
  • Marquee rebounding combos …  Both twosomes average 20+ rebounds/ game Saskatchewan’s Shane Osayande (12.3) and Matt Forbes (8.8) … Mt. Royal’s Josh Ross (10.6) and Brett Layton (9.4) .
  • We’re impressed with the play of UC transfer, Adonis Monfort-Palomino, for the MacEwan Griffins.  He brings solid defense, energy, and a dependable lead guard presence at his new school.

Regional Rivalries for Week 5



Traditional rivals make for heated skirmishes !

Years past - Henry and Ross Bekkering share a big win over Lethbridge.

Years past – Henry and Ross Bekkering share a big win over Lethbridge.

‘Familiarity breeds contempt’ … that’s the cynical way of looking at things, but, when you get right down to it, who do you most enjoy beating?  Yes, of course, your natural rival.  We do remember that time in Lethbridge, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg !  That’s what makes a weekend like this just that little bit more compelling, and excruciatingly intense.  These games are for bragging rights, playoff spots, recruiting traction … you name it.  Revenge.  You realize their fans used to steal stuff out of our medical kit, throw foreign objects into our bench !!  Or how about over-heating our locker-room?  Or putting us in a meeting room about a half-mile from the gym ?!  Did we mention the referees  …  we better not get started there.  This is no regular game ….This week we have –

Thursday  games –                * Local times

Dejon Burdeaux is a driving force for the Pronghorns.

Dejon Burdeaux is a driving force for the Pronghorns.  photo – U of L

Calgary (3-1) at Lethbridge (4-2)  (hostility)  8 pm –  The fans in L.A. spare no emotion in their disdain for  the ‘Big City Boys’ from Calgary.  Even ‘Horns coach, Mike Hansen, who played at UL when Canada West was a 6 team loop, says he remembers how “Calgary eliminated us from the playoffs in my 5th year”.  Games won and lost are etched in the memory of players and fans from both programs.

The ‘Horns are a younger team, with far less depth, but, at 4-2, they have performed very well in most games this Fall.  Key stat – Lethbridge is 5-1 at home vs Calgary over the past 6 League meetings. Calgary coach, Dan Vanhooren, in his 17th season at UC, played at Alberta and has seen many intense battles between the Dinos and the Pronghorns. “We need to play hard, and we know they’ll be aiming to do the same. These are always big games when we go to Lethbridge, or they come here”, says Vanhooren.       Our call –  Will home court be as decisive a factor this time around?  This may be the Dinos’ year for a sweep.

Brandon (2-4) at Winnipeg (4-2)  (long memories) –  8 pm … Rivals dating back to the days of the Great Plains Conference, the Bobcats and Wesmen  have each had their years of domination.  The Ws prevailed in the 1970s, then Jerry Hemmings ‘Cats ruled the Plains in the 1980s and 1990s. (Brandon had a 60-8 record over Winnipeg in those years, and BU Coach Gil Cheung was team captain for 2 championship teams ).  Recently, it has been the Wesmen with the upper hand … UW Coach Mike Raimbault was the Brandon Coach back in 2007-08, and he went 20-2 in Canada West.  Key stat – Since taking over at Winnipeg in 2010, his teams are 16-2 vs Brandon.         Our Call – The Wesmen are clear favourites, with an improved offensive attack, a strong team defense (4th in CW at 73 ppg against).  The Bobcats have a defense that has limited opponents to a 37.8% average from the floor, but they need more at the offensive end to match UW.


Mt. Royal guard, Derek Wolf

MacEwan (2-4)  at Mt. Royal   (3-1) (‘all- Explorer  rivals’) –       8 pm … Here are 2 former college teams, who got to play each other 4 times a year as they competed in the 6 team Explorer Division of Canada West the last 2 seasons.  The Griffins are  “… solid at the perimeter”, says MRU coach Marc Dobell. “Thadius Galvez (19.5 ppg), Denzel James  and Adonis (Monfort-Palomino) are playing well,  and we have to defend well to contain them.”

The Cougars have veteran, Derek Wolf, and 3rd year Glen Yang, both 3 point threats. MRU’s big plus will be the forward duo of Josh Ross (18.5 ppg/ 10.8 rebs) and Brett Layton (17 ppg/11 boards).                Our call –  Home court is an edge for Mt. Royal.  The Griffs will struggle to contain the Cougar big men.

Friday  games –  

Bisons' Keith Omoerah drives against Alberta. Photo by Jeff Miller Bison Sports

Bisons’ Keith Omoerah drives against Alberta.            Photo by Jeff Miller Bison Sports

Alberta (6-0)  at Manitoba (2-4)  (Original 6)  –  8 pm ..  Manitoba Coach Kirby Schepp can be excused for feeling ‘battle fatigue’, with a tough early schedule – at Calgary, TRU, at UBC, Alberta, Winnipeg.  The Bears are “ … an Original 6 opponent,” says Schepp. “They are unbeaten, and we will need to be at our best at home this week.”  The Bisons have allowed 83 ppg, while Alberta just 64 ppg. (*We recognize the schedule at least partially dictates this stat), and that is ‘advantage Bears’.  Manitoba have great perimeter depth, while U of A boast the dangerous front-line of Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke.         Our Call – A split is very likely.  The Herd must protect home court, and Alberta are winning with defense.

UBC-O (1-5) at Thompson Rivers (1-5) ( Okanagan Family Feud) –  7  pm ..With both teams looking for a pair of wins to get them back closer to contention, this will be hard-fought.  TRU have faced 3 tough opponents in UBC, at Manitoba, and at Alberta, and they match-up better against UBC-O. The Wolf Pack’s Luke Morris and Volodymyr Iegorov  will get special attention from Okanagan’s David Manshrek and other forwards.      Our Call –  The ‘Pack to secure 2 wins on home turf.

UNBC (2-4)  at Fraser Valley  (2-2) ( ‘CCAA Battle’) – 8 pm ..  History lesson … These schools both won Canadian Colleges Nationals … UNBC in 2010, and UFV in 2004.  This is now, however, and the Cascades are at home with a strong back-court, led by seniors Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon. The Timberwolves counter with Aussie import Rhys Elliot, and 6-4, Marcus MacKay (Terrace, BC). Key stat –  The ‘Wolves are 0-6 in Abbotsford, since joining Canada West in 2012.                Our Call – This may be the year.  UFV the favourites, but not overwhelmingly.

Vikes Grant Sitton and 'Birds Will Ondrik

Vikes Grant Sitton and ‘Birds Will Ondrik

UBC (4-0)  at Victoria (2-4)  (Ferry Fracas – old enemies) – 8 pm .. “I can still hear the Vikes Macot (‘Mother Hubbard’) yelling in my ear when we played them back in the ‘80s”, says UBC Coach, and former T-Birds star, Kevin Hanson.  UBC’s  high scoring wing man, Conor Morgan grew up just a stone’s throw from the UVic campus, and UBC assistant coach, Spencer MacKay, was a 5-time Canada West all-star, and UVic’s all-time leading scorer. The Vikes have won 14 League titles, and UBC 10,  but the T-Birds have 4 since 2007, while UVic’s last is 2006.

This year’s version has UBC as a big favourite, with Morgan, Jordan Jensen-Whyte and  company near the top of all team scoring stats, while the Vikes are struggling there, and with an unusually porous defense.   Our Call –  UBC gets 2 wins.

 8 pm ..Regina (2-2) at Trinity Western (2-4)  7 pm ( The Huskies were busy ? )  The mercurial Green Cougars are one of the more baffling teams, but their veteran guards led by Alex Igual, Brandon Tull,  and Aaron McGowan will give the Spartans all that they can handle. Tyus Allen, import Pogos Trunyan , and leading scorer, Vartan Tanielien, will need help from their supporting cast if TWU is to win at home.               Our Call – Regina the favourites, but Trinity with a chance at a split.

Winnipeg at Brandon- 8 pm ,  MacEwan at Mt. Royal- 8 pm

Saturday  games-  Alberta at Manitoba – 6 pm,  Lethbridge at Calgary – 7 pm, UBC-O at Thompson Rivers – 8 pm,  UNBC at Fraser Valley – 7 pm,  Regina at Trinity Western – 8 pm

Sunday –   Victoria at UBC – 2 pm

CIS Top 10 This Week –         screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-3-13-47-pm


Overtime –

  • Anonymous coaches’ comments, re: The Schedule … ‘Tough to swallow when you see some of our competitors will play none of these top teams for entire year.’  And another, “Just looking at some of these ridiculous schedules.  XXXXX doesn’t have anybody tough at all.”     (There are big differences between schools)
  • Other CIS (soon to be U-Sports) games on Wednesday –  at #6 McMaster  Guelph, Laurier at Western Ont, at Windsor  Waterloo,  St. FX at Cape Breton
  • Results of games played to date between ‘Pioneer teams’  and ‘Explorer teams’ … 17 Pioneer wins  –  5  Explorer wins.



Peak Performances Open League Play



Teams off to a fast start in Week one – 


Sean Tarver, import guard, excited the Ws home fans with a 29 point game on Saturday’s win over UNBC.

Winnipeg Wesmen –  The Ws carry their perfect pre-season into the opening weekend of regular season play.  Winnipeg sweep UNBC at home, with two good wins, and some notable individual efforts from vets and newcomers.

Lethbridge Pronghorns –  Going in with some injury concerns, the ‘Horns use home court to get a 2-0 jump at the tip, with one strong and one tense win over the visiting Mac Griffins.

Alberta Golden Bears –  The Bears get the job done against the visiting Brandon Bobcats, behind the outstanding efforts of their star forwards.  2 wins give the re-tooled Bears some momentum to begin the regular campaign.

UBC Thunderbirds – The T’Birds storm out of the gate with a big win in game 1, then control game 2 in somewhat less convincing fashion.  UBC demonstrates their depth as vets and rookies share the highlights on the stats sheet.

The Calgary Dinos, Manitoba Bisons, Victoria Vikes, Regina Cougars, Fraser Valley Cascades, Saskatchewan Huskies, UBC-O Heat, and, yes, the Trinity Western Spartans  had some cause for celebration in the splits they got in their opening series.  There was, of course, also lot’s of room for improvement in examining the games they lost.  We caution ourselves to remember that this was only week 1.  We should also consider home vs away wins, and in ‘even-up ‘ series against strong teams, the visitor can consider a split as a plus.

The ‘Stars Come Out’ in week  one –

Shane Osayande of the Huskies is a major impact player in week 1.

Shane Osayande of the Huskies is a major impact player in week 1.           photo – Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Shane Osayande, Huskies –  The big forward is aces in both the game one loss and the Saturday win at UFV.  He totals 48 points and 31 huge rebounds in a pair of double-doubles.

Thomas Cooper, Dinos- Last year’s ‘MVP’ opens with a 39 point game, then shares the scoring in a game 2 win over Manitoba with 18.  His 13 rebounds and 5 steals are indicativee of his strong all-round game.

Justus Alleyn , Bisons – The big shooting guard is sharp in both games at Calgary, with 48 points total, as he shoots with increasing confidence.

Brody Clarke, Bears – His opening game 35 points / 14 rebounds get everyone’s attention.  The 2nd year forward is on his game , and will be a force for U of A.

Denzel Lynch-Blair, Wesmen – His weekend showed the value he brings to his 7-0 squad.  36 points/15 rebounds/11 assists/5 steals  have him in the centre of the action for UW.

Rhys Elliott, Timberwolves –  In Winnipeg, the Aussie import responds in game 2 on Saturday with a masterful 34 point/5 reb/ 4 steal performance.

Grant Sitton, Vikes – The smooth 6-8 5th year import will be the key trigger-man for UVic all season.  He starts with a total of 38 pts/13 rebs/4 steals in a road split at Regina.

Aldrich Berrios, Heat – The ‘straw that stirs the drink’ for the Heat, Berrios shows up every game.  He tallies 43 points/ 13 rebounds/ 11 assists in their split with TWU in Kelowna.

 We note the stellar performances as well of Jordan Jensen-Whyte, UBC (30 pts/19 rebs/12 asst) , Calgary’s David Kapinga with totals of 31 pts/9 rebs/11 assists ,  Mac’s Thadius Galvez with 38 pts/14 rebs/12 asst, and the Lethbridge pair of Dejon Burdeaux (36 pts/8 asst/ 11 steals)  and Elliot Sentance (46 pts/11 rebs/5 steals).


Overtime –

  •   Dylan Purcell, Lethbridge Herald writer, with a frank appraisal of the artistic merit of the ‘Horns-Griffin game on Saturday,  “Despite the thrilling finish  …  the game was an ugly, cloying mess of ups and downs that wanted to be loved for its endearing ending and heroic individual acting but that, ultimately, was undeserving of anything other than a tick in the win column.”   (Ouch !)  This and our next item from the Lethbridge Herald. 
  • In the grand tradition of post-game coaching commentary, U of L Head Coach, Mike Hansen exclaims,  “It’s hard to beat a good team twice in a row in Canada West, so I’ll take it any way I can get it.”  “It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take 13 more ugly wins if that’s what it takes,” said Hansen.  (As former Oakland Raiders owner, Al Davis, repeated often as a  team mantra … “Just win baby !”)
  • UBC-Okanagan guard, Mitch Goodwin has totalled 1037 points over his 4+ seasons for the Heat,  and is now the all-time school scoring leader.  He can pad his stats over the course of this, his graduating year in Kelowna. From UBC-O Athletics.
  • Yes, that was indeed, Calgary Dinos Women’s Coach Damian Jennings sporting the flashy, black-white shoes in game 1 vs the Manitoba Bisons.  The Dinos sweep, and Coach Jennings leads the fashion parade for opening weekend !



Pronghorns Welcome ‘Reinforcements’


Canada West 2016-17  Previews

Lethbridge Pronghorns

’15-’16 –  Lost at UBC in 1/4 Finals                  12 wins –   8 losses  (Pioneer Division)'hornd

Returnees –  5th Years –   Will Hickey, 6-0 guard, Golden, BC.  Lynden Nuumi, 5-8 guard, Lethbridge  …  4th years – Dejon Burdeaux, 6-0 guard, Oakland, CA.  … 3rd Years – Zac Overwater, 6-8 wing, Didsbury, AB. Josh Sparkes, 6-0 guard, Medicine Hat, AB. Mike Pierzchala, 6-4 wing, Lethbridge.

Newcomers –   DeAngelo Ashley, 6-7 fwd, 3rd year, Victorville, CA (Fresno City Coll.). Elliott Sentance, 6-4 fwd, 3rd,  Leicester, England (Mineral Area College, Missouri)) .  Cameron Fischer, 6-7 fwd, 2nd, Medicine Hat (Med. Hat College). Colton Gibb, 6-3 guard, 1st, Lethbridge (LCI) . Mark Rodehutskors, 6-5 fwd, 1st, Dalmead, AB (Chestermere HS). Daniel Lybbert, 6-1 guard, 1st,  Phoenix , AZ (Scottsdale Prep).  Brett Warren, 6-0 guard, 1st, St. John’s, NL (Ridley College, ON).

The Lethbridge Pronghorns have some special hurdles to jump as they aim for another playoff season under 4th year coach, Mike Hansen.  Firstly, they are temporarily without the amiable head man, whose name popped up on the list of people waiting for hip surgery.  He may be back in several weeks, but the recovery can be difficult.

Mike Pierzchala has the scoring touch the 'Horns will need.

Mike Pierzchala has the scoring touch the ‘Horns need.

The ‘Horns also reworked their roster, after graduating 2 top scorers, Brandon Brine, and Rob Olson, along with team leader, Jared Baker, and 3-4 others in the rotation from last year’s 12-8 squad.  Coach Hansen and his staff have landed some promising new ‘local’ talent, with returning Mormon missionary, Colton Gibb, a tough-minded, mature rookie from LCI, and  Scott Mazutinec, a 6-4 wing, who sat out most of his last season at Stirling (AB) HS with an injury.

Import forward DeAngelo Ashley followed Dejon Burdeaux from Fresno, California,  and this quick defender looks to start right away. Former British National U20 player, Elliott Sentance, averaged 11 ppg in 2 seasons for his powerful Junior College team in Missouri. Sentance is looking like a solid scoring threat in pre-season action.  18 year old, Michael D’Agostino, a 6-6 Australian import, announced in the summer, but looks to be red-shirting with the ‘Horns this season.  Another likely red-shirt is 17 year old Mark Rodehutskors from Chestermere, whose Dad played with UL, and brother, Jeff, is a rookie at Calgary.

If he can avoid the injury bug he suffered last year, team leader Burdeaux is a very effective slashing combo guard with all-star skills. Another with some nagging hurts, big Zac Overwater, may be set for a break-out season, with his strong Euro-style, all-round game.  Mike Pierzchala is already giving UL some of the scoring and rebounding they will have to replace, and 5th year guard Will Hickey will be counted on for valuable relief minutes. The steady Josh Sparkes could start as a combo guard.

It may take some time to integrate all the new additions to the playing roster, and Hansen’s absence during his recovery will slow this a bit, but there is confidence that Assistant, Alex Fletcher, has the ability to lead until the head man is back.

Schedule –  Nov-Dec – MacEwan, home/home Mt. Royal,  at Winnipeg, Calgary home/home , at Trinity Western   Jan-Feb – UNBC, Saskatchewan, at Victoria, UBC-O,  at Alberta

Prediction –  Some nice additions.  Should be in the playoff mix.


 CIS Action this week – 

Thursday, Oct 27 –   Thompson Rivers   Lakehead  (UBC Invitational)

Also –   Acadia  at Dalhousie

Friday, Oct 28 – at UBC –   Laurier   UBC ,  Lakehead   UNBC

Jordan Jensen-Whyte and the T 'Birds are at home for a weekend tournament

Jordan Jensen-Whyte and the T ‘Birds are at home for a weekend tournament

at Lethbridge (Primerica) –  Regina   Lethbridge  ,   Alberta    Carroll College , MT

at Victoria –    Victoria     Mt. Royal

at  Eastern Oregon     Trinity Western

at Ottawa –  (Jack Donohue Tourn.)  Ottawa     Bishops  ,  Toronto    Concordia ,  McGill   Waterloo

Also –  at Guelph   Laurentian

Sat., Oct 29 –  at  Lethbridge –   Alberta  Regina  ,  Lethbridge   Carroll College

at Vancouver –  UBC   Lakehead  ,  Laurier    UNBC

also –  Mt. Royal   at Victoria

Trinity Western   College of Idaho

in Ottawa –    McGill   Toronto  ,  Ottawa  Concordia ,  Bishops  Waterloo

also – at U. Vermont     UQAM  ,  Laurentian  at Western

Sun., Oct 30 –  at  Fraser Valley    W. Laurier

in Ottawa –  Toronto  Bishops  ,  McGill  Ottawa ,  Concordia   Waterloo

also –  UQAM   at Castleton, VT

Canada West Teams – Busy Weekend



Big Tournament weekend for Canada West teams

Aldrich Berrios and his UBC- Okanagan Heat host an all-Canada West Tournament this weekend in Kelowna.

Aldrich Berrios and his UBC- Okanagan Heat host an all-Canada West Tournament this weekend in Kelowna.

This is the big opening pre-season  weekend for several Canada West squads, and others continue with more non – League fixtures.  Coaches, of course, get to determine just how many game they will play prior to the November 4/5 start of League action.  We will get a better sense of the way things might shape up in Canada West after this week’s action.  There are now 3 weeks of non-League play left prior to the games that ‘really count’.

This weekend – 

Manitoba's all-star wing man, Keith Omoerah will be missed this weekend.

Manitoba’s all-star wing man, Keith Omoerah will be missed this weekend.

Starting Thursday  –  Manitoba Bisons are in Waterloo , ON for the Naismith Classic . The Herd play the 3-0 UQAM Citadins on Friday, and finish with the  host Waterloo Warriors on Saturday.  Thursday Scores – Humber College, ON  82  Manitoba 71 –  Missing the injured Keith Omoerah, the Bisons suffer 23 turnovers and a 2nd quarter 23-4 blitz from Humber.  UQAM 99 Waterloo 71

Also Thursday –  Guelph 60  Laurier 52


The Victoria Vikes are making another trip to Carleton’s House-Laughton Tournament, where they will face the vaunted Ravens (Fri), the Western Ontario Mustangs (Sat), and the Laval Rouge et Or (Sun).

The Alberta Golden Bears are also down East,  in the Queens Golden Gaels ‘Tindall Invitational’ – vs Ottawa Gee-Gees on Friday, host Queens on Sat., and the Memorial Seahawks (Nfld) on Sunday.

Jordan Jensen-Whyte and the T-Birds host Lethbridge in a pair of games.

Jordan Jensen-Whyte and the T-Birds host Lethbridge in a pair of games.

Friday- Sunday – Lethbridge Pronghorns, have 2 wins under their belts vs Alberta Colleges squads, Lethbridge CC, and Medicine Hat College (83-75). The ‘Horns are in Vancouver area this weekend for 2 games at UBC (Fri and Sunday)  and 1 at Fraser Valley on Saturday.  Assistant, Alex Fletcher, will be the bench boss for Lethbridge, as Head Coach Mike Hansen is having hip surgery, and may be out for at least a couple of weeks.


Also Friday to Sunday In Kelowna, the UBC-Okanagan Heat welcome the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies, MacEwan Griffins, and Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack.  This will be the first CIS action for both the Heat and the Huskies.

Trinity Western meets the traditionally strong BC Colleges power,  Vancouver Island  University,  in Langley on both Friday and Saturday.

Brandon is busy as well, as the Bobcats host Regina Cougars on Friday, then the ‘Cats travel to North Dakota to meet Valley City State for a pair of contests on Saturday and Sunday.


Overtime – 


  •  TRU Coach, Scott Clark (right) … “We need to play some games. It gives us a chance to evaluate things against two pretty good basketball teams. MacEwan made it to the playoffs and went three with Alberta. They have most of their players back. They are good.  Saskatchewan had a good season last year. They had some unfortunate injuries which set them back but they are back healthy. They are a quality team as well.  Getting a chance to play two good teams this early in the season is great for us.”  (From Larry Read, TRU Athletics)



Bears Roster Sees Turnover


2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

Alberta Golden Bears

’15-‘16    –   Lost to Calgary 1/4 Finals                    10 wins 10 losses (Pioneer)

Returnees –bears-3-copy-2

5th year – Brett Roughead, 7-1 fwd, Coleman, AB.  … 4th year – Mamadou Gueye, 6-6 fwd, Quebec City. Lyndon Annetts, 6-6 wing, Beaumont, AB …  3rd year – Sheldon Pittman, 6-5 wing, Calgary … 2nd years –  Brody Clarke, 6-8 fwd, Toronto. Ivan Ikomey, 6-1 guard, Calgary.  Jonah Weyessa, 6-0 guard, Calgary …  1st year (redshirts) – Joel Lutz, 6-7 fwd, 1st, Cardston, AB (Cardston HS). Cole Knudsen, 6-7 fwd, 1st, Barrhead, AB (Barrhead HS).

New faces –   Geoff Pippus, 6-5 wing, 4th, Vancouver (tsf UBC).  Austin Waddoups, 6-2 guard, 3rd year, American Fork , UT (Salt Lake CC). Andre Kelly, 6-2 guard, 1st, Mississauga, ON (The Rock School, FL).  Sam Newman, 6-3 guard, 1st, Ipswich, England .

Coach Barnaby Craddock, in his 5th year at the helm at U of A, is the only coach in CIS basketball history to lead three separate programs to the National Championship Tournament.  With Brandon, Fraser Valley, and Alberta for a total of 12 CIS seasons, the former UL Pronghorn star has never lost an opening round game at the Final 8.

Mamadou Gueye is still the big weapon for the Bear this year.

Mamadou Gueye is still the big weapon for the Bears  this year.                                  photo – U of A Athletics

Craddock’s credentials are impressive, and his coaching acumen will be tested this year, with a big roster turnover for the Bears. 5 veterans are gone, and 4 ‘true freshmen’ or ‘redshirt freshmen’  are now preparing for the new season. The Green and Gold do however, have their big ‘1-2 punch ‘ up front, with Canada West all-star, Mamadou Gueye (18.4 ppg/ 7.5 rebs)  and last year’s Rookie of the Year, Brody Clarke (12 ppg/ 6.3 rebs).  They add a pair of 6-7 redshirts from last year in Cole Knudsen and Joel Lutz, who are better prepared to give relief minutes for Gueye and Clarke.

Brett Roughead is the only 5th year, and the big man will again be counted on for rebounding and interior defense. Perimeter wing men, Lyndon Annetts and Sheldon Pittman will be expected to provide steadier performances with another year under their belts.

Austin Waddoups was a ‘6th man’ for the 2016 National Junior College champs at Salt Lake CC.  He averaged 8 ppg, and showed great ball handling skill, with a 2.63 assist /turnover ratio.  Andre Kelly, the son of Brandon Bobcats 2 time All-Canadian, Jude Kelly, went to a U.S. prep school, but chose to return to Canada.  He is a good shooter, who looks primed to break into the regular rotation.  Geoff Pippus, now a graduate student,  can be a ‘depth player, having averaged 7 ppg in his last full season at UBC.

Schedule –  Nov-Dec … Brandon, at UNBC,  TRU , at Manitoba, h-h with MacEwan              Jan-Feb …  h-h with Calgary, at UBC, Fraser Valley, bye, at Saskatchewan, Lethbridge

Prediction –  Must have depth behind all-stars.  Race for the play-offs.


Canada West pre-season games this week – 

Thursday – Calgary Cup –  Windsor at Calgary, Regina at Mt. Royal …                 Lakehead at Brandon

Friday – Manitoba Bisons Tournament –  Laurier vs Manitoba, Lakehead vs Winnipeg,   and  Regina at Calgary, Windsor at Mt. Royal

Saturday –  Seattle Blue Angels at Trinity Western ,  Calgary at Mt. Royal, Regina vs Windsor …  Lakehead at Manitoba, Winnipeg vs Laurier

Sunday – Laurier at Brandon

In Eastern Canada –  

Starting on Thursday, St. FX plays at Brock, Ryerson,  and  McMaster . Dalhousie has games at York, Ryerson, and McMaster.  On Saturday/Sunday  Concordia hosts Brock, Cape Breton and Nipissing in the Stingers Tournoi in Montreal.


Overtime –

  •   Mike Hansen, Lethbridge Head Coach, has waited for surgical relief for hip problems, and recently got the call to have the operation. ( It’s not like you’d tell them, “No, I’ll wait until next Spring, thanks.” )  So, not the best time, but Hansen felt he had to take the offered date. He expects to be absent from the ‘Horns pre-season activities for the next few weeks.  We wish him well, and hope he is able to return after a good recovery period.


Skinn is a Big Plus for Dinos

Dinos Benefit From Coach’s Life-changing Decision

Your dream job was to be a Head Coach in CIS Basketball, and, if you’re Matt Skinn, you got to do that as a young man, first at St. FX, where you turned some heads by taking a 4-16 team from the previous year, and posting a 16-4 record in your 1st season (2008-09).  “I’m very proud of what we accomplished at X”, said Skinn. “We had a strong winning record for several seasons, and had recruited the future CIS Rookie of the Year (Vanessa Pickard) before I took the CBU Men’s job.”

Matt Skinn, a Coach of the Year for Cape Breton in 2013, returns to Calgary as the full-time assistant coach.

Matt Skinn, a Coach of the Year for Cape Breton in 2013, returns to Calgary as the full-time assistant coach. Photo – Halifax Chronicle-Herald

You moved to the Cape Breton Capers in 2012; this was your alma mater, where you were an AUS all-star forward in the early 2000s.  For 4 years, you guided the Capers, and won an AUS title in 2013.  “I was so excited to be at CBU as the Head Coach, and I felt that we were establishing a 1st-class program”, Skinn suggests. “I loved coaching at my old school.”

So, now you give that up?  You move back to Calgary and UC, where you had been an Assistant Coach working under Dan Vanhooren prior to your ‘Maritimes Adventure’?  You’re back as a UC Assistant for the best reason possible: to be with your fiancé !  Karmen Brown, who grew up in Calgary, met Matt when they were both prominent figures in the Basketball scene in Nova Scotia (Karmen a player at CBU), and, and after her graduation, they got together in Sydney for the final years of Matt’s coaching for the Capers.

When Karmen returned to Calgary, and was successful in landing a position with the Calgary Police Service, Matt had a decision to make. Give up his head coaching job with the Capers, or stay in Nova Scotia?  Being a pretty smart guy, Matt chose  S. Alberta and living with Karmen. He returns as an Assistant Coach with Coach V and the Dinos … more details in this story from Ben Matchett, UC Asst. Athletic Director. 

Calgary is very fortunate to regain the passion and experience that Coach Skinn brings to the table; it’s not often you get a guy with his resume as your Assistant Coach.  With his full-time status, Matt will be able to have an immediate positive impact for this already strong Dinos program. His ability to work with and relate to student athletes, his solid grasp of recruiting, and his strategic sense for the CIS game will pay dividends for UC.  Welcome back Matt !

MRU lands a pair of ‘blue-chip recruits’ !

6-4 import swinman, Josh Ross, brings immediate power and experience to MRU.

6-4 import swingman, Josh Ross, brings immediate power and experience to MRU.

Coach Marc Dobell must be feeling just a little more confident of his Cougars’  immediate future after having signed 2 impressive looking American imports last week. It’s not hard to understand how he became aware of Josh Ross, 6-4, 4th year wing man from Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo, B.C.).  Ross was named the Canadian Colleges Player of the Year back in March, and has been a stellar scorer / rebounder for the Mariners, as the Island crew dominated the B.C. League.  “Josh is a 3-4 player, who can impact a game in many ways”, says MRU Coach Marc Dobell.

Ross, from Burlington, Iowa, will have 2 years to help Mt. Royal move up the pecking order in Canada West, and he joins a core group which includes returnees Canada West Rookie of the Year, Brett Layton (6-8, Calgary), 5th year shooting guard, Derek Wolfe, and 6-2 point guard, Glen Yang (2nd year, Calgary).

A high school recruit from Dallas, TX, Craig Martin, is described by his high school coach, Patrick Washington (Woodrow Wilson HS) as, “ … easy to coach and has a great basketball IQ.”   In a program which amassed an amazing 110 wins vs just 18 losses during Martin’s 4 years at Wilson, the combo guard stood out for his exceptional ball handling and his team-leading defensive skills.  “We think Craig will be a very good player for us”, says Coach Dobell. “Coach Washington, who has a son playing football for U. Regina, obviously supported the young man’s decision to come to Calgary for school, and play for the Cougars.”

A 3rd recruit added last week is 2nd year transfer Nick Tancon, a 6-7 forward from Comox , B.C., who played for 1 season at Trinity Western.  On his signing by the Spartans in the Spring of 2014, Tancon was lauded by then TWU Coach Scott Allen as one of B.C.’s best all-round players, and he impressed Canada West observers in his rookie season at Langley.  Tancon will add valuable size and depth on the Cougars front line.  Dobell suggests, “Nick will be working to get in game shape after having had surgery on his foot and ankle last Winter.  We expect him to be a key contributor for us in the future.”


‘Horns Cast Wide Net .. and come up with prize catches !'hornd

In a major re-tooling for the U of L, following the graduation of key seniors, Brandon Brine, Jared Baker, and Rob Olsen, who combined for over 40 ppg, 16.2 rebounds,  8.2 assists, the Pronghorns added 7 new players for the 2016-17 roster. Losing those 3 veteran leaders, who each logged near 29 minutes per game last year, means the ‘Horns will be getting an infusion of youth.

The headliners have to be 6-8 forward DeAngelo Ashley (3rd year transfer, Fresno City College, CA), and 6-6 Australian import, Michael D’Agostino, an 18 year old who played in the Aussie ‘V League’, a men’s league a rung below their top  level.

Daniel Lybbert is a Canadian who attended high school in the U.S,, coming to Lethbridge from Scottsdale, AZ Prep.  Lybbert is a ‘tremendous shooter’, according to Coach Hansen, and his senior year stats from Scottsdale back up that assertion : he averaged 14 ppg, and shot over 50% from 3 point range!

Coming to Lethbridge from Ontario’s Ridley College, Brett Warren is a 5-11 point man from Newfoundland, who promises to be a great set-up man for the UL offense.  Mark Rodehutskors, at 6-6, a very young (16 yrs) grade 12 star at Chestermere High School, chose to take his own path to UL after his older brother Jeff had already signed at U Calgary. Mark is a red-shirt candidate, according to Coach Mike Hansen, but should develop into a significant contributor once he hits the playing roster.

Colton Gibb,  (LCI, Lethbridge) and Lincoln Anderson (Cardston, AB) are both former all-stars in the Southern Alberta High School circuit, and are returning from Mormon Missions.  The pair have the skills to crack the ‘Horns line-up, and will be closely followed by local fans.


Overtime –

  • Good luck to Katherine Adams, who was recently named the new
    Katherine Adams moves from Asst. Coach , U. Calgary, to MacEwan Griggins, where she will take over as Head Coach.

    Katherine Adams moves from Asst. Coach , U. Calgary, to MacEwan Griffins, where she will take over as Head Coach.

    Head Coach of the Women’s team at MacEwan University in Edmonton.  Adams, a Calgary native,  has been coaching as an Assistant with the UC Dinos Women for the past 7 years, and, as a player, was a steady floor-leader at guard for some strong Dinos teams in her 5 year career.  Expect Adams to do a solid job with the Griffins, as she has had a most thorough ‘internship’ at various levels from Club, High School, Provincial competition, and with UC.

  • Trinity Western continues to re-work their young roster with the addition of Ben Reddy,  a 6- 3 guard,  from Lambrick Park Secondary (Victoria), who had an injury-shortened Grade 12,  playing only three games, where he averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per game.  (From Mark Janzen – TWU Athletics). Another B.C. high school star has chosen Trinity Western; Daniel Stead, a 6-7 forward from Walnut Grove, Langley he coming Fall.  Details in this story from the Langley Times   

‘Old’ Pioneer Powers Scrambling




Changing of the Guard in Canada West ?

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After watching all 3 of Victoria, Alberta, and Saskatchewan absorb two losses each this past weekend, we find ourselves in the ‘New Order’ of Canada West Basketball.  These three teams  have figured prominently in Canada West and CIS hoops for years past;  the last 5 Canada West championship games were won by –  2015 – Victoria over Saskatchewan, 2014 – Alberta over Victoria, 2013 – UBC over Victoria, 2012 – Alberta over Fraser Valley, 2011 – UBC over Saskatchewan.

 The T-Birds are still good bets to be in the Final 4, and, of course, host the CIS Nationals, but what of the Bears, Vikes, and Huskies?  It would seem unlikely, or even shockingly improbable for all 3 strong programs to have such a difficult year.  We certainly think U of A and UVic still have playoff shots, but U of S has faded too far South;  graduation of key players, injuries, and defections have conspired to reduce these teams to chasers rather than the leaders they had been for so long.

We suspect they will all be back next season with their usual competitive squads, but, for now, they have given way to ‘upstart teams’, like Calgary, Lethbridge, Manitoba, and Thompson Rivers.  We have 3 weeks of play remaining in both Divisions, and it’s highly likely that we may have a very different slate of teams competing in the Final 4 come March 11-12.

Four Series Sweeps Change the Standings

Manitoba copyWe had 5 series in the Pioneer last weekend, as the 6 Explorer teams and the UC Dinos had the weekend off. We saw movement away from the middle of the standings by several teams, as 4 of these series’ ended with 2-game sweeps.
> Manitoba has officially exorcised their 2nd half of the season ghosts of past years; they pounce all-over the Regina Cougars, 89-82 and 77-63, and sit at 11-5.
> Across town, the Winnipeg Wesmen prepared themselves for the ‘Red River Rivalry’ series by dispatching a scrappy U of S Huskies squad 81-77 and 81-72 to win their 6th in a row for a 9-5 mark.
> At Lethbridge, the short-benched Bears were trounced by a running, pressing Pronghorns team, who used 2nd half onslaughts to dispatch their Northern rivals 93-61 and 88-62.
> In their brand-spanking -new Carsa Centre, the ‘rebuilding‘ Victoria Vikes were sorely pressed to stay anywhere near the visiting UBC Thunderbirds.  UBC took both games with unusual ease … 79-51 and then 86-67.
> It was fitting that both Brandon (Friday) and Trinity Western (Saturday) got their first wins of the season in their series in Langley.  No playoff chances, but the shut-out is averted!

Top Performers last weekend –

Keith Omoerah is a difference-maker for the Herd this season.

Keith Omoerah is a difference-maker for the Herd this season.  photo- Bisons Athletics

  • Keith Omoerah may not have a big ’S’ on his chest, but he should have !  Keith’s return to the Bison Herd has put this team on a path for championship contention, with his rebounding, scoring, and defensive effort.  16 points / 14 rebounds/ 6 assists on Friday, then 18 boards plus 12 points, 3 asst, 4 steals in the Saturday win. Oh, and we might mention A.J. Basi’s  significant sharp-shooting role … 27 points Friday, and Jonathan Alexander chipping in both nights for totals of 26 points and 14 rebounds.
  • Winnipeg’s  Denzel Lynch-Blair has to be in the  all-star discussion, with yet another week of multiple contributions for UW, with 49 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 steals.  Nicely done, young man !  Ryan Oirbans with his rebounding and a 29 point night on Saturday from Jelane Pryce pace the Ws to a sweep.
  • Brandon Brine hits 37 points, with a scoring frenzy at home for the ‘Horns on Friday, then Jared Baker takes over on Saturday, hitting 3s everywhere, and scoring 17 points / 5 assists.  Lethbridge has a ‘not-so-secret-weapon’, however;  Dejon Burdeaux, back to ‘match-fitness’ is a dominant force at both ends of the floor … 31 points over 2 nights, to go along with 16 assists and 12 steals off the very effective UL press.
  • UBC has a varied attack, as they get 8 players contributing in both definitive victories at UVic … their depth is apparent, when their scoring leader Conor Morgan has a quieter weekend, but rookie Taylor Browne steps up with 15 points/ 4 reb, 3 asst on Saturday, while the night before David Wagner returned to the ‘Birds line-up with 12 points/ 6 rebounds.
Lucas Mannes sparks TWU win on Saturday.

Lucas Mannes sparks TWU win on Saturday. photo – TWU Athletics

A round of applause for the TWU Spartans’ Lucas Mannes with his tour de force of 56 points/12 reb/14 asst/6 steals; his teammate Kelvin Smith chimes in  with 49 points/ 14 rebounds/ 5 steals.   Brandon’s Earl Thompson pots 37 points / 19 rebounds in the split series, and the Bobcats’ rookie, Pookie Saunders, gets our attention with a combined 39 points /12 boards / 10 asst/ 5 steals.




 CIS Scores  on Sunday –  
Atlantic –   UPEI  97  at Cape Breton   80  … a split of their weekend pair, leaving the Panthers (10-4) in a 1st place tie with Dalhousie, and the Capers (7-6) scratching for a playoff spot, back in 5th spot .


Overtime –   

  • UBC are wanting to try and duplicate the feat of the 1982 UVic Vikes under Coach Ken Shields, who won the CIS Championship at Memorial Arena in Victoria that season, the 3rd of 7 straight for the Vikes.  The Birds don’t yet have that kind of roll going, but UBC Coach Kevin Hanson wants to start this March !
  • As for the 7-9 Vikes, Coach Craig Beaucamp says , “We’re trying to stay up in a down time.  There is so much left to play for. We’ve got a good nucleus and can’t lose sight of the big picture. We can still make some noise.” From the Victoria Times-Colonist, Cleve Dheensaw
  • Speaking of the U of A Golden Bears , who his UL team beat twice last weekend in Lethbridge, “They’re a banged up group,” said Horns coach Mike Hansen. “It’s a reversal of fortune. We limped up there last season and lost and this time it was their turn to have a bunch of injured guys. Our guys played great D all weekend,” said Hansen. “Jared Baker and Dejon Burdeaux at the top of our press were great both games.”  From Dylan Purcell in the Lethbridge Herald.

Pronghorns Bomb Bisons


Big shooting night for Olsen and Brine to lead Lethbridge

'Horns sharp-shooter, Rob Olsen bombs away vs Manitoba

‘Horns sharp-shooter, Rob Olsen bombs away vs Manitoba

at  Lethbridge  96 Manitoba  74 –  The Pronghorns win every quarter, and control this game at both ends, as they edge up to 7-4 on the season, close now to Manitoba’s 8-5. The deadly duo of Rob Olsen and Brandon Brine drives Lethbridge, as they hang one on the stunned Herd . 30 points on 13/17 for Olsen, and 27 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks for Brine, as the ‘Horns shoot 51% and out – rebound the Bisons 47-38. Justus Alleyn hit 9/18 for Manitoba on the way to 21 points, and Keith Omoerah scored 13, but U of M hit only 37% from the floor. Box Score



at # 8 UBC  78   Regina 57  –  Regina was willing, and, through much of the 2nd

 Punishing UBC defense wins a big one at home.

Punishing UBC defense wins a big one at home.

quarter, able to compete with the physical style of the T-Birds at both ends of the floor. But as the 1st half wore on, it was the foul total that climbed instead of points on the scoreboard for the visitors, and they go to the break down 41-34.

It wa UBC’s vigorous 2nd half defense that limited the Cougars to 31% field goal shooting, with UR stalwarts like Jonathan Tull (1/8), Brandon Tull (3/12), Aaron McGowan (1/8), and Will Tallman (0/4) not getting the good chances or the finish. The ‘Birds move on to 10-3 with a decisive team lock-down of Regina.

Conor Morgan was big for the Thunderbirds  in scoring 22 points including 3 treys and a couple of emphatic dunks plus 10 rebounds. He had guard, Jordan Jensen-Whyte, adding 18 points and 6 rebounds, as he and big post man, Patrick Simon, (17 pts) combined for 12/14 free throws, in attack mode in this key game. Regina were led by13 points from import guard, Alex Igual, and 12 off the bench by forward Brian Ofori. The Cougars, who fall to 7-4 , were seriously out-rebounded by UBC 52-32, and it may not be good news for new post man Rawane Ndiaye, who plays just 4 minutes, and collects 4 fouls and only 2 points/ 0 boards.  Box Score


A great 39 point game from Lucas Mannes for TWU, but still no wins!

A great 39 point game from Lucas Mannes for TWU, but still no wins!

# 7 Calgary 108  at Trinity Western 86 –  At the half, the Dinos lead by 5, but Trinity are in it through the 23 point explosion by guard Lucas Mannes. Calgary comes out running in the 3rd, and they rack-up 37 points to seize a 17 point lead, and spread the playing minutes around in the 4th. Thomas Cooper scores 23 and adds 7 rebounds and 3 assists, while Josh Owen-Thomas (16 pts), Lars Schleuter  (14 pts) , and Dallas Karch (13) combine for 10/17 from 3 point range.   Before fouling out in the 4th quarter, Mannes totals a game-high 39 points for TWU, as he hits 7/13 from way outside, and Vartan Tanielian is sharp from beyond the arc, at 5/9 for 17 points.  Calgary are now 11-3 , and Trinity, at the other end of the standings, 0-11 for the season.  Box Score

  at  Winnipeg 78  Victoria 70 –   Winning  their 5th of the last 7 games, the Wesmen hand the Vikes their 6th of their 8 most recent starts, and this is a game-changer for both teams. The Ws have their heads above water, at 6-5, while Victoria (7-6) is losing ground steadily since getting off to a good start in the Fall. UW wins tonight by establishing a 38-23 lead at the half, then coasting  in until a late trey by Uvic’s Jordan Charles gets the visitors to within 3.  But 5 straight Winnipeg free throws seals the deal, as Jelane Pryce flashes his ‘A’ game, with 24 points/ 9 rebounds to lead the way. Denzel Lynch -Blair added 19 and 5 assists / 4 steals, while William Sesay retrieved  12 boards to lead both teams.  Grant Sitton had a 12 point / 11 rebound double for Victoria, and Charles led UVic scorers with 16 plus 6 rebounds.  The Vikes shot 7/7 from the free throw line, but 13/17 gave the Wesmen an edge there. Box Score

Alberta  72  at Brandon 65 –  The Bears defense stifles the Brandon attack, as the home team shoots just 28% from the floor.    A 3rd quarter surge by  Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke, both of whom score 9 points in that frame, gives U of A an 11 point cushion, and BU could not catch up. Alberta evens their season’s mark to 6-6, as the red-shirt rookie, Clarke, has a huge 30 point effort, adding 6 boards, while Gueye scores 20, with 9 rebounds. Earl Thompson Jr. notches 28 points for the Bobcats, but that doesn’t prevent their 11th loss in as many Canada West League games.   Box Score


Saskatchewan has the bye this week.


Aldrich Berrios and the Okanagan Heat get a win at UNBC, and move to 3rd alone.

Aldrich Berrios and the Okanagan Heat get a win at UNBC, and move to 3rd alone.

UBC-Okanagan 72 at  UNBC 50 –  Okanagan builds their lead slowly, then fashion a 25-12   3rd quarter to guarantee the big win, as they move to 6-7 and sole possession of 3rd place.  The T’Wolves are just out of synch without their injured floor leader, Billy Cheng, and they connect on only 32% from the field for the night. Aldrich Berrios leads UBC-O with 20 points / 8 rebounds / and 7 assists, and Spencer Thomas impresses with a 10 point / 10 rebound double.  UNBC (3-10) have Colin Plumb with 15 points and 6 rebounds, and Marcus MacKay scoring 13. Box Score
 at #9 Thompson Rivers 85  Mt. Royal 79 –   The Wolf Pack simply out-shoot the Cougars in a very competitive game, and the Explorer leaders move to 11-2, while MRU drop back to 5-8.  Mt. Royal are strong on the boards, grabbing 48 to 30 for TRU, but 21 turnovers by the visitors give extra chances to the ‘Pack shooters. Thompson Rivers’ forward Josh Wolfram hits 27 and takes 6 boards, while Reese Pribilsky has 25 points, 4 assists, and 5 steals. The Cougars have 4 in double digits with 17 from Glen Yang and a 15 point / 10 rebound double from Brett Layton.  Box Score

Fraser Valley 80  at  MacEwan 77 –  UFV (9-4) get a valuable road win, narrowly  escaping from a spirited Griffins charge in the 4th quarter.  Thadius Galvez  cashes a 3 for Mac to get within 3, but 2 more long range chances miss for Galvez, and the Cascades survive. Kevon Parchment continues to tear it up for Fraser Valley, with a double of 20 points/ 12 rebounds, while Manny Dulay looks sharp with his 18 points and 7 assists. ( Vijay Dhillon is back for the Cascades, and his deft shooting will give a lift to their offensive production.)  Chris Mooney has another good outing for MacEwan (5-8), as he scores 17, plus 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals. Box Score


Western copy

Mustangs beat # 3 Brock in an impressive road game for Western.

CIS Scores –

Earlier this week …  Concordia upsets McGill 95-83 in overtime,  McMaster blasts Windsor 106 -74 in Hamilton.

Western surprises #3 Brock 72-61 right there in St. Catherines, ON, and the woes continue for St. FX, as they are beaten 84 – 75 by Acadia in Wolfeville, NS  .


Friday night scores –
 Atlantic- Acadia 82 at St. FX 74 , at Dalhousie 78 St Marys 73,  at UPEI  94 UNB  75
Quebec – Laval  75 at Bishops 68
Ontario –  The big game – #5 Ryerson 79  #2 Carleton  61 , as the Ravens lose their 2nd straight.   #1 Ottawa 87 at Toronto  61,   at Laurentian 77  Waterloo 70,  Laurier 73 at Nipissing 72


Overtime –   

  • TRU Head Coach Scott Clark, speaking of his sense of how the 10-2 Wolf Pack season has and will progress, ”I think we’re playing OK. We can and we will get better. The guys have done a great job. We’ve played four home games since Oct. 20 or something like that. To play at a pretty good level and be on the road for that length of time, that takes some toughness. I’m proud of that.”   From Adam Williams, Kamloops This Week.
  • Sheriff Abdur-Raheem is the headline NBA star, as UBC is the site for Saturday’s continuation of the NBA All-Star Challenge, the traveling promo event for the Toronto Raptors’ hosting of the Feb. 14 NBA All-Star game. At MacEwan U. in Edmonton, it’s former all-star guard, Jason Richardson, as the headliner for the N. Alberta event scheduled for the same Saturday, Jan. 23 date.  At half time of UBC-Regina and MacEwan-UFV, the NBA Challenge regional finals will be run, with winners going to Toron to four the National finals in the skills competitions.
  • Mike Hansen,  U of L Pronghorns Head Coach, prior to the UM series in Lethbridge, “This is a great group, these guys are really grinding, they’ve fought through a lot of adversity this season,” said Hansen. “We play six of 10 at home here and we’ve said all season we have to win our home games and this is a chance to do that.”  From the Lethbridge Herald
  • Winnipeg Coach Mike Raimbault isn’t one to look too far ahead in his W wesmenschedule, but he has commented positively on his team’s extended home-stand starting this week vs UVic.  Winnipeg’s Duckworth Centre will be the welcome home base for the next 4 weekends for the Wesmen; “It’s kind of funny the way the schedule worked out,” says Raimbault, “but we’ll take it and run with it.”  The line-up of teams is tough (Victoria, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Lethbridge), but they’re all coming to downtown Winnipeg, and that is a bonus for the Ws.  The Wesmen do  finish at UBC on the final weekend of League play, so taking full advantage of home court is a must for their playoff hopes.



Topsy-Turvy Pioneer Division


Burdeaux Drives Pronghorns Along Winning Path

Deion Burdeaux is a one-man gang for the surging Pronghorns. photo - UL Athletics

Dejon Burdeaux is a one-man gang for the surging Pronghorns.    photo – UL Athletics


Hot and Not … This Past Weekend –

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Lethbridge Pronghorns get everyone’s undivided attention with 2 emphatic 'hornd copydismemberments of the visiting Victoria Vikes in L.A. last Friday and Saturday.   Their ‘combo-zone’ defense upset the Vikes rhythm, and the ‘Run With the ‘Horns offense’ ruined UVic’s defensive stat-line as well. The caution here, of course, is that U of L has 14 games in January and February, but for now, ‘Horns Nation’ is all fired up !

The Manitoba Bisons are tied on top with UBC after winning 2 at Brandon, their 4th straight;  the Herd are pumped up about the emergence of a deeper, more experienced, and more ‘ready for prime-time’ line-up.  Justus Alleyn and Keith Omoerah aren’t the headliners, but they, along with stars, AJ Basi and Wyatt Anders give U of M a real shot.  Their schedule in the 2nd half is very rugged, so nothing for granted yet!

The UBC T-Birds are the biggest team in Canada West, right through their playing roster, and they can intimidate with that size and their veteran play.  Their split in Calgary gave them reason to celebrate Friday’s solid win, then grimace on Saturday after Calgary ran away from them late. Jordan-Jensen Whyte has played with great intensity, and David Wagner is strong inside.  Can they find the chemistry to get as cohesive as they would want as the season wears on?

The Calgary Dinos are also a team showing signs of inconsistency, but, at their best, they are right there near the top rung.  Lars Schleuter, when’s aggressive on the boards and with his outside shot, can help UC grow into a championship contender.  The guards, Torrez McKoy, David Kapinga, and the redoubtable Thomas Cooper, can ratchet up the pressure and offensive pace.

The Alberta Golden Bears, getting some encouraging lead guard play from Colby Jackson, got 2 home wins to begin a hopeful crawl back ‘into the mix’.  The Saskatchewan Huskies bring in a ‘relief shooter’, Jonathan Karwacki, to ‘steal’ the 2nd win over the TWU Spartans, and may have saved their season with it.

The Victoria Vikes have to be asking themselves lots of questions after as discouraging a weekend as they’ve had in several seasons.  Lethbridge exposed some weaknesses on both ends, and UVic will need to have their vets pull everyone together.  The break may be exactly what they may need;  the Vikes are a long way from done, and are sure to respond.

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The Thompson Rivers WolfPack put themselves squarely in the role of  favourites in the Explorer, with as big a domination of the Fraser Valley Cascades as any team in recent memory.  The firepower increases, with Luke Morris asserting his role alongside Reese Pribilsky, Volodymyr Iegorov, and Josh Wolfram.  The ‘Pack look like a team headed for the Final 4 in Canada West , and maybe ….

The Fraser Valley Cascades will look forward to mid-February , when they get TRU in their own gym in Abbotsford.  They know they are not as bad as they may have felt after Saturday’s loss, and they’ll hope to get Nate Brown and Mark Johnson back for January games.

The 4 teams at .500 or below … Okanagan, Mac, Northern BC, and Mt. Royal … all had a ‘kiss your sister’ weekend.  Glass half- full or half-empty.  Let’s remember , third place is one definite playoff target, and 4th is nowhere.  Time left for everyone, but a couple of 2 -win weekends are a must for the Cougars, for example.

This week’s ‘Prime -Time Players’ –

Dejon Burdeaux has the 'Horns on the run !

Dejon Burdeaux has the ‘Horns on the run !

Dejon Burdeaux, Lethbridge –  is shooting 58.7 % from the floor, which would be solid for a post man, but it’s phenomenal, since he is a 6-0 guard !  He scores 15 ppg, as well as 3.8 assists and 3.8 steals; the  3rd year Oakland, CA import is a major ‘impact guy’ for this veteran ‘Horns team, at both ends of the court. Last weekend, in 2 home wins over Victoria, Burdeaux posted 44 points, 15 assists, 9 rebounds, and 9 steals … nicely done, young man!


Thomas Cooper, Calgary –  may be a permanent fixture on this weekly list of stand-outs, as he is consistently providing the Dinos with the scoring and rebounding he brings each night.How does 66 points and 17 rebounds sound for production from the 6-5 Chattanooga, TN native in Calgary’s split with UBC?  He continues to lead Canada West scorers – 27.5 ppg, and is 5th in rebounding at 8.8 rpg.

Mamadou Gueye, Alberta – this 6-7 wing man takes the Golden Bears on his back and carries them to a sweep over Regina, with his 57 points and 14 rebounds in the 2 game set.  There is lots of pressure on the Quebec native to give this young Bears team this type of leadership, and he appears to be up to the task!

James Lefebvre , Mt. Royal – the 5th year post man rallied his Cougars for a much-needled win over UNBC on Saturday, with his 24 point/10 rebound effort. He totals 37 points and 21 rebounds for the weekend, and MRU may still have life as he and fellow veteran, Derek Wolf, point them in the right direction.

Luke Morris, T. Rivers –  Yet another member leaps out from the ‘Pack !  Morris has his best career weekend, by far, as TRU whips up on rivals UFV to claim first in the Explorer. The 6-4 Mission, BC product totals 38 points and 25 rebounds, and gives the Wolves yet another weapon to take on the challengers.

And yet more notable performances –  Josh Wolfram, TRU, with 32 points and 27 rebounds against Fraser Valley … Rhys Elliott, UNBC,  just keeps on ticking along, with 2 more solid games (45 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) vs MRU … Kelvin Smith TWU, gets the Spartans tantalizingly close to their 1st win with his 29 point game on Saturday vs Saskatchewan … Thadius Galvez, MacEwan, is becoming the Griffs steadiest offensive threat, as he totals 37 points and 6 steals in a split vs UBC-O.


Sunday CIS Score   –

Atlantic –  Cape Breton 85 Memorial 65   …


Overtime –

Vijay Dhillon carries the scoring load for UFV.

Vijay Dhillon carries the scoring load for UFV.

  • UFV Coach, Adam Friesen,  after Friday’s game at TRU, with a ‘state of affairs’ and priorities for his Cascades, “We are really banged up,” said Friesen, alluding to injuries that have sidelined starters Nate Brown and Mark Johnson. “Vijay (Dhillon) is one of our few healthy bodies at the moment. He knew he had to come in here and be aggressive. He really stepped up and played well.” “We are going to have to find a way to clamp down on defence,” Friesen added. “Offensively things will always be tough for us currently. We need to find a way to get stops and limit rebounds.” From Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
  • Veteran Victoria Times-Colonist Sportswriter, Cleve Dheenshaw, on the Vikes’ latest sojourn to Lethbridge,  “As a host, Lethbridge has earned a reputation over the years as being the Canada West basketball equivalent of old-school junior hockey Flin Flon or the NFL Raiders’ Black Hole in Oakland. In good years or bad for the Pronghorns, it’s always a challenge going in there for opposing teams. “
  • U of L Coach, Mike Hansen, after his ‘Horns took those 2 games from the Vikes, “The league has beaten each other up,” said Hansen. “Everybody is backed up in the middle. I think two points separate first to ninth and it’s important that we win at home. That was my message to the guys, this game will define who we want to be this year. Do we want to be a team that’s happy to be in the playoffs or that team that pushes to be in the upper echelon? I’m really proud of the guys.” From an article in the Lethbridge Herald by Dale Woodard       
  •  There are still 3 games to be played in Canada West this coming weekend.  The Winnipeg Wesmen meet the  green Cougars  in Regina, Friday/Saturday, Dec 4/5, and the Calgary Dinos host the Alberta Golden Bears on Saturday in the first of their home and home series. The 2nd game for UC and U of A is February 20 in Edmonton.