T’Birds Boast Imposing Depth



T-Birds have unfinished business

It’s not often that a coach admits he is 100% satisfied with his recruiting and his roster, but UBC’s veteran mentor, Kevin Hanson (18th year) appears awfully close.  “We did very well, and no one (recruit) said no”, says Hanson.  This has the T’Birds, who were 19-1 in Canada West play last season, looking for a repeat, and then more fortune at play-off time. After major disappointment in the post season last Spring, this is a team looking for something special.

“Things happen from week to week”, says the coach. “Injuries, illness … we felt that we needed more depth.”  Well, they have it now, in spades!  5 new faces counting  , Jauquin Bennett-Boire, the explosive2nd year lead guard who red-shirted last season.  Add in the heralded arrival of 6-10 Grant Shephard (Kelowna), who chose UBC over chances in the NCAA ranks.  Mason Bourcier is a 6-4 guard who played with Shephard at Kelowna Sr. Sec.  A pair of former Toronto high school guards, 6-3 Anthony McNish, and 6-4 Grant Audu, come from a year’s play in U.S. high schools.

Conor Morgan, now a 5th year, returns to chase a title for UBC   Photo – T-Birds Athletics

Two more young local recuits will be red-shirting;  the T’Birds, after all, do return 6 – 8 roster players from last season.  Three 5th years  head that list, led by 6-9 Conor Morgan (Victoria), the 2017 Canada West player of the year, along with point man, 6-2, Phil Jalalpoor (Germany), and 6-8 Luka Zaharijevic (Vancouver).

Taylor Browne (Surrey) returns as a fast-rising 3rd year guard, who “worked hard on his game over the summer”, and can be a valuable complimentary scorer and creator on offense. Patrick Simon (Port Coquitlam) is a 4th year, 6-8 post , and guards Isaiah Familia (Windsor, ON) and Izaiah Ugoalah (Vancouver) are in the mix.

“We are still working on our different combinations.  Certainly, we have a great group here; I’m excited to coach these guys. We want to focus on team, and getting them to jell and work together”, says Hanson.  The 5- time Canada West coach of the year exclaims, “I feel energized, and hungry to make this a very good team.”

‘The Bazooka’ trains with a purpose

In high school, at nearby Kitsilano Sr. Secondary, Luka Zaharijevic, was a legendary star, who scored at will with a 6-8 frame carrying as much as 300 lbs.  Dubbed ‘Luka, The Bazooka’, he stood out for many reasons.  On arriving at

Luka Zaharijevic is a 5th year UBC post man.  Photo – T’Birds Athletics

UBC, Luka played few minutes as he was behind more mature post men.  His size wasn’t helping, because his fitness wasn’t what it should have been.  “We’ve wanted to start Luka in the last couple of seasons”, says Coach  Hanson, “But he was hurt, and he was never quite ready.”  “This past Spring and Summer, Luka has dedicated himself to preparing for a big final year.”  The transformation has been impressive, as Hanson tells us the young man has pursued his training with a vengeance.  He is, reportedly, eating better, ‘riding his bike all over town’, and focused on his post game skills.

In lthe Waterloo game last weekend the big man was 8/9 for 17 points in just 13 minutes;  he looks ready to step in as one of the T-Birds big weapons up front.  With an eye to a possible pro opportunity, Luka is determined to make his 5th year one to remember.

Bisons, Dinos, Huskies – All on to Final 4

The Herd are full value for a sweep of #2 UBC

Ilarion Bonhomme’s big night propels the Bisons past the ‘Birds.   photo – Rich Lam, UBC

Manitoba  98   #2  UBC  96   OT –  Kudos to Coach Kirby Schepp and his Bisons , as they go into War Memorial and out-play the #2 ranked team in the country on consecutive nights.  The Herd have the Thunderbirds barely hanging on again Friday, and UBC are fortunate to tie it up and send it to extra time. A. J. Basi’s 3 point shot off an offensive  rebound gave UM the lead with 6 seconds left, and the ‘Birds try at the buzzer bounced off the iron.

5th year transfer point man, Ilarion Bonhomme had a defining effort for the Bisons tonight, with his 28 points/ 10 rebounds/ 9 assists.  Justus Alleyn scores 18, with 4 treys before he fouled out, while Keith Omoerah had a double of 14 pts/ 11 boards.  UBC were led by team captain , Jordan Jensen-Whyte’s 33 point / 10 rebound effort in his final outing for the T’Birds. Patrick Simon scored 21 coming off the bench, and added 5 rebounds.

This was a shocking result to many, but a tribute to the depth of talent on Manitoba, and in all of Canada West, where we saw several visiting squads equit themselves very impressively.   Box Score  

#6  Calgary   76  Thompson Rivers 68 –  For the 2nd night running, the Wolf Pack hold the Dinos feet to the fire, with timely shooting and a stifling zone defense.  It’s tied at the half, then TRU get a lead midway through the 3rd quarter, which they don’t relinquish until the 3 minute mark of the 4th frame.

Dinos full court pressure finally wore down the ‘Pack. 6 points by Calgary’s 4th year post man, Mitch Ligertwood, in the last 1:40 were the crucial ones in this series winner.  The UC defense limited Thompson Rivers to just 12 points in the last 10 minutes.  Calgary won the rebounding 47-34, and hit 12/18 free throws to just 2 of 5 for the visitors.   UC’s Thomas Cooper had another sparkling effort, with 26 points and 9 rebounds, and Jhony Verrone was solid with his 13 points/ 11 rebounds, and superb defensive effort. Mambi Diawara was sharp, especially late in the game, with defensive pressure, and he tallies 15 pts/ 7 rebs/ 5 steals.

Volodymyr Iegorov plays his final game for the Wolf Pack, hitting 20 points and claiming 11 rebounds. Derek Rhodes scored 11 and Mike Rouault 10 for TRU, who gave a very brave effort on both nights.    Box Score  

#9  Saskatchewan  88  Winnipeg 77  –  The Huskies storm out of the gates early, and grab a huge 31-8 lead after 10 minutes. But the Wesmen win the middle frames 46-29, to get to within 6.  Saskatchewan’s offense clicks for 28 points in the 4th, and they sweep the series.

Shane Osayande is strong again with a 21 point/ 19 rebound  crusher, while Alex Unruh has a nice game for U of S, with 20 points on 8/10 FG shooting. Trevor Severinski cashes 4/8 from outside for the Dogs for 16 points and he doubles with 10 boards. Narcisse Ambanza scores 18 pts / 5 asst for the Ws, and Denzel Lynch-Blair returns for 14 pts/ 4 rebs/ 3 steals.  Box Score

31 pts from their captain, paces the U of L past Alberta in game 2

 Lethbridge 112    #8  Alberta   111  OT –  As much as the ‘Horns were limited by U of Adefense on Thursday, the U of L shooters responded with confidence on this night. The visitors shoot 49% from the floor, hit 15 treys, and convert 25/29 free throws. Alberta betters the Pronghorns with 51% shooting, the same 15 treys, but get fewer free throws (20/22) in a most efficient offensive display by both clubs .

Before fouling out with 10 seconds left in regulation, Dejon Burdeaux scored a team-high 31 points/ 8 rebs/ 5 assists for Lethbridge, who force a game 3, to be played at 7 pm Saturday night.  Zac Overwater is big for the ‘Horns with 26 points/ 12 rebounds, and Elliott Sentance contribute’s 16 pts to the winning cause.   Box Score  




In the Atlantic –  Friday Night –   UNB 85 at St. FX 74, at #10 Dalhousie  90 UPEI 75, Saint Mary’s 94  at  Cape Breton 78, at Acadia 97 Memorial  82


Sat. OUA Quarter Finals –  at #1 Carleton  McMaster , at #3 Ryerson  Nipissing, at #4 Ottawa Laurentian,  at #5 Brock  Toronto   (On OUA TV)



Overtime –

  • CW Women’s 1/4 Finals –  at  #3 Regina 57  Trinity W 41 (Win series 2-0) ,  at #6  Victoria 74 Winnipeg  69  (series tied 1-1),   Fraser V. 74  at # 8 Saskatchewan  62  (series tied 1-1),  at Alberta 60   UBC 52   (wins series 2-0) … 3rd games on Saturday for Vikes – Wesmen, and Cascades – Huskies.
  • TRU’s Luke Morris

    TRU forward, Luke Morris, is providing scoring and leadership to his young Wolf Pack team.  Coach Scott Clark comments in this article from Morris’ hometown Mission City Record.  “He’s a bigger guy [6-5] and can score in a variety of ways,” said Clark. “He can step out and hit a three, score in the post, score in the cut and offensive rebound.”   “There has been increased expectations from our coaching staff and he’s shown more leadership and a lot of growth this season,” Clark said.


  •   We learn that Denzel Lynch-Blair of Winnipeg misses last night’s game at Saskatchewan due to accumulating 5 technical fouls over the course of the season.  League Directors review reports on technical fouls, and may suspend players, depending on the details of the offense (s).


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.



10 ‘X-Factor’ Players in Canada West



10  X-Factor Players to Watch This Week –

Saskatchewan's 2nd year forward, Mack Burns. photo - Huskies Athletics

Saskatchewan’s 2nd year forward, Mack Burns.                      photo – Huskies Athletics

The leading scorers and rebounders have their names bandied about each and every week, but it is very often left to some lesser known team members to step up at opportune times, and make the difference.  Games turn on things like ‘points off the bench’, or a timely hoop, or key defensive play from a substitute.  Who are the ‘X-factor’ players we might see make the plays that turn a game around ?

Randall Mosca, UBC-O

Randall Mosca, UBC-O

> Brett Jewell, Manitoba –  A  6-7, 4th year forward, who is starting to assert himself on the inside for the Herd.  Averaging 7 ppg/2.8 rebounds, his numbers will likely go up as his self-belief increases week by week.
> Mack Burns, Saskatchewan – The 6-6, 2nd year forward from  Regina is showing flashes of his older brother, Connor, who was a rugged rebounding forward at U. Regina, then U of S.  Mack shoots it well, at 47% FG, and averages 6 points and 6.4 rebounds a game.
> Chris Maughn, Lethbridge  –  Averaging 7.3 ppg and 4.4 rebs, he shoots 54% from the floor. The 6-9, 3rd year post, can provide a lift in the heavy traffic zones, where the Pronghorns aren’t as deep as they may wish.
> David Kapinga, Calgary –  This 5-11 guard, who played his Jr. High and started HS in  Calgary,  uses his quickness to put max pressure on opponents ball handlers. His acceleration gets him into the lane on offense, as he tallies 8 ppg/ 3 rebounds.
>  Patrick Simon, UBC – The 6-8, 240 lb , 2nd year from Port Coquitlam, scores 7.2 ppg plus 5 rebounds in just under 20 minutes a game.  He has a nose for the ball, and the size to bump effectively on the inside.
>  Reiner Theil, Victoria –  This veteran does the ‘blue-collar’ work so essential to a team’s success.  He uses his 6-5 muscle to grab 7.5 rebounds a game, and can score from outside with a smooth 3 point stroke. The 5th year captain is a defensive stopper, and has the experience to lead his team.

MRU Cougars' Glen Yang

MRU Cougars’ Glen Yang

> Glen Yang, Mt. Royal –  The 2nd year guard from Calgary has a steady, all-round game, with the potential to raise his scoring numbers. He scores 9.5 ppg/ 3.5 assists/ 2.5 rebounds, and has the quickness to be a good perimeter defender.
> Gerard Gore, Thompson Rivers – This  6-5 wing from Antigua is a veteran player who flies ‘under the radar’  as a forward on this team.  But his 4.5 rebounds, and 5.5 ppg, while shooting 50% from the floor give an indication of his ability to contribute at key times.
> Randall Mosca, Okanagan –  A straight-up ‘gunslinger’, the slender 5-11, Mosca, a Calgary product, may average 10.4 ppg, but may go for 25 when he is on a roll.  On a team which has some challenge scoring-wise on occasion , the 3rd year guard can be ‘instant offense’.
> Tyler Anderson, Brandon –  This rookie forward is ‘learning on the job’, and he has made great progress according to his Coach Gil Cheung. The 6-7 Langley, B.C. native,  shoots 52% FG, scores 5 ppg/3 rebounds in 14 minutes a game .

 6  Games on the Prairies this week –  Canada West League Schedule

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 7.19.07 AMFeature Match-up –  UBC  (8-2)  at Manitoba  (7-3) –  The Bisons get a chance to take on the Division leading T-Birds in Winnipeg in  a match-up of the League’s 2 highest scoring teams.   The Bisons big men look poised to do battle with a strong group of T-Birds’ forwards.  Anders-Alexander-Jewell-Omoerah  vs  Wagner-Morgan-Simon-Ondrik.  Heavy-weights!


 Lethbridge  (5-3)  at Saskatchewan  (3-7) – The Huskies are not comfortable with their current record, and they need to get wins to jump back into the pack.  This is a pivotal series for both teams, and may be one that would be too close to call.  The ‘Dogs and ‘Horns are 3-3 over their last 6 games, having split 3 series in a row.

Victoria  (6-4)   Alberta  (4-5) –  Two traditional contenders in Canada West, the Bears and the Vikes are in a mass of teams gathered in a big scrum from 5th to 9th place.  Vic won all 4 games between these two teams last year, in regular season then the 1st round of the playoffs.  This is another ‘pick-em’ affair, with home court a U of A advantage, and the GB’s post depth a challenge for the Vikes.

Lars Schleuter, Calgary Dinos sharp-shooting 2nd year wing man. photo - David Moll, UC Athletics

Lars Schleuter, Calgary Dinos sharp-shooting 2nd year wing man.                                                    photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

Calgary  (8-3)   Brandon (0-8) – The last 11 meetings between the Bobcats and the Dinos have Calgary with a slim 6-5 advantage.  This is a prototypical ‘trap series’, with the Dinos among the leaders, and Brandon having their struggles to date.  Every road game, every game, period, is a big one in Canada West.

Thompson Rivers  (8-2)  at  MacEwan (5-5) –  One of the ‘Pack’s 2 League losses was in Kamloops at the claws of the Griffins, and TRU will be looking for some retribution in Edmonton this week.  The Explorer leaders are coming of their other loss, last weekend in Kelowna to the other 3rd place team, UBC-O.  Mac on a 3 game win streak.

Mitch Goodwin, Okanagan's veteran guard.

Mitch Goodwin, Okanagan’s veteran guard.             photo –  Greystoke- for UBC-O Athletics

at Mt Royal (3-7)   UBC- Okanagan (5-5) –  Home floor for MRU, in a battle of hopefuls for the 3rd playoff spot;  the Heat swept the Cougars in their November League games in Kelowna.  The MRU post men can be a load, as UFV discovered last week, but UBC-O have some increased confidence led by Berrios and Goodwin.  Expect low scoring, defensive clashes .

In B.C. –  at Fraser Valley (6-4)  UNBC (3-7) – the lone series West of the Rockies this weekend, and the Cascades and T’Wolves split their November set in Prince George.  UFV hopes to have a longer bench with guys recovering from illness and injury.  The ‘Wolves have never won in Abbotsford, and need to break this 3 game slide.

>  Regina, Winnipeg, and Trinity Western all get a bye this week. <

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 5.11.42 PMA Scramble in the OUA ?

With every passing week, it appears more likely that the weekly rankings will be one of the ways in which a 3rd Ontario team gets selected to the CIS Nationals.   The wildcard spot won’t put 4 Canada West teams in play, and neither Quebec nor the Atlantic have had enough juice in this coaches’ poll to get more than one representative.  Ergo ….


CIS Scores from Wednesday  –
Ontario –  McMaster 93 at Waterloo 66 , at Ryerson 104 York 69 , Brock 91 at Laurier 67


Overtime –

Coach Eric Magdanz, MacEwan Griffins

Coach Eric Magdanz, MacEwan Griffins

  • Coach Eric Magdanz, MacEwan Griffins,  whose team is tied for 3rd spot in the Explorer Division, “ We think we can hang-in there with some of the ‘strong teams’.  We’ve been a bit slow in coming together, with some roster changes this season, then a few injuries.  I really feel the Wesmen (Holiday) Tournament allowed us to gel as a team, and we had a good weekend at UNBC.  This League, both our Division and the Pioneer, are so tight, and you have to be ready every series”, says Magdanz.   (The Griffs beat Manitoba in the fall, beat Brandon at Christmas, and had close losses to both Acadia and Lethbridge.

‘Birds Fly Away From ‘Horns


Thunderbirds Claim Top Spot With Sharp Offensive Display

at UBC  95  Lethbridge 73 –   UBC flew past the visiting Pronghorns with a 31 point 2nd  quarter, and scored 50 in the 2nd half to ice a key win to tip off the 2nd half of the schedule. The Thunderbirds sit on top of the Pioneer Division with a 7-2 mark going into Saturday’s 2nd game of this series.  Once they got the offense rolling, it was all T-Birds, with 4 players in double digits, led by Phil Jalalpour’s 19 points, 16 plus 8 boards from Patrick Simon, and 15 points each by David Wagner and Conor Morgan. Jalalpour, the import guard, hit 5/7 beyond the arc as UBC shot 51% from the floor vs 40% for Lethbridge.  Zac Overwater scored 14 for the ‘Horns (5-2), with Rob Olsen adding 12.   Box Score

at Calgary 73 Saskatchewan 68 – An excruciating game for the first 3/4s , then the Dinos finally found a hot hand in 5th year guard, Josh Owen-Thomas, who hit some clutch shots, including 2 treys to keep Calgary close to a game Saskatchewan crew. Neither team shot it at all well for the game, with UC at 35% and the ‘Dogs with 36%.  The 4th had most of the fire -works, as Calgary’s Thomas Cooper scored 12 of his game high 22 points, and Owen-Thomas chipped in with 13. The Dinos benefited from a cleaner ball-handling game than the Huskies, with just 8 turnovers to a cruel 22 for U of S.  Shane Osayande, the 6-7 post man, who had missed the first half of the season with injury, was strong for the visitors, scoring 20 points and hauling in14 big rebounds. Jauquin Bennett-Boire and Evan Ostertag scored 11 each, but they, like their ‘mates had a cold shooting night.  Box Score  

at Victoria 85  Manitoba  77 –   After leading 41-34 at the half, he Vikes allow the Herd to catch them in the 4th, but Manitoba has nothing in OT, as UVic cruises 10-2 there .  A very solid effort at home for Victoria (6-3) , as they shoot 48% FG and 20/23 (87%) from the line, while turning it over just 9 times. 28 points from Grant Sitton to go with 11 rebounds sparks the Vikes, who also get 20 points from Mack Roth, and 11 pts/ 12 rebounds by Reiner Theil. Manitoba, also now 6-3,  are led by 17 apiece from Brett Jewell and A. J. Basi. Box Score

Thursday, in game 1 of their home and home series,  Winnipeg 83 at Brandon 72    Despite 30 points from the Bobcats Earl Thompson Jr.,  the Wesmen get a road win to move to 4-5 on the season.  Denzel Lynch-Blair was the offensive leader for the Ws, with 25 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals, while big post man, Ryan Oirbans posted a strong double-double of 13 points/14 rebounds. The game breakers were the Winnipeg advantage of 21/28 free throws vs the Bobcats slim 4/8 from the line, and the messy 30 turnovers by Brandon, leading to 27 Wesmen points.  Game 2 goes Saturday in Winnipeg. —  Box Score


Explorer Division

Cascades Open Smartly at Home vs Cougars

UFV's Kevon Parchment's complete game leads the Cascades.

UFV’s Kevon Parchment’s complete game leads the Cascades.

at Fraser Valley  89   Mt. Royal  75 –  The combination of a hot-shooting Fraser Valley team (51% from the field), and 24 Mt. Royal turnovers spelled disaster for the visiting Cougars. Kevon Parchment had another stellar night with 28 points and 14 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals.  The ‘Swiss-Army knife’ of CW basketball!  Manny Dulay adds 19 for the Cascades  (6-3) on 5/10 from 3 point range. MRU (2-7) got 19 points and 11 rebounds from their impressive rookie post, Brett Layton. Box Score 

Thompson Rivers 69 at UBC-Okanagan 57 –  Not a particularly compelling win by the ‘Pack, but they don’t all have to be ‘Rembrandts’!  TRU shoots 45% from the floor to just 32% for the Heat.  Volodymyr Iegorov leads the Wolves with 23 points and 11 boards, and Josh Wolfram, in a relatively quiet effort, adds 13 and 6 rebs.  Aldrich Berrios, characteristically, is a stand-out for UBC-O with 19 points, 5 rebs/ 2 assts, but no other Heat player hit 10 points or more.  Box Score
MacEwan  74  at UNBC  59 –   The Griffins (4-5) grab some attention with this impressive road win, as they jump all over UNBC defensively, limiting the T’Wolves to 33% shooting on the night.  Mac, on the other hand is warm, with 49% FG, led by Thadius Galvez with 19 points/ 5 rebs, and Denzel James’ 18 plus 7 boards.  Rhys Elliott scores 22 for UNBC (3-6), and Colin Plumb hits for 16 plus 7 rebounds, but no one else really made a dent for the home team. Box Score


Other CIS Scores –
Atlantic – Saint Marys 80  Dalhousie 64, Dalhousie  82  St. FX  67 ,  UNB  84              Cape  Breton  83,
Quebec –  Montreal 70  Bishops  44, Laval  68  Concordia  60 … and, on Friday          Laval 71 Concordia 62
Ontario –  Toronto 72  York 70

Overtime –

  • Scott Clark, TRU Head Coach, on his club’s 1st place, 7-1 record,  “What you did before Christmas is just posturing for the most part. The league championship isn’t won before Christmas. It could be lost depending on how terrible your pre-Christmas was. We can’t sit and pat ourselves on the back.”  From The Kamloops News
  • UBC’s Conor Morgan, a potential all-star who admittedly struggled at times
    UBC's Conor Morgan

    UBC’s Conor Morgan

    in the opening half of the season, had a mini training camp with his former high school coach, his Dad, Dave Morgan, in Victoria over Christmas. “I had to hit the re-set button,” Morgan said. “Sometimes, back in Grade 12, my dad and I would clash on the bench. But over Christmas, I listened to everything he had to say. I felt like I had nothing to lose.”  Howard Tsumura of the Vancouver Province gives us more details in this story.

  •  U of M’s, Wyatt Anders, asked in a Q & A by The Manitoban’s Mike Still,  ‘How important is it to the Bisons to have guard Ilarion Bonhomme, and the return of Keith Omoerah ?’ –  Anders replies – “Having Keith back is a real blessing. The years off, maturity-wise, really helped him.  … since he was able to mature as a person, he’s shown his true potential and kept it on lock. As for Ilarion, the little dude is tough! I’ve never seen a guy get hit and hammered so much and still get up and ready to fight – he doesn’t back down from anyone and offensively he’s a firecracker that can blow by you really quickly.” More at ‘The Manitoban – Questions and Anders’.

Big Upset Win for MacEwan

McEwan Comes Out Firing in Kamloops

Explorer Division – 

Denzel James leads the Griffins to a huge road win over TRU.

Denzel James leads the Griffins to a huge road win over TRU.

  MacEwan Griffins  90 at Thompson R. WolfPack  85  –  Never say never ! McEwan comes out with a vengeance and rings up a 56-36 half-time advantage on a startled ‘Pack, who win the 2nd half , but can’t make up the spread. The Griffins out-rebound the Wolf Pack 48-36, and are 46% FG to 38% for TRU. It’s a team effort in the scoring column by Mac, with 6 players in double figures, led by 6th man, Denzel James with 18, then Ryan May counting 17.  TRU shooters are cold for much of the night, but get 25 points/ 8 rebounds from Volodymyr Iegorov, then 21 points/ 8 boards by Josh Wolfram, and 19 pts. 3 asst/ 4 steals by Reese Pribilsky.  Box Score

 Fraser Valley Cascades  74  at UNBC Timberwolves  72 –  The Cascades are up 14 pts. after 3/4s , but see the T’Wolves storm back to within 1 with 2 minutes left.  UFV holds on to go 5-1 for a tie at the top of the Explorer with Thompson Rivers. Guard Vijay Dhillon scores 20 to pace the Cascades, while Kevon Parchment has 16 / 6 rebs/ 6 asst., and Navjot Bains counts 11 points/ 11 boards. UNBC (2-4) are, once again, led by Rhys Elliot with 24 points, then Colin Plumb has 13 plus 10 rebounds.     Box Score

Randall Mosca tallies 31 points lead UBC-O to a sweep of Mt. Royal.

Randall Mosca tallies 31 points lead UBC-O to a sweep of Mt. Royal.

at UBC-Okanagan Heat  87  Mt. Royal Cougars 84 –  UBC-O’s Aldrich Berrios steps out of his phone booth, styling his Superman cape, and hits a trey to tie the game with 10 seconds remaining, then cashes another at the buzzer for the win!  “Up in the air. It’s a bird ….”  A.B. finishes with 21 points, and Okanagan (3-3) gets ‘a bit of help’ from Randall Mosca, the transfer from St. Mary’s College, Calgary, who racks up 31 points with 3 treys and 8/8 free throws. Mt. Royal falls to 1-5, despite a 26 point/ 14 rebound game from post man, Brett Layton.   Box Score  



Pioneer Division –

T-Birds Fly Off With a Shocker of a Road Win

Conor Morgan helps UBC pull off a big comeback to complete a weekend sweep at U of S.

Conor Morgan helps UBC pull off a late comeback, then complete a weekend sweep with an OT win Saturday at U of S.

UBC Thunderbirds 101   at Saskatchewan Huskies  98   OT –   On the Prairies we would call this a ‘Barn Burner’, and the Huskies must be reeling as they were up 88-82 with 30 seconds left, then see UBC score 6 straight, including a Conor Morgan 3 pointer at the end of regulation to force OT.  The ‘Birds never trail in the extra session, and Patrick Simon ices it with 2 free throws with 10 seconds remaining.  That’s a road sweep for UBC (5-1), and the ‘Dogs are hurting at 1-5 to start the regular season. 3 T-Birds post 18 points each – Jordan Jensen-Whyte, and Conor Morgan who also snare 10 boards apiece,  along with Will Ondrik. The U of S gets 37 from their freshman slasher, Chan De Ciman, including 14/16 free throws, while Trevor Severinski is next with 15 points, and Mack Burns claims 11 rebounds. Box Score

Manitoba copyat Manitoba Bisons  74   Alberta Golden Bears 61   –   The Buffs get the sweep by hitting the 3 point shot ((10/18) and winning the turnover battle (10 to Alberta’s 20). Manitoba, who advance to 4-2, are led by 20 from AJ Basi, who is 4/7 from outside, and Wyatt Anders 11 rebounds plus 8 points; Keith Omoerah has 12 pts./ 7 boards, and Justus Alleyn hits 13 pts.  Mamadou Gueye plays well for the Bears, with 14 pos./ 12 rebs, aided by 13 points each from Colby Jackson (8 assts) and Sebastian Denault (8 rebs), but U of A drop to 2-4.        Box Score

J Pryce Wpg copy

Jelane Pryce and the Wesmen get 2 weekend wins over Trinity Western.   photo –  U. Winnipeg Athletics

at Winnipeg Wesmen  90 Trinity Western Spartans  48   –  It’s lights out early  … maybe ‘play the 10 run rule’ … Wesmen 27 Trinity 8 after 10 minutes, and it doesn’t get closer. The Winnipeg defense smothers the Spartans, while the Ws attack has 49% from the floor, with 15/33 treys, and they play with only 7 turnovers. Winnipeg (3-3) gets the sweep behind 16 points from Jelane Pryce, and 14 by Jamar Farley, with 11 of 12 players hitting the scoresheet. TWU has only Kelvin Smith with 12 points, but they shoot just 28% from the field, and slide to 0-6.      Box Score

Plain Logo1

Calgary Dinos 79 at Victoria Vikes 75 –    The Dinos (4-2) get the split, as they are up 41-30 at the half, but see UVic come back to lead by 3 early in the 4th.  Calgary get a boost from Lars Schleuter’s 10 final quarter points , as he finishes with 4/10 from outside and 19 points. Thomas Cooper is Calgary’s scoring leader with 21 plus 7 boards and 3 assts., as Calgary wins the rebounding 43-37, and hits15/28 free throws vs 8/10 for the Vikes. Victoria have 4 with double digits led by 18 from Grant Sitton, and 16 and 5 boards from Mack Roth, before he fouls out.  The Vikes lose their 1st of the season, and are tied with UBC for top spot at 5-1.         Box Score

at Regina Cougars  90 Lethbridge Pronghorns 66 –  A ‘new leaf’ kind of performance from Regina, who get the split with a fast, 49-27, opening 20 minutes, and wind up shooting 51% from the floor to only 35% for U of L. Both teams now sit at 3-1, as Regina fills the air with 37 long-range attempts, hitting 14 vs 4/19 for the ‘Horns. The Cougars have 5 in double figures, led by 16 points/ 3 steals from 6th man, Aaron McGowan; Travis Sylvester comes off the bench for U of R for 13 pos./6 rebs. Brandon Brine is tops for Lethbridge with just 11, as their attack suffers from coughing up 27 turnovers.    Box Score



 Other CIS Scores —2bpi18nnb2c9yhlr

Atlantic –     Acadia 85  Dalhousie 83,  UPEI 109   Cape Breton 88 , St. FX  Saint Mary’s , Memorial 95 UNB 84

Quebec –  #3 McGill 74  Montreal 58  ,   Laval 83 Bishop’s 76 ,

Ontario –  #1 Ottawa 85 Algoma  49 ,  Queen’s 87 #4 Brock  81,  #9 McMaster 88   York 74  , Lakehead 76  Laurentian   68,   Guelph 77 Nipissing 59 ,   Windsor 89 Toronto  88,  Laurier  95 Waterloo  81


Overtime –

Evan Ostertag , Huskies senior leader.

Evan Ostertag , Huskies senior leader.

  • Evan Ostertag is a real leader for a pretty young Saskatchewan team, and Huskies Coach, Barry Rawlyk, gives an instructive testimony to a player’s dedication to improvement …“He’s worked very hard in the off-season and he’s added something to his game every yea,r so he’s gotten to the point where he’s a very complete player.” The Huskies have key vets out with injuries …  “We have a very young team in a lot of the different positions and certainly anything that Evan can give us in terms of his veteran leadership is extremely important,” Rawlyk said.  Story from Global-Saskatoon 
  • Now here’s a good idea from the U of L … The HERD  a U of L student-led spirit club that passionately follows Pronghorn Athletics throughout the year. With over 600 members, the HERD is known throughout Canada West as the largest and most rowdy student section. For $30 HERD members will receive the following benefits:- HERD ID card, HERD t-shirt, Free admission to any Pronghorn home game, Sponsor discounts, Horns Water bottle … and more !