These 7 Teams Look to Move Up in Canada West

 

 

Brandon Tull will be a senior leader for the Regina Cougars.      photo – Arthur Ward

 Regina – The Cougars go 9-11 and are good at their best, but are troubled by injuries in the 2nd semester.  Coach Steve Burrows will enter his 5th year at the helm, and faces the task of ‘renewing’ a roster which loses 3 veteran mainstays.  Travis Sylvestre, Stephen Shields, and Matt Augustine graduate, and more size will be crucial in the recruiting project.  The Cougs have dependable vets returning in Brandon Tull, Alex Igual, and Brian Ofori.  Burrows looks to the younger Hillis bothers, Ben and Samuel, and rookie star, Johneil Johnson to pick up some of the slack.  An infusion of talent, especially in the bigs, will be necessary if UR is to move up.

Thompson Rivers –   Coach Scott Clark loses a ‘franchise player’ in import forward, Volodymyr Iegorov, who graduates this Spring.  Clark could anticipate that challenge, but the veteran bench boss also has his rookie stand-out, Trent Monkman,  transferring to Victoria. The Wolf Pack, 8-12,  have been a play-off team in recent years, and Clark has worked successfully to develop his young talent. This coming season will test his resolve once more.  The Orange returnees include import guard, Derek Rhodes, strong forward, Luke Morris, guard, Michael Rouault, and scrappy point man, Madhu McConnell.  TRU will also be looking for some size in the recruiting process, and certainly more depth for this young group.

MRU’s import star, Josh Ross,  returns for his 5th year        Photo – Cougars Athletics

Mt. Royal –  The ‘Blue Cougars’ face a familiar challenge, as Coach Marc Dobell sees 2 big post men, Brett Layton, and Ray Goff leaving the roster along with 5th year guard, Derek Wolf .  Layton is wanting to start Law School, and Goff has had very tough nagging leg injuries, and is graduating early next year.  MRU does return guards Glen Yang, Noah Lewis, and Craig Martin along with import  scoring leader, Josh Ross, Ryan Cunningham, and forward, Nick Tancon.  Coach Dobell is waiting to announce his signees, and has not quite finished the process.  We do understand that L.J. Hegwood is looking to transfer in from SAIT, and that McNally HS (Calgary) star, 6-7 Diew Moses, may be headed to the Cougars as well.

MacEwan –  There will be significant change with the Griffins, as they say goodbye to Denzel James, Thomas Jereniuk, Cole Aikens, Keith Gerdes, and Tyler Wise as 5th year grads.  Thadius Galvez, their outstanding lead guard, is also on the move, and Coach Eric Magdanz is left with a major recruiting task.  Returnees Ryan Coleman, Harrison Lane, Adonis Montfort -Palomino, Ali Raza, and Atlas St. Paul-Butler will be counted on next Fall. The Griffs have younger players like British import, Jake Notice, along with 3rd year guard,  Tarik Scott, coming off an injury rehab, and a local red-shirt freshman, Deonte Doslov-Doctor.  Recent signees include Lincoln Anderson, a 6-3 guard from Cardston, AB, who comes off a 2 year Mormon  church mission, and 6-8, Ben Niles, from Kamloops (Valleyview Sr Sec).  Coach Magdanz is also excited about Dustin Gatski  (Westlock, AB), a 6-4 transfer after  1 year of Junior College in Wyoming, and Moreau Amadou  a 6-4 wing from   Sir Winston Churchill, Calgary.

Marcus MacKay will carry a big scoring load for the Timberwolves.

UNBC –  Starting last season at 4-4 last Fall, The T’Wolves struggled through 12 straight losses to finish at 4-16, well out of play-off contention.  They lose their slick guard, Rhys Elliot, along with Elliott Rowe, and Sam Zhang to graduation. Coach Todd Jordan will be looking to add some size and more punch to his roster this Spring and Summer.  The UNBC returnees should include big shooting guard, Marcus MacKay, lead guard, James Agyeman, Vaggelis Loukas, an active forward, and Anthony Hokanson, who is a skilled wing man.   Adam Pahl, a  6-6 wing from Okotoks (Foothills HS) , AB was announced in January, and he comes with high hopes.  Volodymyr Pluzhnikov, is a ‘tough-minded’ guard coming off the red-shirt list, and Jordan has a few more prospects he hopes to sign in the next few weeks.  “We need to get bigger, and to make big improvements in our rebounding”, says the 5th year Head man.

Trinity Western –  The Spartans, 3-17 last season, do not graduate any 5th years, and Coach Aaron Muhic suggests that his returnee list should include all of his current roster players. We have mentioned veteran guard, Tyus Allen, who is rehabbing his injured knee, but who will not be ready until at least the Fall of 2018.  The Spartans will return  import guard, Pogos Trunyan, their high scorer (15 ppg), along with 6-10 post Patrick Vandervelden (13 ppg/7.2 rebs), and Vartan Tanielian, a 12 ppg scorer at wing. Among his younger contributors will be guards Max Viitala, and Josiah Meppelink.  TWU have not announced any new signees or transfers.

UBC-Okanagan –  After an 8-12 record in 2015-16, the Heat cooled off to just 2-18 last season.  Coach Peter Guarasci, in his 5th year, loses guard Mitch Goodwin to graduation.  But, he also has 7 other roster players (Cam Friesen, Randy Jernidier, Ryan Morck, Austin Penrose, Buster Truss, David Manshreck, and Davide Ciancio) who will not return, which obviouly leaves a daunting task of recuiting this Spring. Aldrich Berrios, his high-scoring (17.6 ppg) guard is back for his 4th year, along with back-court rookies, Matt Lafontaine, and Tristan Matthews.  Noma Obeseki, an athletic small forward,  will be entering his 3rd year.  Owen Keyes, a 6’9” Kelowna Sr Sec. stand-out has already signed, and looks like a strong prospect. Jake Stokker, Penticton Sr. Sec  is another big man signee , details in this story from Kelowna Capital News 

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Overtime –

  • Mason Foreman, a 6-7 forward from Winnipeg, who most recently attended Athlete Institute Prep just outside Toronto, has signed with the Calgary Dinos for next Fall.  Mason’s father is Jeff Foreman, who was a 3-time CIS All-Canadian with the Winnipeg Wesmen (Great Plains Athletic Conference)  in 1992, ’93, and ’94. ( In 1994, Jeff was CIS Player of the Year, and he was also a member of the Canadian national team.)
  •  UVic will, later this week, induct two former basketball stars into their Vikes Hall of Fame. Spencer McKay , was a dominating post man for Vikes teams of the late 1980s – early 1990s, and Carol Turney-Loos, was a key to their 1980 National title.   More details in this Oak Bay News article   

Huskies Grind Out a Split With the Bears

 

Alberta makes it close, but the Huskies grind-out a big win

at # 9 Saskatchewan  68  # 7  Alberta  65 –   Facing a 43-28 half-time deficit, Alberta charged back to tie it, then lead it several times in the 4th quarter.  Saskatchewan (12-6) finally wins it on free throws in the last seconds, and get a crucial split.  Defense over-shadows offense in this one, as both squads settle for 39% FG shooting. Shayne Osayande has another notable outing for the Huskies with 23 pts/ 11 rebounds , while Seniors, Matt Forbes (14 pts/ 7 rebs) and Trevor Severinski (12 pts/ 5 boards) are also difference-makers.  Alberta are now 13-5, as they get 19 pts/ 6 rebs from Brody Clarke, and both Austin Waddoups  and Mamadou Gueye scoring 17 each.   Box Score    

at Brandon  92  Manitoba  77  –   This is a banner weekend for the Bobcats , as they clip their provincial rivals, Manitoba, twice, and on Saturday they fashion as good a game as they’ve had all season. The ‘Cats out-shoot (44%-38%), out-rebound (58-40) the Bisons, while beating UM to the ball on most chances.  Earl Thompson Jr racks up 27 points/ 12 rebounds to lead the way, and Tyvon Cooper is good for 22 points, including 12/12 from the line. BU’s 6-11 post man, John Paul, is a force, with 18 points/ 15 boards and 4 blocks. Manitoba have Justus Alleyn with 26 points/ 6 rebs, but they never real threaten as the Bobcats build on their lead in the 4th quarter.   Box Score  

at  Winnipeg 87 Regina  81 –    Replicating their late surge for a Friday win, the Wesmen

come-from-behind for the sweep with a 26-19 4th quarter.  The senior guard, Jamar Farley goes 6/10 from deep, and leads Winnipeg scorers with 22.  Sean Tarver has a strong finish and tallies 20 points, as the Ws move up to 12-6, and in good shape to claim a home play-off start. Regina (7-11) may be on the outside after these 2 losses, as the Cougars just could not finish either game. They get 18 points each from Alex Igual (5 asst/ 5 steals)  and Johneil Johnson (9 rebs)  Box Score

Calgary 76 at Thompson Rivers 60 –   The Dinos have control of this one with a dominating 24-10 spread in the 3rd quarter.  Despite an unusually cold weekend for 3 point range, UC gets a valuable sweep, and move  up to 14-4.  Thomas Cooper has 19 pts/ 8 rebs to lead the way, with David Kapinga tacking on 17 points/ 5 rebs/ 6 assists/ 5 steals. Buzz-saw.  Calgary is aided by an aggressive defense, forcing 24 TRU turnovers to only 11 for the Dinos.  Volodymyr Iegorov notches 16 pts/ 8 boards in his final home game for the Orange, while rookie Trent Monkman pours in several late hoops to post 15 pts.  The Wolf-Pack are now 8-10, and still having to scrap for a post-season next weekend.  Box Score 

 

at  MacEwan  93  UBC-Okanagan  64 –    A decisive win for MacEwan on their Senior Night, as they  improve to  7-11, with a chance of a play-off berth still alive.  51 points in the 2nd half presses the issue, as GMU shoots 52% from the floor, getting 25 points/ 8 rebs from Thadius Galvez.  5th year wing, Denzel James, adds 22 pts/ 4 rebs/ 3 blks, and Keith Gerdes has 18 pts.   UBC-O (2-16) are led by Aldrich Berrios’ 21 points, and 19 pts/ 8 boards by rookie Triston MatthewsBox Score

Trinity Western  71 at  Mt. Royal  54   –  It’s 48-18 TWU in the final 20 minutes, as the visitors grab a satisfying split after a dispiriting loss Friday.  The Cougars, overall, seemed listless in this one, with 28 turnovers providing Trinity all the extra chances they needed. Max Vitala, scores 21 points/ 5 rebs/ 5 steals, while the Spartans also get 17 points and 10 big rebounds from Patrick Vandervelden Pogos Trunyan looks steady at the point for TWU, and ge records 16 pts/ 5 rebs/5 steals, and his team gets to 3-15 in the standings.  MRU (8-10) shoot just 37%, with Josh Ross grabbing 16 rebounds to go with 8 points, and the 2 graduating players, Derek Wolf and Brett Layton (9 boards)  hit 11 and 10 points respectively.   Box Score  

logo UFV

at Fraser Valley  89  Victoria  79 –   A sweep for the Cascades, raising their play-off chances , at 9-9, and dimming UVic’s with their drop to 7-11.  UFV ring up 8 points in the final 20 minutes to pull away, as 5 Cascades go for double digits on the score-sheet. Denver Sparks-Guest has a good outing off the bench, with 19 pts/ 6 rebs, while 5th year guard, Vijay Dhillon, scores 17/ 6 rebs/ 4 assts, and Nav Bains records an 11 point/ 11 rebound double. The Vikes’ Justin Kinnear stands out with a 24 point/ 5 rebound game, and rookie Scott Kellum hits 17 pts/ 4 assts.  Box Score   

 at   UBC  109  UNBC  61   –   It may have been a slow start for the Thunderbirds, but they got rolling to the tune of 72 points in the 2nd half !  UBC are now 17-1 heading into the final week of League play, while the T’ Wolves fall to 4-14. Jordan Jensen-Whyte scores 24/ 5 rebs for the ‘Birds, and Conor Morgan tosses in 20 pts/ 6 boards, as the whole line-up is utilized in this blow-out.  Rhys Elliott has a good one for UNBC with 23 points, and Vaggelis Loukas adds 16 pts/ 9 rebounds.  Box Score   

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Scores from the East –

Atlantic –  at #10 Dalhousie 91 Memorial  69, UNB 107 at UPEI  92 , at Acadia 114 Cape Breton 99

Quebec – # 8 McGill 87 at Bishops 59 , Concordia 57 at Laval  55

In the OUA …  at # 4 Brock 71 W. Laurier 58, Waterloo 83 at McMaster 62 , at Lakehead 68  Nipissing  57,  Western 86 at Algoma 75,  at Laurentian 79 Guelph 50 , at Toronto  85 Queens  77

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Overtime –

  • Why didn’t Manny Dulay and Nav Bains of UFV start vs UVic  in Friday’s big game?  Here’s the story from Dan Kinvig, Fraser Valley Communications Coordinator, ‘ With the Lower Mainland of B.C. buffeted by a rare snowstorm  … Dulay and teammate Nav Bains, traveling from their hometown of Surrey to UFV’s Envision Athletic Centre, were stuck  … and the clock ticked ever-closer to game time. We’ll let Dulay pick up the story from here.’  “We were in the left lane (headed eastbound), and the right lane opened up,” he began. “As we switched, Nav’s car started swerving and we actually did a 360 (degree spin) in both lanes. We ended up in the left lane, but now we’re facing these cars (going in the same direction). Luckily, no one was coming right behind us, and everyone went around us. We didn’t end up in the ditch, and no car hit us.  We didn’t want to tell anyone (when we got to the gym), but we actually almost died.”
  • Jamar Farlay, Winnipeg’s 5th year guard, knows how to celebrate Senior Night, as he buries 6 treys for the Wesmen, and breaks away for a buzzer-beating flush to finish the 3rd quarter.  His efforts pace the W’s to a sweep, and well on the way to a good play-off seed.  And how about the final home appearance for Brandon’s Earl Thompson Jr, who goes for 27 points/ 12 rebounds  in the ‘Cats 2nd consecutive win over Manitoba.
  • Not sure why it would be a violation for several players to leap up off the bench and cheer the efforts of teammates on the floor.  Enthusiasm, joy, congratulations.  If it’s not ‘excessive’ , why create an unnecessary rule conflict ?
  • Fitting congratulations from Trinity Western Coach, Aaron Muhic, for his troops after their fine effort in a win at Mt. Royal, “It was a good win for our guys tonight,” said  .. Muhic. “I’m very proud of our toughness and willingness to compete. We finally had a game where we put the little things together and we attacked for most of the game. It was a great overall team effort.”  (From TWU’s Mark Janzen). 

 

 

Regina Roars Back to Dump the Dinos

 

Tull leads Cougars to much-needed home win

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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Other U-Sports games on Saturday –

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

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

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

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Overtime –        

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

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

 

 

Gee Gees Capture Shoveller Title

 

 

  Ottawa win in Halifax … primed for OUA action

Caleb Agada is a the top player for Ottawa in their win at the Shoveller.

#4 Ottawa Gee Gees 78 Saint Marys  Huskies 69 –  Caleb Agada posts yet another double-double, as his 25 pts/ 12 boards lead the Gee Gees to the tournament title.  Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles has another strong game with a double of 12 points/ 10 rebs. Brian Rouse scored 19 to pace Saint Marys, while Theon Reefer scored 15 plus grabbing 14 rebounds.  Now 16-3 overall in U-Sport competition, UO are starting to look like prime contenders for an OUA and National crown.  With a line-up bolstered by 5th year McMaster transfer, Adam Presutti,  they win their 14th straight.  Resuming league play next week, Ottawa will be prepping for their mid-January showdown with the #1 Carleton Ravens.  Box Score   

  #10 Dalhousie   76  St. FX  71 – (  3rd place game) The Tigers take down AUS rival  X-Men, as Jarred Reid counts a game-high 25 points, while Kashrell Lawrence had 17 points, eight rebounds.  Cameron Walker led the St. FX scorers with 20. Box Score

 Acadia Axemen  89  Mt. Royal Cougars  75 –  (7th place game)  Not the deepest team in the country, MRU cannot be at top form without forward, Brett Layton, who sat this one out with an ankle sprain.  The Axemen out-shoot the Cougars 42% to 36% from the field, and use a big 20/29 to 9/15 free throw edge to distance themselves. Kyle Arsenault scores 29 pts and Erik Nissen 20 pts/ 9 rebs to lead Acadia.  Josh Ross responds with a double of 15 pts/ 11 boards for Mt. Royal, while guards Glen Yang and Craig Martin tally 12 pts each.  Box Score   

UPEI  Panthers  96  Queens Golden Gaels 86   – (5th place game)

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Classique Olga Hrycak at UQAM, Montreal –

Memorial Seahawks 79 UNBC  Timberwolves 70 –  Up 3 at the half, then tied after 30 minutes, the T’Wolves cannot hold back the Seahawks in the 4th.  Memorial scores 30 points to claim the tournament title at 3-0, while UNBC finishes 2nd at 2-1.  23 points for MUN from MVP, Vasilije Curcic, the 6-9 Serbian big man, and 19 by Davion Parnsalu.  The ‘Wolves  get 21 from tournamentt all-star , Rhys Elliott and 22 from wing man, Marcus MacKay.  Again without forward, Vaggelis Loukas, UNBC hang tough for most of the way, but fade in the final minutes.  (again, thanks to UNBC Coach Todd Jordan for texting us the stats )

 Guelph Gryphons 85  UQAM  Citadins  84

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 Vanguard U. (CA) 89  Saskatchewan 72 –  Shane Osayande tops the Huskies with 22 points.

Hope International (CA) 82  MacEwan   56 –  MacEwan is ‘not the same team’ that beat Vanguard last night.  Hope recovers from a loss to Saskatchewan.

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Overtime –

  • Happy New Year to you all !  Safe travels to all the teams still on the road back home.  And good luck as the League play starts up again this coming week .

Bisons 2nd Straight Classic Title

 

 

 

 Bisons rumble in the 4th quarter to win back to back titles

Manitoba’s Keith Omoerah is named MVP in the 50th Wesmen Classic

Manitoba  86  #8 Alberta 78 –  The defending champs take a 3 point lead at the half, and they continue to out-play Alberta through the 2nd half.  Shooting it better from the floor, the line, and from 3 point range, the Herd pull away.  Justus Alleyn leads UM scorers with 22, while Keith Omoerah, voted the tournament MVP,  posts a double of 10 pts/ 12 rebounds.  For Alberta, Brody Clarke has 21 points/ 9 rebs, and Austin Waddoups counts 16 points.  Box Score   

Winnipeg 64  Victoria  63  –  The Wesmen win the 2nd half and the game, with a 10-7 advantage in 3 point shots made.  The Vikes are just 34% from the floor, but Hassan Abdullahi hits 12 points on 5/7 and adds 6 rebs/ 2 steals.  Winnipeg get 21 points/ 8 rebs/ 3 assts from Denzel Lynch-Blair to capture 3rd place.  Box Score

Lakehead 89  Regina 56 –  Not much doubt here as the ‘Wolves go up 47-22 by half-time. 4 Lakehead players in double digits scoring, with Jack Bull cashing 10 pts/ 11 boards. Matthew Augustine scores 11 for the Cougars.  Box Score

Algoma 92   Brandon  83 –   Scott Clendenning hits 26 points for the Thunderbirds, and  Earl Thompson Jr (12 rebs)  and Tyler Anderson each score 15 for the ‘Cats.  Box Score  

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Shoveller Memorial in Halifax –

  Saint Marys  Huskies 79  #10 Dalhousie  Tigers  76  –  The home team goes down to the school just around the corner.  Dal falls back by 14 at the half, and the comeback is too little, too late.  The  Huskies are up against the #4 ranked Gee Gees in tomorrows final.  Box Score  

 #4 Ottawa Gee Gees 83 St. FX X-Men  65  –  Caleb Agaga with a double-double of 15 pts/ 12 boards, and there are 6 ‘Ponies’ in double digits.  Box Score  

Consolation games

 UPEI  Panthers  95  Acadia Axemen  92

Queens Golden Gaels 72  Mt. Royal Cougars  68 –   Mt. Royal comes fast out of the gate for a 25-18 lead after 10 minutes, but it goes South from there.  Without ace post man, Brett Layton, the Cougars fire blanks in the 2nd with just 7 points.  For the game they are 32%  from the floor.  Still they keep it close, with Nick Tancon having a good one, with a double of 16 points/ 11 rebounds.   Rookie guard, Craig Martin has 15 points, and Glen Yang 12.   Queens has Tanner Graham  as their top scorer with 16 pts/ 8 rebs/ 3 blocks.  Box Score     MRU plays Acadia on Saturday.

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Classique Olga Hrycak at UQAM, Montreal –

Two wins for the T’Wolves in Montreal.

UNBC  Timberwolves 76  Guelph Gryphons 71-  Another great team effort from the Timberwolves, as they shoot 50% from the field and hit 12/13 free throws. ’15-’16 Canada West all-star, Rhys Elliott , has another stellar effort, with 28 points/ 6 rebs.  James Agyeman deals out 8 assists and scores 8 pts, while Anthony Hokanson has 8 points/ 7 rebounds.  Ahmed Haroon scores 20 pts on 9/16 and adds 9 boards for the Gryphons. .   UNBC play  Memorial on Saturday. (Thanks to Coach Jordan for the box score by text )

  Memorial Seahawks  65   UQAM  Citadins 58

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#3 Calgary 82  Montana-Western Bulldogs  78 –  Down 5 at the break, the Dinos come back in the 2nd half with their defense slowing the Bulldogs scoring .  UC hits 52% in that final 20 minutes, led by the double of 29 points/ 12 rebs by 5th year wing Thomas Cooper.  Lars Schleuter added 16 pts, and David Kapinga 15 pts/ 4 assists.    (Another box score sent by text !)

Cochise College  85   #2 UBC  82 – Guard Jordan Jensen-Whyte paced the UBC offence with a 22-point performance while forwards Patrick Simon and Conor Morgan scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. The Thunderbirds were ahead for all but 12 seconds of regulation.  They held a 72-56 advantage with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the 2nd half but Cochise mounted a furious rally – closing on a 22-6 run – to send the game into overtime. The Apaches outscored UBC 7-4 in the extra period to earn the comeback victory.  (From UBC Athletics)

 Thompson Rivers 79  Antelope Valley  78 – Two nice wins for the Wolf Pack this week.  Tight battles and the right result with good play down the stretch.

 MacEwan  76   Vanguard U. (CA)   68 –   Denzel James leads with 17 points/ 9 rebs, as the Griffins shoot 49% FG including 12/26 from outside.  Box Score 

Saskatchewan 67  Hope International (CA)  60

UBC-O  81 Camosun College 77

  Occidental College Tigers (CA)  77   Fraser Valley 59  –  The Cascades are up 33-32 at the half, but lose 26-45 in the final 20 minutes.  The Tigers are 50% from the floor to UFV’s 39%. The home team wins the rebounding 43-29 , and there are 19 Fraser Valley turnovers to 12 for ‘Oxy’.  Vijay Dhillon is 5/6 from 3 point range for 15 points to lead UFV.   Box Score

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also –  Rochester College (MI)  82  Waterloo 59  ,  UNB 73  Holland College 72 , at Toronto 78  Laval 61  ,  Johnson and Wales (FL)  80 Concordia 78

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Overtime –

  • UNBC’s Vaggelis Loukas, who was so good against UQAM on Thursday,  suffered a light ankle sprain early in the opening minutes of the win over Guelph on Friday. Coach Todd Jordan says, “He should be OK for our League play next week.  We’ve had so many of these injuries this season.  It’s been a struggle, but our guys are coming on, and we’re happy with their play this week, obviously.”
  • A closely kept secret … the UFV Cascades are in California to play 2 games.  They dropped an 84-70 decision on Thursday to the host, Westmont Warriors, the #9 ranked NAIA school in the U.S.  All 10 players are in the game with 11 + minutes for UFV tonight.

Manitoba Returns to Wesmen Final

 

Bears vs Bisons for the 50th Wesmen Classic title

 

Bisons Keith Omoerah has a big night in their win over Winnipeg     photo- Bisons Athletics

Manitoba 60  Winnipeg 55 –  (Semi #1)  With the basket a thimble to many teammates and opponents in the City war, the Bisons Keith Omoerah scores 17 points and snares 25 rebounds for a winning double-double.  Amarjit Basi collected 14 points/ 6 rebounds to help the Herd, who win shooting just 26.5% from the floor.   This was, however, better than the 25.5 % from the home side, with  William Sesay scoring just 10 pts as high man for the Wesmen to go with 8 rebounds.  Manitoba benefits from 19/22 shooting from the line vs 9/14 for UW. Box Score 

#8 Alberta 82  Victoria  76 – (Semi #2) The Bears’ win the 4th quarter 28-20 and grab the game largely through the efforts of their ‘Big 3’.  Mamadou Gueye led with 21pts, and Austin Waddoups  scored 19 points including  5 treys plus 6 asst. Brody Clarke had a big double of  18 pts/11 boards. Grant Sitton and Wayne Tucker Jr scored  15 points apiece for the Vikes, who were out-shot 44% to 40% from the floor.  UVic played well in the 3rd quarter to come from behind to take a 2 point lead into the final 10, but Alberta were hot to finish.   Box Score  

 

Lakehead’s Bacarius Dinkins posts a double-double.

Lakehead 67  Brandon 47 –  This low-scoring affair has the T’Wolves pulling away in the 3rd quarter, with 25 points.  The ‘Cats are sluggish, and reply with just 22 for the entire 2nd half.  Bacarius Dinkins logs a double of 13 pts/ 10 rebounds for the ‘Wolves, and Mor Menashe scores 16.  Three Bobcats with 6 apiece, as the team shoots 30% from the floor. Box Score

Regina 78  Algoma  74 –  This game is a real see-saw, as Algoma, despite shooting just 31% for the game, is up 3 after 3/4s.  Regina comes back in a contest which saw 25 lead changes.  the Cougars are 50% from the field, but are forced to the wall by the T’Birds hitting 14 of 40 from 3 point range vs 7/21 for UR. Alex Igual does it all for Regina with 20 pts/ 10 rebs/ 8 assts. , while Brian Ofori adds 15 pts/ 6 boards.  Algoma have Sean Clendenning and Callum White with 12 pts apiece.   Box Score 

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UNBC shocks Citadins in UQAM Tournament opener …. Classique Olga Hrycak at UQAM, Montreal 

Vaggelis Loukas has a big role in the T’Wolves win at UQAM

UNBC  Timberwolves 86   UQAM  Citadins 80  –  A shocker for the home team, as the under-rated T’Wolves fight back from 10 down in the opening quarter, and score 49 in the final 20 to snatch the opening day win. Shooting a sizzling 53% from the floor, and cashing 22/32 free throw attempts, UNBC overcame a 26 -21 turnover fest, and 45-30 rebounding deficit.  For the ‘Wolves Rhys Elliott struck for 27 points on 9/13, while Vaggelis Loukas had a terrific game himself, with 17 points and 12 big rebounds.  Charles Miller scored 22 for the Citadins, and Ibrahim Sylla posted a double of 13 pts/ 10 rebounds.   Box Score 

In the 2nd game at UQAM …  Memorial Seahawks 77  Guelph Gryphons 66

______________________________________________

Shoveller Memorial in Halifax –

#10 Dalhousie  Tigers 85  Mt. Royal Cougars 67 –  The Tigers come out firing, and dominate the Cougars from the opening tip. 4 Dal shooters reach double digits, with 18 pts/ 7 rebs from Kashrell Lawrence, and the same by Jarred Reid. The Tigers are 52.5% from the floor vs MRU’s 45.6%, and the home side hit 13 treys to 9 for the Cougars.  Derek Wolf scores 22 points on 9/15 for MRU, and Josh Ross has 14 plus 11 boards.  An obviously hobbled Brett Layton played limited minutes for the Cougars, scoring 6 points/ 4 rebounds.  Box Score 

#4 Ottawa Gee Gees 102 UPEI  Panthers 88 

St. FX X-Men 84 Acadia Axemen  69

Saint Marys 89  Queens Golden Gaels 86  OT

________________________________________

 

#3  Calgary  81 at Rocky Mountain College  72- The Battlin’ Bears could not match the visiting Dinos tonight as Thomas Cooper led UC with a double of 19 points/ 10 rebounds.  He got plenty of help with 11 players scoring for Calgary, including 18 by Mambi Diawara, who nailed 4 big free throws in the last minute. Calgary shot 47% from the floor to 43% for Rocky, and the Dinos 16/22 from the foul line were key to the win.  Calgary finishes this trip South with a game against the highly regarded Montana-Western Bulldogs on Friday.

at  Phoenix JC  75  #2 UBC  73  

  Thompson Rivers 97  West Coast Baptist  94 

also –  Rochester Coll. (MI)  95 Waterloo 71 ,  UNB 97 Holland Coll. 91

 

 

Overtime –

  • Here are the latest NAIA (smaller schools) National rankings for some of these schools in action against Canada West squads this Holiday season .  #9 Arizona -Christian , #11 Hope International (CA) , #16 Carroll College (MT) , #23  Montana St.

    Julian Spearchief-Morris plans to turn pro … at Law.

    -Northern , #24  Vanguard U. (CA) .  Also receiving votes – Montana-Western.

  • Our man, Dave Wells reports from the Lethbridge-  MtSt-N  game last night, where he spotted  …  “ Julian Spearchief-Morris, a grad of LCI and the U of L (after a brief fling at UVic)  is midway through his Harvard Law Degree studies. “  As Dave says, Julian was always a strong student, and could have played in the Ivy League, perhaps.  The Pronghorns program is pretty proud to hold him up as an example of the benefits of the CIS – U-Sport.

‘Horns Earn Split at Winnipeg

 

 Sentance and Overwater  Lead Pronghorns’ to Win

Import wing, Elliott Sentance scores 25 pts to pace Lethbridge

Import wing, Elliott Sentance, scores 25 pts to pace Lethbridge Saturday in their close win at Winnipeg.

 Lethbridge 78  at Winnipeg  75 –  The Pronghorns find themselves behind by 10 after 1 quarter, but they chip away and win each of the remaining 3 frames.  It’s back and forth for the whole 2nd half, and a Lethbridge steal and break-away hoop for Zac Overwater with 1 minute left give UL the edge. Two 3 point chances for the Ws in the last 10 seconds fail to go, and Lethbridge gets the split.  Both teams sit at 4-2 in the tight Canada West standings.   Box Score    Wesmen – 4 in double figures … Sean Tarver 15 pts/ 5 rebs/ 4 steals, Denzel Lynch-Blair  10 pts/ 4 rebs/5 asst/4steals   Pronghorns –  Elliot Sentance 25 pts/ 7 rebounds/ 5/7 from 3 point range , Zac Overwater  23 pts/ 6 rebs/10 of16 FG

at Alberta  83   Thompson Rivers  52  –  The drama is out of this game early, as U of A is up 46-24 at the break. The Bears shoot 48% from the floor to 31% for TRU, with 12 Alberta treys to only 3 for the ‘Pack. Alberta is perfect at 6-0, while TRU slips to 1-5 on the season.   Box Score     Bears –   Mamadou Gueye  17 points/ 7 rebs/ 3 asst  Austin Waddoups 16 pts / 4 rebs/ 4 steals  Wolf Pack –   Voldymyr Iegorov 10 pts/ 5 rebs  Joe Davis 11 pts

hus-copyat Saskatchewan 79  Brandon 50  –  The Huskies hang another W up, in a game where neither team was too efficient at the offensive end.  U of S are 39% from the floor, and Brandon a very cold 30%.  With a 12 point lead at the half, Saskatchewan picked up the scoring pace with 43 pts in the final 20 minutes, as they pull away. 4 Huskies in double digits, and they score 10 treys to 3 for the ‘Cats, and 19-9 points at the foul line.          Box Score   Huskies – Shane Osayande 12 pts / 11 rebs pts/ / , Jaylan Morgan 19 points , Chan De Ciman 12 pts/ 8 rebs     Bobcats –  Chris Stanhope 11 pts/ 3 assists

MacEwan 67  Victoria 63 –  The Griffs win a scrappy split with the Vikes, as Thadius Galvez and Harrison Lane make a pair of scoring drives to the hoop late in the contest.  31% from the floor for a struggling UVic offense, which could not take advantage of some FT misses by the home side in the last minute, as Justin Kinnear is the only Vice in double digits. Both teams are now 2-4 on the season.   Box Score   Griffins –  Galvez 19 pts /7 rebs, Keith Gerdes 13 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3/3 from 3 pt range   Vikes – Justin Kinnear 18 pts/ 13 rebounds

at UBC 75 Manitoba 72 –  The Bisons have a golden opportunity to get the win, but conjure up several ways to deny themselves the pleasure.  A lane violation on a missed UBC free throw opens the door for a series of dismaying Manitoba errors in the decisive last minute. 28/39 free throw efforts for the T-Birds keep them close, as does the 34% FG shooting from the Herd. The game suffers from excessive fouling, an ejection,  and 2 technical fouls to each team.  Low artistic impression.  Box Score     T’Birds – Conor Morgan  22 pts/ 7 rebs,  Jordan Jensen-Whyte 16 pts/ 6 rebs/ 3 steals  Bisons – AJ Basi 17 pts/ 5 rebs/ 9 steals , Justus Alleyn 15 pts, Keith Omoerah 13 pts/ 6 rebs/ 3 asst/ 3 steals

Josh Ross has a big night for Mt. Royal as the cougars sweep UBC-O

Josh Ross has a big night for Mt. Royal as the cougars sweep UBC-O

Mt. Royal 97 at UBC-O 68  – MRU finish off a red-hot offensive weekend with 54 second half points to add to a 43-21 lead at the break. Josh Ross, a 4th year transfer ( Vancouver Island U.) who was the CCAA player of the year in ’15-’16, posts a strong 28 point/ 10 rebound double.  The Cougars’ bench adds 33 points, including Chart Gill’s 3/3 from 3 point range.  MRU move to 3-1, while the Heat fall to 1-5.    Box Score   Cougars – Ross 28/ 10,  Brett Layton 13 pts/ 11 rebs/ 3 blocks   Heat – Mitch Goodwin 23 pts/ 7 rebs, Aldrich Berrios 16 pts/ 6 rebs/ 6 asst/ 3 steals

 

UNBC copy at UNBC 85  Trinity Western 70 –  The ‘Wolves hang up 33 points in the 3rd quarter to put this one out of reach. 11 treys by UNBC to 6 for TWU, and 22 Spartan turnovers create problems for the visitors.  Marcus MacKay is 6/12 from 3 pt range on his way to 26 points for the T’Wolves. The Timberwolves and Spartans are both now 2-4 in League play.   Box Score   Timberwolves –  Marcus MacKay 26 pts,  Vaggelis Loukas 19 pts/ 8 rebs, Rhys Elliot 18 pts/ 4 rebs/ 4 asst     Spartans –  Max Vitala 12 pts / 4 rebs, Peter Spanghei 11 pts


 More CIS scores on Saturday –

Ontario –  Ottawa 91 at Algoma 59 , at Queens 78  Waterloo 59,  Brock 86  Guelph 75,   at Windsor 83  Lakehead 69, at #9 Ryerson 98 Laurentian 61, at Toronto 86  Nipissing 74     Laurier 74  at York  67

Quebec – Concordia 77 UQAM 72 , at Laval 74  Bishops 64

Atlantic –  at Acadia 89  UNB 88 ,  St. Marys 93 UPEI 64 , Memorial 90  Cape Breton 69


 

Overtime –

3point-shootout-med

  •  The Fraser Valley Cascades are inviting high school basketball players to compete for the title of B.C.’s Best Three-Point Shooter. UFV Athletics will be holding three-point shooting contests at halftime  of their home games on Saturday, Nov. 26 vs. the UNBC Timberwolves. The male and female contest winners will receive a package of prizes featuring a game basketball from Skyline Athletics. From UFV Athletics , Dan Kinvig

Wesmen, Pronghorns Highlight Week 3

 

Week 3 –  Pronghorns Go to Winnipeg, Two 3-1 Teams Tussle

Denzel Lynch-Blair and his Wesmen teammates host the Lethbridge Pronghorns this week.

William Sesay and his Wesmen teammates host the Lethbridge Pronghorns this week.    photo –    UW Athletics

Lethbridge (3-1) at Winnipeg Wesmen (3-1)  –  Here are two teams perched near the top, and a sweep for either would be a major coup.  The Wesmen are quick, aggressive on defense.  They are shooting the ball well (45% FG) and scoring more from 3 point range (10.3 per game) than in the past. The Ws also are +6 on their rebounding. Import guard Sean Tarver (15.8 ppg) has added offensive depth to the Winnipeg attack.  ’15-’16 all-star, Denzel Lynch Blair (15.5 ppg) has now expanded his game, and there are 5 more Wesmen who are contributing 8 ppg or more.

Lethbridge, like the Wesmen, are scoring just over 80 ppg, but not as much from outside.  They are also a +6 rebounding team, and the ‘Horns defense has been sharp at limiting the opponents 3 pt FG% (29%, which is 2nd in CW).  U of L have 4 scorers averaging double figures … Elliott Sentance with 18.8 ppg, Dejon Burdeaux at 17 ppg, Zac Overwater 14.8, and Mike Pierzchala 12.5.  Our call – In a tight match-up, UW has the home court.

Manitoba (2-2) at UBC (2-0)-  Manitoba won a 66-64 home court decision vs the ‘Birds last January, but that is the only time in 21 games dating back to 2001. This season the Thunderbirds are #2 ranked and unbeaten in CIS play, while Manitoba are 4-5 overall and 2-2 in Canada West play.

The Thunderbirds have scored 87 ppg and given up 63.5 ppg; their rebound margin is +19 per game! Manitoba has a strong veteran core, with a couple of key additions this season.  The problem has been that they are not consistently producing a winning team effort.   Our call – Two wins at home by UBC.

Thompson Rivers (1-3)  at Alberta (4-0)-  We were surprised to see the ‘new-look’ Wolves  steal one at Manitoba; now can they engineer another road upset in Edmonton?  Big Volodymyr Iegorov (18.5 ppg) has able assistance from 5 others in the ‘Pack, as Luke Morris, Derek Rhodes, Joe Davis, Jeff Tubbs and Mike Rouault are all 8 ppg+.  But mediocre shooting numbers and near 20 turnovers a game limit their offensive efficiency.

Mamadou Gueye leads the 4-0 vs this week at U of A.

Mamadou Gueye leads the 4-0 Bears vs TRU this week at U of A.

Alberta have Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke scoring and rebounding up front, plus import guard  Austin Waddoups and transfer Geoff Pippus both shooting 50% from 3 point range.  The Bears score near 87 ppg and allow only 64 ppg to their opponents, while TRU almost exactly reverses those numbers.   Our call –  The GBs in their own den, get the sweep over the ‘Pack.

Victoria (1-3) at MacEwan(1-3) –  Home court was only good for a 4-6 mark last year for the Griffs, but they look deeper this season at the point, with Adonis Monfort-Palomino, with a 10-11 man rotation, and the game-in, game-out efforts of Thadius Galvez and Denzel James. Mac needs to improve on a -5 rebound margin, and to tighten up on a defense allowing 85 ppg.

The Vikes were not sharp against Calgary last week, and they need to find their most effective combos.  Scott Kellum is a good looking rookie point man, and import, college transfer, Wayne Tucker J,r can score.  Now, do we see the typical gritty Vikes defensive effort, or do they continue to struggle ?  88 ppg against will give someone heartburn !   Our call- A split is the most logical.

Mt. Royal (1-1) at UBC-O (1-3) –  It’s very early to make this cliched pronouncement, but here goes, regardless;  neither of these teams can feel good about a split this coming weekend.  The Cougars have had a a glimmer of superior play this Fall, but this is a series where 2 games in the W column are needed.

Okanagan are even more ‘needy’ for a home sweep with a 1-3 mark.  The match-ups … Aldrich Berrios and Mitch Goodwin at guard for the Heat vs Derek Wolfe and Glen Yang for the Cougars.  Ryan Morck and David Manshrek of UBC-O with a big task facing Brett Layton and Josh Ross of MRU.   Our call-  Edge to the Cougars.

Brandon (2-2)  at Saskatchewan (2-2) –   The Huskies are coming off a tough loss to Winnipeg on Saturday, and have been leaning heavily on their versatile post man, Shane Osayande, who boasts a 22.5 ppg and 15 rebs  stat line. Alex Unruh, at the point, is 13 ppg/ 3 assists, but the shooting % for the rest of the ‘Dogs’ pales in comparison.  Sask. is last in Canada West in team FG%  at 38% and in 3 pt% at 27.4%. The talent is there.  It’s time for the Huskies to play to their strengths.

The Bobcats come in with 2-2 record, already ahead of last season !  Import guard Tyvon Cooper a proven scorer from the Jr. College ranks in the U.S. is at 19.8 ppg, but needs others to step up in the scoring column.  They allow 70 ppg … pretty good!  But score just 70 ppg, and shoot only inconsistently from the floor, and 59.8% from the line, last in CW.  This is a potentially winning defense, but they need more  shared scoring.  Our call – The Huskies should sweep at home.

The T'Wolves scoring ace, Rhys Elliot will look to get win #1 for UNBC this week.

The T’Wolves scoring ace, Rhys Elliot will look to get win #1 for UNBC this week.

Trinity Western (2-2)  at UNBC  (0-4) –  The Timberwolves at home, and they will be campaigning for a pair of wins to get their pack moving forward.  Trinity is showing signs of life, and they are not just going to roll over, however.  Rhys Elliot shoots 52% from the floor for the T’wolves, and is 19.3 ppg; he just needs Marcus MacKay, Vaggelis Loukas, and a few others to pull harder on the ropes !

The Spartans have Vartan Tanielien (14 ppg), Pogos Trunyan (13 ppg), and 3 others at or near double figures. TWU needs to shoot it better as a team, and defend the trey more consistently.  Our call-  This may be another split , we suspect. 

All 3 of Calgary, Fraser Valley, and Regina get a bye this week.


screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-8-25-42-pm

Little Change in Top 10 –

It’s early, and some of the top teams haven’t played a League game, so not much to report.

We still have 5 OUA teams crowding the rankings, with just 2 from Canada West, 1 from Quebec, and 2 from the Atlantic.

Carleton and Ottawa join the rest of Ontario for a full slate this week. McMaster and Brock meet tonight in the only Top 10 match-up.

 


 

Overtime –

  • “I was telling these guys before the game, I’m proud of them because so far they’ve been the toughest group I’ve had,” said Brandon Coach Gil Cheung, following his team’s win over UBC-O last weekend. “I can get on them, I can coach them tough and sometimes it’s tough love. Sometimes the truth is harder to say than blowing smoke up their butt, but they’ve responded and everyone has a role. They value their role and that’s the biggest thing that everyone values each other in that room.”   From the Brandon Sun story by Nathan Liewicki         
  • “Decades have passed since CBC covered something as populist as basketball, though hundreds of thousands of Canadians play the game and 49 university teams battle on the hardcourt. And while an estimated 12 million Canadians are involved in amateur sports in some fashion (whether as participants, coaches, administrators or referees), according to the sports gurus at CBC, they’re all primarily interested in watching wealthy people leap fences while seated on a horse.”  From a story by Wayne Kondro for CIS Sport / U-Sport.

TWU / UNBC – Small School Challenges

 

Spartans and Timberwolves Face an Uphill Path

–  2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

These 2 B.C. schools are among the smallest, by population, in Canada West, and have quite a task in trying to match the resources and recruiting power of many of the larger programs. Despite this, the TWU Spartans, about 6-8 years ago were very competitive in this League with the likes of Jacob Doerksen, Brian Banman, and Jason Keegstra.  UNBC has yet to make that kind of impact, but  Coach Todd Jordan and his boys were 12-8 just 2 years ago with Rhys Elliott and Franko Kouagnia leading the way.

With this new 17 team League, there are now games against some of the much bigger schools for the T’Wolves, and Trinity is definitely in a ‘re-building phase’.  Both teams have some new faces who should help the cause for the upcoming year, but ‘it’s never easy’.

Trinity Western Spartans
No playoffs                  1 win   19 losses      (Pioneer Division)

Returnees – TWU copy
4th years –  4th years – Peter Spangehl, 6-3 wing, Surrey, BC.  Pogos Trunyan, 6-2, guard, (red-shirt last yr), Sacramento, CA … 3rd years – Tyus Allen, 6-1, guard,  White Rock, BC.  Vartan Tanielian, 6-4 guard, Surrey. Patrick Vandervelden, 6-10 forward, 3rd, Abbotsford.  Josiah Allison,  6-2, guard, 3rd, Abbotsford.  Eric Rogers, 6-4 guard,  Chilliwack.   2nd year –  Matt Hayashi, 7-1 post,  Langley … 1st year- Nathan Allison,  6-0 guard (redshirt ’15-’16), Abbotsford.

New faces –   Nick Smith, 6-4 fwd, 3rd,   Surrey (Kwantlen Poly U.). Max Viitala, 3rd, G, 6-5,  Melbourne, AUS  , Ambrose Univ. Coll., (Calgary).  Taturs Maberry, 6-6 post, 3rd, Pasadena, CA  (Los Angeles Valley Col.), Josiah Meppelink,  6-3 guard, 1st,   Langley ( Lynden Christian) Nigel Boyd, 6-3 guard, 1st,   Richmond  (Steveston- London), Aaron Paetkau, 6-5 wing, 1st, Parksville BC (Ballenas), Daniel Stead, 6-7 Wing, 1st, Langley (Walnut Grove), Justin Robinson, 6-1 guard, 1st,   Maple Ridge,  ( Maple Ridge Christian), Ben Reddy, 6-3 guard, 1st,  Victoria (Lambrick Park)

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-4-46-48-pm

California transfer, Pogos Trunyan (L) and returnee post man, Patrick Vandervelden (L) will be key to the fortunes of TWU.

With a young team coming off a very difficult ’15-’16 season, Coach Aaron Muhic starts his 2nd season at TWU counting on some of his returnees to bring a higher skill level and the determination to help the team move up. “The guys have a good team attitude, and we’re happy with how they work together”, said Muhic. “We certainly have challenges, but we also feel we have the pieces to make things better this year.”

Guard, Tyus Allen, who returns after a year off, “ … may have to shake the rust off,” says the coach, “but he has the skill and experience to be a leader.”  Muhic also points to 3rd year guard, Josiah Allison, who has shown “an aggressive style, and looks good in early workouts.”  Guard, Vartan Tanielian, and big forward, Patrick Vandervelden, should be set for impactful seasons with more playing experience.  Coach Muhic also has high hopes for 2nd year tower, Matt Hayashi, who, the coach tells us, “Is working hard, and starting to get more comfortable with his role.”

Pogos Trunyan played for Coach Muhic in the California College League, and he will be expected to give the Spartans scoring and floor leadership, after red-shirting in Langley in 2015-16. “He is eager to go, and has adapted very well to the International style of play, and his academic program at TWU”, says Muhic. Another import, Taturs Maberry, is a candidate for valuable contributions in scoring and rebounding. Local recruit, Joseph Meppelink, is a very capable high school grad, who has the size and skill to get him into the playing rotation.

Schedule –  Nov/Dec – at UBC-O, home and home vs Fraser Valley, at UNBC, vs Regina, vs Lethbridge   …  Jan/Feb –   at Winnipeg, vs Manitoba, at Victoria, at Mt. Royal, vs UBC   Prediction –  Will improve, but tough to reach the top 12


U. Northern BC Timberwolves
’15-’16 – No playoffs                 4 wins    16 losses  (Explorer Division)

Returnees – 5th years – Rhys Elliott,  6-1 guard, Adelaide, Aus. Elliot Rowe, 5-9 guard, Victoria   … 4th years –  Marcus MacKay, 6-4 wing, Terrace, BC.  Nolan Hanson, 6-1 guard, Prince George.  Austin Chandler, 6-6 fwd, Wenatchee, WA  … 3rd years – Vaggelis Loukas, 6-5 fwd, Athens, GR  … 2nd years – Anthony Hokanson, 6-5 fwd, Vancouver.  Saje Gosal, 6-5 wing, Golden, BC.  Neal Randhawa, 6-4 guard, Golden.UNBC copy
New faces –   James Agyeman, 5-11 guard, 3rd,  Brampton, ON (tsf- W. Laurier). Sam Zhang, 6-4 fwd, Pitt Meadows, BC (tsf Capilano Coll.) . Tyrell Laing, 6-0 guard, 1st year, Prince George (Prince George).  (RS) Volodymyr Pluzhnikov, 6-0 guard, Kharkiv, Ukraine (MBC Mykolaiv – Ukraine Superleague).

Todd Jordan, now in his 8th season in Prince George as Head Coach, is hoping 2016-’17 brings a little less pain than last year.  Injuries took away key players for far too many games, and it was tough to get any continuity.  “We were were going with a patch-work lineup from one series to the next”, said Jordan.

The Timberwolves get Nolan Hanson back after he missed almost all of ’15-’16, and Anthony Hokanson, Sam Zhang, and James Agyeman are now available.  Agyeman, a transfer from Laurier of the OUA, can step in as a skilled point man, and boost the guard corps. He and a healthy 5th year stalwart, Elliot Rowe ,should be a good combo at that spot. Rhys Elliott, another 5th year player,  returns as the ‘Wolves leading scorer (18 ppg, 7th in Canada West, 5 rebs and 2.3 assists.)

Two offensive threats for UNBC - Rhys Elliott (L) and Marcus MacKay (R)

Two offensive threats for UNBC – Rhys Elliott (L) and Marcus MacKay (R)

“We’ve had a good ‘off-season’”, says Jordan. “The guys have come back in great shape, and we have more experience as a whole team.”   Jordan says he is looking to several returnees to have significantly better campaigns, including wing, Marcus MacKay, a real 3 point threat.  Vaggelis Loukas will also be a key leader, with his toughness, scoring ability, and maturity as a player.

Rebounding is a focus for UNBC, as they struggled to meet their goals last year.  Jordan says, “We definitely know we have to improve, and everyone needs to play a part, if we want to get our share every game.”  The ‘Wolves take care of the ball very well, and have quality depth on the perimeter to ensure that continues.  Finding an interior presence on offense, and at least fighting to a draw on the boards are top priorities.

“This League gets very interesting as we meet the ‘Pioneer‘ schools, and every weekend is big if we are to contend for a playoff spot”, says Coach Jordan. “Maybe we can surprise a few favourites as our team comes together; we know the guys will work hard, and we think we will give it a good run.”

Schedule –  Nov/Dec – at Winnipeg, vs Alberta, vs Trinity Western, at Fraser Valley, vs Thompson Rivers,   Jan/Feb –  at Lethbridge, vs Mt. Royal, at Manitoba, at UBC, vs Saskatchewan     Prediction –  Tough road to  playoffs


 

Does size of schools matter ?inthebleachers-jumpball

If we looked at Canada West as an ocean, we’d be seeing whales, shrimp and everything in between.  From UBC, the big whale, to Northern B.C. a relative minnow in school population, this League has a wide array of school sizes.

Can schools the size of an average city high school hope to match the ‘big boys’?

cw-by-popn

The big fish, like UBC, Alberta, Calgary, and Manitoba very much dwarf the Trinity Westerns and UNBC’s out there.  It means financial resources, facilities, and ‘name recognition’.

Brandon is one school that, in the Coach Jerry Hemmings era, overcame this disadvantage, and the ‘Cats won multiple Great Plains titles and 4 National Championships.  But this may be too big a stretch for most of our really small schools.

TRU went to Nationals with a strong core of experienced and talented players last season, and Fraser Valley has had a couple of championship looks.  It remains to be seen how often the ‘small guys’ can buck the trend.

After all, who has won Canada West?   It has been Victoria 16 times, Alberta 11, UBC 9, Calgary 5, and Saskatchewan, Lethbridge, and Brandon 1 apiece.

(Note- We are not counting Great Plains titles won by Brandon, Manitoba, Regina, or Winnipeg)


 

Overtime –

  • The Guy Vetrie Invitational (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1) has Victoria  hosting McMaster, McGill, and Regina , and fans can watch live video on Canada West TV .   Thursday games – 6 pm (Pacific) McGill vs McMaster, 8 pm Vikes vs Regina, Friday – Regina-McMaster at 6, UVic – McGill at 8, and Saturday – Regina-McGill at 5 pm ,  Victoria vs McMaster at 7 pm.

Big Changes for UNBC and Okanagan

 

 

UNBC-Okan2

Okanagan and UNBC will look to Mitch Goodwin (#1-blue)) and ‘Francko’ Kouagnia (#7-white) to lead their respective teams.                                    (photo- UBC-O Athletics)

 

UNBC Adds Talent, Depth

Despite the loss of scorer/rebounder Charles Barton and point man Jibreel Stevens, the UNBC Timberwolves should be “ … far deeper this season than last”, suggests Coach Todd Jordan. With new faces having arrived from the B.C College ranks, the U.S., and Greece, the T’Wolves have re-charged their roster, and Jordan says, “I am very pleased with what I am seeing from our guys so far.”

Big 'Francko' grabs a rebound for the 'Wolves

Big ‘Francko’ grabs a rebound for the ‘Wolves (UBC-O Athletics, photo)

The ‘Wolves return their big man, Franck Olivier Kouagnia, a 4th year, 6-7 rebounding ace, who grabbed 6.2 rpg and scored 13 ppg, and, at times, dominated inside with his energetic style.  He will get help from  Vaggelis Loukas, a 1st year, 6-6 import forward from Athens, Greece, who brings a ‘Euro type’ game, with inside and outside skills, a good handle on the ball, and an ability to score and rebound.

Jordan expects a pair of Surrey, B.C. products, 5th year man, 6-4 Devin McMurtry, who is a work-man on the boards (4.1 rpg), and 3rd year, 6-5 shooter, Gagan Sahota (37% from 3 pt. range), to lend a hand up front.  Colin Plumb, a 6-4 wing from Pitt Meadows, transfers from Capilano U., and has the pedigree and scoring touch to make an impact.

In the back-court, Coach Jordan is excited about the arrival of import point man, Rhys Elliot (Adelaide, Australia, who shone in his lone season at Iowa Central J.C., and “ … is a very, very good, athletic 6-2 player.”

Jeff Chu (Vancouver), a 6-0, 5th year combo guard, will be one of the

Jeff Chu hangs in the lane.

Jeff Chu hangs in the lane.

key leaders, as he adds scoring (9 ppg) and rebounding (4 rpg), while the ‘Wolves will also benefit  from a fully healthy Billy Cheng (Richmond, B.C.), a dynamic ball-handler .

Marcus MacKay (Terrace, B.C.) and Nolan Hanson (Prince George), a pair of 6-2 guards , and Mitchell Howden (Abbotsford), a 6-5 wing return for their 2nd year, ready to make bigger contributions.  Michael Smith, a 6-2, 4th year shooting guard from Toronto, lands in Northern B.C. after stints at Regina and Brandon.

Coach Jordan says, “We are very comfortable with this group of guys; they are working well together, and we think some of our returnees are now ready to step up and play a bigger role for us. We’re bigger, deeper and we’re pretty excited about where we’re going. “

UNBC logoThe ‘Wolves were in Edmonton Oct. 2-4 at the Alberta Basketball Showcase , and now wait for the tough start of Explorer Division season play  as they travel to Kamloops for Nov.7/8 games vs the TRU Wolf Pack, then on the road again on the 14/15th vs Fraser Valley in Abbotsford.  Their 1st home dates are Nov.21/22 against Mt. Royal, then finish the pre-Christmas slate with Okanagan the vistors to Prince George on the 28th-29th.

 

 

 

Youth is Served at Okanagan

Hometown star, Buzz Truss (10) is one of 7 high school recruits for the Heat.

Hometown star, Buzz Truss (10) is one of 7 high school recruits for the Heat.

There are youth movements, then there’s UBC-Okanagan !  Coach Peter Guarasci has 7 rookies; that is fresh-out-of-high school rookies.  They may be shaving, but they hardly have to … these are 17 and 18 year olds competing in a League where 23-24-25 is not entirely uncommon. The ‘vets’ for this Kelowna squad are 4 second-year returnees, and a lone 3rd year, Mitch Goodwin.

Coach Guarasci suggests, “We wanted to go young, and we think these guys have talent, they’re coachable, and they have high basketball IQ’s.  This is my 3rd year at UBC-O, and I inherited a group of players when I arrived.  We’ve recruited some youngsters here who we hope will grow together, and be here for the long run.”

Mitch Goodwin drives to the lane.            (UBC-O photo)

Mitch Goodwin drives to the lane.                  (UBC-O photo)

Goodwin, one of 5 local Kelowna products, is a 6-2 combo guard, who brings many talents to the table;  last season he averaged 11 ppg, 4.5 rebs, and 1.4 steals.  He is an obvious leader, and, if he can improve his assist/turnover ratio, could be among the top players in this Explorer Division.  Ryan Lintell, a 6-4, 2nd year shooter, will be expected to carry a large slice of the scoring load, with his smooth stroke from long range.  David Manshrek is a 2nd year returnee from North Vancouver, who is a strong rebounder at 6-4, and another 6-4 wing, 2nd year Cameron Friesen should step in with his scoring and rebounding abilities as well .

This large rookie class has height, which is something Guarasci, a 6-9 former National team forward, should be able to nurture. 6-9 Ryan Moock (Airdrie, AB), and 6-8 Dean Johnston (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) will get a trial under fire as they jump right into the playing rotation.  6-6 Austin Penrose  (West Vancouver), and 6-5 Noma Obaseki (Vancouver) will both be ‘learning on the fly’ against more experienced, mature match-ups.

The guard-corps has 3 outstanding additions in 6-1 point man, Aldrich Berrios (Notre Dame-Burnaby), a wheeling and dealing passer/scorer with speed and a sharp shooting eye, along with a couple of 6-4 ‘off-guards / wings’ in Cam Servatius (Sardis, Chilliwack, B.C.) and Buzz Truss (Kelowna Sr. Sec), both of whom were chased by several teams in the recruiting process.

UBC-O logoCoach Guarasci has an active roster of 11 B.C. and 2 Alberta grads, with no imports to be seen; “We get no international (tuition) waivers, and, with our academic programs so challenging, we have to recruit guys who can succeed”, says the coach. “A key for us is to have the patience to allow these players to develop, and to teach them, and support them so they can stick with us for 5 years.”

Winning consistently may not happen right away, with so much youth in the line-up, but Guarasci has a bold plan for the Heat program, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out as this group matures.  After 2 decisive losses at Lethbridge this past weekend (90-65, 96-74), UBC-O continues their pre-season on Oct. 17/18 with a pair against Lewis and Clark College in Idaho, then, on the 25th and 26th the Heat are at home to play Laurentian (Sudbury, ON) of the OUA, and Trinity Western.

Okanagan’s Explorer Division League play starts Nov. 7/8 in Kelowna  as they host the early favourites, the Fraser Valley Cascades. They continue their pre-Christmas schedule on the road at Mt. Royal, at home vs new Canada West entry, MacEwan, then finish up at UNBC on the 28/29 vs the T’Wolves.

 

Former Canada West rookie of the year, Ilarion Bonhomme was cut by Brandon this Fall.

Former Canada West rookie of the year, Ilarion Bonhomme was cut from the  Brandon Bobcats team this Fall.

Roster Turnover is Inevitable

As we examine the rosters of Canada West teams every Fall, we are, of course, interested in the new recruits for each team, both the young high school stars, and the transfers and imports from other schools and countries.  But we are also struck by the absence of some key characters from the past season.

Players fail to continue with their teams for a wide variety of reasons;  it may be a decision made by the student-athlete or by the coach, and there are different circumstances that arise in the lives of many young people.  The academic challenges are one of the major factors, and even as athletes generally fare better than the average students, there are still players who don’t meet the required standard.  Injuries can quickly discourage an athlete or even take them right out of competition.

2010-2011 University of Victoria Vikes Basketball

UVic’s Kyle Peterson transfers to Lethbridge after playing a significant role in 2 seasons with the Vikes.

Players may choose to leave one program for another … go back home, leave home, seek ‘greener pastures’, play their last year or 2 at a different place;  transfers are more and more common.   With the wide – spread in ages for competing athletes comes different priorities;  some older athletes just decide to move on, and some younger ones may get discouraged.  Guys go the pros, to work, or some athletes decide they just don’t want to dedicate all that time and effort any more.

Even some of the top players may find that they no longer fit in their team’s plans, or their role will change. This season we note some of the more prominent player absences –  UVic’s Kyle Peterson, Calgary’s Josh Turner, Brandon’s Ilarion Bonhomme, UBC-O’s Greet Gill, Mt. Royal’s Jared Cornish, Regina’s Brendan Hebert, Saskatchewan’s Stephan Lamar, TRU’s Ta’Quan Zimmerman, UNBC’s Jibreel Stevens, UBC’s Isaiah Solomon,  and Trinity Western’s Anthony Ottley.

Continuity is a goal of all programs, but there are so many factors at play which can cause or contribute to a player leaving a team.  Situations rarely stay the same for any length of time.

 

Overtime –

  •   Scores from the past weekend –  Carleton wins all 3 at the UVic – Guy Vetrie Memorial  – 69-52 over Alberta, 80-64 over UVic, and 83-61 over Bishop’s.  Alberta topped the Vikes 80-65. Winnipeg took 2 games at Lakehead – 90-89 then 80-70.  Trinity Western dropped 2 of 3 at the Queen’s Tournament – TWU 69-Queen’s 60, McGill 71 TWU 51, Guelph 73 Trinity 70.
  • We mistakenly reported that Nipissing Lakers were moving from Ontario College competition to the OUA.  Actually, this is their first foray into Men’s Basketball competition at any post-secondary level.
  •   More scores – UFV 88 Van. Island U. 70 , Lethbridge 96-74 and 90-65 over UBC-O, Mt. Royal 82-UNBC 71, Saskatchewan 101-MacEwan 64.