Teams Making Headway – ‘Horns and Wesmen tied up, and UFV surges
We have 3 teams getting a sweep in League play last weekend … Lethbridge – Now with 8 wins, they get a home sweep over UNBC, and will host Saskatchewan in a ‘heat – check’ kind of match-up this coming Friday/Saturday. Their addition of Junior Sesay will add depth, especially if he rounds into game shape in the next couple of weeks. Winnipeg – also with 2 wins at home (TWU), are tied for 4th place with the ‘Horns. The Ws have a ‘friendly schedule’, but Coach Raimbault will be reminding his troops that any team is dangerous (TWU !). Fraser Valley – get to .500 with as good a pair of games as they’ve played this season. The Cascades guards can fill it up, as they did vs MacEwan, and their bigs are starting to make a larger ‘foot-print’.
Just flesh wounds for the Bears, T’Birds, and Dinos as each of the U-Sport Top 10 squads take a loss in the head-to-head action. The Huskies rise up with a ‘renewed purpose’ to take 1 from UBC, and their new guard, Lawrence Moore, will be a plus as they challenge the other contenders. (*** 12 teams to make the play-offs)
High Impact Performers last week –
UBC’s Conor Morgan (25.3) supplants the Dinos Thomas Cooper (24.3) as Canada West’s scoring leader, helped by that 30 point game in Saskatoon. Next are UL’s Elliott Sentance at 19.6 ppg, Mt. Royal’s Josh Ross at 19.3, and Saskatchewan’s Shane Osayande with 19.0.
Mr. ‘Double-Double’ (no, not coffee!) Osayande tops the rebounding at 11.0, just ahead of MRU’s Brett Layton, 10.9 (16.2 ppg for his double), with Josh Ross of the Cougars just under at 9.9 rpg
Quirky stat … The top 5 shooters from beyond the 3 pt arc are from Alberta schools! Charn Gill, MRU– 53.8%, Austin Waddoups, Alberta -52.2%, Geoff Pippus, Alberta-50.9%, Ivan Ikomey, Alberta- 50%, and Jasdeep Gill, Calgary-47.6%
Other than Morgan’s ‘Top 10’ game -breaking effort (and his 52 pts/11 rebs/ 5
blocked shots in the Sask series), here are some more star performers from January’s 1st week – Mt. Royal’s Brett Layton, at less than 100% physically, still pours in 42 pts and grabs 33 rebounds vs Brandon … the Bobcats’ Earl Thompson Jr returns the favour, with his 39 pts/ 28 boards in 2 tight games … Elliott Sentance records 2 doubles for the Pronghorns, as his accurate artillery fire nets 40 points, and he adds 21 rebounds … his ‘Horns’ ‘partner in crime’, Dejon Burdeaux, directs the UL action in their sweep, with his 44 pts/6 asst/5 steals … Max Vitala, TWU, racks up 40 pts in 2 games at Wpg … Aldrich Berrios totals 50 points in a productive home weekend for his UBC-O Heat … Berrios’ 5th year Heat teammate, Mitch Goodwin steps up both nights as well, with 43 pts/11 rebs … 5th year forward Keith Gerdes does his best for Mac with his 2 game series of 45 points at UFV.
Single game wonders include – The Cascades’ Manny Dulay, with a very hot hand, going 7/9 from 3 pt range in scoring 23 pts/ 5 steals in Saturday’s 2nd straight win over the Griffs … Grant Sitton hit 30 pts/ 7 rebs in helping the Vikes to a road win on Friday at TRU … 6-7 Patrick Vandervelden spurs on the Spartans as he hangs up a most impressive 20 pts/ 18 rebs double at Winnipeg.
Atlantic Standings –
This isn’t something you see every day, week, year. In fact, when was the last time the mighty SeaHawks ruled the roost in the AUS? The ‘smart money’ might say that Dal Tigers will eventually rise to the top. Meanwhile, Vasilije Curcic (17.4 ppg/ 8.6 rebs) and ‘mates are enjoying a season to remember ‘On the Rock’ !
Cape Breton, on the other hand, are looking for the least little ray of hope, as their fortunes have certainly faded.
- One has to love the ‘glass-more-than-half-full’ attitude of Trinity Coach Aaron Muhic ! His team plays very well at Winnipeg in a close loss on Saturday, “We were very focused tonight,” said Muhic. “Our team competed. Anytime we hold a team to under 38 per cent from the field, we have a chance to win. That is what we worked for and we had a chance to win. I thought that Patrick (Vandervelden), Tee (Maberry, ), Max (Vitala), and Vartan (Tanielian ) were amazing on the boards. This was by far our best game rebounding thus far. I’m proud of our team effort tonight.”
- Canada West Women’s – Top 2 – Alberta 11-1 , Winnipeg 11-1 … In hot pursuit – UBC 8-2, Regina 8-2 … Play-off threats – Calgary 7-3, Fraser Valley 7-3, TWU 7-5, Victoria 6-4, Saskatchewan 6-4 . Teams are very close on any single game. Calgary hands Alberta their 1st loss on Saturday, and Trinity gets an upset roadie over Winnipeg as well. There may not be a clearly dominant team, or even 2 or 3 who are so far ahead. The 2nd half will be very competitive!