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A lesson in Brinkmanship: Cascades rookie Kaitlyn Brink shows veterans aren’t only UFV strength

Brink, Samantha Kurath, Jaslyen Singh and Kayli Sartori were all recruited in the last two years from Abbotsford’s W. J. Mouat Secondary. Coach Tuchscherer is known for picking several players from the same, local team, and it’s a strategy which obviously works for him

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By Paul Esau (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: January 30, 2013

The UFV women’s basketball team rolled through a two-game sweep of the UNBC Timberwolves last weekend, winning 67–42 and 82–47 to improve their record to 13–3 on the season. Aieisha Luyken netted 35 points between the two nights (including seven three pointers on Saturday), and Nicole Wierks added 18 points and 10 steals. The Cascades continued to display their defensive ability with a monstrous 46 steals between the two games, proving once again that they deserve their ranking as fourth in the nation.

One dull spot in an otherwise solid Friday performance was a troubling inability to capitalize on the fast break. Tessa Hart, Kayli Sartori and Luyken were only the most notable Cascades to miss transition layups in the first half, a trend that head coach Al Tuchscherer says is a result of last weekend’s disappointing losses.

“For us, we’re in a little bit of a funk right now,” said Tuchscherer. “You go on the road and you lose a couple games, we’re a little bit disappointed about last week and I think that has a little bit of an effect upon our confidence … we come back and we were pressing a little bit too hard. We just weren’t fluid tonight at all. Just rebuilding that confidence at the end … all our girls know how to hit layups [laughs].”

The missed baskets kept the game closer than it should have been into the second quarter. The turning point came from an unlikely source: red-shirt freshman Kaitlyn Brink.

Brink came into the game at a fluid moment, a moment when UNBC was narrowing the deficit and UFV seemed incapable of capitalizing off their steal-to-turnover ratio. Instead of turning to the veterans on the team for help, Brink took the ball to the rim for a quick two points, ran down the court, stole the ball, and worked a quick give-and-go for another basket. In a matter of seconds Brink put the Cascades firmly back in charge, and gave her team a much-needed boost off the bench.

“I’ve been through Junior Cascades,” Brink said of her own uncommon confidence, “and play[ed] with [the veterans] for years, I know how they play, I’ve watched how they play. I’ve learned to stay composed out there … and make sure I get the job done.”

Brink, Samantha Kurath, Jaslyen Singh and Kayli Sartori were all recruited in the last two years from Abbotsford’s W. J. Mouat Secondary. Coach Tuchscherer is known for picking several players from the same, local team, and it’s a strategy which obviously works for him: Courtney Bartels, Sarah and Nicole Wierks and Alexa McCarthy were all recruited from Chilliwack Secondary also within a year of each other.

This is the first time the women have ever won more than 12 games in a CIS season. The Cascadeswill travel to UBC-O this weekend, and should be able to continue setting new in-house records.

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