Print Edition: October 31, 2012
The Second Annual Honda Way Tournament took place at UFV this past weekend, which meant more pre-season action for Cascades men’s basketball – this time against four great teams. The fellow competitors consisted of the Langara College Falcons, the UNBC Timberwolves, and the McMaster University Marauders out of Hamilton, Ontario. The Lakehead University Thunderwolves of Thunder Bay, Ontario also came out to play, the team UFV defeated in the quarter-finals of the CIS National Championship last year. Friday night was the rematch of that game.
The Cascades immediately took charge in the first quarter on the offensive side. Five-year veteran Kyle Grewal played aggressively inside the zone, scoring six points in nearly two minutes. “He [Kyle] played the game tonight like we wanted him to play. He’s grown into a number-one-option type of player and we’re hoping that he keeps it up in the regular season,” said rookie head coach Adam Friesen. After 10 minutes of play, UFV was leading Lakehead 24–11.
In the second, the “green-men” played another excellent quarter taking their biggest lead of the game thus far (19 points). Sam Freeman, another five-year veteran of UFV, attacked the paint, causing Lakehead to foul and allowing UFV to get those all-important free-throws. He would finish the game with 14 points! After an attempted comeback by the Thunderwolves, the Cascades still had a 13-point lead at the half, 44–31.
In the third quarter, the men showed no mercy to the Thunderwolves as they scored 13 points in a row to take the biggest lead of the game by 29 points. Coach Friesen said, “The fact that we made a lot of good shots was not surprising at all. We’re not always going to shoot that well, but the way we passed the ball was the best part of our game tonight.” The other reason was because of the incredible defensive positioning of James York, the other five-year veteran star, who got three steals.
The fourth quarter sealed the deal for the Cascades, despite another attempted effort by the Lakehead Thunderwolves, and in the end, they won the CIS rematch with a final score of 88–70. Player of the game was Kyle Grewal, who scored 28 points all together. Although the boys proved that they can play aggressively, Coach Friesen believes that the mentality of the team still needs to get better in order to be fully prepared for the 2012–2013 Canada West Season. “Tonight’s game showed that we have the talent to compete with the best this year. We’re going to have a lot of challenges that are going to be mental and as a group, that’s going to be our biggest learning curve.”
The men’s basketball team looks promising this year in the hands of its confident coaching staff and stellar players. They kick-off their season on November 2 and 3 in Calgary as they take on the newest Canada West Conference team, the Mount Royal University Cougars. Students can catch them at their home opener on November 9 and 10 when they play the University of Victoria Vikes.