When the Cascades hosted the Timberwolves earlier in their 2018-19 campaign, they swept them as part of their large mid-season win streak. This past Thursday, the Timberwolves were eager to show that they had not forgotten the defeats handed to them by UFV, and came out ready to pull off the upset.
The first quarter tipped off and right away it was evident the name of the game that night was defence. Neither team shot particularly well, but the Cascades lost on offence. Managing to only make four shots in the first quarter for a field goal percentage of 21.1 per cent, UFV was in trouble. They rebounded well, and the turnovers weren’t too lopsided, but the lack of offence translated to a 17-10 score for UNBC at the end of the first frame.
The second quarter showed promise, but it was marginal. UFV and UNBC began to score more efficiently, but the Timberwolves did so with much greater success (60.0 per cent compared to the Cascades 33.3 per cent). Parm Bains’ confidence was not shaken and he continued shooting despite the team’s scoring woes, scoring at 30 per cent. When UFV called a timeout in the second quarter, the score read 12-25 for the Timberwolves. It was safe to say UNBC was on the way to a massive upset win: the halftime score read 38-26 and UFV went off to the locker room knowing they had to turn the game around in a big way if they were going to beat the determined and focused UNBC squad that night.
In the third quarter, the Cascades showcased a turnaround nothing short of inspiring. They not only tightened up their defence even more, but also began scoring much more efficiently. The dynamic duo of Sukhman Sandhu and Parm Bains emerged as the game’s one-two punch, both showing impressive offence from outside and inside. UFV pulled ahead in the rebounding department, and Nav Bains showed his senior experience by being a big defensive presence. UNBC shot 16.7 per cent from the field; a surprisingly low percentage due in large part to the Cascades’ defensive performance.
The fourth quarter, if nothing else, showed everyone in attendance why the Cascades are unique. Seniors Andrew Morris and Nav Bains helped close out the game for UFV, while Sukhman and Parm continued to display excellent offensive play. UFV’s defence was particularly impressive, as they held UNBC to a ridiculously low 15.4 per cent field goal percentage. It was truly a game of two halves; UFV struggled early but showed up when it mattered most in the second half of the game, winning 67-59.
Coach Adam Friesen was quoted after the game giving props to senior Nav Bains for his leadership skills that helped propel the team to victory.
“Although everyone played a big part in it, I think we can single out Nav as being the leader who sets a high standard for everyone on the court,” Friesen said to Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics communications coordinator.
UFV will now head to UBC to face their toughest test of the playoffs so far: a three-game road series versus the UBC Thunderbirds taking place on Feb. 14–16.
Image: Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics