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Cascades put on a show in the lead up to playoffs

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On Friday, Feb. 1, as part of a home/away weekend of basketball action, the UFV Cascades took on the winless TWU Spartans. In what would be looked back on as a highlight reel weekend, UFV handily defeated TWU in back-to-back games and said a heartfelt goodbye to the regular season careers of Mark Johnson, Navjot Bains, and Andrew Morris.

The first quarter of Friday’s game saw UFV start slow, shooting only 40 per cent from the field. Trinity Western not only shot the ball well, they also out-rebounded the Cascades, leading to a largely undesirable first quarter score of 27-21 for the home team. The second quarter saw a switch around, with UFV now shooting over 50 per cent and enjoying some fan-friendly moments, such as a massive slam by Daniel Adediran and a three-point shooting streak for Mark Johnson (appropriately, on senior night).

The UFV Cascades put forth quite the showing in the third quarter of Friday’s game. With five members of the home team already in double digit scoring territory, the Cascades shot a wildly hot 72.2 per cent from the field. The highlights kept rolling as well, with Andrew Morris showing off some impressive playmaking and passing ability, as well as with Sukhjot Bains’ huge two-handed slam to close out the quarter. The fourth quarter saw the Cascades continuing the narrative, out-playing the Spartans who all too often had to rely on contested shots due to UFV’s impressive defence. In the end, UFV shot 53.8 per cent from the field to go with 41 rebounds, while TWU shot 41.5 per cent to go with 35 boards themselves. This was enough for the Cascades to win their first meeting with the Spartans by a score of 106-75.

These two teams met again just one day later, this time at TWU. UFV looked to continue the brand of basketball they displayed the night before, while Trinity Western attempted to find their first win of the season in their final regular season home game. The Cascades started strong this time around, outscoring the Spartans 20-12 and shooting 42.9 per cent from the field compared to TWU’s 22.7 per cent field goal percentage. The second quarter was all Parm Bains, as the UFV guard came off the bench and scored 14 points, leading to a 26-14 quarter score for the away team.

The third quarter saw Parm Bains and Andrew Morris come up big, scoring 19 of UFV’s 31 points in the quarter. TWU played better in the fourth quarter but by that point the Cascades had built quite a lead for themselves. UFV wound up winning the game 94-73 with Parm Bains lighting up the stat sheet for 28 points and Andrew Morris turning in a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double. The Cascades (13-7) now host the UNBC Timberwolves for their first playoff game of the year which will take place at home on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Due to it being the final regular season home game of the year, it was senior night on Friday at UFV. The Envision Financial Athletic Centre came together Friday night to celebrate the contributions of three fan-favourite players: Mark Johnson, Navjot Bains, and Andrew Morris. Mark Johnson provided great outside shooting with very good rebounding, and overall, he gave the fans here at UFV excellent guard play night in and night out. Navjot Bains gave UFV and UFV fans incredible hustle with lockdown defence. His post-play was also noteworthy, and Nav could always be seen hyping up players on the bench, showcasing his skills as a passionate, effective leader. Andrew Morris brought athleticism and basketball knowledge to the Cascades and could be seen in all types of plays. Whether it was a key rebound, a long-distance shot, a dunk, or a well-placed assist, Andrew always provided UFV with a well-rounded game and in turn, gave the fans at UFV many exciting plays over his tenure with the team. Their contributions to the team and to the fans at UFV have been nothing short of special.

Mark Johnson reflected on his time with the Cascades after his final regular season home game.

“It means a lot to me. I mean, I’ve been here for four years now, gotten to know the team, gotten to know the community. It’s been a fun ride. I don’t have any regrets coming here; it’s been a great four years and I’ve loved every second of it.”

Come see the Cascades play this Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre here at UFV.

Image: Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics

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