Print Edition: November 28, 2012
The University of the Fraser Valley men’s and women’s basketball teams were at it again this weekend at the Envision Athletic Centre (EAC) for their final home games before the winter break. The season has seen both squads exceeding expectations and drawing national attention for their success.
In the early Friday game the women’s team made a point in setting the tone early and often as they raced out to a quick double-digit lead and never looked back to earn a 15 point, 66-51 victory over the visiting Manitoba Bisons. The outcome never seemed in doubt for the veteran Cascades squad who put on a fast break clinic, using tough defence to lead to easy layups on the offensive end of the floor. By the half, head coach Al Tuchscherer was able to move deeper into his bench and give his starters a rest. After the game, third-year guard Tessa Hart commented, “It was a good opportunity to get the younger players in and experience a high tempo game. Those are players that we need to be able to contribute in big games.”
Leading the Cascades on this night was third-year forward Sarah Wierks with 18 points, followed by a good contribution by guard Celeste Dyck who had 10 points and nine rebounds.
The late game on Friday featured the eighth nationally ranked men’s Cascades team taking on the unranked University of Manitoba Bisons basketball team. In an entertaining matchup the Cascades managed to pull ahead 38-29 at half. The game went back and forth, with the home town squad never really being able to put the upstart visitors away for good until late in the fourth quarter. The Cascades finished the game with an 83-59 victory but there was no satisfaction in the win in the home team’s locker room. “We came out flat as a team, there was very little energy from the guys tonight,” stated assistant coach Brian Crowe. He continued “We have potential to be a very dangerous team, but we need to bring more energy from the start of the game.” It speaks volumes of a team when they can come out with a 24-point win and feel like they did not come close to touching their potential.
Leading the home squad was second-year transfer Kevon Parchment and second-year guard Nathan Kendall. Parchment contributed 28 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals; simply put, it was a monster effort. The most impressive Cascade of the night had to be Nathan Kendall, who—despite being drastically undersized to play the forward spot—put up 13 points and hauled in 10 rebounds for the double-double.
Also noteworthy is that fifth-year stars Kyle Grewal and Sam Freeman were relatively quiet all night. Freeman looked like the walking dead with sports tape seemingly holding him together for the duration of the game. Despite putting up a respectable 18 points Freeman looked like he had to battle to get up and down the floor every possession. Grewal finished the night without a point to his name and just four rebounds. Teams have taken to double and triple teaming Grewal in recent weekends, which has influenced his effectiveness. It will be key for the Cascades to find a way to put Grewal to better use, as he is a player who is capable of putting up All-Canadian type numbers. Once the Cascades can begin to utilize Grewal more effectively it would not be a stretch to say that men’s team could be taking another run at a national title this spring.
On Saturday the Cascades women edged the University of Winnipeg Wesmen 60-52, while our “green men” beat their “Wes men” 68-62.
The next weekend that both teams play at the Envision Athletic Centre is January 11 and 12. For some cheap (free for UFV students) entertainment, come on down and check out your Cascades men’s and women’s basketball teams.