Print Edition: November 6, 2013
This weekend the quest to become national champions started for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams as both opened their seasons at home. Playing Friday and Saturday night against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns and the University of Calgary Dinos respectively, both teams began in fine style – by winning.
The first game of the weekend was also the most lopsided of the four as the UFV women’s team easily handled the visiting Pronghorns in a 38 point victory (70-32). The women are ranked fourth in the country this year, and justified their ranking with suffocating defense and relentless scoring. They held the Pronghorns to 16 in the first quarter, then only 16 more for the rest of the game. However it wasn’t only the defense that was a point of emphasis for the squad; seven players registered on the score sheet in the first half alone. The Cascades proved their wealth of experience, toughness, and strength at both ends as they forced an exorbitantly high amount of turnovers (29) and shot 47 per cent for the game, with 11 of the team’s 12 players making a positive mark on the score sheet.
The second game of the weekend for the women’s team was against the University of Calgary Dinos. UFV started the game switching back and forth between a 2-3 zone defense and a straight-up man-to-man. The 2-3 zone, which coach Tuchscherer eventually decided to ditch, was anchored by second-year Shayna Litman and provided some strong interior defense. However it was quickly solved by the quick-thinking Dinos coaching staff, so the Cascades reacted by changing back to their reliable man to man. Once again, nine different Cascade women made the score sheet. Fourth-year Sarah Wierks lead the way with 15 points and 13 boards.
The Dinos starting point guard, fifth-year Tamara Jarrett, played a fantastic game, and was easily the best player for the struggling visitors.
The men’s team also played against both the University of Lethbridge and the University of Calgary, but weren’t as dominant as their female counterparts.
Against Lethbridge, the Cascades squad began by grabbing a quick lead which, while challenged on several occasions, they never gave up. The game ended 79-69 but seemed much closer than it was. The men were spurred on by their dynamic backcourt consisting of Klaus Figueredo and Kevon Parchment, who together registered 20 of the team’s 38 first-half points, and 45 of the team’s 79 points in the game. The incredible play of second-year Parchment led all players (28 points, nine rebounds, seven assists). Fourth-year Jasper Moedt also helped off the glass for the Cascades as he contributed a game-high 13 of the team’s 47 rebounds. Moedt also came up with two big steals and 15 critical points.
In the final game of the weekend the UFV men’s squad matched up with the University of Calgary Dinos in what proved to be a classic game of basketball.
The Cascades started the game extremely slow, going 0-4 from the field before hitting a tough inside layup two minutes in to give them their first points of the game. The bad shooting would be a harbinger of things to come for the Cascades. Early in the game Kevon Parchment was victim to some questionable calls from the trio of referees, burdening him with two quick fouls and forcing him to sit the majority of the first quarter. Also a sign of things to come were the contributions of first-year Manny Dulay, who hit back-to-back three pointers to keep the Cascades close at a crucial point in the first. In the second quarter Dinos coach Dan Vanhooren decided to run their offense through 6’7 Matt Letkeman and 6’8 Brett Burley, their two biggest players. Cascades coach Adam Friesen was forced to put in the Cascades best interior defender, Moedt, before the Dinos could come up with any serious momentum.
At the half the Cascades trailed the Dinos 30-26. The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair as the Cascades took advantage of their speed and defensive pressure to start multiple mini runs and close within a point or two of the Dinos; however, the Dinos were always able to counter with a big three or a timely layup. When the fourth quarter began and the Cascades fell behind by 10 points, coach Friesen was forced to make some changes. He decided to send sixth man Manny Dulay into the game, which turned out to be the best decision of the night. As soon as he checked in Dulay played like a man possessed by the powers of Space Jam. From behind the arc, he drained nearly everything he put up on his way to a game high 23 points and a 7-13 from three-land. It was the strong play of Dulay, Moedt, Parchment, and Figueredo that fueled a 33-point fourth quarter for the Cascades and granted them the 71-56 win.
“I was really happy, really proud,” coach Friesen said after the game. “I mean, we typically shoot a lot better than that [33.8 per cent for the game] but we have a lot of new faces, a lot of guys that haven’t played with each other. To fight together like that was … the first time we had a chance to do that … we really came through and did really well.”
Next week both the men and women travel to Vancouver Island to do battle with the University of Victoria Vikings. This weekend was an excellent start with promising performances from both teams, but it’s a long season and this is only the beginning.