From the title you may already be saying “Come on Alex, season defining? It’s only part way through the season!” But here I am to tell you that this weekend the UFV women’s basketball team did more than just win; they showed their true potential. Coming into the weekend the UNBC Timberwolves were riding high, unbeaten and looking to extend their undefeated season over the Cascades. The Cascades had other plans and pulled off the upset by defeating the first-ranked team not once, but twice!
The first game of the weekend proved tough for the Cascades. The first quarter score read 16-18 with UNBC establishing their game, and though UFV was right in the game, fouls and rebounding seemed to be the early issues for the Cascades. The second quarter saw a much different UFV team and their defence was the key to UNBC calling a timeout with a score of 22-18 for the Cascades, though the Timberwolves were very much in the game. Once UNBC began to work around the constant double- and triple-team defence on Vasiliki Louka by the Cascades, they were able to re-establish their offence and lead by a single point going into halftime. UFV showed moments of great success, and it was up to them to bring it in the second quarter.
The third quarter started very close with UNBC struggling to hit shots, but also getting more calls from the referees. UFV saw foul trouble early in the second half and it wound up helping the Timberwolves lead by one point yet again going into the fourth quarter. A big score from the Cascades’ Victoria Jacobse had the Cascades up two. The game was still very close, and UFV had a chance to defeat the undefeated Timberwolves but it would take some heroics. Those heroics came from the Cascades’ Madeline Beerwald who hit the game-winning midrange jumper to put UFV ahead by four points with only 12 seconds left. This did it, and UFV defeated UNBC by a score of 72-66. Taylor Claggett had a great showing for the Cascades, scoring 28 points and going 16-19 from the free-throw line. Big nights from Jacobse as well as Vasiliki Loula from the Timberwolves rounded out just some of the impressive performances from night one.
Coming into the second game, the question remained: Could UFV beat a team this talented two nights in a row? The first quarter went much better for UFV, who reversed their trends from the game before and started strong. A layup for Katelyn Mallette closed out the first quarter, the score reading 20-14 for UFV. A tough night shooting the ball for Timberwolves’ Maria Mongomo helped the Cascades hold onto the lead in the second, with UNBC coming back at times and UFV firing back. The halftime score was a fifteen-point lead for the Cascades and it seemed that things were starting to come together. Madison Landry got the score to a close 35-37 for UFV at the 7:20 mark of the third quarter, but Kate Head, who went down with a knee injury prior to the half, had other plans and hit a three-point shot to make it a two-score game. The game came right back to what it was the night prior: a close match in need of some courageous play. Madeline Beerwald established herself as a clutch player Saturday night, by yet again winning the game for the Cascades from almost the same spot with only 26 seconds remaining in regulation play! UNBC tried to come back, but the Cascades held on for the unprecedented sweep of the nation’s number-one-ranked team.
The Cascades proved their fans right and their doubters wrong this past weekend with a great weekend of hoops. Now sitting at 0.500, they will look to establish a winning record when they take on the UBC Okanagan Heat on the road this weekend.
Image: UFV Cascades/Flickr