This past weekend the UFV Cascades looked to return to their winning ways after running into the powerhouse Calgary Dinos. In order to accomplish that, they had to play the Trinity Western Spartans, a talented squad with the exact same record as them (10-8). With neither team having complete home court advantage due to Friday’s game taking place at UFV and the Saturday game taking place at TWU, the games were up for the taking. Trinity wound up winning both nights, but the story of the games is far more complex than the box score shows.
From the moment Friday’s game started, it appeared that the Cascades would have to battle both the Spartans as well as their shooting woes. The first quarter saw UFV only commit one turnover to Trinity’s five; however, the shots just weren’t falling for the hometown Cascades. Shooting 27.8 per cent from the field and being out-rebounded 6-13, a score of 16-11 for the Spartans was almost surprisingly close. UFV came back in the second quarter, scoring slightly more efficiently at 35.3 per cent and working off of Taylor Claggett’s 10 points. The Cascades held their turnovers in check yet again, prompting a much closer score of 26-25 for the Spartans, although the glass was still a pressing issue for the hometown team.
In the third quarter, Trinity Western swung back into the driver’s seat with Tessa Ratzlaff’s total of 16 points, six rebounds, and one block. The Cascades scoring problems were most obvious in the third quarter, which saw them hit their lowest quarter field goal percentage of the night (21.4 per cent). UFV forced turnovers and played great defence, but with shots not falling the Spartans were able to roll on. When it mattered most, the Cascades showed up, coming back to make a run at the game in the fourth quarter. UFV had the game close at multiple points, with Madison Draayers hitting a three to make it a one-score game with only minutes remaining. In the end, Trinity Western persevered with their rebounding and effort, defeating the Cascades by a score of 57-51.
The second encounter proved to be a much different game, with UFV starting strong. The Cascades jumped out to a 17-5 lead on a largely improved 50 per cent field goal percentage. They also matched the Spartans in the rebounding column, which seemed to be the key to keeping the score within reach, or better yet, in the Cascades favour. The second quarter saw the Cascades go 2-14 from the field for a pretty awful percentage of 14.3 per cent. Though they were rebounding well, like the night before, the shots were not falling, and this led to a 20-9 second quarter score for Trinity.
UFV picked it up after the half, scoring better and turning out a more impressive effort, but Trinity was one step ahead. They continued to play well after the first quarter and slowly but surely started to out-rebound the Cascades. In similar scores of 24-16 and 26-15, the second half went to the home team Spartans who won by a score of 75-57 and moved to 12-8 on the season.
UFV (10-10) stayed 0.500 and will now look to pick up a road playoff victory when they take on the number seven-ranked Victoria Vikings on Friday, Feb. 8.
Image: Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics