Print Edition: February 26, 2014
The last time UFV basketball hosted a playoff game, Joel Friesen nailed a buzzer-beater to win game three and send the Cascades to the final four.
Two years later, many of the same players on the Pronghorns landed in Abbotsford seeking revenge. In contrast only two current Cascades players carried over — Jasper Moedt and Klaus Figueredo.
At tip-off, both teams looked like heavyweight boxers in the middle of the ring, daring the other to back down while refusing to relent. Punches were thrown back and forth between the two teams as they both worked up leads only to see them disappear in a matter of positions. The game flew by at blazing speeds, with both teams’ agility creating great scoring opportunities.
The game remained close into the fourth quarter. On one critical play, Lethbridge swung the ball around the top of the circle desperately trying to set up a play. A bad pass rocketed over the middle and UFV guard Kevon Parchment jumped and came up with the steal. He then tore down the floor, launched into the air, and put down a massive dunk, sending the crowd to its feet with six-and-a-half minutes left to play. The Pronghorns immediately called a timeout, trying to halt as much momentum as possible.
With three minutes left the score was tied at 60, proving both teams were there ‘til the bitter end.
Into the game’s final minute, Lethbridge had a slight edge, up by a point. Logan Reiter of the Pronghorns held the ball, letting time tick down. With Figueredo at his hip he attempted a layup — no good. Moedt caught the rebound, found Manny Dulay, and the Cascades went to work, eating up time, but with a purpose. After being worked around, the ball ended up in Manny Dulay’s hands, who drained the three.
Given little time to work with, Lethbridge missed a three-point attempt and lost possession. The Pronghorns nearly made things interesting on a contested out-of-bounds call that saw two players dive for a loose ball, but the referees ruled in UFV’s favour, putting an end to any hope of a Lethbridge comeback.
The second game of the weekend was a little easier for the Cascades. They controlled the second half and came away with a big 77-62 win, sweeping the series and becoming the first team to secure a spot in next weekend’s Canada West final four tournament.
“We played like a team that knows how to win in the playoffs” said head coach Adam Friesen. “The defense kept us in it when we were shooting cold and we just believed at half-time that at some point [the] shooting was going to pay off … Once we got a run we said, ‘that’s it, we aren’t going to make the same mistake we did yesterday where we kind of let them keep in the game.’”
Next weekend the men will travel to Alberta to do battle in the final four, and the Cascades women’s basketball team will play in their own three-game series against the University of Calgary Dinos at home starting Thursday night.