Basketball

Rivalry brings out best in playoff-bound men’s basketball team

For their final games of the regular season, the Cascades didn’t have a lot to play for. They’d already clinched a home-court playoff series, which meant the game was most notable for sentimental reasons: it would be the last regular season games played by UFV stars Klaus Figueredo and Jasper Moedt. On the other hand, they were bound to face the best possible effort from the Spartans, who needed a win to advance to the playoffs.

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By Nathan Hutton (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: February 19, 2014

Jasper Moedt (Image: Tree Frog Imaging)

Klaus Figueredo (Image: Tree Frog Imaging.)

For their final games of the regular season, the Cascades didn’t have a lot to play for. They’d already clinched a home-court playoff series, which meant the game was most notable for sentimental reasons: it would be the last regular season games played by UFV stars Klaus Figueredo and Jasper Moedt. On the other hand, they were bound to face the best possible effort from the Spartans, who needed a win to advance to the playoffs.

Klaus Figueredo transferred to UFV for the 2011-12 season and made an immediate impact on the floor. Klaus’ leadership and poise shone through his play early and this season, when a more prominent role was given to him, he had a massive part in the team’s resurgence.

Prior to senior night Figueredo commented on the likelihood of high emotions.

“It’s the last in-season game that I will ever play and I am sure Jasper is feeling the same way.”

Moedt’s 2013-14 came about in an unconventional way, but once it began, it proved to be worth the wait. Moedt had to sit out last season due to transfer regulations, but will finish his university basketball career having played every game of his career for UFV. The 6’7 battler can usually be found in the key, knocking in baskets and swatting chances away — he’s a staple in UFV scoring plays.

As play began, the intensity between the teams was the highest it’s been all season. Both teams were well coached and knew the other’s tendencies, striking after weaknesses.

Deep into the fourth quarter, the Cascades trailed by three. It was at this point that Figueredo took over, scoring 10 straight points to put the Cascades ahead. The Spartans, however, were not ones to cave and made the game close, coming within three points with 17 seconds left. Spartans coach Scott Allen called a timeout and drew up the play that would get Trinity a quick and easy basket. They gave the ball to big Denny McDonald who went up for the dunk, but Moedt was there with a block, winning the game for UFV.

“We played like a team that … was at next weekend already,” head coach Adam Friesen said after the game. “That’s part human nature but it shows the resiliency and togetherness of our guys … our guys stayed mentally there.”

“[It’s] huge, huge,” he said of the efforts of Figueredo and Moedt. “It seems like every day we have guys that step up and make plays, and especially on a senior weekend for those [two] in particular to show up and have such a big performance, especially down the stretch, was fitting.”

Friesen rewarded the pair for their hard work by allowing them to rest for the weekend’s second game, playing them sparingly and replacing them with Hudson Simon and Gurminder Kang, both getting their first opportunities to play in a game since November 23 against the Univeristy of Saskatchewan.

The Spartans played hard basketball despite this being a mean-nothing game, taking and re-taking the lead, but when it came down to the end it was Friesen’s slick team that took it all, registering their 14th straight win as they head into the playoffs.

The Cascades next have a three games series at home on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, the third-ranked team from the Prairie division.

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