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UFV women defeat Lethbridge Pronghorns; men fall in emotionally-charged madhouse

Last Saturday night, the UFV Cascades were back in Canada West Basketball action. After both the women and the men defeated the University of Calgary on Friday night, it was time to face another strong Albertan team, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns.

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By Kyle Balzer (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: January 11, 2012

Last Saturday night, the UFV Cascades were back in Canada West Basketball action. After both the women and the men defeated the University of Calgary on Friday night, it was time to face another strong Albertan team, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns.

The women began the night with the anticipation of an easy win, but when the first quarter came to a close, Lethbridge had a five-point lead. In the second quarter, veteran Tessa Klassen took over the offensive end by scoring 13 points, including two three-pointers in a row, and by halftime the Cascades had the lead. “She knows what it takes to win games and we are very pleased with her leadership skills and the example that she provides for the girls,” said assistant coach Anthony Luyken.

The score was 36-27 at halftime. As the third quarter progressed, forward Kayli Satori displayed strong defensive play, along with her ability to execute key plays in the offensive zone. Finally, the ladies were able to seal the deal with guards Celeste Dyck and Sarah Wierks dominating the floor with excellent passing and even the courage to face the tall Lethbridge defence. The final score was 64-56 and Tessa Klassen was the top scorer with 21 points.

“We need to be consistent when we play two nights in a row,” Coach Luyken commented following the game. “We have to be efficient on offence and continue to do what we do best.”

Afterwards, it was time for the “green men” to face the Pronghorns and it was a game of epic proportions. The first quarter went back and forth with both teams displaying strength and ability, especially UFV’s own Sam Freeman scoring seven points. By halftime, Lethbridge had taken over the lead by a score of 32-37.

“We definitely play our best when we make a lot of key shots and that’s because we’ve got some fantastic shooters [Freeman and Moedt]. If we have better shots, then we’ll have a better shooting percentage,” said coach Barnaby Craddock.

The fourth quarter was truly an emotional madhouse thanks to pride, tiny referees, and flying articles of clothing. Forward Jasper Moedt was offensively fouled early in the quarter, which caused the Lethbridge player to pull up his jersey in rage like a football player scoring a winning touchdown. James York and Joel Friesen of the Cascades exchanged pleasantries with the refs and the Pronghorns, and as a result they became two of the four Cascades that fouled out of the game. “Obviously a lot of emotion came out tonight and of course that happens sometimes, but it’s also my job to keep the guys calm and just move on to the next play,” said Friesen.

Finally, after a 24-second shot-clock violation that wasn’t called and an offensive charge against UFV that was clearly a block on Lethbridge, the game had reached its breaking point as coach Craddock threw off his coat in frustration which would eventually lead to an ejection with just 20 seconds left. He yelled to the referees, and I quote, “You’re horrible!”

In conclusion, after a long, interesting, and entertaining evening, the men lost the game 78-87. Top scorer was Sam Freeman with 23 points. Despite all of the action that was witnessed, coach Craddock was satisfied with his team’s energy level: “We didn’t play a strong, offensive game tonight, but we did put a lot of energy out there and that’s always good to see.”

The Cascades next home game will be in the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre as both the men and the women take on the Trinity Western Spartans. Checkout the UFV Athletics website for more information.

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