Women’s basketball team’s hard work pays off

By Nathan Hutton (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: February 5, 2014

Kayli Sartori ascends during play against the out-rebounded Brandon University Bobcats. (Image: Tree Frog Imaging)

Kayli Sartori ascends during play against the out-rebounded Brandon University Bobcats. (Image: Tree Frog Imaging)

The Cascades women’s basketball team has been able to control their home court all season long. They entered a weekend of games against the University of Regina and Brandon University sitting at seven wins and one loss at home.

The first game of the weekend matched the Cascades up with the powerful University of Regina Cougars, a game between two top-10 nationally recognized teams: number four Regina and number seven UFV. Both team’s have been powerhouses in women’s basketball, and entered the game playing some of their best basketball of the season.

The game started slow for the Cascades, who had problems adjusting to the big, fast, and athletic style of play that teams from the interior dominate with. The Cougars had achieved their goals in the first half, forcing the Cascades to play the way the Cougars wanted, straying from thier own style of play. UFV trailed at halftime 30-23.

The coaching of Al Tuchscherer has kept the Cascades as one of the best teams in the country and helped them get multiple blowout wins. At halftime once again Tuchscherer did an incredible job of making changes to reverse the fortunes of the first half and give his team the upper hand. It worked splendidly; the Cascades led the way in a massive third quarter where they closed the seven-point gap and took the lead by one heading into the final quarter.

The game’s final minutes were an incredible show for the hometown fans at the Envision Athletic Centre. Back and forth the game went with neither team caving in. It wasn’t until the last minute of the game that the Cougars hit a big three to put them up 63-60 with 30 seconds left. The Cascades called a timeout and drew up the play they hoped would keep them in the game. The ball was inbounded to Nicole Wierks, and she held everyone’s attention as the play developed. In the blink of an eye, Wierks dished the ball to a streaking Kayli Satori who finished the layup to bring the Cascades within one point.

The next 20 seconds was painful for almost all in attendance as both teams took turns turning the ball over. Eventually it landed in the hands of the Cougars, who connected one of two free throws to give the Cougars a two-point lead with 3.4 seconds left. The Cascades were left with no timeouts, forced to throw a prayer from half court, which missed. Regina won the game, but the Cascades had proved that they were capable of playing with the best.

Sasquatch player of the game was the Cascades’ Kayli Satori who registered 19 points and five steals.

The second game of the weekend was against the University of Brandon Bobcats, the sixth-best rebounding team in the country, averaging 43.2 per game.

But it didn’t matter against the Cascades, who dominated the game on the glass, out-rebounding one of the best rebounding teams in the country.

From the beginning of the game it didn’t look good for Brandon. Every time down the floor the Cascades were getting two or three looks at every possession, chasing down balls better than their prairie opponents.

The final score was 68-52 for UFV, who did not let Brandon catch them in the aftermath of a tough loss the night before.

Tuchscherer said after the game “We talked about rebounding before the game … to keep them off the boards. We kept a lot of possessions alive tonight, and [Courtney Bartel, Shayna Litman, and Kaitlyn Brink] kept a lot of possessions alive. Usually when you outrebound a team by that many … the score is going to be a little bigger.”

The Sasquatch player of the game was shared between Bartel and Sarah Wierks who had 12 points each.

The Cascades will look to secure first place in the division next week as they travel to Prince George to play two against the UNBC Timberwolves.