UFV Sports Friday – Men’s Hoops Clinch Playoff Spot

Abbotsford – Men’s Basketball: Cascades knock off No. 9-ranked WolfPack, clinch playoff spot

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team clinched a playoff berth in memorable fashion, defeating the CIS No. 9-ranked Thompson Rivers Wolfpack 82-79 on Friday evening at the Envision Athletic Centre.

Kevon Parchment had a monster outing for the Cascades, pouring in a season-high 33 points, while Vijay Dhillon added 17 and Nate Brown scored 13 for the hosts.

Reese Pribilsky paced the WolfPack with 21 points, with Luke Morris (18 points) and Volodymyr Iegorov (17) also chipping in offensively for the visitors.

The Cascades (11-6) knew going into Friday’s action that they could secure a playoff spot with a victory, and combined with the MacEwan Griffins’ 66-59 win over the UBC Okanagan Heat, they also locked up second place in the Explorer Division and a first-round playoff bye. The WolfPack (14-3) still hold a comfortable lead in the Explorer Division.

UFV and TRU renew hostilities on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Envision Athletic Centre.

“We did it with some grit,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said afterward. “It wasn’t the most well-played game in the world, but we competed hard. We held our own on the rebounds, and we gave ourselves a shot at the end. We almost gave it away, but we held on, and we’ll take it.”

UFV led 29-26 at the end of a defensive-minded first half, but things opened up considerably after the break.

The WolfPack stitched together a quick 6-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to go ahead 69-66, but the Cascades responded with an 11-0 spurt of their own, capped by a Parchment layup, to seize a 77-69 advantage with 1:25 left in regulation. They pushed the advantage to 80-71 after a pair of Dhillon free throws with 26 seconds left to seemingly seal the victory, but the WolfPack mounted a frantic comeback.

A couple of Cascades turnovers and some hot shooting from Pribilsky helped TRU cut the deficit to 82-79, with the WolfPack’s Josh Wolfram at the foul line with seven seconds left. Wolfram missed the first free throw and missed the second intentionally, and the WolfPack recovered the offensive rebound. Albert Medrano launched a shot from beyond the arc that could have sent the game to OT, but it clanged off the rim.

“We’ve got to execute down the stretch better – that made life interesting,” Friesen said with a wry chuckle. “But we’ll get better at that, and we’ll figure it out. It’s tough to get worse, so that’s the one positive.”

The Cascades shot a scorching 58.6 per cent from the field in the second half, and won the battle of the boards 36-32. Parchment shot the lights out, going 11-of-16 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, and added 14 rebounds and four assists.

“He’s just phenomenal,” Friesen said “Another day, and another box score that looks like it doesn’t belong. You know on a big weekend like Senior Weekend, Kevon’s going to bring his A game and do whatever he can to take care of business, and he did that.”

Saturday is Senior Night for the Cascades basketball programs. Fifth-year players Parchment and Shayna Cameron of the UFV women’s team will be honoured in a ceremony between the women’s game (5 p.m. start) and the men’s game (7 p.m. start).

Women’s Basketball: Cascades edge WolfPack to move into playoff position

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team clawed out a thrilling 57-56 victory over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Friday evening to seize control of their own destiny in the Canada West playoff race.

In a gritty defensive battle, a pair of free throws by Katie Brink with 3:16 remaining in the fourth quarter were the last points scored by either team.

The WolfPack’s Jordan MacLean launched a three-pointer with four seconds left which would have given her team the lead, but it drew iron, and off the long rebound, the Cascades were able to dribble out the clock.

UFV improved to 10-7, tied for third place in the Explorer Division with the UBC Okanagan Heat, who lost 68-48 to the MacEwan Griffins on Friday. The Cascades, though, hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, so if they win their three remaining regular-season games, they’ll clinch the division’s third and final playoff berth. The WolfPack (13-4) fall a game off the pace in the race for first place with MacEwan (14-3).

The Cascades and WolfPack renew hostilities on Saturday (5 p.m., Envision Athletic Centre).

“It was a big win, for sure,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer acknowledged afterward. “We were really grinding all night long. Our execution wasn’t great, we weren’t hitting a lot of shots. That really continued into the fourth quarter. And it was similar for them – they weren’t hitting a lot of shots, either.

“We hit some free throws down the stretch, got to the line, made a couple big hoops, and we really just hung on at the end to get the win. It wasn’t the prettiest thing, but it’s important, and we’ll take it at this time of year against a pretty good team.”

Brink led the way for the Cascades with a season-high 18 points, while Canada West scoring leader Kayli Sartori posted 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Rookie forward Taylor Claggett chipped in with nine points and 10 boards.

Point guard Emma Piggin paced the visitors with 15 points, and Michelle Bos went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc en route to 14 points.

Neither team shot the ball very well – the Cascades made just 31 per cent of their field goal attempts, fractionally lower than TRU’s 32.1 per cent mark.

UFV led for most of the first half, by as many as six points, but the WolfPack hung tough and closed the deficit to 31-30 at the break.

TRU reeled off an 11-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters, highlighted by two three-pointers from Piggin and one from Bos, to take a 53-46 lead with 8:35 remaining. But they would score just three points the rest of the way, while Brink and Sartori combined for the Cascades’ last 11 points.

Men’s Volleyball: Royals rally to defeat Cascades

An explosive start gave way to a fizzling finish for University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team on Friday evening.

Hosting the CCAA No. 5-ranked Douglas Royals at the Student Activity Centre, the Cascades blitzed their guests 25-12 in the first set behind some lengthy service runs from veteran flame-throwers Joel Kleingeltink and Adam Chaplin.

But the Royals showed their quality, posting a decisive victory of their own (25-13) in the second set, and finishing off the match by scores of 25-22 and 25-13.

Douglas improved to 17-4, good for second place in the PacWest, while the fourth-place Cascades fell to 12-9. The two teams lock horns again on Saturday (7 p.m., Student Activity Centre).

“We played incredible in the first set, then they bounced back, and we didn’t respond in the right way,” UFV head coach Kyle Donen said. “I think we let our emotions get the best of us.

“We need to focus on being better tomorrow. We showed what we’re capable of, which is good. We just need to be more consistent.”

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades fall in three sets to Royals

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team dropped a three-set decision to the Douglas Royals on their home court on Friday evening.

The Royals, ranked No. 11 in the CCAA national poll, prevailed 25-19, 25-22, 25-21 to tighten their grip on fourth place in the PacWest. They improved to 11-10, while the fifth-place Cascades fell to 9-12.

Cascades head coach Mike Gilray noted that his team found itself behind the eight ball thanks to slow starts to each set.

“I thought in the first game, we were doing all the things we said we didn’t want to do,” he said. “I think we were well-prepared, but we didn’t stick to the game plan. They’re a good enough team where, if you play into their hands, they’re going to make you pay for it.”

Sophomore left side Kelly Robertson led the Cascades offensively with nine kills and a block, while Kara Williams and Amy Davidson notched 10 digs apiece.

The two teams clash again on Saturday at UFV’s Student Activity Centre, starting at 5 p.m.

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