Men’s Basketball: Dhillon, Cascades edge Laurier in final non-conference game
Vijay Dhillon came up big in the late going for the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team on Sunday afternoon, sparking the Cascades to a 74-71 exhibition victory over the Laurier Golden Hawks at the Envision Athletic Centre.
Dhillon, the Cascades’ fifth-year shooting guard, was wearing a face mask to protect a broken nose, but it didn’t affect his shooting touch. Over the last three minutes of regulation, the Richmond, B.C. product was directly involved in all nine points UFV scored – he netted seven of them himself, and picked up an assist on a layup by Matt Cooley.
Dhillon finished with a game-high 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, and his fifth-year backcourt mate Manny Dulay chipped in with 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Other offensive contributors for the Cascades included Andrew Morris (10 points), Nav Bains (nine points) and Cooley (eight points).
Tevaun Kokko (19 points) and Matt Chesson (18) replied for Laurier.
It was the non-conference finale for both teams – the Cascades open the Canada West regular season next weekend at home against the Saskatchewan Huskies, while the Waterloo, Ont.-based Golden Hawks host the Ryerson Rams next Saturday in their Ontario University Athletics (OUA) opener.
“It was nice to see Vijay get into a rhythm,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said. “He’s been battling injuries for a while now, so he hasn’t seen much court time. But to see him get into some game rhythm at the end of this one bodes well going into league play.”
The Golden Hawks, playing their last game of a West Coast exhibition swing following match-ups with the UBC Thunderbirds (a 96-63 loss) and the UNBC Timberwolves (a 71-61 win), had a strong finish to the second quarter and led 36-31 at the break.
The Cascades’ offence was ultra-efficient in the second half, though – the hosts shot a scorching 68.2 per cent from the field the rest of the way. UFV led 62-58 with seven minutes to play, but Laurier responded with a 7-0 run. Three points from Nav Bains drew the Cascades even, and Dhillon took over in the final three minutes, swishing a tie-breaking triple, a long two-point jumper, and two free throws.
Laurier’s Owen Coulthard had a shot to tie it at the buzzer, but his contested effort over two Cascades defenders came up empty.
UFV shot 54 per cent for the game while the Golden Hawks made just 34.2 per cent of their attempts from the field, but Laurier stayed in it by generating turnovers and offensive rebounds. The rebounding battle was 38-38 overall, but the Golden Hawks snared 18 offensive boards. They also turned the ball over just 11 times, compared to 21 for the Cascades.
“We showed some decent stuff offensively – we’ve just got to take care of turnovers and rebounding,” Friesen noted. “We’ll see what it’s worth next weekend, but we’re slowly coming together.”
The Cascades basketball teams launch into the Canada West regular season next Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.) against Saskatchewan at the Envision Athletic Centre.
Wrestling: Hildenbrandt, Coupal, Dhaliwal climb podium at Dinos Invitational
The University of the Fraser Valley wrestling team brought home a trio of individual medals from the season-opening Dinos Invitational in Calgary on the weekend.
Brad Hildenbrandt (men’s 120 kg) and Ashley Coupal (women’s 48 kg) earned silver medals, each winning three of their four matches. Amtoj Dhaliwal (men’s 82 kg) also posted a 3-1 record en route to a bronze medal.
“Great start to the season for us to build off of,” said Arjan Bhullar, who serves as co-head coach of the Cascades wrestling program alongside Raj Virdi. “We’ve got a young group but they stepped up today and showed great maturity which is always good to see as coaches.
“Brad had a great opportunity to win a gold for our program as the leader of our men’s team – he came away with the silver and knows he’s knocking on the door to sit atop the podium. Amtoj was phenomenal for a first year kid, we will look to build off of this. Ashley did a great job pinning every one of her opponents to get herself into the gold medal final. She lost to a girl who is a national champion for our country outside of the university system (Natasha Kramble of Saskatoon Wrestling Club). We look forward to our next tournament south of the border.”
The Cascades wrestlers are back in action next weekend at the Mike Clock Open, hosted by Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore.
Also competing for UFV at the Dinos Invitational were Hasseeb Javed (men’s 61 kg, fourth place), Karla Godinez Gonzalez (women’s 51 kg, fifth place), Kamil Golowko (men’s 120 kg, sixth place) and Marko Kolobara (men’s 76 kg). Javed and Godinez Gonzalez had particularly promising performances, each posting three wins and two losses.