Men’s Basketball: T-Birds bounce back, top Cascades to force Game 3
The UBC Thunderbirds the stage for a winner-take-all Game 3 on Saturday evening, knocking off the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team in Game 2 of their Canada West quarter-final series.
The Cascades had drawn first blood in Thursday’s opener, defeating the host T-Birds 92-79 at War Memorial Gym, but UBC played with a sense of desperation in Friday’s rematch and earned an 85-58 victory to extend their season.
Game 3 tips off at 7 p.m. Saturday at War Memorial (CanadaWest.tv).
Mark Johnson had a second straight standout effort for the Cascades, scoring a team-high 19 points to go with six rebounds. Andrew Morris contributed 11 points, and Sukhjot Bains posted nine points and eight boards. The T-Birds did a much better job limiting UFV leading scorer Parm Bains – he’d exploded for 26 points on Thursday, but was held to two points on Friday.
Grant Shephard paced the T-Birds for the second straight night, notching 21 points and 10 rebounds, and UBC leading scorer Jadon Cohee bounced back from a six-point effort in Game 1 with 20 points in Game 2. Manroop Clair (16 points) and Mason Bourcier (12) also scored in double figures.
“They came out with a little more energy and made some good adjustments, and we didn’t capitalize as much as we’d like to,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen analyzed post-game.
“We have to find ways to make them chase us more. That’s what allowed us to have success in our first game. We got a little stagnant tonight, and they got to stay in their preferred match-ups for entire possessions too often. We’ll look to improve on that.”
Similar to the previous night, it was a roller coaster first half. The T-Birds jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead behind four points from Cohee, but UFV would respond in similar fashion to Game 1 – with lethal long-range shooting at a 40 percent clip. Midway through the frame, Sukhjot Bains, Johnson and Morris hit consecutive treys to draw the Cascades to within four points at 18-14. But Cohee would close out the quarter the way he started it, with consecutive baskets to give the hosts a 23-18 lead.
The second quarter saw each team score 18 points in what could have doubled as a three-point shooting clinic with the teams combining for seven treys. The T-Birds led by as many as 10 points, but UFV had a late surged capped by Morris driving the lane and kissing one off the glass to cut the deficit to 41-36 at the half.
The T-Birds would open a twelve-point advantage in the third quarter, answering each Cascades run with one of their own to lead 60-48 heading to the fourth, and they pulled away in the final frame.
Critical for UBC was winning the rebounding battle (43-39) and taking better care of the ball than did the Cascades (19 turnovers for UFV, eight for the T-Birds).
“It’s going to take, first of all, believing, and going for it with everything we have, leaving with no regrets,” Friesen said, reflecting on the mentality his team will need to take into Game 3.
Men’s Volleyball (Jordie Arthur, Cascades communications assistant): Cascades close out campaign with victory over Bearcats
The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team closed out their season on a high note, earning a five-set victory over crosstown rival Columbia Bible College on Friday night at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.
The Cascades had nothing to play for but pride, having been eliminated from PACWEST post-season contention by the Bearcats on Thursday. But they were determined to wrap up the campaign with a victory to give a proper send-off to their fifth-year setter Adam Frederickson, who was honoured in a pregame Senior Night ceremony.
The Cascades prevailed by set scores of 25-17, 20-25, 18-25, 26-24 and 15-10, matching the Bearcats with a 2-22 record in league play. CBC, however, owns the first tiebreaker – sets won head-to-head (10-7) – and thus advance to the PACWEST playoff tournament in Cranbrook, B.C. next week.
“We definitely wish we were playing next weekend,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen said afterward. “Unfortunately we didn’t give ourselves the chance to play for that tonight, but it was a battle we fought for each other. I’m proud of the guys for finishing that way.”
UFV opened the match with a 25-17 set win, but the Bearcats came back to secure the next two, 25-20 and 25-18.
Frederickson and the Cascades were not to be stopped, however, as they would grind out a 26-24 win in the fourth set to set up a deciding fifth.
With UFV up 10-9 in the final set, Frederickson went on a three-serve run to give the hosts a 13-9 lead. After the two teams exchanged points, Frederickson set up Landon Uy for massive kill to close the match.
“It was an awesome way to go out,” Frederickson said. “Setting Landon on that last point, it was the best I’ve felt all season, really. When I had my hands up and put the ball out, I just knew it was going down. I had so much trust in Landon all game, and it was amazing.”
“It was nice to see a few moments like that in the end,” Donen said, reflecting on Frederickson’s strong finish. “Hopefully it’s something he can take with him as a nice way to cap off his career.”
Frederickson posted 41 set assists to lead the Cascades’ attack. Uy also had a monster game, racking up 19 kills, while Jackson Obst had six. Sophomore middle Dylan Neudorf gave the Cascades a huge lift off the bench, and finished with four kills.
Jacob Molitwenik paced the Bearcats offence with 14 kills, and Stefan Halas had 12.
Women’s Volleyball ( Jordie Arthur, Cascades communications assistant): Bauder sparks Cascades to Senior Night triumph over Bearcats
University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball captain Kim Bauder had a storybook finish to her career at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre on Friday night.
Bauder, a graduating fifth-year player who was honoured in a post-game Senior Night ceremony, hammered down the match-clinching kill and was subsequently mobbed by her teammates, capping a three-set victory (25-14, 27-25, 25-11) over the Columbia Bible College Bearcats.
It was the regular-season finale for both teams. The CCAA No. 13-ranked Cascades (14-10) finish fourth in the PACWEST and advance to the conference championship tournament hosted by College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, B.C. next week, while the Bearcats (1-23) finish outside the post-season picture.
“I loved seeing the girls run onto the court for her and just mob her,” UFV head coach Mike Gilray said, reflecting on Bauder’s special moment on the final point.
“Kim is everything that we want athletes graduating from our program to be. We couldn’t have asked for a better kid to represent us as Cascade.
“But we aren’t done yet. We’re excited to keep her last season going (in the playoffs).”
Bauder had a match-high 11 kills and 12 digs for the Cascades.
“Tonight was really emotional in the best way possible,” said Bauder, explaining the feeling of playing her final home game. “I think my whole team did a great job of supporting everybody. We were really team focused tonight, but it definitely felt extra special.”
Third-year middle Hanna Hieltjes and fourth-year right side Keira Fisher were also likely playing their final home game for the Cascades, as both are planning to move on to other endeavors. They each had strong games – Fisher had eight kills, and Hieltjes posted seven of her own.
Setter Kara Williams had 41 set assists – an incredible number for a three-set match – and Alysha Cooper also had a strong offensive performance with eight kills. Fisher paced an outstanding team-wide night from the service line with five of the Cascades’ 10 aces.
Megan Polant had a team-high seven kills for the Bearcats followed by Sarah Thiessen with six.