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UFV Sports Thursday – Women’s Hoops Start 2018 On The Wrong Foot, Men Off To Strong Start

Women’s Basketball: Spartans pull away late, knock off Cascades 66-57

The Trinity Western Spartans pulled away in the dying minutes to defeat the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team 66-57 on Thursday evening at the Langley Events Centre.

The local rivals battled tooth and nail all night – the Spartans edged ahead in the second half, but the Cascades kept clawing their way back into it. UFV was within six points (60-54) after Kate Head’s layup off a slick feed from Taylor Claggett with just under three minutes left in regulation, but the Spartans responded with a 6-0 run, aided by back-to-back UFV turnovers, to push the lead to double digits and salt the game away.

The Spartans improved to 9-2, good for fourth in Canada West, and they’re a perfect 7-0 at home. The Cascades fell to 4-9.

The two programs head east on the Trans-Canada Highway on Friday evening to renew hostilities at UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre. Tip-off is at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 8 p.m. (

“For the most part, it was a good road game for us,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “We did a lot of what we wanted to do. We just didn’t have enough push at the end to get it done.

“It’s just our end-of-game execution – it’s been kind of a recurring theme this year. We’ve really struggled at that time of the game, and tonight was more of the same. When you need a stop, there’s a defensive breakdown. Or when you need a score, but we come out and we’re disorganized for some reason. Those things are just backbreakers.”

The first half was defensively oriented, with the Spartans leading 10-8 and 23-21 at the quarter breaks.

The two teams each exceeded their entire first-half output in the third quarter alone. The Spartans opened the frame on an 8-2 run and led by as many as 10, but UFV’s Victoria Jacobse knocked down a triple to beat the buzzer and draw her team back to within 49-45 heading to the fourth.

The Cascades hung tough throughout the fourth, only to falter in the last three minutes.

Fifth-year point guard Sara Simovic paced the Cascades with 17 points to go with seven rebounds and five steals. Fellow senior Shayna Litman chipped in with 14 points, and Taylor Claggett contributed six points and eight boards.

Tessa Ratzlaff notched a double-double with the Spartans (16 points, 11 boards), Sarah Buckingham scored 15, and Kayla Gordon had 13 points and nine rebounds.

“This is a (TWU) team that likes to play with a lot of pace, and they rebound the ball hard,” Tuchscherer said. “They have some really tough match-ups, and I thought for the most part, we adapted to that pace of play and dictated it a bit. You can’t really ask for much more than that.”

Men’s Basketball: Hot-shooting Cascades roll past Spartans on the road 

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team earned its first road win of the Canada West campaign, burying the Trinity Western Spartans beneath an avalanche of three-pointers on Thursday evening.

The the Cascades were prolific and productive from beyond the arc at the Langley Events Centre, hitting 19 of 40 attempts from downtown en route to a 104-80 victory. Mark Johnson had a monster night for UFV, racking up 30 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in just 27 minutes.

The Cascades improved to 5-8, good for 11th in Canada West, while the Spartans fell to 0-11. The two teams clash again on Friday at UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre (8 p.m. tip-off,

“With a couple guys out tonight (forwards Sukhman Sandhu and Daniel Adediran), we knew we wanted to play really up and down and create some threes,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen explained. “We were fortunate enough to get some good looks. The guys shared the ball, and started knocking some down.”

The Cascades caught fire midway through the first quarter, and it was reserve guard Parmvir Bains who lit the fuse, draining a back-to-back triples to constitute the bulk of an 8-0 run. The Cascades led 27-17 at the end of the frame.

The visitors maintained a cushion in the neighbourhood of 10 points throughout the second quarter, fashioning a 9-2 run just before halftime to surge ahead 52-38.

The Cascades kept the pedal to the metal in the third, stretching the lead to 20 points (66-46) on a Kenan Hadzovic jump shot. They cracked the 100-point plateau on Jordyn Sekhon’s trey with three minutes left in regulation.

Johnson’s superlative outing included a team-leading five three-pointers, and Andrew Morris (23 points) and Sagar Dulay (14 points) knocked down four triples apiece. Points guards Bains (13 points, four assists) and Vick Toor (12 points, six assists) took great care of the ball, committing just one turnover between them. UFV gave the ball away just 11 times as a team, and shot 47.5 per cent from the field.

Max Viitala paced the Spartans with 16 points, and Pogos Trunyan (13) and Josiah Allison (11) also scored in double figures.

“We know Parm can play,” Friesen said, lauding the play of Bains off the bench. “He’s a heck of a shooter, and he’s our quickest player so he’s able to get into the paint. Mark Johnson really stepped up, and it was great to see Jordyn Sekhon (three points, three rebounds in 20 minutes) get a great opportunity and really show he belongs in the league and is going to have a great career.”

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