Langley, BC….The TWU Spartans defeated the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades, 74-61, in the final Canada West regular season game tonight at the Langley Events Centre. The Cascades finish the 2012-13 campaign with a 10-12 record and will travel to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan next weekend to face the Prairie Division regular season champion Huskies in the Canada West quarterfinal best two out of there series. The Spartans finished third with a 12-10 record and will travel to Winnipeg to face the Wesmen.
The Spartans came out strong tonight and shot well in the first half while holding the Cascades high powered offense to 9 first quarter points. TWU shot 44 percent from the floor in the half while playing tremendous defense holding the Cascades to poor percentage shots from the outside. A night earlier in the Envision Athletic Centre, UFV was able to penetrate for several key layups, but tonight the Spartans shut the door on UFV and kept the Cascades from any quick easy scores. The Cascades did shoot 32 percent in the half, but never got on track to make a run at the Spartans early lead. The half also had that tight playoff atmosphere as both teams were tentative resulting in 17 turnovers, nine by TWU and eight by UFV.
Coach Adam Friesen continued to play a short bench as only six Cascades played in the first half. The Cascades were led by Kevon Parchment, Toronto, Ontario and Sam Freeman, Coquitlam, BC each with 10 points and James York, Richland, Washington chipped in with 8 points and 4 rebounds. The Spartans had balanced scoring at the break led by Tristan Smith, Los Angeles, California with a team high 9 points.
The second half started with UFV going on an eight point run to climb back into the game. The Cascades started to shut down the Spartans and held them to 12 points in the third quarter. Freeman, Parchment and Kyle Grewal, Surrey, BC hit key baskets to start the comeback and midway through the third quarter the Cascades tied the game and went ahead on a Parchment three point play. UFV would hold onto a five point lead going into the final quarter when the team went cold, shooting 10 percent the rest of the way as TWU went on a 15 point run to open up a ten point lead. The Cascades Freeman finally ended the drought with two minutes remaining but it was too late as TWU had built up a lead that UFV could not comeback from.
“I was very impressed with our play in the two middle quarters tonight,” said Friesen. “We went cold in the fourth, credit Trinity Western with playing great defense and not giving us many opportunities to shoot but we need to regroup for next week’s playoff series with Saskatchewan.”
The Cascades were led by Freeman, playing in his final regular season game with 17 points, the veteran guard was one of four players to play the entire 40 minutes. York added 16 points, Parchment 15 and Grewal 11 points as they scored the majority of Cascades points on the night. Parchment led UFV with 6 boards as UFV recorded 31 for the game.
The Cascades fourth place finish in the Pacific Division earns them a first round date in the post season with Saskatchewan, next weekend, with games scheduled for Friday, February 22 through Sunday, February 24.