UBC Thunderbirds defeat UFV Cascades, 68-61, in Canada West Semi-Final

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Cascades face Winnipeg Wesmen for Bronze Medal tomorrow at UBC

 Vancouver, BC…..The UBC Thunderbirds defeated the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s basketball team, 68-61, tonight in Vancouver to eliminate UFV from  the Canada West post season tournament.   The Cascades currently  12-14 will face the University of Winnipeg Wesmen  tomorrow night in the Canada West bronze medal game, at UBC.   Victoria defeated Winnipeg, 72-59, in the other Canada West semi-final.

 The Cascades played their hearts out tonight as they battled the more experienced Thunderbirds from opening whistle to closing.  The Cascades men’s basketball program has battled through numerous issues this year, six new players on the roster from the team that earned the Canada West silver medal a year ago, numerous injuries to “key “ players like Kyle Grewal, Surrey, BC and Sam Freeman, Coquitlam, BC who was missing this evening from semi-final game against UBC. Coach Friesen has done an unbelievable job in winning numerous games with “short benches” and juggling the line up to accommodate more than 30 man games lost to those various injuries. 

 Tonight was no different with a short bench UFV jumped out to a quick lead and match the T Birds early with great shots from Kevon Parchment, Toronto, Ontario and Grewal.  The Cascades led by one point going into the second quarter and had their greatest post season quarter to date, treating the more than 50 Cascades fans that traveled from Abbotsford to an exciting five minutes as they went on a 16-3 run to take a 13 point lead midway through the quarter.  UBC fought back and at the quarter’s end had narrowed the Cascades lead to eight points. 

 “I was very proud of our guys at the break.  We were doing all the little things right,” commented Coach Friesen.  The Cascades held one of Canada’s top offenses to nine points in the second quarter, playing stellar defense.  UFV shot 37 percent from the floor as seven different Cascades scored at least two points in the half.  Parchment led UFV with 8 points and 6 boards, Klaus Figueredo, Calgary, Alberta added 7 points and Grewal playing in his second last career game chipped in with 6 points.

 The second half was a much different story, UBC came out shooting and tied the game midway through the third quarter, the Cascades went on a mini four point run to close out the quarter deadlocked at 44.  In the final quarter, UFV hung in there with the T Birds, who clearly had a bigger bench for Coach Kevin Hanson to rotate players in and out of the game.  UFV tied the game at 59, with two minutes remaining, however those final two minutes belonged to UBC as they outscored UFV 9-2 for the seven point victory. 

UFV was led by Grewal with 14 points, Parchment hit for 13 and Figueredo added 12 points in the loss.  UFV short 32 percent in the second half and only 20 percent from behind the arch, their trademark all season.  

“Our shooting was off in the second half, credit UBC with great defense especially in the third quarter,” said Friesen.  “I am very proud of the guys, they battled all year I hope they capped the year by earning the Canada West bronze medal tomorrow night.”

 Canada West Men’s Basketball “Elite 4”  @ UBC

  Saturday, March 2

                6:00 PM                Bronze Medal: Winnipeg v UFV

                8:00 PM                Gold Medal:      Victoria v UBC

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