Bonita Joe

Almost eight years have passed since the Chargers men’s basketball program has been listed as No. 1 in conference standings, but this year’s Camosun squad has made a strong start to the 2011-12 season, earning an undefeated record of 4-0 and the top sport in the PACWEST standings!

At their home and season openers on November 11 and 12, the Chargers defeated Kwantlen University (currently #7 in the PAWEST standings) 97-92, and Langara College (#5) 86-81. Standing in third place at the beginning of Week 2, Camosun picked up two road games, the first against the CBC Bearcats (66-57) who now sit in last place at #9, and the second which resulted in a huge second half come-back win (74-67) over the Douglas College Royals (#6), who one day prior, brought down the No. 4 Nationally ranked Vancouver Island Mariners, 84-68.

The next test for Camosun comes this Saturday as they face Island rivals the VIU Mariners. And despite rumors that the Mariners may not be at the top of their game, Chargers Head Coach Craig Price is far from thinking that his team is favored to win.

“VIU is very good defensively, they’re very organized and disciplined and one of the best teams in the conference,” said Coach Price. “There are guys that have been with the team for a long time and worked really hard to build the program.”

“We are very happy to be undefeated after the first two weekends,” added Coach Price. “But things will only get more difficult from here as we host VIU on Saturday and travel to UNBC the following week. With VIU ranked #9 in the country and UNBC ranked #14 we will have our work cut out for us. We have come from behind in every game we have played. We have not had good starts and our offensive execution has been poor. Fortunately, we have the mentality to grind out games and, so far, wins. We must play with more energy, execute and pay more attention to detail on a consistent basis if we are to continue to win games against top level competition.”

On the women’s side, Head Coach Brett Westcott’s Camosun squad is 3-1 and #3 in the PACWEST standings. With only two more games left before the first half of the season closes, Coach Westcott and his coaching staff hope the team will make some key developments to their game as the New Year approaches.

“We are still struggling with our consistency in games,” commented Coach Westcott. “We have a large number of first-year players and newcomers to our program as we do every year as a two-year college, but we are stagnant in our level of improvement at times. We need to work harder for longer if we hope to see the kind of improvement from week to week we need to compete with the best teams in our league this season. Hopefully we will start to see some of that growth during the next couple of weeks as we play some of the better teams in our league.”

Ranked No. 1 in the PACWEST and No. 2 Nationally, there is no doubt that the undefeated Mariners women will be a tough challenge for the Chargers.

“I have said the past two years that VIU has the best starting line-up in our league and now the national rankings back up that statement,” said Coach Westcott. “We will have to play well and hope they stub their toes regarding something in order for us to have a chance. Hopefully we will compete and play hard where we can have a chance to pull off an upset. Otherwise it could be a long night for us.”

Catch the Island Rivalry action as the Chargers face off against the Mariners this Saturday at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence or watch the games LIVE on Sports Canada.TV

Women tip-off at 6pm; men at 8pm.