Ghomari and Goodwin good enough for Heat victory

okanagan heat

Notes from Larry Reed TRU – Photo by Andrew Snucins

January 6, 2013, KAMLOOPS, BC (ISN) –   This was a game veteran guard Yassine Ghomari refused to lose.  Ghomari’s scored the needed baskets for the Heat when the team was reeling in the fourth quarter.

Ghormari’s points pushed the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basket team to a victory Saturday night in Kamloops as they downed the Thompson Rivers WolfPack 76-59. The Heat start the second half of their season by notching their second victory and first road win on the year and both come at the expense of their BC Interior rival.

The game got off to a great start for UBC Okanagan.

Ghomari used guile to steal the ball on the tipoff and went down the court for an uncontested layup and a quick UBC Okanagan lead.

This was a great way for Yassine to reintroduce himself to his teammates and Canada West foes alike, the Vancouver native hasn’t played in a league game since the first quarter on the team’s opening night in Victoria. Ghomari went down to a knee injury in the BC capital and the team has been missing their leading scorer from the 2011-12 season ever since.

Ghomari scored 8 of his game high 20 points in the fourth quarter and scored six straight points in a one minute span at a crucial point late in the game.

Heat 2013
#5 Ed Dane Medi (4th year, Rome, IT) helps the team protect the rim in Kamloops against the WolfPack. UBC Okanagan notched five blocks in the game versus TRU – (Photo by Andrew Snucins)

The WolfPack had just erased a 12 point UBC Okanagan lead with a 17-3 run to start the fourth quarter. TRU’s fifth year point guard, Kevin Pribilsky (Victoria, BC) had just hit a three to deadlock the game at 57; Pribilsky tallied nine points in his team’s early fourth quarter run that extended all the way to the three minute mark of the final frame.

With Pribilsky having just sunk a three for TRU to deadlock the game at 57 the Heat came down on offense where Ghomari gathered his own rebound over three TRU defenders, calmly dribbled back out to the three point line when he proceeded to bury the long range shot and put the Heat back on top, a lead they would never relinquish.

Freshman guard Mitch Goodwin (Kelowna, BC) matched Ghomari’s 20 points for the Heat with 20 of his own; the first year player led UBC Okanagan in rebounds with eight. Goodwin iced the game with a three pointer of his own when he connected with just a minute and a half left in the game and he scored six points in the final quarter to aid in the victory.

Greet Gill (1st year, guard, Osoyoos, BC) had 11 points. Fourth year post Dave Mackay (Vancouver, BC) shut down the WolfPack’s twin bigs, Blaz (1pt, 2 rbs) and Ivan (2 pts, 5 rbds) Bozinovic and contributed three blocks for the Kelowna squad.

“I was really proud of our guy’s effort,” said Heat head coach Pete Guarasci. “We sustained it throughout the whole game. Not only our physical effort but our mental effort. We stayed focused and we guarded well and tried to do good things on offense and make good shots. I was really happy with the way they executed the game plan.”

The WolfPack were led by Kevin Pribilsky (5th year, guard, Victoria, BC) with 20 points. TRU Bookstore/McDonalds “Leader of the Pack” player of the game Brett Rouault (3rd year, guard, Vernon, BC) had 18 points.

The WolfPack played without Will Ondrik (2nd year, forward, Vernon, BC) who was injured. 

Both teams had 38 rebounds on the night, with the Heat outrebounding TRU 23-14 in the second half. UBC Okanagan shot better than the WolfPack as they limited the TRU to just 34.4% shooting on the night. The Heat also shot well from beyond the arc hitting on 8-25 (32%) for the game; this was the first game they shot over 30% from three since November 17 versus UNBC in Prince George.

After a tough first half of the season the Heat move to 2-9, UBC Okanagan will look to build a winning streak this upcoming weekend when the University of Calgary Dinos and the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns travel to Kelowna to play the Heat for some Canada West Conference action.

The WolfPack fall to 4-7 and host Lethbridge on Friday and Calgary on Saturday.

The Heat will host the 4-6 Dinos on Friday January 11 at 8 p.m. Saturday at 7 p.m. UBC Okanagan and Lethbridge (5-5) will tipoff. Both nights the games will be played in the gymnasium at UBC’s Okanagan campus.