Heat nearly knock off a ranked opponent again on Friday night

okanagan heat

February 2, 2013, KELOWNA, BC  (ISN) – One week after taking the No. 2 ranked UBC Thunderbirds to the brink, the Heat once again looked to be world-beaters, leading the No. 9 ranked Fraser Valley Cascades for most of the fourth quarter.

The Heat once again could not finish the job as they were unable to get off a last second shot, forcing overtime where the visiting Fraser Valley Cascades escaped 85-80 in Kelowna on Friday night.

UBC Okanagan’s rookie phenomenon Mitch Goodwin (Kelowna, BC) shot 5-9 from three-point range, including four big ones during a fourth quarter jostling back-and-forth between the two teams that only served to amp up the suspense that the game would take on.

After heart and hustle kept the Heat neck-and-neck with the Cascades, UFV fourth-year guard Klaus Figuerdo hit one of two free-throws with 11.2 seconds remaining to force an overtime period wherein the Heat let slip their mental focus, leading to poor execution and a loss of the game.

“There’s no doubt, I think they played with a lot of heart, with a lot of hustle,” coach Guarasci said after the game, “but we didn’t play with our brains for the last two minutes of the game. We had time to score, possessions that we wasted on offense, and we didn’t execute the final two minutes to win this ballgame tonight.”

Goodwin was named the Heat Player of the Game for the third straight outing after posting 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and leaving a lot of sweat and grime on the hardwood floor. His backcourt partner Yassine Ghomari (fourth-year, Vancouver, BC) poured in a game-high 21 points while also facilitating the offense to the tune of five assists. Forward Dave Mackay also had a big game, finishing with 16 points behind his two aforementioned teammates while also grabbing 6 rebounds.

A larger offensive rebound margin gave the Heat 18 second chance points while the Cascades had none (rebounds, off-def: Heat 15-24; UFV 5-29). Leading the charge for the Heat on the glass were fourth-year Dave Mackay (Vancouver, BC) and the Heat’s other starting rookie in Greet Gill. Mackay finished with 6 rebounds while Gill was instrumental on the glass for the home team, grabbing down a game-high 14 rebounds. No other player was in double digits for rebounds.

UFV’s second-year guard Kevon Parchment scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Rookie Nathan Kendall played 45 minutes, never leaving the floor, and managed 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The Cascades had five players score in double digits en route to victory.

UFV eventually switched to a small-ball style of play to matchup better with the Heat. When asked if he thought his team was able to force UFV to play their game, Heat head coach Pete Guarasci said, “I think we controlled the game for a pretty good part of it until the last two minutes. That was when we had to seal the game, and it was unfortunate that we had such a good effort and we weren’t able to come out with the result tonight.”

UBC Okanagan is still searching for win number three after falling to 2-16, but will get their chance tomorrow night versus the now 10-7 Cascades in the second of back-to-back. Tip-off for the game is at 7 p.m. in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium.

Watch online at ubco.canadawest.tv