February 27, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – It is an exciting time for the Camosun College Department of Athletics as personnel and volunteers complete preparations to host the institution’s first-ever PACWEST Provincial Basketball Championships on February 28 – March 2, at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence.
To add to the anticipation of what will be a momentous occasion for the College and Victoria’s local basketball and sports community, fans can look forward to catching the home team Chargers men and women playing the feature games on the Championships’ opening night.
After fighting their way out of the proverbial corner at the eleventh hour of their final league weekend, both Chargers teams managed to secure a spot in the playoffs, much to the relief of fans and supporters. Seeded sixth in their respective pools, the Chargers men’s and women’s teams are being billed as the underdogs of this year’s Provincial playoffs.
“It was do or die for our teams, but they both managed to squeeze in,” comments Camosun’s Director of Athletics Graham Matthews. “Either way, we would be seeing the top teams in our conference at this event, but it’s icing on the cake to have the Chargers competing in the Championships in their home town and in their home gym.”
Making their 9th appearance at the Provincial Championships, the No. 6 Chargers women (8-13) go up against the 3rd seeded Douglas College Royals (14-7) at 6pm in the quarterfinals on Thursday, February 28. In past match-ups, Camosun has gone 2-1 with the Royals, falling in their first contest in November, 57-47 and capturing their second-half games 44-42 and 55-43. Led by fifth-year veterans Amonda Francis and Patti Olsen, the Royals receive strong support from a deep and talented bench which has produced great results all season. The Chargers will have to pull out all the stops in Thursday’s game to maintain their winning ways against the Royals and advance to the semifinal round. “We will need to prepare well and match their hard work and effort while minimizing our mistakes if we hope to have a chance in our first-round game,” says Chargers Head Coach Brett Westcott. “If we do not get ourselves ready to play our best games of the season this week, then our trip to the playoffs will be a short one. We just have to hope we can survive and advance through each round one day at a time.”
While the Chargers women prepare to battle against Douglas, the Chargers men (8-13) are focused on how they will overtake the very determined and talented #3 Quest University Kermodes (11-10). The 2012-13 season saw Camosun go 1-2 with Quest. The Chargers fell 86-74 to the Kermodes in November and then won 75-73 in January before losing again to their opponents in February, 81-74. “Quest is a complete team and we need to be ready for a tough battle,” comments Camosun Head Coach Scot Cuachon. “They are a deep team with talent in all positions. They can play both in transition with their speed and athleticism and they can play in the half court with their skill set. We have to be prepared for everything.”
In planning their approach to this Thursday’s quarterfinal contest, Camosun will have to keep several Kermodes in check, including third-year point guard Cartiea Frech-Toney who completed the regular season 9th in points and 4th in assists, as well as shooter Jose Colorado who averaged 19.24 points per game and is 4th in scoring in the PACWEST. With some very big bodies in the post and two players who are in their final year of eligibility, the squad from Squamish will be looking to make a deep run in the playoffs.
While the odds are stacked against Camosun’s men and women capturing this year’s Provincial title, both programs will have the benefit of playing on home court with a dedicated home crowd to support them. “I haven’t really thought about underdogs and favorites,” says Coach Cuachon. “When you look at the standings, then yes we are the underdogs, but the league has been extremely tight all year with teams winning and losing against teams that they shouldn’t have. If the season is any indication of what will happen at the Championships, I suspect that we will see some upsets … hopefully in our favor!”
Catch the Chargers as they tip-off in quarter final action this Thursday at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence. Women 6pm; Men 8pm. Find the complete schedule, game results, live stream, etc. on the Official PACWEST Provincial Basketball Championship website: http://www.pacwestbc.ca/basketball2013