Vikes fend off Cascades in men’s basketball preseason action

Kadeem Willis

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team rallied from an early double-digit deficit against the UVic Vikes, but ultimately fell 71-58 in exhibition action in the provincial capital on Sunday.

A red-hot shooting performance from Grant Sitton had the Vikes ahead by as many as 17 points in the second quarter – the third-year transfer knocked down 5-of-7 attempts from downtown in the first half.

Kadeem Willis

The Cascades righted themselves in the third quarter, though, outscoring UVic 17-8 in the frame to cut the deficit to three points at 53-50.

But the Vikes opened the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run to reclaim control, and though the Cascades would mount another comeback to cut the deficit to 63-58 with just over two minutes remaining, UVic responded by scoring the last eight points of the game.

“There were lots of positives, considering it was our third game in four days,” said UFV head coach Adam Friesen, whose team had played the Windsor Lancers on Thursday (57-56 loss) and the Trinity Western Spartans on Friday (80-61 win) at home. “And considering we were shorthanded, the boys fought hard and did a lot of good things.”

With starting center Jasper Moedt sidelined due to a leg injury, Kadeem Willis stepped into the starting lineup and had what Friesen termed a “huge performance”, registering 16 points and eight rebounds while playing the entire 40 minutes. Kevon Parchment tied Willis for team-high scoring honours with 16 points.

The Vikes got 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists from point guard Marcus Tibbs, and Sitton finished with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.

The Cascades struggled with their own three-point shooting, going just 4-of-26 (15.4 per cent).

“Generally, we were happy with the looks we got,” Friesen said. “We’re still working to build that offensive rhythm. We need to have that breakthrough shooting game that we can build confidence from. But competitiveness-wise, defensive-wise, we were fine.”

This week, the Cascades head to St. Catherines, Ont. for the RBC Classic, a preseason tournament hosted by the Brock Badgers. They play Brock on Friday, the Ryerson Rams on Saturday, and have a rematch vs. Windsor on Sunday. Friesen said he’s hopeful Moedt will be available to play limited minutes.

– with files from Ali Lee, Vikes Communications