Monster game from Wierks not enough to lift Cascades past WolfPack

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The Thompson Rivers WolfPack overcame a huge performance from Sarah Wierks to hand the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team its first loss of the regular season on Friday.


Playing at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops, Cascades fifth-year centre Wierks was dominant, racking up 27 points and 20 rebounds.

UFV Athletics file photo

But the host WolfPack prevailed 69-58 behind a 24-point outing from Taiysa Worsfold, taking advantage of 25 UFV turnovers along the way.

The victory moved TRU into a tie with the Cascades atop the Explorers Division of Canada West – both teams are at 4-1 on the season. They renew hostilities on Saturday at 5 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 7 p.m. The games will be webcast at ufv.canadawest.tv.

“I think our inexperience showed a little bit tonight,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer analyzed. “Thompson Rivers made a big push in the third quarter, and we didn’t really answer that. And we had a few too many mistakes in the fourth quarter.

“But I don’t think all is lost on the game. It’s a lot of great learning experiences tonight for us.”

The WolfPack got off to a great start, leading by as many as 12 points in the first quarter and holding a 19-9 advantage at the end of the frame.

But the second quarter was all Cascades, with Wierks leading the way. The Chilliwack native poured in 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the field, and UFV outscored TRU by a 25-12 margin to take a 34-31 lead into halftime.

The WolfPack clawed back in front in the third quarter, though, and extended the lead as high as 15 points early in the fourth. The Cascades responded with a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 56-50, capped by a Jenika Bannerman layup, but TRU pushed the lead back up to double digits and hung on for the win.

Wierks shot 10-for-16 from the field and 7-for-13 from the foul line, and fifth-year point guard Celeste Dyck notched 12 points and six assists. Kaitlyn McDonald contributed nine points on a trio of three-pointers, but no one else on the team managed more than four points.

In addition to Worsfold’s big night, the WolfPack got double-digit scoring performances from Kassie Colonna (14 points) and Michelle Bos (12 points, 17 rebounds).

“I thought Sarah played with a lot of determination tonight,” said Tuchscherer, whose team was missing co-leading scorer Nataliia Gavryliuk due to injury. “She played like a fifth-year star, and that’s what she is.

“We need some other people to step up their game a little bit – make some plays for us, get to the line.”

WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves termed Wierks’s performance “outstanding.”

“She really challenged us in the first half,” Reeves said. “I thought she was on pace for 50 points. We did a little better in the second half. She is quite a handful. We tried to take her out of their offence and make other people make plays, and that is easier said than done because they have other people that can make plays.”

– with files from TRU Athletics

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