(ISN) – The first half of the 2014-15 PACWEST season has gone down as the fastest ever in Chargers history with a mere seven games played since Camosun’s basketball home opener on Halloween night. While 2014 has proven to be a battle of ups and downs for the men’s and women’s teams, the Chargers swept their November 21 & 22 road games against Kwantlen and CBC, closing the mid-season with four big wins to boost them into the New Year.
The Chargers women played two solid back-to-back games on the Mainland, cruising past the Eagles 87-47 on Friday and taking down the Bearcats in similar fashion on Saturday, 87-46. The victories take Camosun to 4-3 with a 4th place standing in the PACWEST conference.
“We saw the weekend as an opportunity where we could solidify our development as a team,” states Camosun Women’s Head Coach Carl Macdonald. “While we made two important wins, the highlight for the coaches was seeing every player contribute to the team’s success. Statistically, we did fantastic … in the second quarter against KPU, we played nearly flawless basketball outscoring our opponents 27-2!”
Veteran guard Ella Goldschmid (Mt. Douglas) led Camosun’s victory over the B’Cats with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. First-year guard Haley Cabral (Claremont) followed with 18 points and 5 assists. Oak Bay product, Ali Cooper, continued her solid play in the post with 12 points 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Second-year wing Amy Acheson (Lambrick Park) fired up her teammates from the sidelines and the floor, coming off the bench to score 11 points, 4 rebounds and one assist.
In Saturday’s game against CBC, the Chargers picked up where they had left off Friday evening. Ella Goldschmid again led the team with 30 points including a buzzer beating 3-pointer at half-time from centre court. Along with her mammoth 30 points, Ella contributed 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Second-year wing Emma Cunningham (Spectrum) gathered in 13 rebounds, 4 assists and two steals. Returning post Kelly Young (Oak Bay) was 7 for 10 shooting 15 points and 6 rebounds.
In men’s action, Camosun collected an 80-77 win against Kwantlen on Friday before defeating CBC 96-78 in Saturday’s contest to advance the team from 7th place to #5. While currently at 3-4, the Chargers will enter the New Year with the momentum of two great games behind them.
Third-year guard Evan Woodson had a spectacular weekend leading the Chargers on both days. On Friday against Kwantlen, the six-footer from Oak Bay had 31pts, 6 rebounds s and 3 assists. Woodson hit five 3’s including the trey that put the Chargers ahead with 40 seconds on the clock. Woodson also hit the final free throws of the game to seal the win. He followed that performance up on Saturday at CBC going 9/13 from the field, 3/5 from 3, 7/8 from the free throw line which added up to 28 points 6 rebounds, 2 assists with 0 turnovers.
“As far as the weekend goes, I’m happy with the results but somewhat annoyed with the process,” comments Chargers Men’s Head Coach Scot Cuachon. “Against Kwantlen, I felt that we made it harder than it had to be. We relinquished a 15-point lead and gave them momentum to claw back into the game by playing undisciplined defense, taking fouls that were unnecessary and not protecting the hoop the way we practice. Our ball movement led to good offensive looks which allowed us to pull it off, however, our standards have to be much higher than that. If we want to achieve long term success throughout the season, we need to improve our execution on both sides of the floor and our consistency.”
Coach Cuachon adds, “On Saturday, we played a better overall game. We got solid contributions from everyone, it was a complete team effort. We moved the ball well, shared the ball and played for each other which led to our success. Our ball movement provided us with six athletes in double figures in scoring. Our defense in the 4th quarter was the key to victory, which is what we need for all four quarters of every game. The weekend was all about team. Kaz Kobayashi, Evan Woodson, Lachlan Ross and James Giuffre provided our scoring bursts on both days with AJ Beaudry, Quinn Yates, Hassan Phills and Amandeep Vaid securing rebounds and providing great energy.”
In addition to working on assignments and exams over the next few weeks, the Chargers student-athletes will be preparing for the second half of the season where the squads will pack in 14 games between January 9th and February 28th in their pursuit of the PACWEST playoffs.
“Over the break, we will continue to add new dimensions to our offense which currently is one of the two most potent in the league, while tightening up our defensive play,” reports Coach Macdonald of the women’s program. “Players’ priority for the next few weeks will be on school, with assignments becoming due and exams to prepare for.”
“It will be about small personal improvements and attention to details on both sides of the ball,” says Coach Cuachon of the men’s team. “It will be an opportunity for us to work on our existing systems along with adding different looks. The second half of the season is an incredibly long grind and teams have and will continue to get better. We’ve had limited success thus far and moving forward means improving as a team and as individuals.”
The Chargers will resume conference competition on Friday, January 9th as they host Island rivals, the VIU Mariners. The women’s game will see a #4 (4-3) Chargers squad go up against VIU who is 5-2 and #3. The Chargers opened the season losing to the Mariners by just 4 points in October and the upcoming contest is anticipated to be another tight one.
The men on the other hand, will face a tougher opponent as the #2 nationally ranked Mariners squad travels down the Malahat to face off against the home team in the second-half opener.
“VIU is undefeated and the number one team in the PACWEST right now,” comments Coach Cuachon. “They are a very tough, talented group to deal with. It will be a difficult game but one that we must look forward to as competitions like this can help us learn a lot about ourselves and our path to success.”
Catch the Chargers in their first games of the New Year at PISE on Friday, January 9, 2015.Women 6pm; Men 8pm.