(ISN) – Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack began the 2015 portion of their Canada West men’s basketball season the way they ended the 2014 portion: with a victory.
The WolfPack upped their record in the Explorer Division to 5 and 4 following a 95-66 victory over the visiting University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat. The game was played Friday (Jan 9) on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre. The Heat fall to 2 and 7.
“I thought we shot the ball well,” said Thompson Rivers head coach Scott Clark. “But that doesn’t mean you play well. At times defensively we executed what we are trying to get accomplished. When we did, we looked OK. We were able to get everybody some minutes. UBCO is a quality team with a quality coach and they will come out tomorrow with fire in their eyes.”
“We had to adjust to playing against a zone defense,” said Heat head coach Paul Guarasci. I think we did an OK job of that in stretches. But the big part for us defensively was that we didn’t play with the intensity we need against these guys. We let them move the ball around the perimeter and execute their backdoor cuts and pass the ball to spots where they wanted. If we want a chance to compete, our intensity on defense has to be better.”
Guarasci added: “This is probably the first zone we have seen right off the bat. We haven’t played against zone much. I have a very young group. Against guys who are actually communicating and are older, it is daunting. It was a good experience for us. We are going to see it again. For my young group, it is about getting used to guarding that system and attacking the zone. Those are two things we haven’t done before and it is a great learning opportunity.”
The WolfPack led 23-11 after the first quarter. Thompson Rivers was up 48-33 at the half. UBCO did outscore Thompson Rivers 16-15 in the final frame.
TRU had five players in double figures led by Brett Rouault (fifth year, guard, Vernon, BC). He was named the TRU Bookstore/McDonalds “Leader of the Pack” player of the game with 20 points and five rebounds along with six assists.
Reese Pribilsky (fourth year, guard, Victoria, BC) and Josh Wolfram (fourth year, forward, Kamloops, BC) each had 15 points.
Tallon Milne (fifth year, forward, Vanderhoof, BC) and Brett Parker (fifth year, guard, Langley, BC) each contributed 12 points.
Josh Mayorga (first year, guard, Langley, BC) had 13 rebounds including 11 on defense. Said coach Clark: “He did an excellent job for a first year player.”
UBCO was led by Mitch Goodwin (third year, guard, Kelowna, BC) with 15 points. Buzz Truss (first year guard, Kelowna, BC) had 12 points.
The two teams will go at it again Saturday (Jan 10) at 7 pm. The contest will be webcast on Canada West.TV.
DOUBLE DRIBBLES: The local chapter of KidSport was the benefactor of a 50-50 draw and popcorn sales. They raised $455 dollars. KidSport supports Kamloops Youth participation in sports.