(ISN) – Friday night’s Island rivalry at PISE proved to be a tough one for the Chargers men’s and women’s basketball teams who fell in their second-half openers to the visiting VIU Mariners.
In women’s action, VIU controlled the game from start to finish beginning with a 22-6 lead to complete the 1st quarter. The Mariners steamed ahead to lead 34-15 at the half and by the end of the third, had forced a 28 point deficit upon the home team. Despite a great effort by the Chargers in the final frame which included a trio of treys by second-year wing Emma Cunningham, the home team was defeated 68-48.
“When things aren’t going the way you expected you keep pressing forward,” says Camosun Women’s Head Coach Carl MacDonald. “Sometimes it works out and you are able to reverse the flow of the game, unfortunately Friday night’s game had a reverse effect and the hole we were digging just kept getting deeper. As the saying goes, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. We did that in the fourth quarter and our game flow started working, but it was too little too late.”
First-year post, Ali Cooper (Oak Bay) provided the high score for Camosun with 17 points and 2 rebounds. The loss moves Camosun to a 4-4 record while VIU advances to 6-2. Both teams maintain their position in the conference standings: VIU is 3rd, Camosun is 4th.
The match-up between the men was a completely different story as the Chargers men fought toe to toe with the undefeated, No. 1 nationally ranked Mariners. The home team kept pace with VIU up until the last few minutes of the game, trailing a mere 4 points at the end of the first half and leading the nation’s No. 1, 55-53 at the end of the 3rd. Despite progressing to an 8 point lead in the fourth quarter, Camosun fell back in the final few minutes of the game as VIU turned up the heat to pull off the win, 79-71.
“The game against VIU was tough and very competitive; both teams played hard,” comments Chargers Coach Scot Cuachon. “It was very disappointing not to come out with the victory especially with having the lead in the 4th quarter.”
While Coach Cuachon praises VIU for having one of the best defensive systems in the league, he attributes much of the Mariners’ win on Friday to 4th year guard Justin King, who finished the game with 33 points – 29 of which were made in the second half.
“Offensively, Justin King was instrumental in VIU’s success,” states Coach Cuachon. “He put them on his back and found a way to hit tough shot after tough shot down the stretch. On the flip side, I feel we got a little excited. The guys could taste the victory within their grasp and they tried to put the hammer down in one or two possessions instead of following the game plan right through to the end. VIU did a great job in adjusting their defense in the final stretch of the game, we made adjustments to our offense and we did not follow through in executing those adjustments. We put a great deal of importance in finishing possessions and we shot ourselves in the foot by not doing that on the key possessions in this game. This game will go a long way in learning the very important lesson of executing from the start and finish of possessions which is what is needed in order to have success in the bigger picture.”
Third-year guard Evan Woodson (Oak Bay) was the high man for Camosun with 16 points and 4 rebounds. Fellow Oak Bay grad and Camosun point guard Kaz Kobayshi tipped in 14 points and 1 rebound. Camosun is now 3-5 and sits in fifth. VIU remains the top PACWEST team with an undefeated record over 8 games.
This weekend, the Chargers basketball teams travel to the Mainland to face the Douglas Royals and Langara Falcons.
“The adversity we faced this Friday should stand us in good stead for this weekend,” states Women’s Head Coach Carl Macdonald. “Douglas is a strong team with depth in all positions. This week we will regroup and continue our efforts to utilize our strengths, solid post play along with a strong defensive effort. Second games of the weekend have been a challenge for us this year. We are addressing these issues and hope to see a second solid effort against Langara.”
The Chargers men will face two more challenging competitions this weekend. “If we are able to take the lessons from our experiences so far this season, we will have a better chance at success against these two very tough teams,” comments Coach Cuachon. “Simply put, we need these two games coming up. Neither will be easy and neither team will give us an inch. We must be prepared physically and mentally for two gruelling games.”
Catch the Chargers basketball teams this weekend LIVE on SportsCanadaTV
Fri, Jan. 16 Camosun at Douglas in New Westminster Women 6pm; Men 8pm
Sat, Jan. 17 Camosun at Langara in Vancouver Women 1pm; Men 3pm
Find Chargers rosters, player profiles and coach bio’s on the Chargers website.