The Camosun Chargers men’s and women’s basketball teams opened 2016 with a bang, sweeping all four games of the January 8-9 weekend as they played host to the Kwantlen Eagles (KPU)and Columbia Bible College Bearcats (CBC). With seven weeks remaining in the regular season, each team is making a steady climb up the PACWEST standings with the goal of securing a spot in the Provincial playoffs.
In men’s action, first-year forward Mat Hampton (Oak Bay) led Camosun to back-to-back wins earning his first PACWEST Athlete of the Week award. In Friday’s 97-72 victory over KPU, , Hampton scored 24 points and recorded seven rebounds on 77% shooting in less than 26 minutes of play. On Saturday, the rookie followed up with 20 points and six rebounds in Camosun’s 81-76 win against the Bearcats.
“Mat had a fantastic weekend and the wins were important to get, however, we did not play to our potential,” said Head Coach Scot Cuachon. “We were a little bit rusty after the long break not having played a game since the last league games in November and the team consensus is that we are a much better defensive team than we showed in both games this weekend. We are also a much better three-point shooting team than what was demonstrated. We hit only two out of 18 3’s on Friday and scored zero on only eight attempts the next day. But I feel that we’ve done a good job of shaking off the dust and that we’re ready for the next challenge.”
The Chargers women were dominant in both of their games, taking down Kwantlen 86-43 on Friday and claiming Saturday’s win 71-57 against CBC.
“We were ready and anxious to get going,” commented Head Coach Carl Macdonald. “Friday evening we came out flying scoring 25 points in each of the first two quarters. Our co-captains Kathryn Candell and Kelly Young led the way. Kathryn contributed 22 points in only 18 minutes of game time and Kelly had 10 points, 9 rebounds and 6 steals in only 16 minutes of play. We had outstanding contributions from every player including rookie Claire Young who was playing her first game and scored within three seconds of stepping onto the floor!”
On Saturday, the Chargers did not let up, despite an early attack by the Bearcats who had Camosun trailing 22-14 at the end of the first quarter.
“We kept our composure and went into the half down by one point,” said Coach Macdonald. “In the third quarter we exploded and scored 31 points to pull away and prevent CBC from making a comeback.”
Third year posts Kelly Young (Oak Bay) and Rachael Bakker (Duncan Christian) led the way with double doubles (23 pts with 14 rebounds and 13 pts with 17 rebounds respectively). Second-year guard Kathryn Candell (Pacific Christian) contributed 16 points and first-year forward Jade Heavener (G.P. Vanier, Courtenay) made 10.
This weekend, the Chargers are on the road to face off against the Langara Falcons (Vancouver) and Quest Kermodes (Squamish). The Chargers are fifth in both the men’s and women’s standings and will be looking at higher ranked teams in all but one of this weekend’s match-ups. The women tip-off against #6 (Langara) and #3 (Quest), while the men battle #3 (Langara) and #2 (Quest, who is also ranked 9th nationally).
“Coming out of the weekend with two big wins at home brought a lot of comfort and confidence to the team,” stated Women’s Head Coach Carl Macdonald. “This weekend coming up will provide two challenging games. Langara has solid shooting and a capable defence to challenge our shooters. Quest will provide different challenges as they are a bigger and stronger team. Playing as well as we did last weekend will give us a solid opportunity for two upset wins.”
“In Langara, we face a well-coached, hard-nosed squad that doesn’t ever quit or back down,” commented Men’s Head Coach Scot Cuachon. “They can score a lot of points and they will challenge us defensively. It will be a fun game to participate in and to watch. Quest is one of the best teams in the country and they are playing possibly the best defensive basketball in the league right now. They can do a bit of everything offensively and present numerous and intriguing obstacles.”
Catch the Chargers basketball road games, live on PACWEST TV:
Fri, Jan. 15 Camosun at Langara Falcons Women 6pm; Men 8pm
Sat, Jan. 16 Camosun at Quest Kermodes Women 1pm; Men 3pm