Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball team capped off winning their first conference championship with a victory on Saturday night (Feb 20). The WolfPack finished first in the Canada West Explorer Division and ended the year on a two game winning streak.
Saturday, they dumped the visiting University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat 88-79. TRU finished the year at 16-4 while The Heat wound up at 8-12.
Not only did TRU claim the Explorer Division championship but also won the Presidents Cup. It is a yearly competition between the WolfPack and UBCO in every Canada West sport. The schools were tied with three wins, three losses and a tie going into Saturday’s game. The TRU win gave the school the trophy—and a sweep in the men’s and women’s competitions for the second straight year.
WolfPack head coach Scott Clark felt it was great to finish the regular season off with a win. “I thought we played really well in stretches.”
The Wolfpack trailed the Heat 25-23 after the first quarter but held a 40-36 advantage at half time. UBCO did outscore TRU 20-18 in the final quarter, but the Pack had most of their bench players in at that time.
TRU was led by Josh Wolfram (5th year, forward, Kamloops, BC0. He had 25 points and six rebounds. Three other WolfPack players were in double figures. Volodymyr Iegorov (4th year, forward, Donetsk, Ukraine) had 19 points. Luke Morris (3rd year, forward, Mission, BC) added 17. Gerard Gore (5th year, forward, St. John’s, Antiqua) contributed 14 points.
For UBCO: Aldrich Berrios led the way with 17 points. Buzz Truss and Mitch Goodwin chipped in with 16.
The WolfPack honored Wolfram, Gore and Reese Pribilsky (5th year, guard, Victoria, BC) before the contest. Clark had this to say about all three: “I was happy for all three of them. I thought they all played well. It was probably OK that the three ended their careers sitting on the bench from the standpoint that they got to support their teammates. Their teammates supported them all year long. They weren’t forced into action late in the game. I think they enjoyed soaking it up after getting some playing time. I thought Gerard played great down the stretch. Josh was really good and Reese did a terrific job running the show and did a good job defensively.”
TRU will now have almost two weeks off to prepare for the winner of a Canada West play-in series between the Regina Cougars and the Winnipeg Wesmen. That quarter final series will be a best of three affair and will be played entirely on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre starting Thursday, March 3rd . Tip off all three nights will be 7 pm.
The games will be webcast on CanadaWest.TV.