Coming off a victorious weekend, the Camosun College Chargers men’s and women’s basketball teams have each earned a berth to the conference playoffs and will be heading up Island this Friday to close the 2015-16 PACWEST season against the nation’s No. 1 (men) and No. 2 (women) VIU Mariners.
The Chargers men hit their first triple-digit game of the season on Friday, walking away with a 102-50 win over the Kwantlen Eagles (KPU). Camosun carried that positive momentum into Saturday’s game against Columbia Bible College (CBC), defeating the Bearcats 98-74. Fourth-year guard Evan Woodson (Oak Bay) was instrumental in both games posting 25 points on Friday and 23 points the following day against CBC.
It was essentially a do or die situation for the Chargers women who entered the weekend needing two wins with only three games until the playoffs and they did just that, taking down KPU 67-58 and CBC 75-72 in overtime.
Second-year guard and co-captain Kathryn Candell (Pacific Christian) had a monster weekend scoring 27 points against the Eagles and 34 points in Saturday’s contest versus CBC, including the game-tying buzzer beater that pushed the game into OT. Kathryn’s weekend total of 61 points puts her at the top of the PACWEST League Leaders in points per game with an average of 18.60 (372 pts over 20 games). Teammate and co-captain Kelly Young (third-year post from Oak Bay) finishes the season fourth in average points (15.00) and second in rebounds with an average per game of 9.95.
While the final games of the season will not impact the standings for either Camosun or VIU, they will play a significant role for the Chargers who sit in sixth in both the men’s and women’s standings.
“We want to go into play-offs with a solid final league game,” says Chargers Women’s Head Coach Carl Macdonald. “Additionally, should we prevail in our quarter-final game against Capilano University, we will face VIU in the semi-final. It will be important for our players to know we can compete and play with VIU.”
This week, the Chargers men and women prepare to go up against two of the nation’s best and while both Camosun coaches see a tough contest ahead, they are confident in their game plan and know what they have to do to compete.
“VIU is a solid and deserves to be the first place team in our league,” states Coach Macdonald. “They have two of the top scorers in the league with a strong supporting cast. They are well coached and play a solid defensive game, looking to capitalize on their opponents mistakes. For us to compete we need to take those opportunities away and complete our own possessions. We know our offence gets us the shots we can score with, when we take advantage we are able to play with any team in the league. Our co-captains Kelly Young and Kathryn Candell will lead us and our supporting cast will show they can step up and compete with the best.”
“VIU will be a very tough game, they have earned their spot as number one in the country,” comments Chargers Men’s Basketball Head Coach Scot Cuachon. “Mariners Josh Ross and John Thompson have made VIU a very tough to beat thus far but one guy that wrongfully gets over looked on that team is Jason Fortin. I believe he is their heart and soul as he is one of the toughest competitors you’ll ever run into. The combination of Fortin, Ross, Dorby and Wilson give them opportunity after opportunity on the offensive boards.”
“In order to beat them, we have to keep them off of the offensive glass and we have to take care of the ball and make sure we are getting quality possessions. Against a team this good, if you don’t capitalize on your opportunities, it will be a very long night.”
Catch the Chargers and Mariners this Friday on PACWEST.tv.
Friday, Feb. 26 Women 6pm; Men 8pm in Nanaimo