LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s basketball team lost its final game of the regular season falling 89-70 to the No. 5 Fraser Valley Cascades Thursday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Cascades outscored the Spartans 32-13 in the third quarter as they blew open what was a tight halftime score en route to a decisive win in what was also their last contest of the regular season.
The Spartans, who finish the year 10-8, will now head on the road for the opening round of the playoffs as the conference wild card, playing the top team in the East Division, either Saskatchewan or Alberta, in a three-game series between Feb. 23-26. The Cascades, who are now 13-5, will await this weekend’s results to determine their playoff fate as they will finish either first or second.
The Cascades were led by Sam Freeman, who had 19 points and three boards, Kyle Grewal, who had 15 points and two rebounds and Jasper Moedt, who had 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Spartans were led by Calvin Westbrook, who had 15 points and two rebounds, Sean Peter, who had 10 points and six rebounds, and Niko Monachini, who had nine points and six rebounds.
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to end,” said Spartans coach Scott Allen. “I think three quarters were good but the one quarter got away from us. In the first half we showed what we can do but we just need to learn to play consistently. It might be a little late to be saying that but if we have the ability to do it, we have to find a way.
“In the third quarter, we didn’t take shots and we gave up shots. It’s pretty simple.”
The Cascades opened the game impressively at both ends of the court as they were quite clearly the better team in the first quarter.
With seven players getting on the scoreboard for Fraser Valley in the first 10 minutes, the Cascades built a 20-11 lead heading in the second frame.
With the score 10-8 For Fraser Valley, the visitors finished the quarter on an 11-2 run.
The Cascades were three for nine from beyond the arc and shot 46.7 per cent from the field, while the Spartans were zero for five from 3-point range and 27.8 per cent from the field.
In the second quarter, Trinity Western started to play.
The Spartans opened the quarter on an 11-1 run, capped by a Westbrook jumper that got the Spartans within one point at 22-21.
Fraser Valley responeded by reestablishing a seven-point lead at 30-23. But Trinity Western roared right back as a Monachini 3-pointer provided the icing on a 9-2 run that evened the score 34-34.
A pair of Monachini free throws then gave Trinity Western its first lead of the game 36-35.
With a late steal and lay-up from Joel Friesen, the Cascades managed to retake the lead late, going into halftime up 39-38.
The third quarter saw the Cascades pull away.
With the score 43-43, Fraser Valley finished the quarter on a 28-8 run.
The Cascades hit four 3-pointers on eight attempts and with Grewal collecting 14 points in the quarter and Freeman earning 10 points, Fraser Valley was off to the races.
Fraser Valley ended up outscoing Trinity Western by 19 points in the quarter as they put the game on ice with 10 minutes still to play.
In the fourth quarter, with the victory well in hand, both teams put it in cruise control as Trinity Western outscored the Cascades 19-18 and never put a dent in the Cascades lead as they rolled to a 19-point win.
Game Notes – UFV shot 43.1 per cent from the field while TWU shot 38.1 per cent…UFV was 7 for 27 from 3-point range while TWU was 4 for 19…UFV had 32 rebounds to TWU’s 27.