Sports

Top-ranked Ravens too much for Cascades in national semifinal

The UFV Cascades hung with the top-ranked team in the nation for long stretches on Saturday afternoon, but the greatness of the Carleton Ravens shone through down the stretch.

Early in the third quarter of their CIS national semifinal at the Halifax Metro Centre, the Cascades and Ravens were tied 33-33. But the Ravens took over the game with a 19-4 run and cruised from there, winning 83-65.

"No need to make excuses – they were just better than us tonight," Cascades head coach Barnaby Craddock said afterward. "They're a great team.

"The third quarter was the difference. We played okay and battled hard in the first half, but so did they. I don't think either team had a great first half. But in the third they started to hit their stride and we weren't able to keep up with them."

The Cascades were coming off an impressive 83-71 triumph in the quarter-finals over the Lakehead Thunderwolves, but Carleton represented a formidable foe. The Ravens have won seven national titles in nine years, and are working on an undefeated season.

The Cascades got off to a solid start, though, leading 12-8 in the first quarter. But Carleton finished the frame with an 8-0 run, and turnovers were UFV's undoing. They gave the ball away nine times in the quarter.

The Ravens led 31-27 at halftime, but Cascades point guard James York rebounded from a rough first half to knock down a pair of three-pointers to level the score at 33-33 in the third quarter.

But it was all Carleton from there, as the Ravens' sibling duo of Thomas and Phillip Scrubb – Richmond natives who played their high school ball at Vancouver College – sparked the decisive run.

Older brother Thomas, a reserve forward, scored eight points in a row on a couple of treys and a layup. Phillip, the Carleton point guard and the reigning national player of the year, chipped in with five points as the Ravens pulled away.

Carleton led 59-43 after the third quarter, and their explosive offence continued to roll in the fourth. Phillip Scrubb finished with a game-high 18 points, while Thomas Scrubb had 16.

Joel Friesen was named UFV's player of the game after notching a team-high 13 points and five rebounds. Kyle Grewal (11 points), Jasper Moedt (nine points, eight rebounds) and Spencer Evans (nine points, 3-for-3 from beyond the arc) also had solid outings for the Cascades, who turned the ball over 23 times compared to just 10 for Carleton.

The Ravens move on to the national title game on Sunday, where they'll face the winner of Saturday's late semifinal between the Alberta Golden Bears and the St. Francis Xavier X-Men.

The Cascades play the loser of that game in the bronze medal match at 1:15 p.m. Atlantic time (9:15 a.m. Pacific). The game can be viewed online at ssncanada.ca.

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