UFV’s Sukhjot Bains drives to the hoop against Brandon during the Cascades 83-73 win on Saturday. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Cascades extend win streak to nine

University of the Fraser Valley basketball teams both riding undefeated runs

Make it nine wins in a row for the red-hot University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s basketball team.

The club kicked off Canada West action in 2019 in the same way they finished off 2018, collecting two more wins in a weekend sweep of the Brandon University Bobcats on Friday and Saturday.

Balanced scoring was on the menu in Saturday’s 83-73 win, with four Cascades players reaching double digits in points.

Parm Bains led the way with 20, while Sukhjot Bains added 16 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Andrew Morris added 13, while Daniel Adediran collected 11 points and 10 rebounds in just 17 minutes off the bench.

But it was the Cascades defensive intensity that helped earn the win, with UFV grabbing 40 defensive rebounds to Brandon’s 29, and holding the Bobcats to just 33 per cent shooting.

Men’s team head coach Adam Friesen said his players are knowing their role without the ball.

“The guys have really bought into it [defence] being an important aspect for us to have success,” he said. “They know what our objectives are defensively every game and are doing their best to stick to the game plan.”

It was a similar story on Friday, as the Cascades rode a 29-point third quarter to a 74-66 win.

Sukhjot had another strong game with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Morris added 15 and seven boards. Parm scored 14 points, while Navjot Bains contributed with 11.

The Cascades dominated the boards on Friday, out-rebounding Brandon 53-42. They again held Brandon to a poor shooting night, with the Bobcats shooting just 32.1 per cent.

The men’s team now sits third in the Canada West with a record of 10-4. Friesen said it’s been a good run for his team.

“This weekend helped to continue our momentum and just our overall team chemistry makes me feel good moving forward,” he said.

He added that tough games early helped the Cascades challenge themselves. Games against Saskatchewan and Thompson Rivers were difficult, but Friesen said those setbacks helped build character.

“We had some really tough tests early on and it gave us a glimpse of what we’re good at and what we need to get better at,” he said. “How we responded to those games helped us to get on this win streak.”

The team next travels to Victoria to take on the Vikes on Jan. 11 and 12.

Meanwhile, the Cascades women are also building a win streak and now have won six straight after sweeping the Bobcats.

Friday’s game saw the Cascades take over in the second half by outscoring Brandon 41-24 to cruise to the 71-50 win.

Taylor Claggett and Amanda Thompson led the way with 24 and 21 points respectively. Claggett also grabbed 14 rebounds, three steals and three assists for an outstanding all-around performance. Brandon shot just 31 per cent from the field in the loss.

The women were forced to play without Claggett on Saturday, as she was out with an injury, but Abby Zawada stepped up and took advantage of the opportunity with 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Her play helped lead the women to a 63-53 win.

Thompson had another solid performance with 11 points, while Kate Head racked up 12 points. Victoria Jacobse grabbed a team-best nine rebounds.

“I was really proud of the girls’ effort tonight to face some adversity that close to game time,” said Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer, noting that the decision on whether or not to play Claggett came just half an hour before tip-off. “To come out with that much energy and have such a fantastic defensive effort, particularly in the first half was a big step for our team.”

The women now improve to a record of 9-5, and they sit in fifth place in the Canada West. They also head to Victoria for games against the Vikes on Jan. 11 and 12.

For more on the teams, visit gocascades.ca.

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