Kayli Sartori and the UFV women's basketball team swept the UBC Thunderbirds on the road this weekend.

Kayli Sartori and the UFV women's basketball team swept the UBC Thunderbirds on the road this weekend.

Cascades hoopsters impress at UBC: Women sweep, men upset nation’s top-ranked team

The University of the Fraser Valley basketball teams walked into UBC's War Memorial Gymnasium and came away with several statement wins.

The University of the Fraser Valley basketball teams walked into UBC’s War Memorial Gymnasium, the traditional mecca of university hoops in this province, and made a compelling case that they’re now the standard-bearer among B.C. schools.

The Cascades women, ranked No. 2 in the nation, found themselves favoured against UBC for the first time in their seven-year tenure in the Canada West conference. They made good on the advance billing, blowing out the No. 10-ranked Thunderbirds 76-48 on Friday, and outlasting them 88-82 in a double-overtime thriller on Saturday.

The No. 8-ranked UFV men faced a tough test, as their UBC counterparts came in ranked No. 1 in Canada. The T-Birds won Friday’s opener 76-71, but the Cascades bounced back for a huge 89-77 upset victory on Saturday.

“It means a lot to us,” said UFV women’s head coach Al Tuchscherer, reflecting on the weekend. “Being new to Canada West and the CIS, we’ve always been trying to prove ourselves. UBC is kind of the big dog on the block, and I think it shows how far both of our programs have come.”

Just six games into the season, the undefeated Cascades women have done a lot of the heavy lifting towards clinching first place in the Pacific Division. They’ve already swept their season series against chief rivals UBC and UVic – those teams are currently tied for second at 4-2.

UFV led by two at halftime on Friday, then out-scored the T-Birds 26-9 in the third quarter to kick-start the blowout. Sarah Wierks paced the offence with 16 points, while Aieisha Luyken (15 points), Nicole Wierks (14) and Courtney Bartel (13) also scored in double figures.

UBC offered stiffer resistance on Saturday, building a five-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Cascades rallied, though, and actually had a chance to win in regulation, but Kayli Sartori’s layup rimmed out at the buzzer.

The T-Birds controlled the first OT, but Luyken’s buzzer-beating put-back forced a second extra session, and UFV pulled away in the second OT.

The Cascades struggled with their perimeter shooting, going just 2-for-16 from beyond the arc, but they out-rebounded UBC by a 52-37 margin.

Nicole Wierks scored a team-high 21 points, while Luyken registered 16. Three players posted double-doubles – Sarah Wierks (13 points and 14 rebounds), Bartel (13 and 11) and Sartori (12 and 11).

Kris Young led the way for UBC with 26 points and nine rebounds.

“Our second game, I didn’t think we were really where we needed to be,” Tuchscherer said. “We were caught standing around a lot.

“So it was a little bit disappointing that way. But it’s better to earn the ‘W’ and learn lessons than have it bite you, which it almost did.”


On the men’s side, the Cascades’ landmark triumph was a simple matter of hitting open jump shots.

The T-Birds geared their defensive game plan towards stopping Cascades power forward Kyle Grewal, sending double- and triple-teams his way with regularity. That left the three-point line wide open, and UFV hoisted 35 shots from beyond the arc on both Friday and Saturday.

In the first game the Cascades made just eight treys, but they swished 16 on Saturday for a scorching .457 success rate.

Rookie point guard Manny Dulay came off the bench to lead the bomb squad by going 4-for-5 from downtown, while Sam Freeman, James York and Nathan Kendall knocked down three treys apiece.

“We left Friday’s game really confident about Saturday, knowing that we took a lot of wide-open shots but didn’t have one of our best shooting nights,” said Cascades rookie head coach Adam Friesen, whose team improved to 3-3.

“During shoot-around on Saturday, we basically did nothing but shoot threes, knowing that as long as we moved the basketball and played unselfish, we were going to find open looks.”

The Cascades also made a major improvement in the rebounding department on Saturday. UBC crushed UFV 54-35 on the boards on Friday, but the Cascades battled their way to a 36-32 rebounding edge in the rematch.

Friesen called it “a special win.”

“I believe that’s the first time we’ve ever beat them in their gym, and not a lot of teams walk into War Memorial and come away victorious,” he noted. “For the fifth-year guys, it was their last shot to get a win against UBC in their gym, and to knock that off their to-do list was nice.”

Freeman, who missed last weekend’s games vs. UVic with a concussion, paced the Cascades both nights with 24 points on Friday and 20 on Saturday.

Kendall was a huge difference-maker on Saturday, scoring 15 points and hauling down a team-high nine rebounds. He was making his first career starts in the absence of centre Andy Khaira, who sat out with a groin/hamstring injury.

“He’s really grown in his confidence,” Friesen said of Kendall, a sophomore out of Abbotsford’s Yale Secondary who redshirted last season. “We’re starting to see him play basketball the way we’ve seen him play in open gyms and practices for years.”

• The Cascades basketball teams are at home this weekend, hosting the Manitoba Bisons (Friday, women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and the Winnipeg Wesmen (Saturday, women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.).

Just Posted

Xauni de Figeuiroa of Abbotsford has been selected to attend a virtual space camp hosted by the Canadian Space Agency at the end of July.
Abbotsford student selected to attend virtual space camp

Xauni de Figeuiroa among 52 youth selected from across Canada

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

A program of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation enables patients to thank their health-care workers.
Fraser Valley program enables patients to say thanks to their health-care workers

Philip Harris Grateful Patient Program offered through health care foundation

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read