It wasn’t so long ago that the University of the Fraser Valley basketball teams were the new kids on the block in the Canada West conference.
But it’s the Mount Royals Cougars who are in that vulnerable position right now, and the Cascades took full advantage on the weekend.
UFV’s nationally ranked women’s and men’s hoops teams swept all four games at Mount Royal as the Calgary-based school made its Canada West regular season basketball debut.
The Cascades women, ranked No. 3 in the nation, spanked the Royals by huge margins both nights – 71-49 on Saturday and 79-49 on Sunday.
Courtney Bartel notched a double-double in the opener with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Nicole Wierks (12 points) and Aieisha Luyken (10) also scored in double figures.
On Sunday, it was Sarah Wierks leading the way with 13 points and nine boards, with Bartel, Luyken and Kayli Sartori adding 12 points apiece.
Head coach Al Tuchscherer termed it a “decent start.”
“The first game we had some OK moments, but it wasn’t a complete 40-minute effort,” analyzed Tuchscherer, whose team is embarking on its seventh Canada West campaign. “We got a little bit individual in what we wanted to do offensively. Defensively, we just need all five players working together, communicating, and it was a little bit disjointed.
“The second game was much better.”
The Cascades men, ranked No. 4 in Canada, made a winner of rookie head coach Adam Friesen in his regular season debut. They won 80-73 on Saturday behind a big game from Sam Freeman (28 points, eight rebounds), while Kyle Grewal (19 points), Kevon Parchment (12 points) and James York (10 points, 10 assists) also chipped in.
Sunday saw Grewal notch a double-double (23 points, 10 boards) in an 81-67 win, with Parchment (18 points), Jordan Blackman (13) and Freeman (12) also scoring in double figures.
“I am happy with the boys’ effort tonight, they competed well for 40 minutes,” Friesen stated in a press release. “I am glad for the experience of facing a tough, close contest in a visiting environment. It will only make us better going forward.”
• The UFV hoopsters host their home openers this weekend vs. the UVic Vikes on Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.) at the Envision Athletic Centre.