Calgary centre Matt Letkeman (a grad of Abbotsford's Yale Secondary) looks for a passing lane against UFV's swarming trio of Aaron McGowan

Calgary centre Matt Letkeman (a grad of Abbotsford's Yale Secondary) looks for a passing lane against UFV's swarming trio of Aaron McGowan

UFV basketball: Moustachioed Manny powers men’s squad, women thrive on defence

As he rained down three-pointers on the Calgary Dinos on Saturday evening, UFV's Manny Dulay came up with a novel way to celebrate.

As he rained down three-pointers on the Calgary Dinos on Saturday evening, Manny Dulay came up with a novel way to celebrate.

On Halloween, the University of the Fraser Valley sophomore guard had shaved his beard, but saved the moustache – a nod to the Movember men’s health charity initiative.

Two days later, after hitting back-to-back treys midway through the fourth quarter to give the Cascades a 58-52 lead over the visiting Dinos, he ran his fingers over his new lip sweater as he backpedaled down the court. The crowd at the Envision Athletic Centre ate it up.

Dulay repeated the celebration after knocking down two more fourth-quarter threes to power a thrilling 71-56 comeback win.

He finished 7-for-13 from downtown en route to a game-high 23 points, and if he keeps stroking threes at this rate, he may be in danger of wearing his moustache clean off his face.

“In my Sikh culture, the moustache is key, so I felt like I needed to do this for Movember,” Dulay explained with a grin.

“If we keep winning, I might just keep it for the rest of the season.”

Dulay’s late outburst was a welcome sight for a UFV squad which had struggled mightily shooting the ball for the first three quarters.

They trailed 44-38 heading into the final frame, but nearly matched their previous output over the final 10 minutes, out-scoring the Dinos 33-12 as swingmen Klaus Figueredo (who finished with 18 points) and Kevon Parchment (12 points) started to heat up along with Dulay.

“We knew if we played enough quarters, we’d eventually hit some shots,” Cascades coach Adam Friesen said with a chuckle. “I’m just happy it happened in the fourth. We were running out of quarters to find it.”

Beating the Dinos capped a two-win weekend for the Cascades to open the Canada West regular season – they also knocked off the Lethbridge Pronghorns 79-69 on Friday.

Parchment was a beast in the opener, stuffing the stat sheet with 28 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks, while Jasper Moedt had a double-double with 15 points and 13 boards.

“From last week to this week, it looks like we’re a new team,” said Friesen, whose team lost to the Langara Falcons, a PacWest college program, in exhibition action last Saturday. “And we basically are a new team, considering all the new faces that haven’t played a lot together.

“The way the boys fought and stuck together . . . wow, they performed well. They never gave up.”

CASCADES WOMEN DOMINATE ON DEFENCE

The UFV women’s squad flexed its defensive muscles on opening weekend, battering Lethbridge and Calgary on consecutive nights and looking very much like one of the top teams in the CIS. Which they are, ranked No. 4 nationally.

On Friday, the Cascades led 32-23 at halftime vs. the Pronghorns, then stepped on the gas after the break, holding Lethbridge to just nine points the rest of the way in a 70-32 win. Kayli Sartori notched 15 points and eight rebounds, both of which were game-high totals.

Saturday’s tilt with Calgary was an equally dominant exhibition – UFV limited the Dinos to just 19.7 per cent shooting and won 60-36 behind a double-double (15 points, 13 boards) from Sarah Wierks.

“We did what we probably should have done against these two teams, which are in a little bit of a rebuilding-type mode,” Cascades coach Al Tuchscherer said. “But it was a positive sign, for sure, that we were able to hold two Canada West teams under 40 points. It doesn’t happen too often.

“We do a lot of different things in our defence where we switch off a lot of things, so we’re not too concerned about our match-ups a lot of the time. But if we’re going to do that, we need to communicate. If our communication is tight, we’re going to be good, and it was.”

• The UFV hoopsters hit the road this weekend to face the Victoria Vikes. The next home games are Nov. 15-16 vs. the Mount Royal Cougars.

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