UFV’s Taylor Claggett tosses up a shot during Canada West quarter-final action on Thursday. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics)

UFV Cascades fall to Alberta in quarter-final

Offence short circuits in 62-48 loss to Pandas in Calgary

The UFV Cascades women’s basketball team’s season ended with a thud in Calgary last night.

The club shot just 27 per cent from the field and were outmuscled on the boards 55-35 by a more experienced Alberta Pandas, en route to a 62-48 loss in the Canada West quarter-finals.

UFV managed just 18 points in the first half and the 48 points was the lowest amount the club produced in a game all season.

Cascades rookies Maddy Gobeil and Deanna Tuchscherer were the top performers on Thursday, with Gobeil collecting 16 points and four steals and Tuchscherer scoring 13 and grabbing a team-high five rebounds.

UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said it was a memorable year.

“It was a really fun journey that this team took us on,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “I’m really proud of the girls. It was a really enjoyable team to coach, and that showed, I think, with our results this year. They just loved being around each other and playing with each other.

“I think tonight, we came up against a pretty good team that was bigger than us and more physical than us, and with their experience, played a little smarter than us. We’re one of the youngest teams in the country, so for us to get this experience is invaluable. Hopefully this inspires our team to have a great off-season, and come back stronger and faster and better. I’m excited about where we’re going.”

The game marked the end to a stellar career by Mission native and MEI grad Taylor Claggett. Her five year run puts her in the discussion with some of the greatest Cascades women’s basketball players of all time. She is the leading scorer in program history and also set the career record for free throws in Canada West play. This season she won the rebounding title (10.4 per game), finished second in scoring (19.6) and was ninth in assists (3.4).

The program will also say goodbye to W.J. Mouat grad and veteran guard Amanda Thompson. The Abbotsford native was a solid contributor during her five years with the Cascades, transforming into one of the best defenders in Canada West and developing into an excellent three point threat.

“We had a little bit of adversity at the front end of their careers, and it didn’t go exactly how we thought it was going to go,” Tuchscherer said, “I’m just really happy that this year they’ve been able to thrive individually, and our team has been able to thrive, so they’ve been able to experience a season like that. You can do nothing but just thank them for the full effort and work and leaders they’ve been. They’re all-time Cascades.”

The future looks bright for the Cascades, as Gobeil, Tuchscherer and guards Nikki Cabuco, Jessica Parker and Lauryn Walker all emerged as strong pieces moving forward.

Tonight (Friday) it’s the men’s turn, as they take on the Calgary Dinos in Calgary. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.

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