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UFV Cascades perform bronze beatdown on Victoria Vikes, qualify for Nationals

Saskatchewan Huskies defeat Alberta Pandas in Canada West final at Abbotsford’s UFV Athletic Centre

The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades women’s basketball team has qualified for the U Sports Nationals and earned a bronze medal after a 62-41 win over Victoria in the third place game on Sunday (Feb. 25).

The bronze beatdown saw the Cascades jump out to an 18-4 lead after the first and they were up 39-13 at halftime.

UFV held the Vikes to an astounding 4.5 per cent from the field in the first half, as Victoria made just one of 22 shots.

The second half saw Victoria push back a bit, but the game was never in doubt. This marks the first time since 2013-14 that the UFV women’s basketball has advanced to Nationals. They earned a bronze at that event.

The Cascades were led by guard Maddy Gobeil, who scored 26 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out five assists. The first team all-star was the only UFV player to reach double-digits in scoring. She said it was a big win for the program and her personally.

“It means everything to me and I think all of our team,” she said. “This is what we’ve been working for since my first year I got here [2019-20]. It feels really good to finally get there and have a chance to compete at the highest level.”

Gobeil said she enjoyed the atmosphere all week at the event, which saw UFV host games featuring the top-12 teams from Feb. 21 to 25. She said the bronze game wasn’t hard to get up for.

“The bronze game is about competing and who wants it more,” she said. “It was about coming out and giving everything that you have left in the tank, and I think our team really locked into that mindset today.”

UFV women’s head coach Al Tuchscherer said it was rewarding to see this group advance to the next stage.

“Starting in 2019 with Maddy, Nikki [Cabuco] and Deanna [Tuchscherer] coming in, they had the expectation that we would get back to this moment,” he said. “They have put in a tremendous amount of work and have had some tough luck along the way. Just to see them accomplish that is really rewarding to me.”

Tuchscherer also said it was a solid game from guard Fania Taylor. She hit two big three-point shots in the first half and the Walnut Grove grad was second on the Cascades with nine points.

“The contributions she’s made have been really important,” he said. “I thought she was really good against Regina yesterday too. She has the ability to impact the game at both ends of the floor and offers a few things that are different than some of the players on our team. She’s becoming an important piece.”

The Saskatchewan loss on Saturday (Feb. 24) dashed the Cascades chances of winning gold, but Tuchscherer looked at the 84-50 loss as a lesson for his team.

“Saskatchewan is ultimately probably the gold standard program in the country,” he said. “This is second nature for them – Canada West semi-finals, finals and bigger events – it was the first time our group had been there and obviously we weren’t quite ready for that. They blitzed us early and our early response was to be a bit panicky, which led to a sort of disaster. But I think it’s a good learning experience for us.”

Tuchscherer’s praise of the Saskatchewan Huskies rang true in the CW final on Sunday, as the Huskies ran away with the game in the second quarter and defeated the Alberta Pandas 73-42.

Huskies guard Gage Grassick had a game-high 28 points and Carly Ahlstrom added 18 and eight rebounds. Alberta committed 30 turnovers in the loss and couldn’t overcome a 23-11 second quarter. Saskatchewan also dominated the rebound battle, holding a 51-33 edge.

Alberta’s Claire Signatovich led her team with 13 points and eight rebounds.

Saskatchewan, Alberta and UFV all qualify for the U Sports Final 8 tournament, which occurs from March 7 to 10 in Edmonton. It features the top eight teams from across the country battling it out.

For more information on that event, visit

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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