UFV rookies Deanna Tuchscherer (top) and Maddy Gobeil are helping pace the Cascades women’s basketball team to a strong start.

UFV rookies Deanna Tuchscherer (top) and Maddy Gobeil are helping pace the Cascades women’s basketball team to a strong start.

UFV rookies setting the pace

Bumper crop of first-year players leading Cascades charge

For the past two years in the 2A B.C. senior girls provincial finals, two players have set the tone – Maddy Gobeil and Deanna Tuchscherer.

Gobeil’s South Kamloops Titans and Tuchscherer’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies squared off for the crown in both 2018 and 2019, and, while the Titans won back-to-back, both players left a mark on the basketball world.

Gobeil was named the tournament’s most valuable player both years, and Tuchscherer was an all-star both years and most outstanding defensive player in 2019.

In most cases, battling for a provincial title in back-to-back years would create animosity, conflict or resentment between the top players, but for Gobeil and Tuchscherer it has been the complete opposite.

The pair are best friends, now play together on the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades women’s basketball team and currently are roommates at the school.

“Deanna is definitely the messy one,” Gobeil joked, following the team’s final practice of 2019. “But she’s got a lot better from when I first knew her. I think by the fifth year she will be clean.”

The friendship didn’t just blossom out of the blue, though; the pair played together on the U15 B.C. provincial team in 2016, with B.C. United Basketball in 2017 and on the U17 provincial team in 2018. Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer, Deanna’s father, also coached the pair on two of those teams. Gobeil actually lived with the Tuchscherers during the past few summers.

RELATED: Chilliwack’s Tuchscherer helps Canada to one-sided win

While Tuchscherer’s home life may need some tidying up, her play on the court in Canada West action has been very clean.

She leads all CW rookies in points per game, averaging 12.6, and she’s also averaging six rebounds a game. She has already put up two double-doubles in her young career, including a 21-point and 10-rebound showing against Lethbridge on Nov. 22.

The Cascades, as a team, sit at a solid 5-3, good for seventh in the conference. Tuchscherer said it has been a good start for herself and the team as a whole.

“We’ve been given a good opportunity to show what we can do and just learn some things, and so far it’s been pretty good,” she said.

Gobeil has also been off to a solid start, averaging 9.1 points and five rebounds. She collected a high of 19 points against Winnipeg on Nov. 2.

But it’s not just Tuchscherer and Gobeil who have been new contributors for the Cascades this season. Five of the team’s top-seven scorers so far this season are rookies. Jessica Parker (7.6 ppg), Nikki Cabuco (4.9 ppg) and Lauryn Walker (2.8 ppg) have all been key contributors.

RELATED: UFV Cascades sign Australian basketball talent

“I think all of us have the same goals and mentality when it comes to basketball,” Gobeil said of the stellar rookie class. “Whether it’s pushing each other in practice or whatever, we just want to make a big impact and make the seniors’ final year all worth it.”

And the senior players have been there both on the scoresheet and by allowing the rookies to shine. Perennial star Taylor Claggett is once again putting up big numbers (19.9 ppg and 10 rpg) and sharpshooter Amanda Thompson is also averaging nearly seven points a game.

Coach Tuchscherer said the veterans on his team are a big part in the rookies having the opportunity to shine.

“I don’t think the young kids can have the success they have without the vets enabling that,” he said. “If they don’t bring them into the fold and embrace them. none of this happens. The senior kids have been instrumental in pulling this team together and making sure it works. It’s been a fun group to coach.”

Deanna agreed, saying the experienced players on the team have made the transition to the next level much easier.

“We have a pretty unique team with an older group and a younger group and we’ve been trying to figure out how to put all that together,” she said. “It’s been a learning process for the younger girls and we’ve learned a lot from the older group.”

Both Tuchscherer and Gobeil said the goal for the season is to have a deep playoff run. Both players are on pace to earn Canada West all-rookie team nods, but the team success is the main aim for the duo.

“We want to make nationals,” Gobeil said. “We set that team goal back in the summer and that’s what we’ve all been working towards. We’re more focused on what the team does rather than individually – that’s more important.”

The team is on holiday break for the remainder of 2019, and return to action on Jan. 3 and 4, when the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds come to Abbotsford. The T-birds sit in fourth place in the CW with a 7-3 record. This trip marks the first time the UBC basketball program has played in Abbotsford since 2013.

Games tip off at 6 p.m. on Jan. 3 and 5 p.m. on Jan. 4. The men also host UBC on those days, with games opening at 8 p.m. on Jan. 3 and 7 p.m. on Jan. 4. Visit gocascades.ca for more.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Left: Tabor Home in Abbotsford; right: Menno Home (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News; Google Street View)
Fraser Health appoints officials to ‘provide oversight’ at Abbotsford care homes hard hit by COVID-19

Fraser Health says they have provided ‘additional leadership supports’ at Tabor Home and Menno Home

Sumas First Nation Chief Dalton Silver says a recent assignment about residential schools shows the need for better education for teachers on the topic. (File photos)
Sumas First Nation chief ‘dumbstruck’ by residential school assignment, says more education needed

Dalton Silver says school officials are trying to improve understanding, but much work is needed

Archway staff members Mike and Jennifer with the 2019 Prospera Youth Angel Tree gifts. (Submitted photo)
Youth Angel Tree Project underway in Abbotsford

Program at Prospera Credit Union provides gifts for disadvantaged youth

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at third Chilliwack care home in two weeks

Two staff members at Bradley Centre in Chilliwack tested positive for the virus

Fraser Valley Bandits vice-president Dylan Kular has released a statement offering his support for Indian farmers in their recent struggles. The City of Abbotsford has thus far remained silent on the issue. (Highstreet photo)
Fraser Valley Bandits VP Dylan Kular speaks out on India, City of Abbotsford silent on issue

W.J. Mouat grad states he supports farmers, unclear if City of Abbotsford will release statement

A snow moon rises over Mt. Cheam in Chilliwack on Feb. 8, 2020. Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 is Mountain Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
First Nations Leadership Council demands justice for victims of B.C. social worker

Union of BC Indian Chiefs calls actions of Robert Saunders ‘nothing short of complete depravity’

Sept. 10, 2020 — In the photo is a W.L. McLeod student wearing a mask in a school bus, on his first day back-to-school. This year, due to COVID-19, students will have a different year than most. The President of B.C. Teachers’ Federation told Black Press Sept. 9, that she had a lot of mixed feeling about how ready the education system is for students to be coming back-to-school. Meanwhile, Libby Hart, Principal of W.L. Mcleod Elementary School in Vanderhoof said,” We know some of the families are still unsure, but most of our families have been great in connecting with us and talking to us.” Photos continued on Page 7. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
‘Significant’ changes coming to Fraser Health school exposure notices

Surrey superintendent tweeted there will be 3 letters sent out to a school community

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Montreal Alouettes’ Michael Sam is set to make his pro football debut as he warms up before the first half of a CFL game against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Sam became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes after being released by St. Louis, but abruptly left after playing one game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Study finds Canada a ‘laggard’ on homophobia in sports

Among females, 44 per cent of Canadians who’ve come out to teammates reported being victimized

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

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Most Read