We have been highlighting over the course of this season the extent to which both pre-season favorites in the Explorer Division: Thompson Rivers Wolfpack and Fraser Valley Cascades have ridden their starting fives and the relative lack of contribution/depth their benches provide. Another pair of examples of such were in focus on Saturday night as the Wolfpack (8-2 in Explorer Division play) shot just 24% (6 for 25) after halftime and missed all 5 of their threes, scoring just 23 points in a loss at UBC-Okanagen (5-5). All-conference candidate center Josh Wolfram shot just 1 for 10 as the Heat made of 8 of their final 15 shots for the win. Meanwhile the Cascades finished the game with just 3 players on the floor – only 8 Fraser Valley players even dressed for the game – as UFV fell to 6-4 on the season… For the second consecutive evening, Saskatchewan Huskies hung tough at Calgary, down only 1 with less than a minute to play but could not overcome what was an 11 point deficit with 5 minutes remaining, putting a further crimp on Huskies playoff possibilities. 6’7″ Shane Osayande again led the way for Sask (3-7) with 10 of his 14 points and 8 of his game-high 17 rebounds. Dinos reserve Josh Owen-Thomas had 10 points in the fourth to help move Calgary to 8-3 in second place in the Pioneer… Manitoba missed 10 of 12 free throws in the final minute of play yet still held on for a grinding 65-59 win at UVic and a split of their weekend series in Victoria. 20 “o” boards for the Bisons also helped… Lethbridge (5-3) was in the game at UBC, down only 2 with 2 minutes remaining but the ‘Birds (8-2) went 6 for 6 from the line and held on to sweep the weekend series. See also Wayne Thomas Canada West Hoops site.
Feature matchups in Canada West next weekend include:
UBC at Manitoba
Lethbridge at Saskatchewan
Calgary travels to Brandon while UVic visits Alberta in Edmonton in other games involving the top-end teams.