Willis Goes ‘Beast Mode,’ Scores 40 As Cascades Beat Badgers
By Dan Kinvig
In a free-flowing game like basketball, perfection is next to impossible. But on Friday evening in St. Catharines, Ont., Kadeem Willis got a taste of it.
The fifth-year power forward exploded for 40 points in a flawless shooting performance – 17-for-17 from the field including 3-for-3 from beyond the three-point arc, plus 3-for-3 from the free throw line – to lead the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team to a 104-93 exhibition win over the host Brock Badgers.
Cover: Kadeem Willis. UFV photo
It was the Cascades’ first game at the Badgers’ preseason tournament, the RBC Classic. They take on the Ryerson Rams on Saturday and the Windsor Lancers on Sunday.
“Honestly, I’ve got to thank my team first, because they put me in the position to get those shots,” Willis said afterward. “We were moving the ball well, and I was always in good position to shoot.
“I was just locked in. The beast mode came out tonight.”
Willis, a Toronto native, drew inspiration from the fact he had 12 family members, including his parents, in the stands on Friday cheering him on. They hadn’t seen him play in person in “four or five years,” he said.
“They were cheering loud,” said Willis, who also hauled in 11 rebounds. “To have them come out and support, it was overwhelming.”
Cascades head coach Adam Friesen could only marvel at Willis’s perfect shooting night.
“It’s rare, and a cool stat,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game like that – I have nothing to compare it to. He had a great start, and he played well in all aspects of the game.
“We kind of had our breakout offensive game (as a team), which we were looking for.”
UFV combo guard Dominique Brooks also had a big outing – he went for 29 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the field, to go with five assists and two steals. Kevon Parchment showcased his multifaceted game, registering 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Matt Marshall (25 points) and Johneil Simpson (22 points) led the Badgers’ attack.
The Cascades’ dynamic offensive performance was all the more remarkable considering they were without starters Jasper Moedt (leg) and Manny Dulay (back) due to injury.
“We were shorthanded, and we knew we needed to come together and play with a lot of energy,” Friesen said. “We got off to a great start, which always helps, and we kept it going throughout the game.”