By Cascades Media. The UFV Cascades basketball team (19-5) has once again moved mountains to grab a spot in the Canada West Final Four, and will play the University of Victoria Vikes (21-4) on Friday for a spot in the CIS Final Eight National Championship. The Cascades are coming off a two game sweep of the Lethbridge Pronghorns in the CW Quarter-Finals, while the Vikes can claim a 2-1 series victory over the Winnipeg Wesmen. The game on Friday will punch one team’s ticket to CIS nationals in Ottawa, while the loser will play on Saturday for Canada West bronze.
Additionally, Vikes’ head coach Craig Beaucamp and Cascades’ coach Adam Friesen have been the prime contenders for Canada West Coach of the Year in the last two seasons. While Beaucamp has won the award both years, Friday’s game will be a matter of pride between two very strong, well-coached programs.
The Cascades are currently in a tie for the eighth rank in the CIS, while the Vikes are in sole possession of fourth. When the two teams met for a doubleheader on Nov 8-9 in Victoria, the Vikes walked away with both wins (70-65 and 74-55). If the Cascades hope to have a different outcome on Friday, they will need to show that the UFV squad that is currently on a 16-0 run is much improved from the squad that started the year 3-5.
Victoria is the only team in the Canada West ranked ahead of the Cascades in scoring defense, averaging 61.1 points against (compared to the Cascades 65.8). The Vikes are also the best CW in terms of three-point defense (the Cascades are second), while the Cascades have the best field-goal defense (the Vikes are second). On offense Victoria is led by Las Vegas import Terrell Evans, who averages 17.9 points per game.
The Alberta Golden Bears (22-3) and Saskatchewan Huskies (17-7) will meet in the other semi-final game, pitting the third-ranked team in the nation against the tenth-ranked. The Bears are led by Canada West Player of the Year Jordan Baker, who holds the Alberta all-time record in points, steals, rebounds, and assists. The Huskies will look to Stephon Lamar, who averages 19.7 points per game and a .390 three-point percentage.
Final Four Schedule
Semifinals (Feb 28):
UFV Cascades vs. Victoria Vikes (3:00 pm PST)
Saskatchewan Huskies @ Alberta Bears (7:00 pm PST)
Finals (March 1):
Non-Alberta game will be played at 2:00 pm PST.
Alberta game will be play at 6:00 pm PST.
All games will be played at the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.
Watch the game online at canadawest.tv