Wierks stars as Cascades complete sweep of Cougars
By Dan Kinvig. The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team capped a weekend sweep of the Mount Royal Cougars with an 81-67 triumph at the Envision Athletic Centre on Saturday.
Sarah Wierks had another dominant performance for the Cascades, racking up her second double-double in as many nights with 23 points and 15 rebounds. She’d registered 21 points and 17 boards on in Friday’s 85-58 win over the Cougars.
“I thought we did some good things this weekend,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “Obviously a lot to work on, but offensively I thought we did some good things, and defensively at times we were solid. There were some good signs moving forward for us, for sure.”
Cover photo: Celeste Dyck
Saturday’s result enabled the Cascades (6-4) to tighten their grip on third place in the Explorers Division; Mount Royal (3-7) is tied for fourth with the UBC Okanagan Heat.
The game shaped up much like Friday’s opener – the Cougars’ full-court press stymied the Cascades in the early minutes, but UFV soon found some traction and opened a 30-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. They expanded it to 47-32 at halftime, and maintained a comfortable cushion the rest of the way.
Point guard Celeste Dyck posted 17 points and five steals for the Cascades, while Nataliia Gavryliuk chipped in with 13 points.
Jayla Verney racked up a game-high 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting from the floor for Mount Royal.
Tuchscherer came away impressed with the Cougars, who maintained a tireless full-court pressure and made life difficult for the Cascades. They forced 38 UFV turnovers on Friday, and 33 more on Saturday.
UFV made up for it on the boards, out-rebounding Mount Royal 48-31 on Saturday after amassing a dominant 53-28 edge in that department on Friday.
“They’re just tenacious,” Tuchscherer said. “They’re everywhere, all the time, just relentless – and it goes on for 40 minutes. We haven’t seen that kind of pressure this year.
“It was a really good challenge for us.”
The Cascades hit the road next week to face the MacEwan Griffins in a Friday-Saturday set in Edmonton.
WIERKS MAKING HISTORY
Fifth-year centre Wierks continued her climb up the Canada West all-time rebounding list. After overtaking ex-UBC star Kelsey Blair for fifth place on Friday, she overhauled Alberta’s Trix Kannekens (Baker) and Calgary’s Leighann Doan on Saturday and now sits in third place with 881 career rebounds.
Wierks leads the conference in rebounding this season with 13.9 per game, and at her current pace, she’ll end up in second place all-time with over 1,000 boards.
Canada West women’s basketball, all-time rebounds
1. Sarah Crooks, Sask (2002-2007) – 1181
2. Janis Paskevich, Cgy (1977-1982) – 912
3. Sarah Wierks, UFV (2010-2015) – 881
4. Leighann Doan, Cgy (1996-2001) – 874
5. Trix Kannekens (Baker), AB (1976-1981) – 871
6. Kelsey Blair, UBC (2002-2007) – 852