Men's basketball: Wayne Thomas' Canada West report

Wayne Thomas, a former high school coach and assistant with the Calgary Dinos, has generously who was a valued contributor to, has generously provided a wrapup on the weekend's Canada West men's playoff games. There's a little overlap with the Top 10 tracker, but Wayne's observations are fresher and more first-hand, and he knows the players and teams out West very well.

Bears Halt Huskies

Alberta 63, Saskatchewan 54
... the Bears swept the Huskies 2 straight, and now advance to the Central Division final in Calgary next Friday against the No. 6 Dinos. Alberta out-shot Saskatchewan badly, once again ... 43% to only 36% from the floor, and 42% on 8/19 from 3 pt. range to 23% on 5/22 for the visitors. Scott Leigh had the hot hand for the Bears, scoring 25 points including 6/13 treys, and he was helped by 9 points and 7 rebounds from Justin Vanloo, and 8 pts. and 6 boards by C.G. Morrison. Showron Glover had 25 for the Huskies, but it wasn't enough for the green and white, who recorded only four assists to 11 for the Bears. Alberta now leads Saskatchewan 4-2 in their last six playoff series.

Trinity Edges Victoria in Another Thriller

Trinity Western 87, Victoria 85 ... fighting for their playoff lives, the Victoria Vikes gave the Spartans everything they had , but came up 2 pts. short in the 3rd and deciding game in their Pacific semifinal. Trailing by 54-32 at halftime, the Vikes scored 53 of their own in the second half, but could not hit enough shots to catch the Spartans, who were led by the 24 pt. and 19 rebound performance of Jacob Doerksen. The home team, which now goes on to play the #2 UBC T-Birds in Vancouver next weekend in the Pacific final, also had 18 from Louis Hurd, and 17 from Brian Banman in out-shooting the Vikes 48% to 39% on the night. Fouls shooting was a dominant feature of the game, as 56 fouls were called ... UVic had three players foul out, and Trinity two.

T-Birds Dispatch Clan

UBC 101, Simon Fraser 84 ... the No. 2 T-Birds continued their season long domination of their Burnaby rivals. Chris Dyck was the high scorer for UBC with 31, most coming on 7/10 shooting from three-point range ... Blain Labranche had 19, Bryson Kool 15 for the 'Birds, while Greg Wallis, SFU's outstanding post man, playing his last CIS game, scored 18 to lead the Clan. UBC was a combined 15/28 from 3 pt. range, and had 5 players in double figures in a very impressive offensive display ... they shot 48% from the field compared to 34 for the over-matched Clan. The two teams combined for only 13 total turnovers, and 39 assists in a well-played game.

Regina Wins Third Game

Regina 85, Winnipeg 74 ... the Regina Cougars out-rebounded the visiting Wesmen 55-32, and finished off a stubborn underdog Winnipeg team in Game 3 of the Great Plains semifinal. Kris Heshka bruised up the Wesmen with 28 point and 11 rebounds to lead Regina, and he was helped by 16 and 12 from Jordan McFarlen, and a game-high 15 boards from Jamal Williams. Winnipeg got 23 from Mike James and 17 from Nick Lother, who was not a threat from three-point range Saturday, after his 43-point game Friday in Winnipeg's win. The Cougars travel to Brandon next weekend to try and best their rivals, the Brandon Bobcats, who narrowly edged the Cougars for first spot and home court for the Great Plains Final.

(Winnipeg could be a dangerous team in a couple seasons.)

Notes ...
  • UBC was without Josh Whyte this weekend, as he suffered a sprained ankle ... Alex Murphy, 3rd year, last year's starter at the point, played 30 minutes on Friday and 29 Saturday, recording 9 assists in the two games. Brett Leversage, 4th year, who got big minutes in the playoffs last year, seems to be the odd man out this season. UBC was a red-hot 57% on Friday, and 48 % Saturday.
  • Alberta is shooting the ball well at playoff time. The perimeter shooting has sparkled for the Bears ... they were 52% on Friday, and 43% Saturday, and have four deep threats in Leigh, Morrison, Neb Aleksic, and Eric Casey.
  • Two player technical fouls were assessed Friday night at TWU, as the emotional atmosphere spilled over onto the court. The David E. in Langley is an oversized high school gym, was was packed and Victoria took a lot of heat. They went one better in Regina Friday, with the 3 T's, two to the the Cougars and 1 to Wesmen. Saskatchewan's Michael Lieffers and Alberta's Justin Vanloo traded T's on Saturday in Edmonton. Things get testy at playoff time.
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