Basketball: Cascades creeping up in Canada West Pacific

Fraser Valley, in former Brandon coach Barnaby Craddock's third season, is 8-6, good for four place in Canada West Pacific (a half-game behind Trinity Western and a half-game ahead of Victoria, which they visit this weekend).

There was some thought to breaking out a longer post after the young Cascades (whose entire roster can return next season) beat Saskatchewan 80-77 on a bucket by forward Kyle Grewal with 8.9 seconds left, but two days later, a fair settlement seems to be point to a colourful written piece from the Abbotsford News about Grewal's shame-to-glory performance:
" ... by the time the final buzzer had sounded, Grewal's stock was through the roof. He spent much of the fourth quarter stapled to the bench, but Craddock went back to him in the waning minutes, and Grewal delivered with a pair of clutch shots – including the game-winning basket – in the Cascades' thrilling 80-77 victory.

"Craddock's post-game analysis of Grewal's turnaround from goat to hero recalled the classic line from the 1994 comedy flick Dumb and Dumber, spoken by Jeff Daniels to Jim Carrey: "Just when I think you couldn't be any dumber, you go and do something like this ... and totally redeem yourself!"

" 'I was a little upset with a few of his mental lapses throughout the game, but we'll forgive him for making a couple of big shots at the end,' Craddock said with a smile. 'I thought he redeemed himself.' "
As noted, the Cascades' two-game series vs. Victoria will provide a much better measuring stick. At this point, it's hard to tell if they're for real. Their six losses have been by an average of 19.7 points, while their margins of victory have been narrower than you would like to see (two points over Thompson Rivers, nine over Winnipeg, three over Manitoba).

Still, the team from Abbotsford bears watching. They have a coach, Craddock, who was in the national final in 2007 with Brandon, a lot of young talent (Grewal, Sam Freeman), a point guard who has the game to match his name, Zeon Gray, and Cascades is just a cool-sounding name. To reference another 1990s Farrelly Brothers film, there's something about UFV.

Grewal comes up clutch for Cascades (Dan Kinvig, Abbotsford News)
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  1. Thinking the same thing. IF they can keep getting recruits that either dont want to sit on a bench for three years at UBC, Vic, or TWU or can't get into the big schools due to marks, they will have a competitive squad in the near future.

  2. Should be a great series this weekend in Victoria - the playoffs have come early for the Vikes who face practically a must-win situation. We're posting previews on today and tomorrow.

  3. Further to the point about margin of victory with the Cascades: our rankings have them 19th in SRS, at +1.7, essentially average. UVic is +5.0, then SFU (+7.9) and TWU (+10.9) and UBC (+16.8) follow in that order.

    So even if Victoria or UFV beats up on the other, they still have to deal with three of the top nine teams in the country in their division. That can't be fun...

  4. Only plus side is with new playoff format, the 3 and 4 seed in Pac D avoids UBC and SFU. Calgary still very good but Prairie week after that.