Last week I had determined that the series of the weekend would be in Abbotsford, with upset-hopeful UFV Cascades tipping off against the #2 team in the country in the Victoria Vikes.
The Vikes defense was strong all weekend, particularly in second-half play and swept the series, a blowout 70-59 win on Friday and a more modest 58-52 showing on Saturday. They held UFV to just 37.5% shooting on the weekend, and UFV are one of the stronger offensive teams in Canada West. Victoria shut down top Cascade scoring threats Tessa Klassen and Sarah Wierks to just 22 points all weekend, which half of the tandem's usual production.
Kayla Dykstra, for Victoria, was strong again. She had game-highs in rebounds and points on Friday night, to go along with two blocks. The visiting Vikes had a more balanced attack on Saturday, with three players in double digits, led by Debbie Yeboah's 16 points and Vanessa Forstbauer's 14 despite taking just 8 shots. She was 3-for-3 from downtown.
Victoria improved to 8-0 and jump Windsor to become the number one team in CIS. UFV dropped to 2-4, still in the thick of things against UBC next weekend.
After being eaten up in Kamloops last weekend, it didn't get easier for the TWU Spartans who hosted the #3 Regina Cougars. The weekend turned out as expected, with Regina thumping the Spartans 72-51 on Friday (scoring as many points in the first quarter as TWU did in the whole half: 26) and an even wider margin; 74-47 on Saturday.
Joanna Zalesiak had 28 points on the weekend, while Lindsay Ledingham had a weekend-high 29, but the real story was in the paint. Trinity shot well from the outside all night but were outrebounded under Regina's basket 56-21 through the weekend.
Regina remains at number three this week, but that will probably change on Tuesday, because the now 6-0 Cougars take on Victoria this weekend in a Friday/Saturday affair. Trinity will host Alberta.
The other unbeaten team, the Winnipeg Wesmen took a pair of close games at War Memorial Gym in Vancouver this weekend against the UBC Thunderbirds. Top Winnipeg scorer Caitlin Gooch had another strong effort with 15 points in a 61-51 Friday win where Winnipeg were out-rebounded and fouled more, but shot with a 49.1% clip, including 6-15 on three pointers, to hold onto their lead.
Winnipeg just shot 31.6%, not the numbers an unbeaten team would put up. The difference came when UBC sent Winnipeg to the line 16 times, with 15 of those shots being hit, and all 12 of the second half attempts. Gooch and Alex MacIver both had 4-for-4 performances from the line.
On Saturday, the Wesmen got 16 from Gooch and another 16 from MacIver, but just 21 from the rest of the team. Winnipeg shot just 31.6% all game while the T-Birds shot 29.8%. No word on whether the hoops were switched by a carnival operator overnight, but Winnipeg somehow managed a 57-50 win. Those are not the shooting numbers of an unbeaten team, but UBC sent Winnipeg to the line 16 times in the game, with 15 of those, and all 12 in the second half being hit in what appears to have been the difference.
So Winnipeg improves to 5-0 and travel to Saskatchewan (holy good matchups next week Batman) and UBC, of course, hosting UFV, and fall to 3-5.
Other games of note... the Saskatchewan Huskies swept the weekend against the Lethbridge Pronghorns with 68-51 an 62-46 games. Kim Tulloch had 15 on Friday and Katie Miyazaki had 18 on Saturday in those respective game-highs. Saskatchewan improve to 6-2 while Lethbridge fall to 2-6.
In Winnipeg, the TRU WolfPack and Manitoba Bisons played their way to the only weekend split. Despite Kayla Klassen's 25 on Friday, the WolfPack outscored the Bisons 19-10 in the 4th quarter for a 73-58 victory. On Saturday, Manitoba got out to an early lead and TRU never recovered, falling 67-63. It was the Bisons first win on the season as they improve to 1-6. Jen Ju of the WolfPack was just 1-14 from the field and turned the ball over three times. Her team is now 5-3. Lauren Mortier had a game-high 19 points.
Finally, the Alberta Pandas had a pair of big, ugly wins against the still winless Brandon Bobcats 93-56 and 99-53. Former Kitsilano Blue Demon Marissa Haylett had game highs 21 and 18 in the respective Friday and Saturday games for the Pandas, who are a quiet 5-1.