Claggett leads Cascades to exhibition win over Blues

Taylor Claggett fires a pass to a Cascades teammate during Friday's exhibition win over Capilano.

Taylor Claggett fires a pass to a Cascades teammate during Friday’s exhibition win over Capilano.

A big game from rookie forward Taylor Claggett powered the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team to a 75-48 exhibition win over the Capilano Blues on Friday at the Envision Athletic Centre.

Claggett notched her second double-double in as many games, racking up 20 points and 12 rebounds – both game-high totals – as the Cascades turned aside the PacWest conference’s Blues.

Kayli Sartori chipped in with 15 points, while Sydney Williams posted 12 points and seven boards for UFV. Karyn Nelson, with 12 points, was the lone Capilano player to score in double figures.

Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer noted that Claggett, a graduate of Abbotsford’s Mennonite Educational Institute, is seeing increased playing time due to the absence of veteran power forward Katie Brink due to injury, and is taking full advantage.

UFV's Kayli Sartori scored 15 points in Friday's win.

UFV’s Kayli Sartori scored 15 points in Friday’s win.

“She’s seen it as an opportunity, and she’s done some great things with it,” Tuchscherer said. “She’s not playing like a rookie. She’s always been pretty composed and able to draw fouls, and it’s nice to see her able to do that here as well. It’s kind of cool – it’s a bright spot for sure.”

Tuchscherer felt there was room for improvement for his team, though – they combined to shoot just 6-for-27 (22.2 per cent) from beyond the arc, for instance.

“I thought we were okay,” he analyzed. “I thought we moved the ball okay in the first half and we shared the ball well, and I thought we did a great job of pushing (the ball) which was good. But we didn’t hit shots tonight, and I didn’t think we were locked in defensively how we needed to be. We gave up some easy looks, which was frustrating at times.

“We need to be able to play 40 minutes, and we’re a long ways away from that at this point. It’s a work in progress, and it’s a young group out there trying to figure things out.”

The Cascades’ final preseason game is Saturday night at 6 p.m. at the Envision Athletic Centre, against the Western Mustangs. Admission is by donation of a non-perishable food item for the Abbotsford Food Bank.

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