Sartori, Cascades finish strong to earn preseason win over Western Mustangs

Cascades guard Kaitlyn McDonald knocked down five three-pointers in her team's exhibition win over Western on Saturday.

Cascades guard Kaitlyn McDonald knocked down five three-pointers in her team’s exhibition win over Western on Saturday.

Kayli Sartori took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of her team-high 18 points in the final frame as the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team beat the Western Mustangs 64-55 in exhibition action on Saturday at the Envision Athletic Centre.

Sartori, the Cascades’ versatile fourth-year guard/forward out of Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Secondary, was effective getting into the paint down the stretch – her dozen points in the fourth quarter came on a trio of layups and six free throws.

The Cascades won for the second straight night, having beaten the PacWest’s Capilano Blues 75-48 in a preseason tilt on Friday. The Mustangs, a fellow CIS program from London, Ont., are in the midst of a three-games-in-three-days exhibition road trip through B.C. They fell 72-67 to the Victoria Vikes on Friday, and they wrap up their journey on Sunday with a 12 p.m. clash with the UBC Thunderbirds.

UFV rookie forward Natajia McMillan looks for an open teammate on an inbounds play.

UFV rookie forward Natajia McMillan looks for an open teammate on an inbounds play.

Saturday’s contest was the Cascades’ last game action prior to their Canada West regular season home openers – Friday, Nov. 6 (6 p.m. start) and Saturday, Nov. 7 (5 p.m.) vs. the UBC Okanagan Heat at the Envision Athletic Centre.

“We’re still a work in progress, but that was a good game for us today,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer analyzed. “You’re not going to be perfect for 40 minutes, but you can have effort for 40 minutes, and we had that for sure.”

The hosts had an excellent start, racing out to a 19-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. But the offence dried up for the Cascades in the second – the Mustangs outscored them 16-4 in the frame and took a 25-23 lead into the break.

UFV regrouped and surged back into the lead in the third quarter, and Sartori took them home with some strong play in the fourth.

The Cascades shot the ball well from beyond the arc, hitting 37 per cent of their attempts. Kaitlyn McDonald (17 points, 5-of-8 from three-point range) and Sydney Williams (12 points, 4-for-10 from three) led the way in that department, and Taylor Claggett notched ning points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Mackenzie Puklicz led the way for the Mustangs with a game-high 26 points, while Julia Curran and Caroline Wolynski chipped in with seven points apiece.

“The second quarter really got away from us a little bit, and instead of reeling it back in by running some of our sets, we just got more and more disorganized,” Tuchscherer said. “We talked about that at halftime, and I thought the second half was a pretty good half for us. We ran some stuff, got some good looks, and in the fourth quarter, I thought Kayli just went into beast mode. She really put us on her shoulders, and we got a win out of it.”

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The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land); therefore, we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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