The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team wrapped up the Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament at the University of Victoria on Sunday afternoon with a 76-49 loss to the host Victoria Vikes.
Cascades head coach Adam Friesen elected to rest veteran stars Kevon Parchment and Nate Brown in this game. Both had played heavy minutes in UFV’s first two games of the Vetrie exhibition tourney – a 91-82 loss to the Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday, and a 73-69 defeat to the Carleton Ravens on Saturday. Friesen wanted to minimize the injury risk coming off two very physical contests, and wanted to give the rest of his roster an extended audition against a traditional Canada West powerhouse in UVic.
The Cascades’ offence, minus two of their key catalysts, struggled to get on track against the Vikes. UFV shot just 30 per cent from the field, and their top scorers were redshirt freshman guard Antonio Jhuty (nine points) and post players Matt Cooley and Nav Bains (eight points apiece).
The Vikes were paced by Mack Roth with 17 points, nine of which came on three-point shots. Justin Kinnear, Hassan Abdullahi, Grant Sitton, Kai Greene and Hayden Lejeune had seven points apiece.
“I wanted to see what we had in the other guys against a solid team,” Friesen said. “We have to figure out, in an extended period of time, how can these guys perform.”
The Vikes led 13-9 after the first quarter and 30-18 at halftime, and they pulled away in the third quarter. UVic out-rebounded UFV 40-18.
Even so, Friesen was pleased with what he saw from his squad on the weekend, highlighted by nearly pulling off an upset vs. Carleton – winners of 11 of the past 13 CIS national championships – on Saturday.
“Overall, we got what we wanted out of the weekend,” Friesen said. “We found out we can complete with the best teams in the country, and at the same time, we figured out where we have to improve as a team and as individuals.”
The Cascades continue their exhibition schedule with a home-and-home set vs. Trinity Western this coming weekend. They visit the Spartans on Friday (7 p.m. tip-off), and return to their home court, the Envision Athletic Centre, for a rematch on Saturday (6 p.m.).