Cascades fall to Cougars in regular-season finale

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team wrapped up the regular season with a 94-83 loss to the Mount Royal Cougars in Calgary.

With nothing on the line standings-wise, Cascades head coach Adam Friesen elected to give his veterans a light workload for the second straight night. UFV’s starters took a seat on the bench with five minutes left in the third quarter and did not return.

Nate Brown scored 10 points in Saturday's road loss to MRU.

Nate Brown scored 10 points in Saturday’s road loss to MRU.

In their absence, the Cougars ended the frame on a 15-5 run to take their first lead since early in the first quarter. The Cascades’ bench crew battled back to cut the deficit to 82-81 with three and a half minutes remaining in regulation, but the hosts ended the game on a 12-2 run.

Mount Royal evened its record at 10-10, but finished fourth in the Explorer Division and will not advance to the Canada West playoffs. The Cascades (12-8) finished second in the Explorer, and will enjoy a first-round bye before hitting the road to face the Manitoba Bisons in a best-of-three quarter-final series.

“Mount Royal played really well this weekend and played really hard,” Friesen said. “We’re done with the regular season now, and we’re looking forward to starting the playoffs.”

The Cascades’ starters flexed their muscles in the early going, building a 27-12 lead at the end of the first quarter after shooting 60 per cent from the field in the frame. The Cougars battled back to get the deficit down to four points in the second quarter, but UFV finished strong and took a 44-35 lead into halftime.

The Cascades’ lead was 53-50 when the starters exited, and the reserves hung with the Cougars until the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

“I thought in the first half, we played well and kept our momentum going from last weekend,” Friesen said, alluding to his team’s home-court sweep of the Explorer Division-leading Thompson Rivers WolfPack. “We’re looking forward to carrying that momentum forward two weeks from now.”

Kevon Parchment paced the Cascades with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Manny Dulay’s 14 points were highlighted by a 4-of-6 performance from beyond the arc. Brandon Burke scored 12 points off the bench, and Nate Brown also hit double figures with 10 points.

Mount Royal fifth-year forward James Lefebvre scored a game-high 19 points on his Senior Night, and centre Brett Layton racked up 17 points, 15 boards, six steals and four assists.

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