Cougars knock off Cascades in Calgary

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team dropped an 87-70 decision to the Mount Royals Cougars on Friday evening in Calgary.

With a first-round playoff bye already secured, Cascades head coach Adam Friesen took the opportunity to rest some of his stars. Power forward Nate Brown didn’t play, and senior guard Kevon Parchment saw just seven minutes of game action.

The Cougars (9-10) took advantage of those absences, thanks to big games from post players Brett Layton (23 points, 17 rebounds, six steals) and James Lefebvre (19 points, nine rebounds, four blocks). But they still found themselves eliminated from playoff contention after the MacEwan Griffins (10-9) defeated the UNBC Timberwolves to lock up the Explorer Division’s third and final playoff berth.

The Cascades (12-7) had clinched a playoff berth and first-round bye last weekend, and they’ll finish second in the Explorer Division regardless of what happens in Saturday’s regular-season finale vs. Mount Royal (7 p.m. Mountain time, webcast at ufv.canadawest.tv).

“I think that offensively, we knew it was going to be a little more of a struggle than usual tonight,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said. “But we can be better defensively. We showed some signs of life in the second half, but not enough to deserve a chance to win.”

The Cougars shot a robust 49.3 per cent from the field, while the Cascades mustered a 39.2 per cent mark in that department. The hosts also out-rebounded UFV by a 44-32 margin.

Vijay Dhillon was a bright spot for the Cascades offensively – the fourth-year guard from Richmond, B.C. racked up a team-high 18 points in just 17 minutes of action, highlighted by a 4-of-6 performance from beyond the arc.

“He gave us a spark,” Friesen noted. “He was our primary offensive option, and he really took advantage of his opportunity and was great out there for us.”

Marcus Morgan came off the bench to score 15 points, while post players Matt Cooley and Navjot Bains scored 12 points apiece for the Cascades.

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