The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team defeated the Langara Falcons 95-28 in their exhibition opener on Saturday evening at the Envision Athletic Centre.
Facing an opponent from the PacWest conference in preparation for their Canada West campaign, the Cascades opened the game on a 7-0 run capped by a Sara Simovic three-pointer and didn’t look back from there. UFV led 22-10 at the end of the first quarter and 47-17 at halftime en route to the decisive victory.
Kayli Sartori, the reigning Canada West scoring champ, was in midseason form, racking up 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field to go with seven rebounds, four assists and five steals. Shayna Litman also scored in double figures for the Cascades with 13 points. Bronte Stark, with eight points, was the top scorer for the Falcons, who were limited to 15.8 per cent shooting from the field as a team.
“I thought it was really positive for our young kids, especially, to get out there today,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “It didn’t matter what the score was – they stayed hungry, and that’s what you want from your young players. They’re trying to prove themselves and develop their roles a little bit, and I thought it was a good first step for them.”
Among the highlights for the Cascades’ first-year players, Katherine Holden (nine points) and Amanda Thompson (eight points) chipped in offensively, Jessica Zawada registered a game-high five assists, and 6’2” walk-on centre Veronica Kobes racked up a game-high 10 rebounds in just 14 minutes.
“Veronica came in really late to our program, and if she can give us two or three minutes a game against some Canada West teams, that’s going to fantastic for us,” Tuchscherer enthused. “Today was great for her. She’s got good hands, she can finish, she’s athletic. She just needs to continue to learn the game, so that was exciting.”
The Cascades had played a pair of exhibition games in August against NCAA Div. 1 squads Wisconsin and Florida Atlantic, but Saturday marked the true start of their preseason. Their next game action is on the road against the Douglas Royals – another PacWest program – on Sept. 30, followed by a trio of games Oct. 6-8 at the Regina Cougars’ preseason tournament.
The team tips off the Canada West regular season Nov. 4-5 at home vs. the Saskatchewan Huskies.