Season Wrap By Wayne Thomas

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 6:38 pm

As our team bus passed the northern city limits of Calgary on our return trip from Edmonton, we all realized this was the close of our season.

Losing in playoffs is never easy, and it seems sad to be saying good-bye to a team. Having formed in the summer and early fall, and gone through so much together, it was disappointing to have it come to such a sudden stop. The rhythms of practice, preparation, game rituals, travel, and, of course , the excitement of competition end now for this team of players and coaches.

I know I speak for Dan and Matt when I thank the players for their hard work and commitment to our program. Dinos fans should give a special tribute to Chris Wright, who played the last game of a brilliant CIS career today. ‘CW’ gave his heart and the rest of his body to this team for 5 years, and his enthusiasm, grit, and leadership will be an example for all who follow. Chris showed up every game and he fought with everything he had for the Dinos.

Thanks to all you Dinos fans and supporters. We have the best home crowd in the league, and I know the guys appreciate your cheering at home games. Thanks to the stalwarts who travel across Canada to follow the team; you are bright lights among Dinos fans! Thanks for your encouragement by e-mail as well … it’s always nice to get a supportive word or two.

We will give you news of basketball happenings around the team this spring. Thanks for a memorable season.

Dinos Flat, Bears Capitilize

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 6:36 pm

Alberta Golden Bears 87 Calgary Dinos 65

In the third and deciding game of the semi-final, the Dinos came up cold and the Golden Bears were just the opposite. Alberta was 54% from the field and the Dinos only 40%. Alberta stunned Calgary with a late run in the first half to take a 48 – 33 lead at the break.

Josh Feist led the Dinos with 20 points including 4 of 6 from 3-point range. The next best were Ross Bekkering with 11 points and 8 rebounds, and Chris Wright in his final game as a Dino had 11 points and grabbed 6 boards.

That ends the Dino’s season. The Bears go on to face the Huskies in the Divisional final next weekend in Saskatoon.

Feist’s Runner Spoils Bears Sweep

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 6:35 pm

Calgary Dinos 70 Alberta Golden Bears 67

The Dinos were up 37 – 35 at the half. The game turned into a foul shooting contest in the last 5 minutes. The teams traded the lead in the last 8 minutes with the biggest lead 3 points.

Alberta was up by one with 10 seconds left when Josh Feist went the length of the floor and drove the hoop to score the winning basket with 2.5 seconds left on the clock.

Ross Bekkering led the scoring with 20 points and 10 rebounds; Chris Wright had 16 points; Josh Feist added 12 points along with 11 assists; and Robbie Sihota contributed 11 points and 7 rebounds.

Calgary out shot Alberta 44% – 43% and both teams were 65% from the free throw line.

This ties the best of 3 division semi-finals at one game apiece. The deciding game is Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in Edmonton.

Steele Buzzer Beater Sinks Dinos

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 6:34 pm

Alberta Golden Bears 75 Calgary Dinos 74

The Dinos lost a heartbreaker of the first game of playoff action against the Bears 75 – 74 on a buzzer beating 3 point shot. The Dinos had overcome a 42-34 half time deficit and were nursing a 4 point lead with 3 seconds left. The Bears hit 2 free throws to take it to one. The Dinos hit 1 of 2 free throws with 4.5 seconds to put the lead at 2 leading to a last second desperation shot which fell for the Bears.

Chris Wright led the Dinos with 22 points and 8 rebounds while Ross Bekkering added 11 points and 11 rebounds.



Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 12:08 am

It wouldn’t be the Canada West Playoffs without the yearly showdown between the University of Calgary Dinos and the University of Alberta Golden Bears. The “Battle of Alberta” will commence this Friday in Edmonton at 8:30pm in the first of a best of 3 playoff series to decide who will play the Mountain Division Champion Saskatchewan Huskies in the Mountain Division Final.

The series hosts a number of interesting side stories. Most notably, Coach Dan Vanhooren of the Dinos, who played under Coach Don Horwood of the Alberta Golden Bears, will now face off against his old bench boss once again. In the past two seasons, each of the coaches holds a victory in the head to head battle. In 2004, the Dinos got past the Bears on route to capturing the Canada West title. Last season, the Bears beat the Dinos and eventually won the Canada West title.

Well documented, 3rd year guard Cody Darrah of the Dinos is only a year out of playing for the University of Alberta. He now gets the oppurtunity to return to his hometown, and his former University in hopes to spoil the party that the host team wishes to celebrate after the weekend.

Most intriguing of all are the match-ups within the series. 5th year Captain of the Dinos, Chris Wright, hopes to lead his team on one last quest for glory against formidable 4th year post Scott Gordon of the Bears. Dean Whalen, the 5th year guard of the Bears, hopes to continue his season matched up against 4th year guard Brian Finniss of the Dinos. And Finally, the two rookie post players for the Dinos, Ross Bekkering and Robbie Sihota, hope to show well in their first series in the Canada West playoffs.

All roads to the Canada West Final Four lead through Saskatoon, but the Dinos and Bears will do battle in Edmonton this weekend to decide who will get to face the first place Huskies. Game times on Friday and Saturday are 8:30pm, while the third game will be played if necessary on Sunday afternoon at 3pm.

Dinos Captain Finishing Strong

5th year captain Chris Wright played his last regular season game in Canada West play Sunday afternoon in Saskatoon as his 12 rebounds and 16 points led the Dinos to an 81-71 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies and into the Central Division playoffs.

Wright who has been hampered by nagging hurts for much of the season, was a force on the boards and a clutch scorer down the stretch for the desperate Dinos. Calgary travels to Edmonton this weekend for a best of three series with the Alberta Golden Bears, a team they have faced in playoff action for each of the past 3 years. Alberta holds a 2-1 edge in those series, so the Dinos will go in with hopes of evening the score with their arch-rivals. The Bears finished up 10-10 in league play, just 1 game up on the Dinos (9-11), who edged out the Lethbridge Pronghorns (8-12) for 3rd.

Chris finished as the 3rd leading rebounder in Canada West for the season with 7.9 rebounds a game, just 4 boards ahead of his rookie post partner , Ross Bekkering. Wright also notched 15 points per game , 14th in the league.

The Rookie contingent showed well for Calgary in the Saskatchewan series, and Head Coach Dan Vanhooren is looking for more of the same from Bekkering ( W.R. Myers-Taber, AB), fellow post player Robbie Sihota ( L.B. Pearson-Calgary), and Tony Dhaliwal , an impressive
point guard fron Abbotsford’s Rick Hansen Sr. Secondary-B.C.

Other key players for the Dinos include starting guards Josh Feist (4th yr- Pearson), who is among the league leaders in assists and steals, Cody Darrah, a slick 3rd year shooter from Strathcona H.S. in Edmonton, and Brian Finniss, a rugged 4th year wing man from Summerside, P.E.I. via Acadia University. Dalbir Dosanjh, a versatile 6’6″ wing-post has come off the bench recently to add some firepower to the Calgary attack.

Come cheer on your Dinos in Edmonton as the Battle of Alberta Continues!


Dinos Clinch Final Playoff Spot with 81-71 Victory

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 3:35 pm

With their backs to the wall, the Dinos took to the court Sunday in Saskatoon needing a win to step into the playoffs. The Dinos came out ggressively in the first half and ran by the Saskatchewan Huskies to take a 45 – 26 half time lead. Clutch hoops by Robbie Sihota and Chris Wright sealed the win down the stretch. Point guards Josh Feist, Tony Dhaliwal, and Cody Darrah did a great job of pushing the pace and giving the Dinos more aggressive punch.

Wright finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Sihota had 13 points and 6 rebounds. Also in double figures were Cody Darrah with
16 and Ross Bekkering with 12. Calgary shot 60% for the game from the field and were 24 for 31 from the foul line for 77%.

Calgary faced an elimination game after the Lethbridge Pronghorns beat Alberta 68 – 67 in Edmonton Saturday night. Calgary finishes third and will travel to Alberta next weekend for divisional semi-final play. Saskatchewan had clinched first place and awaits the winner of Calgary and Alberta for the divisional final to be played in Saskatoon.


Dinos With One More Shot to Clinch

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 3:27 pm

Saskatchewan Huskies 71 Calgary Dinos 61

The Dinos were close for most of the first half trailing 34 – 32, but had only 29 points in the second half. Chris Wright led the scoring with 11 while Brian Finniss added 10. Andrew Spagrud netted 25 for the Huskies.

Saskatchewan outshot Calgary 54% to 42% from the field. Calgary was 14 of 19 for 74% from the free throw line. Saskatchewan made only 10 of 26 for 36%. Calgary out rebounded Saskatchewan 35 -29.

5 Technical fouls were assessed during the game with Calgary receiving 3 and Saskatchewan 2.

The teams play Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in Saskatoon with the Dinos looking for one win to seal a playoff spot.



Dinos Travel to Saskatoon for Last Weekend of Regular Season

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 2:17 pm

The Calgary Dinos (8-10) finish off their regular season schedule with two matinee clashes at the home of Division-leading Saskatchewan Huskies (12-6). While Calgary is 5-1 at home against the Huskies over the past three seasons, the Dinos are 0-4 in Saskatoon in the previous 2 trips to the flatlands.

Calgary and Saskatchewan split their two games in Calgary in December: 78-73 Huskies in the 1st, and 94-72 Dinos in the 2nd. Calgary looks to break the Huskie dominance in Saskatoon in order to solidify a play-off spot. With one or more wins, the Dinos can eliminate the Lethbridge Pronghorns, who proved tough adversaries last weekend. Lethbridge (7-11) is one game behind Calgary, but faces the Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton this weekend. Lethbridge has not won on the road this season, but has been playing well of late, while the Bears have been less than solid at home (3-5).

So it’s up to the Dinos to clean up the play-off picture for themselves. The team leaves Friday a.m. on the always-delightful 7 hour trip to Huskieland. Dean ‘The Candyman’ McCord will supply the movies for those who don’t have their eyes glued to the beautiful prairie landscape. A Friday night shoot in Saskatoon in preparation for Saturday’s 3 p.m. tip-off.

Calgary will field the same line-up as last weekend and look to Chris Wright to step up and lead the team in scoring and rebounding. His match-up with the talented post duo of Andrew Spagrud, 17.3 pts./ 7.8 reb. /game, and Matt Greenberg 9.1 pts/ 4.6 reb. will go a long way in determining the outcome.

Meanwhile, rookie post man Ross ‘I love this game’ Bekkering has been on a tear since Christmas. ‘Roscoe’, from Taber, Alberta, is averaging a ‘double – double’ for rebounds 10/game and pts. 11.6/game. Ross is a shoe-in for the Central Division rookie honours, and a top candidate for the Canada West League-wide award. His fellow first year post, Robbie Sihota, is also having a solid campaign. Sihota, a natural scorer from Pearson H.S. in Calgary, is averaging
7.2 pts and 4.2 rebounds in just 16 minutes per game. The two rookies will be tested this weekend in a hostile environment, but they appear up for the task at hand. The Dinos will also be relying on the play of veteran guard Brian Finniss, and Shooter Cody Darrah to be solid on the perimeter. Along with the re-emergence of Josh Feist at the point, the Dinos are hoping to hit stride as the Canada West Playoffs are just around the corner. A strong finish will boost the team’s confidence if they hope to make, and make a run during the playoffs.



Dino of the Week, February 6, 2006

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 2:41 pm

After helping his team to a one game lead on the Lethbridge Pronghorns in their fight for the Final Playoff Spot in the Moutain Division of Canada West, Chris Wright is this week’s Dino of the Week.

Despite the loss at Lethbridge on Friday, Chris Wright came out determined to lead his team to victory. Playing aggressively in the early portions of the game, Chris made several Jump Shots to help the Dinos fight off the emotion that the home team Horns were playing with. Chris led the way for the Dinos shooting 8 for 17 from the field, grabbing 2 offensive rebounds and 7 defensive, while posting 16 points in 32 minutes of action. Chris also added an assist and a steal in the game which saw the Pronghorns hit a tough shot over an outstretched Dino defender with just 3.2 seconds left.

Saturday was the Final Regular Season home game for Chris Wright in a Dino uniform. The Jack Simpson Gymnasium was packed to bid Chris farewell. Chris did not disappoint the home fans. He posted 14 points on 4 for 8 from the floor and 8 for 10 from the free throw line in 25 minutes of action. This also included 3 key free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach for the Pronghorns. Chris was also a demon on the boards grabbing 11 including 5 offensive rebounds. The Dinos captured the game by a score of 76-71 to take a 2 point advantage over the Pronghorns for the final playoff spot in the Mountain Division.


Dinos Grab Control of Final Playoff Spot with Victory!

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 2:21 pm

For the second night in a row, the Calgary Dinos went down to the wire with the Lethbridge Pronghorns in Canada West play with a play-off atmosphere. After dropping the Friday game 76-74 in the final seconds in Lethbridge, the Dinos had a must- win here in Calgary Saturday.

Calgary was ahead for the whole first half and nursed a 41-38 lead at the break, but the Pronghorns nosed in front mid-way through the second half. With Lethbridge looking to salt the game away in the final 2 minutes, Cody Darrah stroked a deep three from the top of the arc to put Calgary up by 1. Clutch free throws by Ross Bekkering and Chris Wright, who were 9/10 and 8/10 from the line, gave the Dinos the slimmest of leads. The ‘Horns missed a golden opportunity inside, and Wright’s free throws with 9 seconds left put the game out of reach. Calgary prevailed 76-71 before an enthusiastic crowd of 1700 at the Jack Simpson gym.

Chris, in his ‘Senior night ‘ game finished with 14 pts. and 11 rebounds. The rookie Bekkering had a sparkling performance in dunking and slashing his way to 18 pts. and 11 boards. Darrah (15), Brian Finniss (11), and Robbie Sihota (10) were also in double figures for the home team. Scott MacKinnon and Tim Whitehead had 20 pts. apiece for Lethbridge, who drop to 7-11 for the season . Calgary is now 8-10 and in the driver’s seat for the 3rd and final play-off spot in the Central Division of Canada West with one more weekend of games to be played.

Calgary travels to Saskatoon for games on Saturday and Sunday afternoon – 2:00 pm, while the Pronghorns are at Alberta to finish up their season. Calgary can clinch a play-off berth with one win against the Huskies, while Lethbridge now must take 2 in Alberta to have any chance. For the year, the ‘Horns are 7-3 at home in the ‘Cave’, while losing all 8 road games thus far. Calgary is 5-5 at home and 3-5 on the road. Should the Dinos make the play-offs their opponent will be the Alberta Golden Bears, who sit in 2nd spot behind Saskatchewan, who have clinched 1st place and home court for the Divisional Final. Divisional Semi-Finals are Feb.17-19, and the Final is Feb.24-26. Each Divisional winner and a wild-card team will compete in the Canada West Final Four on the West Coast at the home of the Pacific Division Champion on the 3rd and 4th of March.


Dinos Lose Opener of Critical Weekend

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 2:16 pm

Lethbridge Pronghorns 76 Calgary Dinos 74

What a thriller! The game was played in front of a sold out boisterous crowd for the final game in this gym. The Pronghorns move to a new gym next year.

The Dinos had to cool off a hot Lethbridge team in the first half. Lethbridge led 50 – 47 at the half. The Dinos went into the break in some foul trouble with four players with 2 fouls each. The second half proved to be much of the same. Not as high scoring as the first, the Horns and Dinos traded baskets for most of the half. It also saw the Horns stall out at 74 for over 4 minutes of action. The Dinos trailed by as many as 8, but tied it with one and a half minutes to go. It was Calgary ball with 30 seconds left, but a costly turnover led to a last second contested Jump Shot by Lethbridge senior Tim Whitehead which won the game.

Calgary had 4 players in double figures: Chris Wright led with 16 points and 9 rebounds; Brian Finnis had 13 points and 7 rebounds while Josh Feist and Robbie Sihota contributed 10 points each. Feist had 5 assists for the game.

The Dinos weak foul shooting (13 of 23) prevented them from taking the lead in the second half.

The two teams meet Saturday at 8:00 p.m. in Calgary.



Dino of the Week, January 30, 2006

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 12:58 pm

After a Weekend Sweep of the Thompson Rivers University Wolf Pack, Ross Bekkering is this week’s Dino of the Week.

Ross made an impact at both ends of the floor this past weekend in Kamploops, BC. Despite the presence of a 7 foot 2 post player on the ‘Pack, Ross dominated the glass and added some scoring for Dinos in their two wins. On Friday, Ross paced the Dinos with 8 points including going 6 for 6 from the free throw line. More importantly, Ross dominated the defensive glass hauling down 11 rebounds, while blocking 3 shots, dishing out 2 assists and grabbing 2 steals. The Dinos captured the game 89-70 on the first game of their road trip.

The second night was much of the same for the Dinos. They controlled the pace of the game, and utilized their speed and strength inside to get the second of two big victories. Once again, Ross dominated the glasss and contributed on the offensive end of the floor. Ross finished the game 6 for 9 from the field, and 6 for 9 from the free throw line for 18 points in 33 minutes of action. Ross once again dominated the glass grabbing 8 rebounds (more like 18 rebounds according to our stats) while blocking 2 shots, grabbing 2 steals and dishing out 2 assists.

The weekend also saw the re-emergence of Josh Feist who scored 39 points and dished out 14 assists while only committing 6 turnovers in over 70 minutes of court time. Brian Finniss also played great all weekend scoring 42 points while leading the Dinos to two victories. The Dinos have improved to 7-9 overall in the Canada West Conference and are only one game behind Alberta for second place in the Mountain Division. Catch the Dinos this weekend at the Jack Simpson Gym on Saturday night at 8:00pm. The night also marks the last regular season home game for Chris Wright who will finish his fifth and final year of eligibility this season. Chris has been apart of a Canada West Championship, and has been a Canada West All-Star.


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