2/19/2007

Dinos Fall to Huskies

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 2:03 pm

Game 1:

Huskies Maul Dinos in Opener

It was a porous Dinos defense giving up a 91-79 win to the home standing Saskatchewan Huskies in the first of a best of three Canada West Central Division semi-final in Saskatoon Friday night. At times the Huskies scored at will, and the Dinos were one step behind most of the night, sending the Huskies to the foul line 37 times , where they cashed 27 points.

The less aggressive Dinos only saw the charity stripe on 20 occassions with just 13 pts. converted. Saskatchewan was led by Andrew Spagrud with 35 pts. and Kyle Grant with 28 including 4 treys. Calgary had only Brian Finniss with 21, and 4/4 from 3 pt. range , along with Ross Bekkering, scoring 19. Cody Darrah had 12 pts. for Calgary , but the Dinos got only 4 from Josh Feist and 0 from post starter Robbie Sihota, who tweaked an ankle injury then couldn’t get on track.

The Dinos were out-rebounded 36-26 and gave the Huskies far too many second chances. Trailing by as many as 28 in the second half, the Dinos put on a burst in the final 5 minutes with some more aggressive defense off the bench led by Joel Bancroft and Tony Dhaliwal.

Game 2:

School Is Out For Dinos

The Saskatchewan Huskies hung on for an 89-88 win and a sweep of the best of three Central Division series in Saskatoon. A driving bank shot by 5th year point guard Josh Feist rolled off the rim, as the clock ran out on the Dinos season.

Family Day and Reading Week are up next week as school is truly out for the Dinos team which played a sterling game in their last outing. Robbie ‘ The Matrix’ Sihota was hot despite a sore ankle, and he potted 25 pts. on 10/17 shooting, and he was ably assisted by Feist, another Lester Pearson grad, who netted 14 pts. and dished out 6 assists in his last Canada West game.

Brian Finniss, the other 5th year guard and co-captain was sharp again Saturday as he scored 18 pts, including 4 /8 from 3 pt. range. This weekend was Brian’s best offensive display of the season, and he went out playing like the true leader he was for this team. Sonny Khangura, the 3rd of the three seniors had 5 pts. , as he saw limited floor time.

Saskatchewan had another brilliant night from their 4th year All-Canadian post man, Andrew Spagrud, who ripped the Dinos for another 35 pts. Rejean Chabot scored 23 for Saskatchewan who shot 51% from the floor compared to Calgary’s 55%, but outscored the Dinos 21/29 to 12/16 from the foul line.

Saskatchewan advances to the Central Division Final in Edmonton next weekend against Alberta, with that winner going on to the Canada West Final Four the following weekend.
Two Canada West teams will advance to the eight team CIS Nationals in Halifax on the third weekend in March.

The Dinos wrap up a season where they made great progress over the second half, and got great play from Feist, who has a shot at a Canada West All-Star nod. He finishes his career as the Canada West assist leader, he and Finniss, the Acadia University transfer who had two solid seasons in Calgary, will leave a couple of positions open in the starting line-up. Sonny Khangura, a talented low post scorer had his best season as a Dino this year , and had 24 pts. in a ‘homecoming’ game in Abbotsford in January.

Well done fellows. Every season ending loss is a tough one, but you played your last game as a team should.

2/15/2007

Goin’ Up the Country, Where else would we want to go?!?!

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 10:01 am

‘Goin’ Back To Saskatoon’

Where would we rather be in mid-February? Well, almost anywhere, frankly. The Dinos are, however, happy to be in the Canada West playoff picture after a horrendous 3-8 start in league play was rescued by an impressive 8-3 finish for 3rd spot behind Saskatchewan – 13-9 and Alberta, first at 15-7.

This will be the 3rd trip to the ‘Bridge City’ ( wait a minute … isn’t that Lethbridge ), and the team is hoping for better results than the previous three games, which were won by the Huskies. With only 1 win in 5 starts against the green and white this season, there appears to be little cause for optimism by the Dinos, but, playing well at the end of the year is crucial to playoff success, and the Dinos are on the right track now.

… Dinos Notes …

– Wing man Jeremy Odland is now at home under the care of his wife Shannon, who is a student and also working part-time. Jeremy’s grandparents are in town for a week or so in order to lend a hand. He will be enjoying meals through a straw for at least a month, so should look like Tony Dhaliwal ( no, not the brown part) when he finishes his ‘fast’. Jeremy is in good spirits and is looking forward to the Dino ‘web-cast’ of the weekend’s action.( Not a real web-cast, but some hair-brained scheme on Dean McCord’s part somehow involving his cell phone and /or laptop).

– In sympathy for Jeremy, McCord, our ace team manager, sliced open his finger in an ugly bow-tying accident at work on Tuesday afternoon. ‘Blood everywhere “, remarked the ashen-faced all-around athlete. A good supply of Batman bandaids should keep Deano going on the trip.

– The Dinos are bolstered by the return of post player Joe Schow to full-time practice. Joe is trying to knock the rust off his game so he can contribute to a couple of wins this weekend.

– The team will take the south route to Saskatoon with a stopover in beautiful Maple Creek and the Unsworth Ponderosa. Chief cook and bottle washer, Art Unsworth, will be serving up a team banquet of fresh ‘road kill’ , as he so tastefully puts it. It has been a real treat for the team to enjoy the hospitality of several Dinos’ families this season as we travel across Western Canada.

The Dinos double secret game plan for the best of three series … stop Andrew Spagrud ( Canada West scoring and rebounding leader), Rejean Chabot, and Kyle Grant, the three high scorers for the Huskies. Brilliant ! On their part, Saskatchewan will, undoubtedly, afford some extra attention to Josh Feist, the Dinos high scorer and the Canada West assist leader. With Odland out of the Dinos rotation it will fall on Tony Dhaliwal, Joel Bancroft, and, perhaps, Ross Bekkering to relieve Brian Finniss at the wing position.

Game time on Friday and Saturday is 7:00 pm in Saskatoon, with the Sunday game scheduled for 3:00 pm , if a third match is necessary.

2/11/2007

Dinos Fall Flat to Huskies

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 6:06 pm

The Dinos played a rather listless game at home Friday in losing 79-70 to the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies, who out-shot Calgary from the field and the foul line. Although five Calgary players hit double figures on the scoreboard, no one really caught fire, and the offense stalled for much of the contest.

Sonny Khangura’s 12 points was the team high followed by Cody Darrah with 11 and Robbie Sihota, Tony Dhaliwal, and Ross Bekkering with 10 each. Sihota had a game high 11 rebounds, and Bekkering snared 9, while Dhaliwal, the 2nd year point man from Abbotsford, B.C. has 3 assists in his season high 30 minutes as he stepped in for an absent Josh Feist. Dhaliwal and Darrah combined for a very workmanlike effort in triggering the offense, but the absence of Feist obviously impacted the Dinos ability to attack the Huskies defense.

Unfortunately, late in the second half, Calgary wing man Jeremy Odland was felled by a hard Saskatchewan foul and left the game with undetermined dental and jaw injuries. Jeremy went to hospital, and we will clarify his condition when information becomes available. Odland has been a positive first man off the bench for the Dinos all season, and was playing particularly well of late. If he is unable to suit up in the semi-final series, it would weaken the Calgary lineup.

These two teams will meet in Saskatoon next Friday, Saturday, and, if necessary, Sunday, in the Divisional semi-final, with the winner going on Feb. 23-25 in Edmonton against U of A.

2/10/2007

Dinos Meet Physical Challenge; Celebrate Seniors

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 10:28 am

Dinos Defense Tames Huskies

After the Seniors Night tributes and a sluggish first half, which saw the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies take a 34-30 lead, the Dinos came out with a purpose in the second stanza. That purpose was to stand firm against the physical challenge laid down by the Huskies in the opening 20 minutes. With only 11 fouls called in total in that first half, the Calgary squad was getting tossed around by the visitors, and Coach Dan Vanhooren made it clear in his half-time talk that the boys had to stand up and be counted.

he Dinos met the challenge and more … with Ross Bekkering matching the Huskies’ All-Canadian, Andrew Spagrud with 17 pts. and besting the U of S star 9-6 on the glass, Calgary dominated the second half 45-26, and came away with a convincing 75-60 win to run their win streak to 5 and their season mark to 11-10. Josh Feist, one of three graduating seniors paced the points parade with 18 for Calgary to go along with 8 assists and 3 steals. His graduating co-captain, Brain Finniss had a strong defensive game and hauled down 8 big boards. Sonny Khangura, the third senior feted prior to the game, scored 12 points and had 7 rebounds for the Dinos, who topped Saskatchewan 39-30 on the boards for the night.

In front of the season’s largest crowd, including most of the extended Feist family (in town for a wedding) , the parents of all three seniors, and several former Dinos , the turning point for the game probably came mid-way through the 2nd half with Calgary 3 points up … Freshman post Chris Unsworth, playing against his older brother Clint, a 2nd year at Saskatchewan, brought the crowd and the Dinos bench to its feet with a thunderous follow flush. The ever-improving Unsworth had 9 points and 3 boards in only 10 minutes of playing time.

The Dinos and Huskies play again Saturday at 8:00 pm in the final league game, and are now destined to resume hostilities next weekend in Saskatoon in the Central Divisional semi-final series. Alberta beat Lethbridge 79-69 to clinch top spot, and the Bears will wait for the winner of the Calgary-Saskatchewan match-up in the final.

Sideline notes …

Several recent Dino grads were in attendance Friday to pay tribute to the three senior grads … Rick and Sandy Brar, both now working in Vancouver, made the trip, and joined Ian Ferguson and John Salgado. Also spotted was Sonny’s Kwantlen College coach, Bernie Love , who now works in Calgary. Surinder Grewal, who started the ‘Brown Army’ for the Dinos, transferring from Kwantlen in 2002, and who became a team captain and leading scorer in his senior year, will be at the Saturday game.

Josh Feist has had the distraction of combining his Senior Night with wedding preparations for his sister, and the Saturday wedding will keep the flashy point man out of the Calgary lineup. Josh felt, because the game cannot change the standings, he should be with his family in celebrating such an important event. Tony Dhaliwal and Cody Darrah are expected to share the load in Feist’s absence.

2/8/2007

Dinos and Huskies to get Familiar

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 10:05 pm

Dinos – Huskies In Long-Term Relationship

How well do we really want to know the Saskatchewan Huskies ? The obvious answer is ‘not that well’, but , it seems, we are destined to become contemptuous by familiarity after a potential 5 games in one week.

The Huskies can clinch 1st if they sweep the Dinos and if the Bears lose two in Lethbridge … neither is at all likely; the Dinos will, therefore, be facing Saskatchewan in a semi-final best of three next weekend in Saskatoon. The vagaries of the tie-breaking system have made league wins within our division the number one criterion, and even a Dinos sweep will leave Calgary in 3rd, and on the road to Huskie-ville for the semi-final.

So, who are these Sled-Dogs ? The green and white are blessed to have Andrew Spagrud, a 6’6″ fourth year post, who may be the top player in Canada. His stats would make a strong argument … 24 pts. /game – #1 in CIS, 11.2 rebounds – #2, 61% shooting from the floor – #4 for this Saskatoon high school grad who, from his first year in Canada West play, was a shining star. Spagrud’s supporting cast includes Rejean Chabot, a 6’2″ guard who scores at a 17 pt./game clip, and who has been tough for the Dinos to guard in three meetings this season. The other key figure for the Huskies is 6’3″ wing Kyle Grant, a defensive steal artist, who scores 15 pts. /game.

Calgary will counter with Ross Bekkering, 6’7″ post who has rounded into form in recent games after suffering nagging injuries in the first half of the season. Bekkering is averaging 13 pts. and 7.5 rebounds / game. Brian Finniss, one of three graduating seniors this weekend, will likely shadow Chabot. Finniss has been a strong dedfender and rebounder in the Dinos recent 7-2 run to the playoffs. Robbie Sihota is now 100% after an ankle injury two weeks ago, and his 29 pt. – 16 rebound game vs. Winnipeg last Saturday was indicative of his potential to dominate a game.

The motivation of Senior Night, and the desire to send a message to Saskatchewan prior to next weeks semi-final should have the Dinos fired up for this weekends games at the Jack Simpson. game time is 8:00 pm both nights.

2/6/2007

Senior Night THIS FRIDAY – Celebrating the Careers of Feist, Finniss and Khangura

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 10:10 am

The traditional season-ending series against the Saskatchewan Huskies is at home this weekend, and Friday night will mark the Senior Night tribute to Josh Feist, Brian Finniss, and Sonny Khangura. Usually scheduled for the Saturday, the festivities were moved to accomodate a wedding in the Feist family.

Friends and relatives of all three players will be present at the pre-game ceremony Friday including Brian’s mum and dad from Prince Edward Island and Sonny’s mum and dad from Vancouver. The Feist family, includin Josh’s mum and dad, will be there in large numbers as part of a weekend celebration. Josh has played all his basketball in Calgary including high school at L.B. Pearson, and 2 years at Mount Royal College. Sonny played high school and two years of College in the Vancouver area … Windermere H.S. and Kwantlan College. Brain played high school in Summerside, P.E.I. followed by three years at Acadia University in Wolfeville. N.S before traveling west to join the Dinos.

All three seniors have had a positive impact on this year’s addition of the Dinos … Josh has had his best year as a point guard, and leads Canada West in assists and is 2nd in steals, while scoring at a 15.5 pts. average. Brian has been a defensive stalwart, particularly in the last 10 games, and he usually guards the opponents toughest perimeter player, and is scoring 7 pts./game and is the team’s 3rd leading rebounder at 4.5/game . Sonny has blossomed as strong post threat at the offensive end, and, two weeks ago, posted his career – high 24 pts. at Fraser Valley.

Coming off a leg injury, one of several that have plagued the big man for his whole career as a Dino, Sonny will practice this week with expectations to play some minutes on the weekend. Brian and Josh, team co-captains, have both been stalwarts this year chalking up 30+ minutes in most games.

The Dinos are 10 – 10 going into the weekend, trailing the 12-8 Saskatchewan in Mountain Division play with a chance to catch the Huskies with a sweep. Both teams have clinched playoff positions with Saskatchewan having a slim chance to catch Alberta for 1st. Last season, Calgary had to win their final league game at Saskatchewan to edge out Lethbridge for the final playoff spot, so, once again, the final series will play a part in the Canada West playoff picture. Game time is 8:00 pm both nights, but arrive early for Senior Night Celebrations.

2/5/2007

4th Straight Win – Dinos Reach .500 with Win vs. Wesmen

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 9:56 am

Calgary Dinos 88 Winnipeg Wesmen 84

In a strange game in the deep freeze of Winnipeg, the Dinos break out to a 16 point first half lead only to go cold and allow the Wesmen to come back. The Dinos were sent into overtime with a driving lay-up by Jeremy Odland, and in overtime the Dinos outscored the Wesmen 15-11.

Robbie Sihota had a monster double double with 29 points and 16 rebounds. Ross Bekkering had 17 points; Josh Feist added 13 and Jeremy Odland finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Brian Finnis had 10 rebounds as well.

The Dinos go to 10 wins and 10 losses on the season and play at home next week against the Saskatchewan Huskies with Friday being seniors
night.

Bisons Fall Despite Huge Individual Effort – Dinos within 1 game of .500

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 9:54 am

Calgary Dinos 88 Manitoba Bisons 85

The Dinos depended on clutch free throws from Cody Darrah and Josh Feist to seal the win against the Manitoba Bisons in a seesaw game which saw the teams take a combined 36 three pointers.

Calgary came out ahead with 20 points from Josh Feist who was a perfect 11 of 11 from the foul line, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 8 assists. Cody Darrah had 18, all in the second half including 4 of 6 from 3 point range. Robbie Sihota led the Dinos with 12 rebounds and scored 14 points. Ross Bekkering also had 14 while Jeremy Odland added 10 points and 5 rebounds.

Manitoba was led by the highest scoring duo in Canada West. Isaac Ansah finished the game with 35 points on 12 of 28 shooting while Darcy Coss added 25 points on 8 of 18 shooting including 5 three pointers.

Calgary’s record goes to 9 – 10 going into Saturday’s game at the University of Winnipeg.

2/1/2007

Winn-ter-peg, Here Comes the DINOS!

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 12:25 am

Winter … Coldest and Deepest

If one wants to find the true Canadian Winter in the lower latitudes of our great country, one would go directly to Winnipeg. Dependably chilly, it is! The Dinos will be strolling close to the infamous Portage and Main intersection this weekend close to their digs across the street from the new MTS Centre – Home of the Manitoba Moose.

As for basketball, the Dinos are up against a couple of very talented point guards … Manitoba’s Isaac Ansah is 4th in Canada West scoring at 21.5 pts. game, while Erfan Nasajpour, the Winnipeg Wesmen court general is 2nd at 22.2/game. In assists, Nasajpour (6.6) trails only Calgary’s Josh Feist (6.7), while Ansah weighs in at 4.6 dishes per game. Both these slashing penetrators are the key to their team’s success, and Calgary’s fate has usually depended on the strength of Josh’s game that night.

The Manitoba Bisons are not a tall team, but they are extremely quick, and they shoot the outside shot early and often. Darcy Coss, a 6’4″ forward cashes 3.28 treys per game to lead Canada West … the Dinos’ Cody Darrah is at 2.44. The top three shot blockers in Canada West are Myron Dean of Manitoba (1.89) and Dan Shynkaryk of Winnipeg ( 1.56) … Calgary’s Ross Bekkering is 5th at 1.06. Calgary leads the team free throw shooting stats with 71.5% . FG% has Calgary 45% as a team (7th), Winnipeg 44% (8th) and Manitoba last in Canada West at 42%. The stats tell a story, but the true measure of the teams will come on the court in Winnipeg, where the Dinos face the Bisons on Friday and the Wesmen on Saturday.

Calgary is 8-10 and in 3rd in the Mountain Division with a mathematical chance of catching Saskatchewan for 2nd, while Winnipeg is 8-10 and in 2nd in the Great Plains behind Brandon. Manitoba is at 6-12, and needs a couple of wins this weekend against Calgary and Lethbridge to get in the playoff hunt with Winnipeg and Regina.

Sonny Khangura picked up a leg injury in practice this week, and will stay at home to rehabilitate his injury. That leaves the Dinos with only 3 post players … Robbie Sihota and Ross Bekkering will se the bulk of the action, with an ever improving Chris Unsworth ready to step in and give them a break.

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