1/29/2008

Weekend Wrap-up

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 12:18 pm

Jan. 29
By Wayne Thomas

Scoring Spree Nets Bekkering Athlete of the Week Honours

Henry Bekkering struck for a combined 72 points and 18 rebounds in Calgary Dinos victories over the visiting Fraser Valley Cascades (90-76) and the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack (117-100) last weekend, and for this he was chosen as the Canada West Male Athlete of the Week.

Henry is now averaging 20.7 points per game in league play, moving him into 3rd place in the scoring list behind Andrew Spagrud of Saskatchewan (22.2) and Erfan Najaspour of Winnipeg (22.1).

Trinity Western Forfeits Games

The CIS announced Monday that the Trinity Western Spartans would forfeit three games they had won this season because they had played an ineligible player in those games. Trinity Western discovered they had made an administrative error, and reported to CIS officials they had played transfer Lucas Goltz, Comox, B.C., who had previously played at Royal Military College.

Although Goltz had sat out the required one year after transferring, he did not complete the requisite number of credits to make him eligible. As a result of the ruling by the CIS, the Spartans drop to 3-17 in Canada West standings, with Fraser Valley (10-10), Thompson Rivers (3-17), and Lethbridge (2-16) now given credit for an extra win each.

A quick look at the Pacific standings tells us this change puts Fraser Valley back into a tie with Simon Fraser for the 3rd playoff spot, but the Cascades have a much tougher finishing slate than the Clan.

New Media Poll for CIS Hoops

In an attempt to drum up more talk around CIS Basketball, writers from media outlets across most of Canada, with leadership from Mark Wacyk of http://www.cishoops.ca, have started to publish a Media Poll of CIS Rankings. The first of these follows :

cishoops.ca Media Poll – January 29

Results of the first cishoops.ca Media Poll conducted January 27-28. There are a maximum 252 points in the poll. Points are awarded in
descending order – 12 for first, 11 for second, etc. – depending upon placement. (First place votes bracketed).
Below we compare the Media Poll to the CIS Coaches’ Poll.

CISHOOPS.ca POLL

1. Carleton (21) 252
2. Brandon 223
3. Calgary 205
4. Acadia 160
5. Toronto 148
6. Ottawa 146
7. U.B.C. 128
8. Cape Breton 119
9. Windsor 92
10. Laval 59

Coaches Poll for January 29, 2008

1. Carleton (16-0) / 516 votes / (1)
2. Brandon (16-2) / 470 / (3)
3. Calgary (15-3) / 414 / (4)
4. Acadia (12-2) / 388 / (2)
5. UBC (15-4) / 315 / (6)
6. Ottawa (13-3) / 308 / (5)
7. Toronto (13-3) / 260 / (7)
8. Brock (10-5) / 190 / (9)
9. Cape Breton (11-3) / 180 / (10)
10. Windsor (11-4) / 134 / (NR)

Pollsters for the CISHOOPS.ca poll include media from Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Halifax, and many others in the East. Let’s hope other media are added in the future; some may not have been contacted, and, in some cities, the media does a good job of ignoring CIS Sport.

For a complete list of Canadians playing professionally around the world, be sure to check out www.basketball.ca and it’s brand new website. They have a country list, as well as all of the Canadian players (male and female) who are playing. A great idea and great job by Basketball Canada and their new site.

1/25/2008

B.C. Teams Travel to Southern Alberta

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 8:29 am

Jan. 24
By Wayne Thomas

B.C. Schools In Southern Alberta

The Fraser Valley Cascades (8-10) and the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack (2-16) are in Southern Alberta this weekend to play the Calgary Dinos and the Lethbridge Pronghorns, with the Cascades being first up for the Dinos on Friday at 8:00 pm. The Fraser Valley squad is in a tug of war with Simon Fraser for the 3rd spot in the Pacific Division, and Coach Barnaby Craddock is looking for the Cascades to improve their 1-7 road record.

At home the Blue and Green are 7-3, and a much tougher out, but their lone away win has been at Trinity Western, and they are one game behind the Clan with five games remaining in the regular season, although they have clinched a playoff spot in the top four. Doug Plumb, a 2nd year , 6’3″ guard, who was added to the lineup after Christmas, leads UCFV with a scoring average of 17.5 ppg. Joel Haviland, a 6’8″ forward checks in with 12.5 ppg and 5.5 rebounds, and he is helped up front by 5th year post man Kyle Graves, 6’9″. Tristan Smith, a 6′ rookie point guard from California, scores 10.5
pts. and dishes out 3.3 assists per game, and Anthony Lao, a 6’4″ athletic, 5th year, wing man has returned from an injury to lead the Cascades in rebounds at 6.5 per game. All players on the Fraser Valley Roster but Smith are from B.C., with the majority from the Fraser Valley area.

The home-standing Dinos (13-3) have virtually wrapped up the top spot in the Central Division of Canada West, and are now trying to build for the playoffs, which begin in late February. Coach Dan Vanhooren will have overall team improvement as a primary goal, as he prepares the team to win the clutch games down the stretch, with the ultimate aim being a Canada West title, and a spot at the CIS Nationals in Ottawa in mid-March.

The brothers Bekkering, Henry and Ross, have been the driving force for the big front line of the Dinos, and they are crucial to the success of the team in big games. Henry leads the scoring at 18.8 per game, while Ross is the top rebounder in Canada West at 11.4 per game, and their playing time is at 29 min. per game and 25 minutes respectively. Jeff Price leads the team with 31.5 min. per game, and is also the steals (1.7), assists(4.8), and free throw (89%) leader. Along with Robbie Sihota, who averages 12.5 pts. ,and is capable of hot streak scoring, and the versatile 5th year guard Cody Darrah, they get the lion’s share of court time. There are , however, other big contributors for this Calgary club, including freshman guard Tyler
Fidler, a 6’8″ ball handling and scoring guard, and two work-horse veterans, Jeremy Odland and Josh Lovestone.

The 5th year Odland has been coming off the bench at the wing spot, and, although his minutes are limited ( 10.5), Jeremy makes an impact when he is in the game. His patented drive to the hoop, complete with sound effects, his corner jumper, and his defensive effort have provided a much needed boost at crucial times. Lovestone, a 3rd year transfer from SAIT, who also had a stop at Cariboo College (now Thompson Rivers University), hails from Salmon Arm. B.C., and along with Chris Unsworth, 6’7″, 2nd year, from Maple Creek, SK, is one of only two non-Albertans on the UC roster. Josh is the high energy guy off the bench in the post position, and he will crash and bang with guys 3 or 4 inches taller than himself, and he will out-hustle most of
his opponents.

Calgary wants to come out strong in the first quarter to break the pattern of slow starts they have suffered in a few games recently, and they will try and minimize the opportunities for any offensive runs by the Cascades. With 6 league games remaining, the Dinos will want to play each one to get better and sharper for the approaching post season.

Not wanting to sound like a broken record (skipping cd?) , but why oh why do we have Concordia ? Surely 3rd best in their own league would suggest they don’t belong in this group ahead of Windsor, UVic, Alberta or St. FX, just to name a few.

Tilleman is in town ! Not that Tilleman, but his grade 11 son Dan, a 6’4″ guard, who plays for Desert Vista HS in Phoenix, AZ . Danny is up here taking a look at the Dinos in action, and visiting with the coaches and players for the weekend. The Tillemans still have family in Calgary, and Danny is ‘a
top prospect’ according to Head Coach Dan Vanhooren. This weekend’s expected dip in the mercury will test the young man’s will to relocate
North of the border.

1/24/2008

Tyler Fidler Dunk

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 2:03 pm

Dinos Back on Home Turf this Weekend

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 1:02 pm

Jan. 22

Home Court Kind to Dinos
By Wayne Thomas

The Calgary Dinos, like every other team in Canada West, find the grueling travel schedule a serious challenge in the won-lost column. 8-0 within the friendly confines of the Jack Simpson Gym, and 5-3 away, so the boys are happy to back in Calgary for a couple of weeks. It’s not that they don’t enjoy the lustre of junkets to hot spots like Langley, B.C., Regina, Lethbridge, Brandon, and our provincial capital, glamour spots all, but they certainly prefer ‘The Jack’.

If you want a treatise on the home court advantage, just ask Dinos Assistant Matt Skinn, who wrote his Master’s thesis on the subject. (Hey! Everyone needs a good, unique topic *Editors Note – I somewhat resent this!*!) Lets assume sleep, food, bus and plane travel, unfamiliar gyms, hometown refs (did I say that?), strange routines, and too much face time with Dean ‘The Candyman’ McCord (see food) are among the mitigating factors.

Here in town they get to luxuriate in their palatial locker room, which Coach Vanhooren and a few of the lads lovingly refurbished this past summer. This sanctuary is a far cry from the row of PE lockers we in the Chuck Taylor All-Stars Era were treated to, and an upgrade from the concrete closet Coach
gary Howard commandeered back in the ’70s. Coach Vanhooren has been tinkering with this space since he arrived from Medicine Hat, but this year may be the first season in which he is eager to show the room to potential recruits. It really helps to be done with the ‘Biology Experiment Couch’ in the Soccer-Swim Team area, which had enough mold to serve the research needs of the Med School. Players also don’t miss the unknown liquid dripping from the ceiling, the 25 year old sweatpants and 2 year collection of lunch leftovers draped over the lockers in that outer area cared for not at all by the Wrestling Team.

Basketball isn’t all about what you see on the court every weekend, and the improvements in the team room facilities have put the players in a better frame of mind, but probably don’t account for the 13-3 record … perhaps Henry Bekkering, Tyler Fidler, Jeff Price and our other talented additions are more responsible. Still, the new digs, paid for largely from team fund-raising , are just another way of improving the program, and a nice place to return to after a week away.

Notes …

-Biggest game of the regular season in CIS Basketball? Has to be the MBNA Capital Hoops Classic between the 5 time National Champion and undefeated Carleton Ravens and their cross town rivals the Ottawa Gee-Gees. Organizers expect a crowd of 12,000 plus and it should set a record for the largest crowd ever at a CIS game, including Nationals in Halifax.

-Other ‘Big Games’ this week include…

– Alberta at Saskatchewan for a pair to decide 2nd and 3rd in the Central Division behind the Dinos.
– Victoria in Burnaby to face the mercurial Simon Fraser Clan, who have a chance to make that move up in the Pacific Division which
Coach Clark promised in October.
– Regina at Winnipeg
– Acadia visits St. FX

-One of the questions for Coach Vanhooren is ‘Do you rest some of your starters over the next couple of weeks in preparation for tougher games to come?’ You don’t want to overlook any opponent, but it may be a time to heal some nagging hurts, and give them a mental break as well. Apparently Brandon did this last Friday against Lethbridge in preparation for the Dinos the next night.

This week at home on Friday …Dinos vs. Fraser Valley Cascades and Saturday …Dinos vs. Thompson Rivers Wolfpack Both games are at 8:00 pm.

1/23/2008

Top Ten Tuesday…Plus some thoughts

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 12:29 am

Here is the Top 10 for Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NABCC Top Ten
January 22, 2008

Last Week League Record Votes
1. Carleton (43) #1 14-0 516 votes
2. Acadia #3 11-1 467 votes
3. Brandon #5 14-2 425 votes
4. Calgary #2 13-3 382 votes
5. Ottawa #6 12-2 328 votes
6. UBC #4 13-4 313 votes
7. Toronto #9 11-3 232 votes
8. Concordia #7 4-3 200 votes
9. Brock #8 8-5 148 votes
10. Cape Breton #10 10-3 107 votes
11. Windsor #14 9-4 93 votes
12. Alberta #12 11-5 92 votes
13. Laval NR 7-2 25 votes
14. Guelph #11 8-5 12 votes
Saint Mary’s #13 8-4 12 votes

Also…The Top 10 via CIShoops.ca, thanks to Mark Wacyk:

#1 Carleton (20-0, 14-0, RPI = #1) The Ravens have their toughest weekend of the league season coming up as they travel to Queen’s on Friday before returning home to face arch-rival Ottawa at Scotiabank Place in the Capital Hoops Classic where, according to host-school uOttawa, a crowd of over 12,000 is expected. 6’7″ Aaron Doornekamp missed Carleton’s game at Laurentian this past Saturday but should be ready to play this weekend.

#2 Acadia (17-4, 11-1, RPI = # 12) The Axemen had a solid home win against Cape Breton in a battle for top spot in the AUS and have a deep team with skill and athleticism very worthy of a top 10 ranking. The health of 6’1″ Paolo Santana, battling an ankle injury, could be an issue but Acadia has taken on all comers thus far. The Axemen will be tested this coming weekend as they travel to Sydney on Saturday for a return match against Cape Breton and then meet St. FX in Antigonish on Sunday afternoon.

#3 Brandon (19-6, 14-2, RPI = #4) In what was described as one of the most exciting games ever at the Brandon gym, the Bobcats got an All-Canadian performance from 6’3″ Dany Charlery to edge Calgary on Saturday after giving up a big lead. This veteran-laden group has size, athleticism and a fifth-year point guard 6’1″ Yul Michel who has been to two previous Nationals. Brandon has a pair of road games in Winnipeg this weekend at last place Manitoba.

#4 Calgary (17-5, 13-3, RPI = #2) The Dinos made a valiant effort in Brandon after travelling in from Regina the night before, coming back from a sizeable deficit before succuming to the brillance of Dany Charlery. Prior to the season, talk was that the Dinos would go as far as their guards would take them, led by 6’2″ newcomer Jeff Price. If the past month or so is any indicator, all is well with the Dinos backcourt as Price continues his great play, scoring, distribution and rebounding. The Dinos are back at home where they are undefeated this season to face UCFV and Thompson Rivers this weekend.

#5 Cape Breton (16-6, 10-3, RPI = #9) After a close loss at Acadia, the Capers get a rematch on Satuday at home in Sydney. It will be another battle inside between 6’5″ Eric Breland and 6’5″ Leonel Saintil, statistically by far the two best big men in the AUS. This past Sunday’s game was a defensive struggle in the 60’s but with the firepower each team possesses and both teams having a week to prepare (unlike last week when Acadia played the afternoon before and CBU had to travel 5 hours after Friday night’s home game against Dal), expect another classic AUS matchup between two teams which are likely to vie for the conference championship.

#6 Toronto (20-6, 11-3, RPI = #6) The hot-shooting Blues matched a very tough Queen’s Golden Gaels team three-pointer for three-pointer this past Saturday night in taking an exciting win from the Gaels at home to sweep their season series. The Blues have a number of solid players but the consistency and mental toughness of 6’3″ fifth-year point guard Mike Degiorgio down the stretch of the season is key. The Blues are 3-2 against this week’s CISHOOPS.CA Top 10, defeating Ottawa & Windsor at home and Calgary on a neutral floor while losing to Carleton at home and at UBC. Toronto travels to Laurentian and York this weekend.

#7 Ottawa (18-5, 12-2, RPI = #7) With an opportunity to move closer to first place Carleton with a win at the Capital Hoops Classic looming, the Gee-Gees enter the most critical part of their regular season schedule (5 games in 9 days) without key reserve 6’2″ Jacob Gibson-Bascombe, out with a foot injury, putting more pressure on their starting five to play major minutes. It seems reasonable that at some point the Gee-Gees will have to rely on their inexperienced bench to help them win games. Ottawa meets RMC prior to Saturday’s game against the Ravens then goes to Kingston on Tuesday to face Queen’s before coming home to host Ryerson and Toronto next weekend.

#8 Windsor (13-5, 9-4, RPI = #10) The Lancers have won 3 in a row on the road including wins at Western and Brock to take sole possession of first place in the balanced OUA West. Windsor has defended and rebounded and got stellar play from 6’1″ fifth-year guard Ryan Steer, receipes for success down the stretch. The Lancers host Waterloo on Wednesday and Brock on Saturday at the St. Denis Center with a chance to put more space between them and their challengers.

#9 UBC (15-4, 13-4, RPI = #8) It is apparent how important 6’3″ Chris Dyck is to the fortunes of the T-Birds, who were soundly defeated at home by a Simon Fraser team that proceeded to lose two games against Central Division teams when Dyck was out and then won at UVic when Dyck returned. Now the favorite to capture the Pacific Division regular season crown, UBC will have to win away from War Memorial Gym to secure a spot at the Nationals. The Birds have a pair of tough home games this weeeknd as they host #10 Alberta on Friday and Saskatchewan on Saturday.

#10 Alberta (16-6, 11-5, RPI = #3) The Bears are getting their groove back, led by 6’4″ Andrew Parker who appears to be coming out of a mid-season slump during which foul trouble was an issue. Alberta usually peaks around this time of the year and, while first place in the division is likely out of sight given how well Calgary is playing, the Bears remain one of the top teams in Canada West. Alberta has an opportunity to show how far they’ve progress recently when they travel to UBC this Friday.

Also…The Totem poll courtesy of www.thescrumbrandon.com. A Big Shout out to David Larkins and David Sawatzky who do a great job with their website, as well as promoting CIS Basketball. Here is their Canada West hierarchy:

Moments after what had to be a pretty frustrating loss, Calgary Dinos assistant coach Matt Skinn came out of the dressing room at the Brandon University Gymnasium and acknowledged what hundreds in attendance had seen for themselves.

“That’s why CIS basketball is great.”

The Dinos lost 81-77 to Brandon — in a battle of top-five teams — but the two squads waged one of the best contests that old gym has held in the past eight years, good enough that even in defeat a coach ackowledged its quality.
Are either of them winning the national championship? Who knows, but we got a look at a match-up that people on both sides are hoping comes along again with a little bit more on the line.

On to the Totem:

1. (2) Brandon Bobcats (14-2) — The Bobcats truly do rise to their opponents and Saturday’s win over Calgary was a good example of that. They get the top spot for knocking off Calgary but in reality this spot could be 1 and 1a. And, lo and behold, for all the talk about how they’re not as good or deep as last season, here the Bobcats are back on pace for matching — or getting darn close —to last season’s win total.

2. (1) Calgary Dinos (13-3) — The Dinos know they put themselves in a hole with an ugly first quarter on Saturday (and paid for it with a loss) but their 20-2 run in the third showed some serious spine when they could have just rolled over. You don’t need us tellling you: They’re legit.

3. (4) UBC Thunderbirds (13-4) — Two things for which the Birds are thankful: 1) Getting Chris Dyck back on Friday night and 2) the fact that Tuesday night games can easily be forgotten three days later (see: home loss to SFU/road win at UVic).

4. (2) Victoria Vikes (12-5) — They take a dip after a “not-ready-for-primetime” performance on home floor against UBC. We’re not suggesting the Vikes aren’t at UBC’s level — far from it — but it leaves a few questions about their elite-ness when they didn’t seize a big opportunity. Again, the Nos. 3 and 4 teams are probably interchangeable on any given week.

5. (5) Alberta Golden Bears (11-5) — Alex Steele might be the biggest X-factor in Canada West (with a very big tip of the hat to Brandon’s Dany Charlery). Case in point was his 20 first-half points to carry the Bears through some lean minutes against Simon Fraser. He’s a big reason why no one is anxious to play U of A in a one-game setting with a nationals berth on the line.

6. (6) Simon Fraser Clan (9-9) — Willing to give the Clan a break here because of the tough scheduling of the past week. However, upon hearing that they agreed to it in the first place, they’re getting off with a warning: Don’t do it again, OK?

7. (7) Winnipeg Wesmen (8-8) — Think the Wesmen are kicking themselves over blowing a late nine-point lead that came complete with a desperation shot to force overtime by UCFV’s Kyle Graves? If it comes back to haunt them in a few weeks and the Wesmen end up having to go to Regina for playoffs, they’ll be kicking themselves even more.

8. (10) Saskatchewan Huskies (9-7) — A temporary demotion in the rankings is followed up by two convincing home wins but the concerns over depth and ability on the road, where they are 4-8 overall, aren’t going away.

9. (8) Regina Cougars (8-8) — A hair separates the Cougars from the Wesmen, so the only thing that is placing them lower than U of W is the slightly more significant stat that Winnipeg has actually won a game away from home (although not many).

10. (9) Fraser Valley Cascades (8-10) — The Cascades have quietly won three of their last four and can see the final playoff spot in the Pacific on the horizon. Two winnable games (at Lethbridge, at TRU) and three toughies (at Calgary, vs UVic, vs UBC) remain so UCFV might not be content to just settle for No. 4 with the third spot just two points away.

11. (11) Trinity Western Spartans (6-12) — The Spartans head our list of teams whose seasons will end in three weeks. See you in September.

12. (12) Manitoba Bisons (4-12) — If the Bisons weren’t under the impression that the CIS played a winter/spring schedule, then we might be talking about them in more significant terms. They’re closing well (Ws in three of their last four), but someone please tell them that the Canada West is actually counting all those other games in November, too.

13. (13) Thompson Rivers WolfPack (2-16) — They’ve had one more year of conference experience over their fellow college newbies UCFV yet have produced nine less wins. And there’s very little sign that things are going to take a dramatic turn any time soon.

14. (14) Lethbridge Pronghorns (0-16) — Two things can motivate Lethbridge this weekend: Living up to The Scrum’s lofty prediction of last week and winning that game against TRU this weekend. And remembering that the Saskatchewan Huskies will be a lot worse off than them in the off-season.

And Finally, Wayne “WT” Thomas chimes in on his choices and rankings in the CW Conference. And believe me, The Don is always right…or else!

The Contenders…

1. Brandon Bobcats (14-2) – resilient team who beat Calgary at their own rebounding game. The ‘Cats get it done when the chips are on the table. Coach Raimbault carries on a winning tradition and has his team primed to return to Nationals.

2. Calgary Dinos (13-3) – this team has all the tools, with Jeff Price establishing himself as a tough leader at the point. Will need to get a better 1st quarter performance in the tough games. Home for 4 straight in the next 2 weeks.

3. UBC Thunderbirds (13-4) – the return of Chris Dyck propels the ‘Birds to the season’s biggest win, and they are in the driver’s seat in the Pacific. Alberta and Saskatchewan among some significant hurdles between them and the playoff bye.

4. Victoria Vikes (12-5) – despite a home court loss, the Vikes are dangerous with Tyler Haas, Mitch Gudgeon, and impressive rookie Ryan
McKinnon. Big test at SFU this coming weekend.

5. Alberta Golden Bears (11-5) – dispose of SFU and Trinity with Alex Steele notching a career high 40 pts. against the Spartans. Some tough
road games ahead starting this weekend at Saskatchewan.

6. Saskatchewan Huskies (9-7) – Dogs seem to be back on track, and look to get 2 home wins vs. the Bears this week. Andrew Spagrud and
Kyle Grant now setting team records with every shot.

The Pretenders …

7. Simon Fraser Clan (9-9) – let’s remember they beat UBC at War Memorial, and, despite an inhospitable greeting from Alberta and Saskatchewan last weekend, the Clan can give the Vikes a serious roadblock atop Burnaby Mtn. this week.

8. Fraser Valley Cascades (8-10) – OT win at home over Winnipeg, as Barnaby Craddock edges mentor Dave Crook. Doug Plumb is a valuable addition.

8a. Winnipeg Wesmen (8-8) – can be a threat with Erfan getting some help from his mates, but really nowhere to go with Brandon so dominant.

10. Regina Cougars (8-8) – Not much to choose between them and the other two Great Plains also rans … big guns stifled against Calgary in home loss.

11. Manitoba Bisons (4-12) – playing better as a team in the second half, the Herd can give Winnipeg a run in the end, with more depth, perhaps.

12. Trinity Western Spartans (6-12) – it’s officially ‘Next Year Country’ as Coach Lee awaits Brian Banman, and Jamie Vaughn. Not many good road games.

13. Thompson Rivers Wolfpack (2-16) – “Better a few years ago as a College Team” … a quote from a rival Canada West coach. Need to make progress if they are to become competitive with top Pacific teams.

14. Lethbridge Pronghorns (0-16) – No love for this team this season, but they do have a couple of good additions for the future, if they stick around Southern Alberta.

I am hoping to keep this up to date and a little more Bloggish if possible in the future. Drop me a line with any suggestions or thoughts for the site, mjskinn@ucalgary.ca!

Bobcats Best Dinos

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 12:17 am

by Wayne Thomas

Jan. 19

The Brandon Bobcats hit for 33 fourth quarter points and snatched the big showdown game of Division leaders 81-77 in the Wheat City Saturday. Dany Charlery, the 6’3″ scorer took an incredible 32 shots for the night, and he lit up the Dinos for 18 pts. in the final frame to help the ‘Cats overcome a 70-66 Calgary advantage with 4 minutes left. Charlery had 38 for the game, and, coupled with the home team’s dominance on the boards against the bigger Dinos, it gave Brandon their 9th straight win at home and a Canada West leading 14-2 record.

Calgary drops to 13-3, and will try and take lessons from this match-up over to a possible re-match, which might well take place in Calgary, if both teams are successful in making the Final Four in early March. The big guns for Calgary were quiet in the first half with only 7 pts. in quarter 1, and 20 more in the 2nd, which put them down 10 at the break. With the big boys stalled out, the coaches called upon Jeremy Odland and Josh Lovestone to get the team going in the second half, and, after Tyler Fidler dunked over Brandon’s Yuri Whyms and counted the foul shot, Calgary had a 20-2 run and the lead for the first time.

The teams traded hoops until the final few minutes, when Charlery completed his work, and the Brandon experience trumped the Calgary comeback. On the night, 4 Bobcats ( Yul Michel -10, Tarik Tokar – 12, Whyms – 10) and 5 Dinos ( Jeff Price- 12, Henry Bekkering – 13, Cody Darrah – 12, Tyler Fidler – 13, and Ross Bekkering – 11) were in double figures. Price added 10 assists, once again recording a double double, as did Ross with 10 boards. Brandon had 46 rebounds including 19 on the offensive glass, while Calgary had 37 total.

In the final half Calgary out-scored Brandon 50-44, but the home team stepped up for the win, and the Dinos know they will have to be better if they are to beat Brandon in any playoff bout.

Notes …
Fidler left the game when he was dumped on a dunk attempt in the 4th quarter, and did not return, although he is apparently ok.

With 19 Calgary turnovers to 12 for Brandon and with the rebound advantage, Brandon took 83 shots to only 66 for the Dinos, whose 44% – 36% was better from the field, but just gave the Cats too many chances.

Calgary returns home next weekend for a Friday game with Fraser Valley and a Saturday test against Thompson Rivers. They are also at home Feb. 1st and 2nd against Winnipeg and Manitoba, then they finish the regular season on the road in Saskatoon against the Huskies.

Dinos Get By Cougars

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 12:13 am

by Wayne Thomas

Jan. 18

You can sometimes fall into a trap if you’re distracted by something up ahead, and the Calgary Dinos certainly had cause to cast their minds ahead 24 hours to their big game Saturday Night. There was, however, the task at hand Friday of taking on the Regina Cougars, who had won 7 of 8 home games this season. The Dinos won the ‘trap game’ 74-66 to run their record to 13-2 heading into Brandon Saturday.

A sluggish start for both teams offensively saw the visiting Dinos take a 32-28 half time lead, then hang on with some sharp foul shooting in the closing minutes to stifle a late Regina charge. Jeff Price had 21 points for Calgary, who scored 13 less than their average, while shooting only 38% from the floor. Henry Bekkering had 20 pts. and 10 rebounds, while Robbie Sihota was the only other Dino in double figures with 11. Ross Bekkering scored only 7 pts., but scooped a big 18 rebounds to propel Calgary to a 50-42 edge on the glass. The Dinos were 22/28 (79%) from the foul line to 16/26 (62%)
for Regina, and the free throws along with some stout defense won the game in the end. Jamaal Williams was the game’s high scorer with 22 pts. for the home team, who were a mere 32% from the floor.

Ross, Tyler Fidler, and Cody Darrah were a combined 4 of 26 from the floor, and this severely limited Calgary’s offensive output … they were, quite possibly, distracted by the confrontation upcoming, but the Dinos did what they had to, and defeated the Cougars to start their weekend on the Prairies.

Brandon and Calgary are tied with the best record in Canada West at 13-2, with both teams looking to get #14 on Saturday. Game time is 7:00 MST with no broadcast available.

1/17/2008

THE Dunk Shot – HB

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 12:08 pm

20080112-basketball-rg-34_resize.jpg

1/16/2008

CALGARY DINOS Highlights – 2007/2008

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 2:15 pm

A few dunk highlights from this past season!

1/13/2008

Dinos Sweep Horns

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 3:15 pm

Jan. 12

Dinos Bag Antelopes and Control Division
By Wayne Thomas

When your point guard, all 5’11” (sorry Jeff, this was WT) of him, gets 10 boards, you know their aren’t many left for the other team. Jeff Price and his mates dominated the glass and the scoreboard as the homestanding Calgary Dinos did what they had to do in completing a sweep of the feisty, but
overmatched Lethbridge Pronghorns Saturday night with a 95-72 win punctuated by a whopping 63-33 rebounding assault.

Price wasn’t at his best, as he missed 3 free throws, which was 1 more than for the previous 13 games in Canada West play; the 3rd year floor
general from Beaverbrook and MRC did , however, record a 16 pt., 10 rebound, 6 assist double- double, and he was joined by Robbie Sihota who scored 17 to go along with 14 rebounds. Henry Bekkering hit for 23 pts. to run his weekend total to 62, and he entertained the crowd with a 9.9 dunk off a fast break. The Dinos outshot Lethbridge 44% to 38%, and capitalized on 20/33 free throws (61%) to 13/24 (54%), as neither team had an especially strong shooting night.

Ross Bekkering with 10 and Joe Schow with 11 also hit double figures for Calgary as the Dinos extended their Division leading record to 12-2, and opened up a three game spread on Alberta (9-5), who suffered an 88-81 loss at Manitoba. Saskatchewan dropped even further behind with their second loss in the Manitoba capital, this one 75-64 to the Winnipeg Wesmen.

The Pronghorns are now an abysmal 0-14, but Coach Mike Connelly has to be heartened by the effort shown by his players, even as the losses mount. Newcomer Danhue Lawrence, with 17 pts,, was one of 5 ‘Horns in double figures, and he showed the ability to lead his team in the future. Both Calgary and Lethbridge, who are travel ‘partners’ for non-Divisional road games, journey to Regina and Brandon next weekend, which is a daunting trip for most Canada West teams.

Notes …

Calgary faces Regina Cougars (7-7) on Friday, then hop a bus for the 4 hour sojourn to beautiful Brandon for a Saturday clash with the Great Plains Division leading Bobcats (12-2). The last game the Dinos played there against Brandon was an 86-71 win in the 2004 Canada West Semi-Final. Brandon lost their 2nd game of the season Saturday night in Victoria, as the Vikes prevailed 65-60 in a low scoring affair. Regina dropped their 2nd of the weekend, 78-65 to UBC in Vancouver.

Josh Lovestone was suffering from the flu this weekend and he watched from the sidelines; Ross Bekkering wasn’t 100% with his sore ankle, but still dominated the glass against the undersized Pronghorns, and delivered an impressive 1st half flush of his own on a reverse slam along the baseline.

(courtesy of Ben Matchett from godinos.com)

CALGARY – On a night when their division rivals faltered, the fourth-ranked Calgary Dinos out-rebounded the Lethbridge Pronghorns by a whopping 63-33 margin to sweep the season series with a 95-72 victory Saturday in the Jack.

Robbie Sihota’s (3rd year, Calgary) double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds led the way for the Dinos, who rebounded from a tentative first quarter to win going away.

“I thought we played hard all weekend,” said Dinos coach Dan Vanhooren, whose team moved to 12-2 with the win. “They shot a little better in the early part of the game, and the difference in the game for sure was rebounding. Sixty-three rebounds in a game is out of control.”

Vanhooren was impressed with his team’s effort against the Pronghorns (0-14), who always play the Dinos tough and will play the role of spoiler the rest of the way.

“I think the guys did a good job of focusing and getting the two wins, and not taking them too lightly,” he said. “You could quickly find yourself in a ball game against them. They took Saskatchewan to overtime earlier in the year, and they have some talented players that can score, so if you don’t play hard and don’t play tough you can find yourself on the wrong side of the score.”

Lethbridge’s early shooting produced three consecutive trays at one point in the first quarter as the Horns took a 21-18 lead out of the opening 10. As Calgary’s dominance on the glass began to establish itself in the second quarter, the Dinos quickly retook the lead and outscored the Horns 29-14 in the second quarter to lead by a dozen at the half.

Calgary opened the second half on a 10-2 run and extended the lead to 22 after three quarters. Vanhooren played his bench through most of the third quarter, and all 12 players saw at least seven minutes on the court. Point guard Jeff Price (3rd, Calgary) led the Dinos with 31 minutes, continuing his stellar play with a double-double of his own. Price finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, all on the defensive glass.

“Jeff has been playing fantastic, and you can’t ask for anything more,” said Vanhooren. “We also got a lot out of Henry (Bekkering) this weekend, and offensively he looked very strong.”

Bekkering (4th, Taber, Alta.) scored a game-high 23 points for the Dinos, bringing his weekend total to 62 after a 39-point outburst Friday night. Joseph Schow (3rd, Medicine Hat, Alta.) hit double figures with 11 points, while Ross Bekkering (3rd, Taber) hauled down nine rebounds to go with his 10 points.

The Pronghorns got offence from several players, with five hitting double digits. Danhue Lawrence (3rd, Toronto) paced Lethbridge in several statistical categories, including points (17), rebounds (9), assists (4), and minutes played (38). Shawn Nelson (3rd, Stirling, Alta.) and Sephton Spence (1st, Ajax, Ont.) scored 11 apiece, while Ryan Anderson (4th, Lethbridge) and Richard Steed (3rd, Calgary) added 10 each.

The win, coupled with losses by both Alberta and Saskatchewan on the road, moves the Dinos three games up on the Golden Bears and five on the Huskies for first place in the Central Division with eight games remaining. The regular season division winner enjoys a bye through the first round of the playoffs and hosts the division final, and the Central Division winner will host the Canada West Final Four in late February.

The Dinos and Pronghorns head out on a tough road trip next weekend to face teams in the Great Plains Division. Lethbridge will open the weekend at Brandon while Calgary visits Regina, and the teams will switch opponents the following night.

Calgary returns home Jan. 25-26 as the Fraser Valley Cascades make their inaugural appearance in the Jack, followed a night later by a visit from the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.

BOX SCORE

Dinos Cruise Past Horns Behind Henry B.’s 39 Point Outburst

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 3:09 pm

Jan.11

Teams Play It Wide Open
By Wayne Thomas

Summer League basketball is definitely an acquired taste, with the keen eye snatching glimpses of fine form in a flurry of fast and loose play. On Friday at ‘The Jack’ we were treated to a close facsimile of that style of mayhem, as the Calgary Dinos traded end to end forays with the visiting Lethbridge Pronghorns before snuffing the ‘Horns 102-72 behind the 39 pt. outburst by Henry Bekkering.

In the second half, the 24 second clock went off, and the officials had to stop the game to check the replay … surely something had gone wrong with the clock! The usual elapsed time before launch was between 10 and 15 seconds, with the action slowed only by the occasional, and often misinterpreted call from the seemingly baffled crew of zebras. Lethbridge hit a shot at the half-time buzzer to make the score 43-32 Dinos, and the fans were muttering into their popcorn about the sloppy performance.

The Dinos did rein it in somewhat in the final 20 minutes, and Henry B went on a scoring binge aided by 15 rebounds from his brother Ross, who also added 12 pts.. Realizing they had a slight height advantage over the pint sized ‘Horns, Calgary got it into the paint often enough to pull away in the 4th quarter. Jeff Price was effective again at the point with 12 pts. and 9 assists, and Brennen Fule along with Andrew Champagnie looked good at the defensive end in a mop up role.

Calgary outshot Lethbridge … 37/69 – 54%, to 29/72 – 40%, and they also controlled the rebound game with 48 to only 25 for the ‘Horns. Ryan Anderson tallied 24 points for Lethbridge, as he played well against his taller defenders. The two teams combined for 39 turnovers, some of which happened in quick succession, and Calgary went to the foul line for 22/32 – 69%, while the Pronghorns made good on 8 of 16 attempts.

Calgary moves to 11-2 in league play, while Lethbridge is now 0-13. The teams play again Saturday at 8:00pm.

(courtesy of Ben Matchett at godinos.com)

CALGARY – Henry Bekkering posted the best single-game performance by a Calgary Dino in nearly 11 years as the fourth-ranked Dinos extended their home winning streak to seven games with a 102-72 defeat of the Lethbridge Pronghorns Friday night.

Bekkering (4th year, Taber, Alta.) scored 39 points on 16-of-20 shooting – including three of four from three-point land – in 28 minutes on the floor to lead Calgary to the win. His 39 points was the highest single-game total since Navi Sekhon scored 53 on Jan. 18, 1997 against the Saskatchewan Huskies.

“I don’t think I’ll be hitting those kind of numbers,” laughed Bekkering following the contest, “but everything was going in tonight for me.”

The bulk of his scoring came in the second half, where he went 10-for-11 from the field to pour in 27 points and was a late foul shot away from hitting the 40-point threshold as the smaller Pronghorns had no answer for the Dinos’ leading scorer.

“Playing some of these smaller guys, Henry got a lot of room out there,” said Calgary coach Dan Vanhooren. “He hit some good jump shots; he was feeling it on offence and was tough defensively as well, so it was a really good night for him.”

A solo 8-0 run by Bekkering in less than a minute late in the third quarter blew the game wide open. Calgary opened the second half with an 11-point lead but was unable to expand it as Lethbridge matched them point-for-point. With the Dinos leading by nine and just over two minutes to play in the quarter, Jeff Price (3rd, Calgary) found a wide-open Bekkering at the top of the key, and his three-ball made the lead 12. Price earned one of his six steals on the night on the ensuing Lethbridge possession, leading to a Bekkering lay-up to put the Dinos ahead by 14. Lethbridge again failed to score, and Bekkering hit another straight-on three to make it a 17-point lead.

Twelve Dinos saw court time, with 11 of them recording six-plus minutes. Vanhooren praised his team’s effort against the Pronghorns, who fell to 0-13 with the loss.

“I loved our competitive energy,” he said. “We came out hard early, we played with a lot of ball pressure, and we played a team that pressured our big guys into playing perimeter defence and working hard at it. “

Ross Bekkering (3rd, Taber) recorded his ninth double-double in league play this season, scoring 12 and hauling down 15 big rebounds for the Dinos, while Price added a dozen points and nine assists to his six steals. The Dinos out-rebounded the Pronghorns 48-25 on the night.

Ryan Anderson (4th, Lethbridge) led the way for the Horns with 24 points, with Danhue Lawrence (2nd, Toronto) adding 12 and Shawn Nelson (3rd, Stirling, Alta.) 10.

The win maintained Calgary’s (11-2) two-game lead over Alberta (9-4) for top spot in the Central Division of Canada West, after Alberta narrowly defeated Winnipeg on the road to keep pace. Calgary also gained a game on the Saskatchewan Huskies, who fell 89-85 at Manitoba.

Calgary and Lethbridge do battle for the fourth and final time in 2007-08 Saturday night, with tip-off at 8 p.m. in the Jack.

BOX SCORE

1/10/2008

Bekkering Article in the Calgary Herald

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 9:32 am

rossandhen.jpg

1/9/2008

Henry Bekkering on Slam ONLINE

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 8:48 pm

Slam Magazine is the most read basketball magazine in North America. This past week, their writer, Chris O’Leary did a piece on Henry, that included his Internet videos. All of this can be found at Slam Online, or you can just check it out below.

Catching up with dunking legend Henry Bekkering

Don’t adjust your computer screen. There are videos…

By Chris O’Leary

You probably don’t know Henry Bekkering, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen him before.

When he was 18 and a senior at W.R. Myers high school in Taber, Alberta, Canada (south of Calgary), Bekkering took part in a dunk contest as part of a tournament in Vancouver. He blessed the crowd with a handful of Vince Carter-esque dunks that people still talk about today, thanks to the video footage that came from the tourney. A copy of the video recently got its one-millionth view on Youtube. It also caught the eyes of the people at Best Damn Sports Show Period. Henry explains what happened there in his own words below.

Bekkering made his way to Eastern Washington University in the fall of ’03. Limited minutes and some red-shirt seasons led to his departure from the school after the 2005-06 season, when he transferred to the University of Calgary to play ball closer to home and alongside his younger brother Ross.

After red-shirting last year (transfer rules), Bekkering is averaging 17.8 points and six rebounds per game in his first season playing with the Dinos. At the start of their season this year, Bekkering and a few of his teammates put together a new video, where Henry shows off some new dunks. He saves his best for last.

Since he’s an online legend already, I thought it’d be fun to learn more about him via another infamous online resource, the online survey. This one has a basketball slant and avoids the awkward question, “Have you ever loved someone so much it made you cry?”

Name: Henry Bekkering

Height/weight: I’m roughly 6’6, and I weigh around 240lbs. I’m called “fat ass” from time to time by my teammates.

School I’m currently attending: University of Calgary

Schools I’ve attended: Eastern Washington University

The first time I dunked was: The first time I dunked was grade 8. I was at an outdoor court and 3 girls in my school (the hot ones, there’s only 3 hot girls in Taber) walked by. I went up…. and put down the token one foot one hand slam.

My best dunk is: 360 through the legs or jumping over people windmills

My vertical leap is: 107 centimetres….or for the Americans…42 inches

Number of TV personalities I’ve tried to dunk over: 1, Brian Bosworth

Explain what happened: I went up, nailed his face with my knee, and emphatically made the dunk. Then… I ran off set in fear for my life.

At school, I’m majoring in: European History

I’m currently listening to: my brother sing a remix version of Corey Hart, I wear my sunglasses at night

My favorite place to go on vacation: Cancun

My favorite movie is: It probably has the greatest lines of any movie ever made. Even though Mel has a tarnished image… I’m still going to go with Braveheart.

My favorite food is: Sushi

NSYNC or Backstreet? NSYNC. JT’s jerry curl was looking nice back in the day and Lance wore those cute little pants all the time. Kidding…. But I would choose NSYNC.

When I’m done school I will: Play professionally somewhere or train to beat Kobayashi at the 2009 World Hot Dog Eating Championships.

Number of professional football leagues I’ve been drafted into: 1, CFL.

Explain how this happened: They contacted me, asked me if I wanted to try football. I came in for a workout and they liked what they saw. I played in high school and a little in university (he was a kicker for EWU’s football team while he red-shirted for basketball—O’Leary), so everything wasn’t new to me.

My favorite restaurant is: Sushi Tokyo on Centre and 3rd in Calgary.

The last person I called was: T-Fids (Tyler Fiddler). He’s a rookie 6’9 guard for our team this year.

The last TV show I watched was: Raptors vs. Cavs. Lebron had 39, 11, and 8.

The last movie I watched was: The Fountain starring Hugh Jackman.

Football or basketball? Basketball.

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? Flying. I don’t have a car, so flying would make my transportation problems go away.

Would you eat a bowl of live crickets for $40,000? Guaranteed. I’d do it for $5000

My favorite basketball moment so far: Winning the JCST/Saunders Insurance 3on3 tournament in Taber with my Dad when he was 50.

Pronghorn Preview

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 8:42 pm

Jan. 9

Pronghorns Looking For First Win

A favourite quote from Coach Dan Vanhooren of the Calgary Dinos says ” Don’t assume anything … assumption is the mother of all foul-ups!” ( not those words exactly, but the quote from Coach Bobby Knight wouldn’t be suitable for this family bulletin). One might be tempted to assume the Dinos should sweep away the 0-12 Lethbridge Pronghorns in the two Canada West League games this Friday and Saturday at ‘The Jack”, but Coach V will surely be impressing upon his lads the necessity to come ready to play their best each and every time the ball is thrown up.

On paper it should be a blowout, but ‘that’s why they play the games’. Calgary needs to maintain momentum and develop the killer instinct to compete at a high level in every Canada West contest regardless of the opponent, and protecting home court is paramount if they are to claim top spot in the Central Division. So who are these Pronghorns, and why are they struggling?

Lethbridge lost four starters, their 4 high scorers, and two good posts off the bench.
Even with those guys last season, the ‘Horns were 10-20 overall.
Their ‘best five’ appear to be …
Ryan Anderson, from Churchill , Calgary … an undersized, but aggressive post man
Richard Steed, from Scarlett, Calgary, veteran guard who can lead the team, improved scorer
Danhue Lawrence, new Christmas recruit from Toronto, has a big rep, can score
Quinn Van Gaalen, 1st year guard from Foremost, good shooter and hard worker
Shawn Nelson, tsf shooting guard from LCC, great outside threat
they are losing games by an average of 24 pts. per game, and losing the battle on the boards by 12 per game. They shoot at a 40% clip while opponents are 50%. The ‘Horns are even lousy free throw shooters … 57% on the year compared to 71% for their opponents.
The bottom line is that Coach Mike Connelly has his work cut out for him in trying to salvage some positives for his younger players, and keep trying to make progress towards better times for his team.

Meanwhile, the Dinos have a couple of players on the mend from weekend injuries against the Bears; Ross Bekkering has a bad ankle, but is likely to recover and see some action, while Tyler Fidler is dealing with a painful thigh bruise, which will need treatment this week. The Calgary power inside really appears to be too much for Lethbridge, and we might expect to see a little longer bench this week from the Dinos with back-ups itching for some action.

Jeff Price will battle a familiar foe in Steed, a point guard rival when Beaverbrook played Scarlett in Calgary High School games. Price is steadily establishing himself among the top floor generals in the league, but will get no quarter from Steed, who has been a thorn in the Dinos’ side in past contests. Cody Darrah snapped a shooting slump last weekend, and he should figure prominently in the two Lethbridge games, while the steady play of Josh Lovestone will surely buy him some floor time as well.

Any time the opponent is Lethbridge, it is a big game for Henry Bekkering and brother Ross (if we keep calling him ‘brother Ross’, he may feel he’s destined for the priesthood!). Henry leads the Calgary scoring parade with
18 pts. per game, while Ross the Younger is averaging a double double with 10 boards and 11.5 pts. per game. Robbie Sihota is scoring at a 14 pt. per game pace, and Price leads all free throw shooters with a stellar 93%, a full 10% higher than 2nd place Alex Steele from Alberta.

Notes …

> the Dinos rose to #4 in the CIS coaches poll this week …

Last Ranking League Record Total Votes
1. Carleton (43) #1 10-0 516 votes
2. UBC #4 10-2 430 votes
3. Acadia #2 7-1 331 votes
4. Calgary #7 10-2 317 votes
5. Concordia #3 4-2 267 votes
6. Guelph #10 7-2 259 votes
7. Ottawa #12 9-1 247 votes
8. Brandon #5 11-1 191 votes
9. Alberta #9 8-4 136 votes
10. Cape Breton NR 8-1 129 votes
11. St. Francis Xavier NR 6-2 114 votes
12. Brock #15 5-4 99 votes
13. Toronto #13 8-2 97 votes
14. Saint Mary’s #6 5-3 82 votes
15. Western NR 4-5 55 votes

How Acadia is at #3 is baffling … the Axemen lost to friggin’ Manitoba, who are a sterling 3-16 overall ! Rankings are so subjective, and bias leaks in, of course. The difficulty is the wildcard spot at Nationals, which is largely based on these season long rankings.

> UBC Edges Clan Tuesday at SFU … T-Birds rode the coattails of two bench performers, Dwayne LaBranche (26 pts. and Kyle Watson 20) to beat SFU.

> When queried about top grade 12s in Alberta this season, a veteran Alberta HS coach asked “Do you mean besides Dom?” That would be Dominyc Coward, the 6’6″ forward , who plays for Allan Gallup’s Bert Church Chargers in Airdrie, and who is clearly the #1 high school recruit this year.

1/7/2008

Dinos Earn Split with Bears – Price Leads the Way

Filed under: — Matt Skinn @ 9:36 am

jp.jpgJan. 6 2008

The Battles in Balmy Bear Country

The past weekend had us in an unusually balmy Edmonton watching the dual personality Dinos battle to a split with the Golden Bears, as each team took an opportunity to make it’s case for Central Division control, and each team had one night where they looked like they had found the answers. On Friday, Alberta caused Calgary to turn the ball over 23 times and scored easy lay-ups when their full court press was successful; the Bears also scored 10 pts. off offensive rebounds as they rolled over their visitors 87-68. In this game the outside shooting of Neb Aleksic, Scott Leigh, and Alex Steele gave the gold – clad Bears a big edge over the Dinos, who looked like they had a Christmas season rust attack .

On Saturday, Calgary spotted the Bears a 31-15 lead in the first quarter, then went into the phone booth to change into their ‘supermen’ outfits and proceeded to shellack their hosts 83-56 in the final 3 stanzas. Blistering the nets with 12/20 shooting from beyond the arc, the Dinos also attacked with Henry Bekkering (15 pts.) and Robbie Sihota (20 pts.) bruising and fouling out Justin VanLoo, and sitting a frustrated Andrew Parker down with 4 fouls and 4 points. Calgary had five players in double figures, with Cody Darrah adding 12, Tyler Fidler hitting several clutch J’s for 10, and, oh yes, Jeff Price with 24 to lead both teams, and quarterback Calgary to their eventual 98- 87 win.

Having seen most Dinos point guards over the years (since 1962 ), we could testify to the abilities of Skip Morgan, Ian MacKay, John Rhodin, John Vigna, Ian Minnifee, Tony McDougall, Richard Bohne, Whit Hornsberger, and Josh Feist ( with many others not mentioned, but respected nonetheless), but Jeff Price played a game Saturday in Edmonton which rivalled any we have seen from a Calgary 1 – man. Playing against what Bears coach Don Horwood calls “the best guard combination in Canada West” (Alex Steele-CG Morrison), and following a game where he took a lot of heat from fans from both teams Friday, Price showed the mental toughness of a competitor who is ready to face any and all comers. Shooting 9/11 from the floor with few, if any, bunnies, and the composure to break the Alberta press and penetrate for scores or scoring passes. At the other end Price had Steele handcuffed to the degree that the Bears’ scoring leader was visibly shaken in the final 5 minutes, venting his frustration at prices defensive pressure. For my money, Jeff Price has answered the question asked by many observers all season long … ‘Do the Dinos have a point guard to run the show and compliment the power up front?”

In the Winnipeg MTS Tournament he competed favourably with guys like Erfan Nasajpour, Brad Rootes, and Paulo Santana, and he will not back down as he guides his team into the final 10 league games and the playoffs. If the rest of the Dinos can give what they gave Saturday, they can rely on Jeff Price to match that effort every time out.

Notes …

> Best tan among the many ‘Golden ‘ Bears coming off their Hawaiin getaway ? … Braydon Jantzen … by several shades. Is it better preparation to go to Hawaii or Winnipeg over the holidays? Who cares? Let’s book the Islands Coach Dan, then we’ll have a much better fan following!

> Cody Darrah’s final game in the U of A gym was a good one … with his parents Doug and Joanna looking on, he struck for a dozen points, 3 steals, 4 rebounds in one of his best outings in his home town. Nice article by Chris O’Leary in Sunday’s ‘Edmonton Journal’ about Cody and his 1st year Teammate, Andrew Parker, who also is an Edmonton product.

> Ross Bekkering played a strong game Saturday despite a painfully sprained ankle suffered Friday. Bekkering is all about playing the game, and has battled through several injuries in his 3 years in Calgary. Nobody gets better family support than the Bekkering boys as father Simon and various members of the clan are at each and every contest.

> Alberta’s 5th year post man Richard Bates has worked his way into a very reliable scorer for Coach Horwood … he had 23 Saturday when he was the steadiest presence on the floor for the Bears. Also one of the truly nice guys in the league.

> Scott Leigh, in only his 2nd year, looks like he’s a capable floor leader for Alberta as he handles the ball, distributes, and hits the outside shot. Calgary has three freshmen who can play as well … Fidler is the best known, but the super-quick Andrew Champagnie and the combative Brennen Fule will also give Coach Vanhooren many fine games ahead.

> Is anybody better than Jeremy Odland at being a team leader in his 5th year despite playing limited minutes this season? J.O. enters the game and gives the team a lift at both ends of the court, and is the vocal leader on the bench. Definition of a team player.

> You know it’s a January heat wave in Edmonton when you can stroll across the High Level Bridge without a toque, mitts, or raising the hood of your fur-lined parka … Or when you see some addled fool wearing a Maple Leafs toque cruising Jasper Avenue in his BMW sports car with the top down !

> Calgary welcomes the Lethbridge Pronghorns to ‘The Jack’ this coming weekend.

Jan. 5 2008

In a complete reversal of Friday’s game, the Dinos shocked the Golden Bears with a come from behind 98 – 87 win to take the season series 3:1. Alberta started fast and took a 31 – 15 lead, but the Dinos turned the tables in the second quarter outscoring the Bears
30 – 12.

Jeff Price was the driving force behind the Dinos win scoring 24 points on 9 of 11 shooting, and shutting down the Bears’ top scorer Alex Steele (12 points). Robbie Sihota had 20 points and 6 rebounds. Henry Bekkering added 15 points and Cody Darrah played a solid game notching 12 points.

Calgary maintains a hold on first place and hosts Lethbridge next weekend.

BOX SCORE

Jan. 4 2008

Inept offense marred by 23 turnovers gave the Golden Bears all the opportunity to run up the score on the hapless Dinos who were down 39 – 26 at the half. The Dinos offense showed no consistency and they turned the ball over several times against a full court press. Calgary was in foul trouble for most of the game as Jeff Price and Henry Bekkering sat out much of the first half.

Alberta was led by Alex Steele with 21 points. The Bears hit 9 of 23 three pointers. Rebounding was even at 37 – 36 for Calgary.

Robbie Sihota was high scorer for the Dinos with 17 and Henry Bekkering had 13. Ross Bekkering led both teams with 17 rebounds.

The loss drops Calgary to 9 -2 in league play with Alberta now at 8 – 3.


BOX SCORE

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