Eagles Men’s Basketball Remain Positive Despite No Post Season

Sun, Feb 17, 2013

(Metro Vancouver) - The Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) men’s basketball team had everything to gain this past weekend when they boarded the ferry to Vancouver Island on Friday, February 15. With two games left remaining against the 5th ranked Camosun Chargers (7W-12L) on Friday, February 15 and 2nd ranked Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners (14W-5L) on Saturday, February 16. The Eagles faced a must-win situation for both games, for the chance to return to the Island again on February 28 for the 2012-13 PACWEST Basketball Championships. 

On Friday night against the Chargers, the pressure to win brought a heightened sense of intensity from the Eagles, but they were unable to match the Chargers offense, and trailed by 10 points (34-48) at half time. Heading into the 3rd quarter, the Eagles picked up momentum with their defense allowing the Chargers to score six points, and completing the quarter with a 2 point lead (56-54). The 4th quarter was a battle of defense between both teams, with multiple lead changes. During the fourth the Eagles missed some key baskets and started to see their provincial hopes fade as the Chargers clawed back down a point. A game-changing basket by Ali Bosir (Surrey) with 2 minutes remaining brought flight back into the Eagles game to go up three, 67-64. At the end of the fourth the game was tied 69-69 sending it into extra time. After trading buckets, the Eagles offense took charge and won OT by doubling the Chargers’ points 14-7, for a final score of 83-76.  

Second-year guard Aaron Ram (Surrey) led the Eagles in points, collecting 27 points and 4 rebounds. Ram was closely followed by second-year guard Jagbir Takhar (Surrey), with 21 points and 5 rebounds and fourth-year centre Ali Bosir (Surrey) who added 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Eagles win. Second-year forward Tristan Gruenthaler (Abbotsford) also posted 13 points and 9 rebounds. 

On Saturday afternoon, the Eagles faced a tough, physical defense and explosive offense from the 2ndplaced Mariners. With their second must-win game on the line, the Eagles battled hard to try and penetrate the Mariners defense, but the strict defense as no match for the tied Eagles offense. At half-time, the Mariners led 27-51 and they [Mariners] continued their offensive surge to put an additional 52 points on the boards in the second half. The final score was 68-103 for the Mariners, which put an end to the Eagles’ hopes of a post-season. 

Second-year guard Aaron Ram (Surrey) led the Eagles in points, collecting 18 points and 2 rebounds. Fourth-year centre Ali Bosir (Surrey) added 13 points and 9 rebounds and Jagbir Takhar (Surrey) posted 11 points and 1 rebound to the Eagles total.

“I really liked the focus we had going on the island trip”, commented head coach, Stefon Wilson. “We knew we had to win both games to receive a playoff berth. We had a good team win on Friday night, but we ran up against a really good team in VIU on Saturday.”

With only six teams advancing to the post-season, the Eagles’ 7th place finish (7W-14L) with 14 points accumulated, was not enough for them to advance. However, according to Wilson, he’s already got his sights set on next year. “I am excited for this off-season to train and come back stronger next season”, said Wilson.