Cascade career comes to a close

Sarah Wierks played her last basketball game for the University of the Fraser Valley last weekend, a playoff loss to the Regina Cougars.

Chilliwack’s Sarah Wierks is officially retired from CIS sports after playing her last game with the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team.

Wierks and company lost 80-65 to the Regina Cougars Saturday night at Abbotsford’s Envision Athletic Centre.

Regina completed a sweep of a best-of-three opening round playoff series.

The Cascades trailed for much of the evening, but never quit battling. They drew to within 56-52 early in the fourth quarter after Nataliia Gavryliuk scored on a drop-step in the post and Shayna Litman nailed a baseline jumper on consecutive possessions.

But the Cougars, coming off a 74-56 victory in Friday’s Game 1, responded with a 9-0 run highlighted by a three-pointer and a layup by Katie Polischuk to reclaim control.

Regina moves on to face the top-seeded UBC Thunderbirds in a quarter-final series that tips off Feb. 27 in Vancouver, while UFV’s 2014-15 campaign is done.

“I was really pleased with the fight the girls had tonight,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said afterward. “I said that to them after the game – you battle like that and you fight like that, it might not be the result you want, but you can leave somewhat satisfied.

Cascades third-year forward Katie Brink poured in a game-high 24 points, while Celeste Dyck and Shayna Litman notched 11 points apiece.

Tuchscherer called the 2014-15 edition of his squad “really enjoyable to work with.”

“In a lot of ways, they had some tough shoes to fill from last year’s (CIS bronze medal-winning) squad, coming in here and trying to carve out their own identity,” he said. “I thought they did a great job.”