Cascades back in action as Canada West play resumes

The University of the Fraser Valley basketball teams brave the Manitoba cold in weekend CIS play.

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s and women’s basketball teams return to regular season action this weekend, opening 2014 with a Manitoba road trip.

The Cascade women (7-3) are obvious favourites as they visit the University of Winnipeg Wesmen (4-6) and University of Manitoba Bisons (3-7). This despite winning just one of their last four regular season games. Friday’s game against the Wesmen pits the UFV against an aggressive zone-defence team led by sharp-shooting second-year guard Megan Noonan. Noonan averages 15.6 points per game, while teammate Stephanie Kleyson averages 14.6.

Saturday’s game against the Bisons features another top gun. Cascades coach Al Tuchscherer calls third-year guard Robin Eyer ‘perhaps the best shooter in the Canada West.’ The long-range bomber is 23 of 56 from beyond the three-point arc this season.

Chilliwack’s Sarah Wierks leads the Cascades in scoring, averaging 12.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Another Chilliwackian, Kayli Sartori, averages 10.2 ppg, with Nicole Wierks at 9.2 ppg.

The UFV men face the same opponents, looking to push beyond their 5-5 mark.

Friday’s opponent, the Wesmen (6-4), limped into the Christmas break with four straight losses. Fifth-year forward Steven Wesley has been something of a one-man show. His 191 points through the first 10 games is more than any other two Wesmen combined. Andrew Cunningham is more about the assists, dishing out 68 so far.

Saturday’s clash with the Bisons (1-9) pits UFV against a team that’s lost eight straight since early November. The Bisons may get a boost if star point guard Stephan Walton makes his way back from injury. A second-team Canada West all-star in 2012-13, his return would make the Bisons far more dangerous.

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