Learning curve? What learning curve?
Chilliwack’s Julia Tuchscherer got her first taste of Canada West women’s basketball action last weekend, but you wouldn’t have known she was a raw rookie.
In a 71-67 win over the UBC-Okanagan Heat Friday night (Oct. 29) at Abbotsford’s Envision Athletic Centre, the 17-year-old had 10 points and calmly drained a pair of last-minute free throws to seal the win.
She also had eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
The GW Graham grad went next-level the next night, potting 25 points to lead her University of the Fraser Valley Cascades to a 73-48 home-court win over the University of Northern BC Timberwolves.
The teenager added 18 rebounds, four blocks and three assists.
“I know that Julia can play at this level,” said Al Tuchscherer, who should know – he’s the Cascades’ head coach, and Julia’s dad. “She’s got good hands and a good sense of the game, and tonight that showed. We think she can be a double-double person quite frequently.”
Julia was supposed to still be in high school this year, due to graduate in June of 2022. But she was able to work ahead academically and graduate a year early.
“I’m sure there were people wondering if that was the right decision for her, or if she should have stayed in high school for another year,” Al Tuchscherer said. “But every family makes those decisions on their own, and we know Julia as good as anybody. She was comfortable with the decision and we supported it 100 per cent. I feel like it was the right decision.”
Julia’s older sister Deanna had 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals in the win over the Heat, and seven points and three rebounds against the T-Wolves.
UFV is on the road this weekend for games Friday and Saturday (Nov. 5 and 6) against the UBC Thunderbirds. UFV’s rivals are 0-2 so far with losses to Trinity Western (72-68) and Victoria (74-72).
UFV’s men’s basketball team matched the women with a pair of weekend wins.
The Cascades blew out the UBC-Okanagan Heat by an 85-63 count Friday night at Abbotsford’s Envision Athletic Centre. Fourth-year guard Vic Toor racked up a game-high 24 points along with nine rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Joe Enevoldson got the W in his first game as UFV’s head coach.
“It was more about the guys, in all fairness,” he said. “I’ve coached in a lot of basketball games, and some are more exciting than others. I’ve won some of those, I’ve lost some of those, so I didn’t get too worked up about that. It was just nice to kind of get out and coach basketball, and it was great for our guys to get out and play in a meaningful game and truly get better.”
Saturday night’s home against against the Timberwolves was much tighter, but UFV prevailed 95-93 in an overtime thriller. Dylan Kinley got UFV to OT, hitting a three-pointer with just one second on the clock.
Kinley’s clutch buzzer-beater was reminiscent of his teammate Jordyn Sekhon’s triple to send a playoff game versus the Winnipeg Wesmen to extra time on Feb. 14, 2020 – the last time there’d been meaningful Canada West basketball at the UFV Athletic Centre prior to this weekend.
“You’ve got to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good, and Dylan is both of those sometimes,” Enevoldson said with a chuckle. “Dylan can shoot the ball a little bit. He got some space, and he’s a very confident young man. I think that showed in the key, pivotal moment.”
UFV’s men are also in Vancouver this weekend for road games Friday and Saturday at UBC.