UFV men salvage split

The young University of the Fraser Valley men's basketball team took one of two games from the Mount Royal Cougars last weekend.

The weekend was a valuable learning experience for the youthful Cascades men’s squad, who showed vast improvement in crunch time from one night to the next.

On Friday, UFV led Mount Royal by four points with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter, but struggled mightily down the stretch en route to a 62-60 defeat.

On Saturday, the Cascades built a 13-point lead in the third quarter, only to watch their two best players – guard Kevon Parchment and centre Jasper Moedt – pick up their fourth personal fouls in quick succession. That paved the way for the Cougars to rally, and they knotted the score 60-60 with 7:45 left in regulation after Awet Abraha swished a three-pointer.

This time, UFV responded with a 15-2 run, capped by Parchment’s highlight-reel dunk on the fast break which electrified the home crowd, and won 79-66.

“Our response was energetic,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen analyzed. “We didn’t get down, we didn’t hang our heads. On Friday, maybe we didn’t know how to respond that well. We kind of learned from yesterday and did a better job.”

Parchment (29 points in 11-for-20 shooting) and Kadeem Willis (21 points, 15 rebounds) came up huge on Saturday for UFV, who were missing standout guard Klaus Figueredo both nights due to an ankle injury. He’s expected back for the Alberta-Saskatchewan road swing.

Losing both games at home vs. Mount Royal would have been a blow to UFV’s playoff hopes, even at this early stage of the season, but they were able to even their record at 3-3.

“We basically had to win this game, really, and the guys understood that,” said Friesen, who got solid performances from the likes of Kevin Ford and Gurminder Kang in Figueredo’s absence.

“We definitely became a deeper team this weekend . . . Gurminder stepped up huge.”