Slow start at Kwantlen

Brighton Gbarazia makes his way past a Quest University defender during play at the Kwantlen Winter Tournament Thursday. Kwantlen won the game 74-64. - COLLEEN FLANAGAN / THE LEADER
Brighton Gbarazia makes his way past a Quest University defender during play at the Kwantlen Winter Tournament Thursday. Kwantlen won the game 74-64.

Presented with a pair of opportunities to measure themselves against the two teams they are chasing for a playoff berth, the Kwantlen Eagles were at their best – and worst – last week.

Competing in the annual Winter Tournament at the Surrey campus of Kwantlen University College, the women’s basketball team was ripped 79-57 by the Langara Falcons Wednesday night, before coming back for a 72-63 win over the Capilano Blues 24 hours later.

Both Langara and Capilano are 3-3 (won-lost) in the B.C. Colleges Athletic Association, two games ahead of Kwantlen. The Eagles will have to overtake one of their two Lower Mainland rivals to secure a playoff position.

“They embarrassed themselves (Wednesday),” said head coach Kevin Van Buskirk of the 22-point loss to the Falcons, which came six weeks after a 71-67 Eagles win over Langara in league play.

Melissa Adrian with 13 points and Chantelle Doerksen with 11 were the only Kwantlen scorers in double digits.

“The players were challenged after Wednesday’s game,” said Van Buskirk. “And I was happy with the way they responded.”

A day later, Adrian – named a tournament all-star – hit six treys for Kwantlen against Capilano, and finished the game with 19 points. Caitlyn Munn added 11 and Doerksen scored 10.

Kwantlen played twice on the weekend to finish the tournament with a 1-3 record. Lord Tweedsmuir graduate Koral Fraser netted 12 points and Doerksen added 11 in a 60-51 loss to the Malaspina Mariners on Friday night.

The Eagles closed out the tournament with a 83-56 loss to the Concordia Thunder of Edmonton on Saturday, a game in which Kwantlen played well despite the score.

“If there’s a better team in Canada, I’d like to see them,” said Van Buskirk of the team which won the tournament with a 3-0 record. “They were the class of the tournament.

“After Wednesday’s debacle, I thought we played excellent Thursday, Friday and Saturday, we played as well as we can play.”

The Eagles will look to make up ground on Capilano and Langara this weekend, as they will host the 1-5 Douglas College Royals Friday night, and the Blues Saturday. Both games are at 8 p.m.

- The Kwantlen Eagles won one of three games in the seven-team men’s competition.

Trailing by one after three quarters Thursday against Quest University of Sechelt, the Eagles scored 24 points in the fourth period for a 74-64 victory.

Seaquam Secondary School graduate Jermain Adeyinka led the way with 19 points, with Surrey natives Andy Kaila and Brenden Graham each scoring 15.

The Eagles rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the Lethbridge Kodiaks 71-71, before losing Friday’s game 85-79. Kaila and Brighton Gbarazia paced Kwantlen with 18 points each, with Nick Lafleur adding 16.

Held to just six points in the second quarter Saturday, Kwantlen fell 76-55 to the Concordia Thunder.

Lafleur with 15 points, Adeyinka with 12, and Jay Hoare with 10 were the top Eagles scorers.

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