Kwantlen squads lose ground

Almost everything fell into place for the Kwantlen Eagles last weekend.

The B.C. Colleges Athletic Association men’s basketball team, hoping to get back into the race for one of six playoff berths, had a chance to pull to within a game of sixth place Saturday night. Three rivals chasing that final spot all went winless on the weekend.

But Kwantlen also failed to get a win from two contests played at the Surrey campus, squandering their best opportunity to extend their season beyond their final league game.

The Eagles led by five points after one quarter, but allowed the Capilano Blues to go on a 22-4 run in the second period on their way to a 92-85 win.

“We were going well until (six-foot-eight forward) Andy (Kaila) picked up his second foul with five minutes left in the first quarter,” said Eagles head coach Bernie Love.

“Then we had a poor stretch in the second quarter. We only played 32 minutes, we’re still looking to play a full 40-minute game.”

Kwantlen, which entered the weekend just a game back of the Blues, fell behind by as many as 11 points in the third quarter before netting 13 straight to pull to within one early in the final frame. The Blues broke a 68-68 tie with roughly 10 minutes to play, and traded buckets with the home team until stretching the advantage to nine points in the final minute.

“I feel for these guys,” said Love of his team, which has five first-year players on a roster of eight. “We play well, but can’t get the breaks. We did what we had to do, but just couldn’t make the shots.

“We were right with them, but couldn’t get the shot when we needed it.”

Nick Lafleur was the top Kwantlen scorer, netting 28 points. Third-year player and North Delta high school graduate Jay Hoare added 18 points, 14 of which came in the second half.

The Eagles weren’t expecting a win in Friday’s home game against the Douglas College Royals, an unbeaten squad currently ranked number one in the country.

But the Eagles built a 12-point lead early in the second quarter, saw it cut to seven by half time, then watched as the Royals put together a 20-4 run to start the second half on their way to a 76-59 victory.

“We didn’t play fantastic but we worked hard and stayed with them,” said Love.

“But they’re so big and so deep. They just wear you down.”

Lafleur was again the dominant scorer for the Eagles, netting 29 points. Kaila was the only other Eagles in double figures, contributing 10 points.

“Andy had a strong game, and stayed out of foul trouble,” said Love, who praised his team’s rebounding. “We actually had one more offensive rebound than Douglas, they would get the one shot and that was it.”

FREE THROWS: The playoff hopes of Kwantlen’s women’s team also took two blows at their home court last weekend. The Eagles lost 58-52 in overtime Friday to Douglas College, then fell 72-56 to the Capilano Blues Saturday.

Two Surrey natives, Taminder Dhaliwal and Koral Fraser, each scored 13 points to lead Kwantlen Friday against Douglas.

Fraser with 15 points and Chantelle Doerksen with 12 were high scorers Saturday against the Blues.

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