Kwantlen men chasing a playoff berth

Samantha McPhail of the Kwantlen Eagles scored 22 points against the Capilano Blues. - BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER
Samantha McPhail of the Kwantlen Eagles scored 22 points against the Capilano Blues.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

They doubled their season’s win total in one weekend, and now the Kwantlen Eagles are just one game out of the PacWest men’s basketball playoff position.

The Eagles defeated the winless Quest Kermodes 82-76 Friday, then upset the Capilano Blues 71-69 Saturday night. Both games were at the Surrey campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Kwantlen improved to 4-8 (won-lost) on the season, trailing the sixth-place Douglas College Royals (5-6) and fifth-place Capilano (6-5).

“This weekend was very important for us,” said Eagles head coach Stefon Wilson. “We knew that we would have two hard battles, and I am very proud of my players for stepping up to the challenge. We played with a lot of energy on defense and made some big shots on offense.”

Kwantlen hosts Douglas tomorrow (Friday) in Surrey then will visit the 1-10 Columbia Bible College Bearcats Saturday in Abbotsford.

Ali Bosir, a third-year Eagles centre from Princess Margaret Secondary, was the top scorer against the Kermodes with 19 points. He also collected six rebounds. Seaquam Secondary graduates Varinder Singh and Aaron Ram contributed 18 and 12 points respectively. Second-year guard Mark Mitchell of Toronto added 11 points.

Kwantlen for much of the game Saturday against Capilano, and went on to sweep a two-game weekend for the first time this season.

Rookie point guard Chris Arcangel of Toronto fouled out late in the game, but still managed to tie Ram as the top scorer with 18 points.

Tristan Gruenthaler, a six-foot-six forward from Abbotsford, led the team with eight rebounds and also added seven assists.

Kwantlen’s women’s team had a chance to move up the PacWest standings, lost twice while the three teams immediately ahead of them all won a pair of contests. The Eagles (4-8) have a one-game lead over the 3-7 Langara Falcons in the race for the final playoff position.

Quest blew open a close game in the fourth quarter Friday, building a seven-point lead after three-quarters into a 76-55 victory. Kwantlen lost a close game to a 9-2 Capilano team Saturday, falling 76-68.

Despite the loss, the Eagles coaching staff saw some positives.

“This was the best forty minutes we have played as a team, said assistant coach Emily Wright. “We made strides offensively and executed down the stretch.”

Samantha McPhahil led Kwantlen against Capilano with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Holy CRoss high school graduate Jessica Villadiego had nine rebounds.

The women’s team will also host the Royals Friday (at 6 p.m.) then visit Columbia Bible College Saturday. Douglas has one victory while the Bearcats are winless in 11 games.

“We are focused on the next game against Douglas, which is a big game for us to clinch a play-off spot,” said Wright.

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