Sports

Winless on the Island

Carolyn Wood of the Malaspina Mariners drives around Hillary McMann of the Kwantlen Eagles during Saturday’s BCCAA women’s basketball game Saturday in Nanaimo. The Mariners won 66-43. - Toby Gorman / black press
Carolyn Wood of the Malaspina Mariners drives around Hillary McMann of the Kwantlen Eagles during Saturday’s BCCAA women’s basketball game Saturday in Nanaimo. The Mariners won 66-43.
— image credit: Toby Gorman / black press

Making the playoffs was a longshot at best.

But even the slim hope the Kwantlen Eagles had of finishing in the top two-thirds of the standings were dashed on the weekend.

The men’s basketball team lost both games on a trip to Vancouver Island, and had their B.C. Colleges Athletic Association (BCCAA) record fall to 2-11 (won-lost).

Kwantlen fell 89-65 to the Camosun Chargers Friday night in Victoria, then lost 71-44 to the Malaspina Mariners in Nanaimo Saturday afternoon. Two games out of the final playoff position with three games to play – and with the two teams tied for sixth still to play each other – Kwantlen’s deficiencies were too much to overcome.

“We don’t have a post game,” said head coach Bernie Love, who has a roster of just eight players – five in their first season of BCCAA competition. “We have to shoot from outside, and if we hit shots, we have a chance to win.

“But nothing was going in on the weekend.”

Nick Lafleur was the top offensive threat for the Eagles on the weekend, as the first-year guard scored 15 points in each game. Friday in Victoria, Andy Kaila was the top scorer with 17 points, followed by Bright Gbarazia with 16.

“The guys are playing hard, and defensively we were fine,” said Love. “We held Malaspina to 71 points, and that’s pretty good. We battled, but the ball would not go down.”

The won-lost record isn’t discouraging the coaching staff at Kwantlen, which is looking ahead to next season when some new recruits can bring the roster to the full allotment of 12, and the current group of rookies will have a year of experience playing college basketball.

“We’ll be fine, we’re getting a lot of interest from good basketball players,” said Love, who had two players declared academically-ineligible over the Christmas break. “We just have to see how they are academically, we don’t want to lose any more players midseason.”

Kwantlen’s women’s team was also swept on Vancouver Island, as they were beaten 73-49 by Camosun, and 66-43 by the Mariners.

sports@surreyleader.com

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