Eagles move closer to playoffs

Chris Arcangel of the Kwantlen Eagles collides with Clayton Billett of the Vancouver Island University Mariners during a PACWEST basketball game at Kwantlen Polytechnic University on Saturday. The Mariners won 90-68.  - BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER
Chris Arcangel of the Kwantlen Eagles collides with Clayton Billett of the Vancouver Island University Mariners during a PACWEST basketball game at Kwantlen Polytechnic University on Saturday. The Mariners won 90-68.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

The Kwantlen Eagles have put a little more distance between themselves and seventh place, moving a game closer to clinching a berth in the PACWEST women’s basketball playoffs.

The Eagles defeated the Camosun Chargers of Victoria Friday night, but lost Saturday afternoon to the Vancouver Island Mariners. Both games were at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Now at 8-7 on the season with six games to play, the Eagles are in fifth place in the eight-team league. Six teams will advance to the playoffs, and Kwantlen is four games in front of the 4-11 Langara Falcons, who are in the seventh position.

Friday’s win over a 6-9 Chargers team was the result of a second-half comeback which erased a 38-19 Camosun lead. The Eagles outscored their opponent 34-10 in the second half for a 53-48 victory.

Centre Samantha McPhail led the Eagles with 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while first-year forward Amber Kavanagh added 12 points and eight rebounds. Also scoring in double digits was Jessica Villadiego with 11 points.

“In the first half, we struggled both offensively and defensively,” said Eagles head coach Dan Nayebzadeh. “In the second half, we came out with a lot of energy, played full court defense and just continued to eat away at their lead.

“I’m really proud of the girls in the way that they fought through adversity of being down big and clawing back for the win.”

Playing for a share of third place with the Mariners Saturday afternoon, Kwantlen had an edge in most statistical categories except the score, which was 71-61 in Vancouver Island University’s favour.

Jeannine Yngresso netted 14 points to lead Kwantlen scorers, with Christina Brown adding 11 and Kavanagh scoring 10 and grabbing 13 rebounds.

The men’s team lost twice to the Vancouver Island teams, and have fallen to last place in the PACWEST standings with a 4-11 record.

Camosun outscored the home team by 16 point in the third quarter, which was the difference in a 90-76 victory.

Ali Bosir provided almost half of the Eagles points total, netting 32 while collecting 16 rebounds.  Nii Engmann scored 14 points and had five steals, while Tristan Gruenthaler scored 10 points and had six rebounds.

The Mariners, in second place with a 12-3 record, handled the Eagles 90-68 Saturday afternoon.

Bosir again led the Eagles attack, scoring 19 points and recording 18 rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Second-year guard Aaron Ram trailed had 18 points and seven assists, while Chris Arcangel contributed 12 points and four rebounds.

“We did not put an entire game of offense together this weekend,” said head coach Stefon Wilson. “Our third and fourth quarters of both games displayed a lack of offense.”

Both Eagles teams will play twice at home again next weekend. They will host the Capilano Blues Friday, and the Quest Kermodes on Saturday. The women play at 6 p.m. both nights, with the men tipping off at 8 p.m.

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