Eagles in the playoffs
Making the playoffs is no longer a concern for the Kwantlen Eagles.
The PACWEST women’s basketball team is looking to move up in the standings before the provincial championship tournament later this month in Victoria, after a win last weekend clinched a postseason position.
After a 69-63 loss to the first-place Capilano Blues Friday night, the Eagles topped the Quest Kermodes 83-79 Saturday, moving four games clear of the seventh place Langara Falcons with four games to play.
Six teams will advance to the provincial tournament.
Hitting 10 three-point shots while shooting 71 per cent from the free-throw line, Kwantlen held a slight edge on the Kermodes throughout Saturday’s game, getting the win that clinched a top six finish.
Christina Brown, a second-year guard from Langley, was six-for-eight in three-point shooting to finish the game with 20 points.
Haeley Williams added another 16 points to go with four assists, while Surrey’s Jessica Villadiego netted 12 points, grabbed five rebounds, and had five assists and four steals. Samantha McPhail scored 13 points and eight rebounds.
Against the Blues on Friday, a sluggish start had Kwantlen fighting a 16-point deficit from which they didn’t recover.
McPhail led the home team with 14 points while adding a game-high 15 rebounds. Jeannine Yngresso contributed 10 points and three steals.
“We didn’t come out with any energy and fell behind too far,” said head coach Dan Nayebzadeh. “We lost the first quarter (27-11), but then won the last three quarters. We need to start the game with more energy and be smarter from the start.”
Now at 9-8 (won-loss), the Eagles are in fifth position, just two games out of second place.
The men’s team also split last weekend’s games at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and although last in the eight-team PACWEST league, is just a game out of a playoff position with a 5-12 record.
The Eagles pulled away in the second quarter of Friday’s game, and paced by three Surrey residents, topped the Capilano Blues 104-95.
Aaron Ram, a second-year guard from Seaquam Secondary, led all scorers with 34 points while also grabbing nine rebounds. Prince Margaret graduate Ali Bosir dominate the boards with 22 rebounds, also scoring 23 points and adding nine assists.
Nii Engmann, from Regent Christian high school, added 22 points and five rebounds.
Despite a lead of 11 at half-time and a nine-point edge at three-quarter time, the Eagles couldn’t complete the sweep of home games. The Quest Kermodes outscored Kwantlen 38-14 in the final 10 minutes to steal a 102-87 victory.
Bosir paced the Eagles with 31 points while collecting another 15 rebounds. Engmann scored 17 points to go with six assists, four rebounds and four steals. Jag Takhar, from Guildford Park Secondary, scored 16 points.
“Out of eight quarters this weekend, we played very well in seven of them,” said head coach Stefon Wilson. “The intensity and effort was very good this weekend. I was happy to see my guys get a win on Friday. Two more weekends left and we will continue to play hard all the way to the finish.”
Both teams will play their final two home games next weekend, hosting the Langara Falcons Friday and the Douglas Royals on Saturday. The women tip-off at 6 p.m. both nights, with the men following at 8 p.m.