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TWU basketball: Spartans off to final four
Prior to his team's best-of-three playoff series, Trinity Western Spartans head coach Scott Allen cautioned that for his team to win, they would need to force their opponent to play within the three-point line.
After all, the Fraser Valley Cascades both made and attempted the most three-point shots in all of Canada this past season.
And true to form, the Cascades came out gunning when the Canada West men's basketball series began on Thursday at the Langley Events Centre, scoring the game's final 16 points to steal game one 81-80.
The Cascades were deadly from beyond the arc all series long, sinking nearly 40 per cent (44-for-111) of their three-point shots over the three games.
But in the end, the size and inside domination of the Spartans proved too much as the fourth-ranked team in the country, staved off the upset, winning 86-69 on Friday and then 89-75 in Saturday's third and deciding game.
Trinity Western led by just one at halftime before outscoring their rivals 55-42 to win by 14.
As was the case all series long, Jacob Doerksen was too much to handle for the Cascades, as he scored 32 points and pulled down 18 rebounds in game three. By comparison, the Cascades as a team managed just 22 rebounds.
He finished the series averaging 29 points and 11 rebounds.
Calvin Westbrook also had a big game three, striking for 16 points, after getting a combined 17 points in the first two games.
Tyrell Mara (nine points, 11 rebounds), Kyle Coston (13 points and eight rebounds) and Tristan Smith (10 points, six assists, five rebounds) all also had big games.
And it was that depth that helped the team.
"I think there's so much experience ... (and) Fraser Valley is a little bit younger and I think in the end that pushed us through and gave us the extra fight at the end."
The Spartans advance to this weekend's Canada West final four championships at UBC.
Trinity Western will play the Saskatchewan Huskies, ranked third nationally and the defending champions, on Friday in one semifinal.
The other semifinal pits UBC, ranked second, against Alberta.
The top two advance to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships at Ottawa's Carleton University. A third team from Canada West could potentially also advance as there is one wild-card spot available.