Morning Star Staff
They were not the prettiest of victories, but the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack are unbeaten after their opening weekend of the Canada West men’s basketball season.
The WolfPack swept the visiting UNBC Timberwolves of Prince George, finishing with an 85-81 decision Saturday. The Pack outlasted the T-Wolves 84-80 in Friday’s season opener at the Tournament Capital Centre.
“I think defensively we got lucky,” said WolfPack head coach Scott Clark. “You shoot 58 per cent in the second half and you get away with a win. We were very fortunate.”
The Timberwolves were up by one (26-25) after the opening quarter, but the ‘Pack outscored UNBC 24-16 in the second to hold a 49-42 lead at the half. UNBC came out strong in the third quarter and outgunned TRU 28-16.
Tallon Milne (5th year, forward, Vanderhoof) led the Pack with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Josh Wolfram (4th year, forward, Kamloops) had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Fulton grad Brett Rouault, a fifth-year guard, chipped in with a dozen points.
The WolfPack visit the MacEwan Griffins this weekend in Edmonton.
Meanwhile, the UBC Okanagan Heat fell 81-73 to the Fraser Valley Cascades Saturday in Kelowna.
The Heat hung tough through three quarters until a run in the final period saw the Cascades pull out the win.
“I think they were really aggressive defensively to start the game, and that took us out of our offensive rhythm,” said Heat coach Pete Guarasci. “But then our guys found a way to execute to keep the game in reach.”
The Heat trailed by four points at the end of the third. A pair of free-throws from five-year UFV veteran Jasper Moedt (Abbotsford) gave the visitors a 13-point lead with 2:42 to go.
“I think in the end we had a lot of good looks around the rim, but we didn’t finish a lot of shots that we should have finished,” said Guarasci. “We just left a lot of points off the board and couldn’t come up with back-to-back stops defensively to get us over the hump.”
Second-year Heat forward David Manshreck (North Vancouver) supplied a game-high 24 points and added 11 rebounds. He rattled off five big three-pointers at crucial junctions in the second half to keep the Heat in contention.
Mitch Goodwin, formerly of the Pleasant Valley Saints, added 12 points and three rebounds for UBCO.
The 0-2 Heat are in Calgary this weekend to battle the Mount Royal Cougars.