Sunday, 24 February 2008

Canada West: Calgary to host CW Final Four next weekend

Two of the four spots at next weekend's Canada West Final Four have been set as the Central Division champion Calgary Dinos, behind 31 points and 11 rebounds from Henry Bekkering, hammered Alberta 90-66 before 2,804 fans in Calgary to sweep their two game series and gain the right to host the Final Four tournament next weekend. The Dinos almost certainly will enter the tournament as the #1 seed. Meanwhile in Vancouver, the UBC Thunderbirds captured their second consecutive Pacific Division championship finishing off the Victoria Vikes 86-77 to sweep their series. The third and fourth spots at the Final Four will be determined later today as the Brandon Bobcats forced a third and deciding game in their Great Plains division final by thrashing Regina 105-70. Speculating on the probable wild card implications, a Brandon win will likely give the wild card to Alberta while a Cougars win this afternoon and the Bobcats will likely take the wild card. Final selections and seedings should be announced by Monday morning at the latest.

Rita Mingo from the Calgary Herald provides her game report on Calgary's win Dinos maul Bears to claim crown

Dan Stinson from the Vancouver Sun provides his article UBC advances to Canada West Final Four plus Ron Rauch's piece in the Victoria Times-Colonist T-Birds sweep Vikes Marc Weber's piece in the Vancouver Province Kool, Dyck lead UBC over Vikes

Jeremy Sawatsky's report on last night's Brandon blowout win Bobcats topple Cougars to force game three

A little tardy with this link however here is a piece in the Regina Leader-Post on the Cougars game one win at Brandon Gareau lifts Cougars over Bobcats PLUS the Scrum's thoughts on game one

Wayne Thomas article on Calgary's game two win over Alberta The directions were clear for the Alberta Golden Bears; no Dino, especially none named Bekkering, was to get to the hoop unharmed, and the desperate Bruins responded with a very physical defense with little subtlety in it's execution. The strategy was effective for the better part of the first half, but the Dinos, sparked by perfect 10/10 foul shooting from the oft abused Ross Bekkering, left with a 45-34 lead at the break.

From there, Henry Bekkering made the second half his territory for the second night running, and the score line read 31 pts. and 11 rebounds, highlighted by a pair of three point drives where he blew by, muscled past, and bowled over Bears defenders. Ross finished with 17 points and 12 boards, and Robbie Sihota had 17 with 8 rebounds. Jeff Price picked up 2 fouls in the middle of the 2nd quarter and sat until the 2nd half, but managed 7 assists, and did a solid defensive job on the Bears' guard Alex Steele, who was held to 12 points on 5/15 shooting.

CG Morrison was the Alberta high scorer with 21, but the Bears were limited to 36% from the floor, and well below their season's scoring average of 81.5 points. The Semi - Final three game series against Saskatchewan last weekend likely took a little more out of them, but they were also up against a team that had too much fire power and physical strength to wilt under the challenge.

Calgary now advances to the Canada West Final Four Tournament, which the Dinos will host at the Jack Simpson Gym next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 29 and March 1. Alberta must await the outcome of the Brandon - Regina Great Plains Final, which goes to a 3rd game Sunday. The Bears have a good shot at the Canada West Wildcard spot , but only if Brandon wins that deciding game.

Notes ...

The crowd was even bigger tonight at 'The Jack', with a full house of about 2600 enthusiastically cheering the teams. many Alberta fans were evident, and the atmosphere in the gym was a huge step up from the regular season.
Does anyone know where our pep band has gone? the Stampede Showband/Dinos Pep Band was missed this weekend, and we hope they can return for the Final Four.
Big win for Coach Dan Vanhooren over his old coach at U of A , Don Horwood, who has often been on the other end of this equation. Both coaches were very animated in tonight's game as the play became more and more of a physical battle.

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