Saturday, 1 March 2008

Bobcats take CW Bronze by knocking off Calgary

Brandon 97, Calgary 83 Brandon stakes their claim for a wild card berth with a win over the Dinos who watched their season unravel in two short nights. BOBCATS WIN BRONZE AFTER DOWNING DINOS CALGARY – The nightmare continued for the host Calgary Dinos at the Canada West Final Four Saturday. After losing their first home game of the season in Friday’s semi-final to the UBC Thunderbirds, the fourth-ranked Dinos couldn’t shoot, couldn’t rebound, and couldn’t stop Brandon senior Adam Hartman (5th year, Virden, Man.), falling 97-83 to the Bobcats in the conference bronze medal match. In a game long on fouls and short on flow, the Bobcats were able to overcome significant foul trouble in the third quarter, largely due to cold Calgary free throw shooting. The third quarter featured 23 fouls, nearly half of the 54 called on the night, but the Dinos left the period with a 12-point deficit after missing nine of their 24 attempts from the charity stripe. The Dinos’ struggles at the line only exacerbated their shooting woes. The highest scoring team in CIS during the regular season managed just 19 field goals on the night. In the third quarter, Calgary put up just two attempts from inside the arc – and neither fell. Uncharacteristic for a team whose bread and butter all season long was pounding the ball inside. “I really can’t explain it,” said a frustrated Dinos coach Dan Vanhooren. “Honestly, I can’t. We got shots last night, we got shots tonight, we didn’t hit anything. It was our worst shooting performance of the year, and of any weekend to have it, it came at the Final Four. “The only thing I can say is that we were tight last night, and we were disheartened tonight.” The struggles weren’t limited to just one player. Tyler Fidler’s (1st, Calgary) 3-for-7 performance was the best percentage of the night for the Dinos, and all of Ross Bekkering’s (3rd, Taber, Alta.) points came from the line as he went 0-for-6 from the floor. Brandon didn’t exactly shoot the lights out either, but Hartman’s 29-point performance proved the difference. First team conference all-star Dany Charlery (3rd, Montreal) added 20 with 11 boards to boot, while Yul Michel (5th, Montreal) chipped in with 18 points – even though the Bobcats shot just 38 per cent from the field. Compared to Calgary’s paltry 28.8 per cent, however, that statistic seems impressive. Even more striking were the rebounding numbers. Brandon hauled down 55 boards – 24 of which came on the offensive glass, while the Dinos managed just 26 defensive rebounds. Those second chance opportunities were a key reason the Bobcats jacked up 90 field goal attempts on the night. Henry Bekkering (4th, Taber, Alta.) had 23 points to lead the Dinos, but most of those came in the fourth quarter with the game largely out of reach. He spent just 24 minutes on the floor after foul trouble in the third quarter and managed just eight field goals on 21 attempts. Robbie Sihota (3rd, Calgary) added 16, while point guard Jeff Price (3rd, Calgary) added 13 in his 39 minutes of court time. With the conference bronze medalist decided, the Bobcats and Dinos will spend the week awaiting the result of the selection committee’s decision on the national at-large bid to the CIS Final 8 in Ottawa. The decision, which will likely be announced next Sunday night, will select the final team to attend the CIS championship after all conference playoffs are complete. The wild card is based on 11 criteria applied equally to all teams under consideration for the spot, and the committee is composed of representatives from the national coaches association. A committee whose decision the Dinos and Bobcats await with bated breath.



NT Huskies said...

Having watched both games this weekend, I really have to question Calgary's coaching. The Dinos tried repeatedly to trap UBC and Brandon in the half-court despite both of these teams demonstrating that they were capable of moving the ball, hitting shots and rebounding offensively. Calgary clearly has the athletes to be able to play straight-up man and they should be able to create defensive pressure without having to take such unnecessary risks. Secondly, their only offensive approach in the half-court is to try and pound the low block. Calgary's front-court is capable of playing on the perimeter, so they should be able to run a 4-out or motion with ease. Memphis and Georgetown (NCAA) are great examples of teams capable of pounding the block but they also run variations of the Princeton offense.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe how badly Calgary played in this tournament!
How could this team, which blew away Alberta last week and was unbeaten at home all season play so poorly when it mattered the most?
No disrespect to either UBC or Brandon, but good god, could Calgary have made things any easier for their opponents?
One dimensional offence and porous defence...a bad combination.