Thursday, 8 October 2009

Bisons edge Wesmen to take Duckworth Challenge

Bisons assert dominance over Wesmen: Sweep U of W aside to claim ninth Duckworth Challenge (Winnipeg Free Press)

KIRBY SCHEPP has a vision for the University of Manitoba Bisons men's basketball team, but the rookie coach admits it's going to take a few years of nurturing, patience and recruiting to achieve that vision.

"Irrespective of what it was in the past, you come in here and there are always new things you have to do," said Schepp prior to his Duckworth Challenge game with the Winnipeg Wesmen Wednesday at the Investors Group Athletic Centre. "You have to put your own stamp on it. You can't run a program that someone else has run and be successful."

The Duckworth Challenge trophy already belonged to the Bisons by the time the men hit the floor Wednesday. The Bison women dominated the Wesmen in the opening game 88-69, giving Manitoba three wins (two on the volleyball court Tuesday) over the U of W. Manitoba now leads the annual challenge with a 9-5-5 record.

In their first test of the season, Schepp's Bisons came through, taking a hard-fought 77-71 win over the Wesmen to sweep the '09 challenge 4-0. The Herd got 15 points from Richard Reimer, 14 from Sean Maxwell and 13 from Eric Garcia. Mike James led the Wesmen with 19. Peter Lomuro had 18 and Craig Penniston added 15.

"I'm going to do it kind of my way," said Schepp, who replaced 25-year veteran coach Rick Suffield this season. "Hopefully the changes that are made will be something that is going to be positive.

"I think 6-foot-7 Sean Maxwell will be a great addition to us," he said. "He can shoot the ball well and will help us to score a bit more. Also, two local kids, Kurtis Sansregret and Jonar Huertas, who started at Sisler High school for a couple of years, will also do very well.

"And from a staff point of view, real big additions are (former Bison standouts) Randy Kusano and Ogo Okwumabua to our coaching staff. They are really going to help in terms of setting the tone and helping me build the foundation for the future."

Kusano has coached the Oak Park Raiders to the provincial high school title on a couple of occasions.

"We're going to start to be a contender every night," Schepp. "We're going to play hard, we're going to educate people with good basketball, and we're going to earn the money they pay for a ticket. We're going to put on a show for them."

Manitoba 77, Winnipeg 71 (from Bison Sports)

With the University of Manitoba Bison having already clinched the 19th annual Duckworth Challenge, there is only one thing for the Bison men’s basketball team to do: Go for the sweep. That is something that hasn’t been done by the Bison since the inaugural year of the Duckworth Challenge way back in 1992.

The Bison were able to do just that as they beat the Winnipeg Wesmen 77-71 on Wednesday October 7.

The game was tightly contested as both teams exchanged leads throughout the game. The Bison at one point had a lead that was as much nine points but the Wesmen stayed with it and kept the game close with shooting from wing Peter Lomuro. Lomuro had 18 points in the game.

With the Wesmen within two points, Bison guard Nathan Dixon hit a three-pointer with 1:20 left that put the game just out of reach for visitors. Shortly after, with 32 seconds left in the game and after a Wesmen miss, Sean Maxwell hit a three-pointer that was the dagger in the Wesmen heart and guaranteed the victory for the Manitoba Bison. Dixon and Maxwell finished with 10 and 14 points respectively.
Bison men’s Head Coach Kirby Schepp was glad that the team competed and played hard.

“It’s early right, the first game of the year and obviously there are rough spots,” said the first year Head Coach. “But we can work on that.”

Both the Bison men’s and women’s volleyball teams won their respective games, along with the women’s basketball team winning their game that set up the chance for the sweep.

Duckworth Challenge Players of the game for the men's basketball teams were guard Eric Garcia for the Bison and Wesmen guard Craig Penniston.

The Bison men’s team doesn’t play until next week, where they take part in a non-conference tournament on October 16-18 in Waterloo.

From Wesmen web site:


The Manitoba Bisons earned bragging rights on this night. The Bisons defeated the Winnipeg Wesmen 77-71 in the finale of the 19th Annual Duckworth Challenge at the University of Manitoba.

The two basketball wins by the Bisons combined with the two Bison volleyball victories last night at the Duckworth Centre gives the University of Manitoba the Duckworth Challenge Trophy for this year.

Richard Reimer led Manitoba with 15 points. Sean Maxwell added 14 points, including four three pointers. Eric Garcia scored 13 points and dished out seven assists.

Mike James led Winnipeg with 19 points. Peter Lomuro finished with 18 points and a team leading nine rebounds. Craig Penniston added 15 points, three assists and four steals.

The Bisons gained the early advantage in the battle of city rivals jumping ahead of the Wesmen 22-13 in a tight defensive opening frame.

Led by Craig Penniston and Peter Lomuro Winnipeg found their game in the second quarter going on a 17-5 run in the first seven minutes of play to take a 30-27 lead. Manitoba rebounded scoring seven unanswered points to regain the lead at 34-30. Lomuro drained a three pointer with seven seconds left to cut the Bison lead to 34-33 at halftime.

The two rivals matched each other basket for basket in the third quarter. The Bisons led by a narrow margin of 45-44 at the midway point. Lomuro of the Wesmen and Eric Garcia (Manitoba) each scored a pair of baskets to put the score at 56-50 in Manitoba's favour. Craig Penniston nailed a jumper with 20 seconds left to cut the Bison lead to 56-52 after three quarters.

Manitoba held off a Wesmen charge in the fourth quarter, outscoring Winnipeg 21-19 in the final frame to preserve the win.

Craig Penniston (Winnipeg) and Eric Garcia (Manitoba) were named the Duckworth Challenge Players of the Game.

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