VIU escapes Douglas with tough win, remains undefeated

VIU’s Brandon Jones had on off-night against Douglas, but still led all scorers with 19 points. - Brian Jones photo

VIU’s Brandon Jones had on off-night against Douglas, but still led all scorers with 19 points. In the throwback above, Jones goes to the bucket during the 2012 PacWest championship semifinals. – Brian Jones photo

The Vancouver Island University Mariners had everything to lose on Friday night.

They had an undefeated record. They presented perfection dating back to last season’s national title. They came in ranked third in the CCAA’s national rankings. And, they had something a little more tangible to lose – their pride and confidence.

But it’s those last two that mattered most. Those two crucial facets of VIU’s identity, the building blocks of their genetic makeup that make them so good in the first place, were what helped them walk out of their battle with the Douglas College Royals not quite unscathed, but still undefeated.

VIU left New Westminster with an 83-79 win over Douglas last night, though the outcome was in question up until roughly 19 seconds left in the game.

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Langara beats Douglas, but draws ire of coach

    Langara Falcons point guard, and PacWest player of the week, Brody Greig. - Brian Jones Photo

Langara Falcons point guard, and PacWest player of the week, Brody Greig. – Brian Jones Photo

Two questions have hung over the Langara College Falcons like a cumulus Vancouver cloud for over a month:

Are they as good as they were last year?

And, can they beat VIU?

The answer to the first question is subjective. They’ve lost big pieces from last year’s historical provincial championship run, but their best players have gotten better and the supporting cast is still one of the best second units in the PacWest.

They addressed the doubts that any skeptic (including myself) had about their depth last night, as the Falcons bench contributed 43 points in a 101-80 win over the Douglas College Royals at Langara’s campus.

Four of the starting fourth-years posted double-digit scoring numbers, and Maple Ridge’s Max Neumann had his best game of the adolescent season, adding 10 points, eight rebounds, three emphatic blocks and went a perfect two of two from distance in 17 minutes off the pine.

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Langara beats Capilano at home to remain undefeated early

Langara centre Jitinder Lohcham attacks inside. Lohcham finished the night with 25 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. - Brian Jones Photo

Langara centre Jitinder Lohcham attacks inside. Lohcham finished the night with 25 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. – Brian Jones Photo

During the halftime break of last night’s game between Langara and Capilano, I walked out of the gym and down the corridor of Capilano’s Sportsplex to the washroom. As I made my way past Langara’s team room, I noticed the entire roster of players sitting on chairs in a semi-circle facing a wall, as if attentively listening to a lecture.

At first, I assumed that head coach Paul Eberhardt was going over what needed work as they headed into the second half with a marginal 43-39 lead over Capilano, but when I turned back to look in the gym, I saw Eberhardt and his assistants gathered back at the team’s bench, going over the stat sheet and relevant clipboards.

It wasn’t a coach that had the player’s attention in the team room – it was an orange jersey-ed Falcon. I couldn’t quite see who was talking, as my view was obstructed by the poster-plastered windows, but Eberhardt had a pretty good clue.

“I would expect [Glenn] Ruby to be the voice in the room, I would expect him to stand up at that time,” said Eberhardt. “But it’s been really interesting this year, as I’ve noticed that all of the veterans are doing of teaching with our younger guys. Last year it was irritating because I didn’t think they talked enough. But they’ve definitely embraced that this year.”

Whether it was the third-year utility player from Clayton Heights leading the halftime pep-talk or not, whatever was said certainly carried over into the second half.

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Ram leads Kwantlen past CBC in home opener

Kwantlen guard Aaron Ram lays in two of his game-high 38 points on Friday night versus Columbia Bible College. - Matt Bossons Photo

Kwantlen guard Aaron Ram lays in two of his game-high 38 points on Friday night versus Columbia Bible College. – Matt Bossons Photo

It’s always hard to gain a quality perspective on a team after just their first game of the season – especially when it’s against a perennial bottom-feeder – so I’m going to try not to jump to any quick conclusions.

But on Friday night, the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles impressed a packed house with a 100-89 win over the Columbia Bible College Bearcats.

Aaron Ram led all scorers with 38 points on 14 for 27 shooting, including three from long range and 7-8 from the charity stripe.

“I know he had a really good game, but in my mind, I expected that,” said Kwantlen head coach Stefon Wilson. “It’s his third year, he’s a good player, so I expected him to play well. He won’t statistically play like that every night, but he hit some shots, and I expected him to have the game he did.”

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Strong second half lifts Camosun over Douglas

Chargers point guard Jordan Elvedahl hits the final free-throw of the game as players from both squads watch. Elvedahl had eight points, five assists and four rebounds in Camosun's 74-67 win over Douglas College Saturday, Nov. 19. - Brian Jones Photo

What the Camosun Chargers lacked in consistency, they completely made up for with perfect timing.

Blake Mansbridge and Trevor Scheurmann each scored 17 points for the Chargers en route to a come-from-behind 74-67 win over the Douglas College Royals Saturday afternoon at Douglas’ New Westminster campus.

The Chargers were down as much as 19 points early on in the third quarter, but put up a huge second half in order to keep their undefeated record in the PacWest alive.

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Royals beat number-four ranked team in the country

Royals forward Malcolm Mensah floats one over VIU defender Jacob Thom during Douglas' 84-68 win over the Mariners Friday night. - Brian Jones Photo

You could have called it David versus Goliath, a Hoosiers remake, or whatever other overused underdog cliché you want.

Led by third-year forward Ravi Athwal and fourth-year UNBC transfer Harmeet Mahal, the Douglas College Royals upset the Vancouver Island University Mariners 84-68 Friday night at Douglas’ New Westminster campus.

The only problem with calling it an upset? Neither of the teams involved thought of it that way.

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