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Canada West playoffs start for Huskies men’s and women’s basketball

By in Sports & Health
U of S Huskies guard Alexander Dewar drives down court in the third quarter against the Regina Cougars at the PAC on Feb. 14, 2019.

Both Huskies basketball teams played hard and saw Canada West semifinal matches. However, the men’s team could not keep up, losing their semifinal game to the Calgary Dinos. Meanwhile, the women defeated the Lethbridge Pronghorns — earning them a chance at Canada West Championship glory.

The Huskies men’s team rocketed into their quarter-finals match against the Regina Cougars on Feb. 14, opening the score with a three-pointer by Chan De Ciman and keeping the lead for a 99-68 win. They kept up their momentum into night two — sweeping the best of three against the Cougars with a 97-77 victory, earning them a semifinals matchup. First-year guard Alexander Dewar talks about competing against their provincial rivals.

“Regina is a great team. They worked really hard, [and] they made us work really hard, but it was good to come out with the win,” Dewar said.

Dewar had a strong presence on court in both games against the Cougars, scoring 25 points the first night and 19 points in the second, helping to secure the wins that sent the team into the semifinals.

“It’s a great feeling. It’s kind of a relief. Now, I get to relax, heal up, focus on the next game and prepare,” Dewar said.

Unfortunately, the men could not hold on to their momentum for an upset in Calgary, losing 63-97 and 77-117 in their matches against the Dinos on Feb. 21 and 22.

The Huskies women’s team hit the playoffs with a rocky start, trailing behind the Winnipeg Wesmen at the start of the third quarter of their opening quarter-final match on Feb. 14. They were only warming up, however, as the team overtook the Wesmen in the final half — securing an 84-75 first win.

The team did not let the previous game hold them back, snatching and holding the lead all the way to a 102-56 victory in their second game against the Wesmen — sending them into semifinals.

It was a hard fight in the semifinal games against the Lethbridge Pronghorns. The Huskies took the lead but tossed it back and forth with the Pronghorns all the way into the third quarter, which saw Huskies Summer Masikewich, Katriana Philipenko, Brianna Fehr and Sabine Dukate pick up steam offensively and defensively, helping the team hold the lead over the Pronghorns for a 74-62 win.

Huskies women’s basketball head coach Lisa Thomaidis talks about the team’s performance.

“I thought we started to move the ball a little bit better. We got some defensive stops. In the first half, they were so hot in the three we couldn’t get a stop to get out in our transition, and it slowed us down defensively,” Thomaidis said. “We started to move the ball, got some touches inside for [Masikewich], and she started to make some nice plays in the second half.”

Masikewich played a 22-point game — with 18 of those points being scored in the second half of the game. Thomaidis talks about Masikewich’s performance and how she adjusted to the game.

“[Masikewich] started a little slow [and] had some looks at the rim [but] just couldn’t knock them down. She warmed up in the second half, and [it] was huge for us — [she] got us back in it, got a few and-ones, and I thought she played great defensive at the other end. Just an all around really strong performance from her,” Thomaidis said.

With one win down, the Huskies looked to defeat the Pronghorns a second time and secure a chance at a sixth Canada West champion title. Game two opened in the Huskies’ favour as they pulled ahead of the Pronghorns with 39-22 by halftime.

The Pronghorns refused to back down, however, closing the gap to just two points less than the Huskies with 23 seconds left in the final quarter. In the end, a couple of free throws by Libby Epoch and a strong defence secured the 78-72 semifinals win for the Huskies.

The women’s basketball team will host the Regina Cougars at the Physical Activity Complex on March 1.

Piper Woytiuk

Photo: Piper Woytiuk

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