Playoff review (thus far)
Wins, losses, and everything in-between peppered the Cougars’ recent schedule(s)
The past week or so saw five University of Regina teams in action as they chased their own playoff hardware. Here’s a look at how each of the teams faired, with a look into what lies ahead.*
Task at hand: Win play-in series against the University of Winnipeg Wesmen
Result: Series win.
Description: The Cougars would not make their lives easy in the first playoff action for the men’s team at the Centre for Kinesiology Health and Sport since 2009. Much like the season series between the two teams – which ended tied at one a piece – the contests were hotly contested.
The entire weekend was a testament as to how much of a game of runs basketball can be. A seventeen-point lead was not enough for the green and gold, as they would lose the first contest, 80-73. The loss would set up a game on which the team’s season would hinge.
Saturday brought with it a change in fortunes, although not immediately. The Cougars would fall behind early in the second half and their dreams of continuing on in the playoffs seemed dead on arrival.
Not so. The game would end with a three point advantage for the ‘Cougs, setting up a deciding game – a deciding game that the home team would win, this time by six, 75-69.
Coach Steve Burrows, as quoted in the press release surrounding the game, said it was the team’s balance that led to the win.
“It was typical playoff basketball and one of those series that obviously could have gone either way, and credit to both teams that they fought as hard as they did all weekend,” Cougars head coach Steve Burrows said. “We struggled again in the first half on the defensive glass tonight, but were much better in the second half and we got bits and pieces from everyone that played tonight. It was a true team win.”
What’s Next? Well the Cougars will take their show on the road, this time to Kamloops, British Columbia where they will face the Thomson Rivers University WolfPack. The squad is, including exhibition play, 22-7. Their only loss at home came against the MacEwan University Griffins way back in November, making winning two out of three a tough go for the Cougars.
Track and Field
Task at hand: Compete at the Canada West Meet at the Saskatoon Fieldhouse
Result: Sixth (men) and seventh (women)
Description: Unsurprisingly, the Cougars were most successful in the sprints, with newly acquired Rider Tevaughn Campbell setting the pace for the team with a gold in the 60-metre dash, breaking a team record in the process with a time of 6.75 seconds. Other notable performers were Kahlen Branning who copped a gold in the three hundred, a second place finish in the 60, and a bronze in the 4X200M relay, which would bring that particular quartet a bronze. Ahmed Alkabary took the honours in long jump, and Greg Hetterley did the same in the 1000-metre.
On the women’s side, Joy Becker would break her own school record and Reagan Fedak took the silver in the weight throw event.
The aforementioned Branning was given the Track Performer of the Year Award for his season-long efforts.
What’s Ahead? CIS Championships at York University.
Task at hand: CIS Championships at Brock University
Result: Fifth (women) ninth (men)
Description: A weekend of matches led to two bronze medals for the University of Regina’s contingent. Both Kayla Brodner and Kristine Longeau would take third place in their respective classes. The closest the men would get to a podium finish was Gaelan Malloy’s fourth.
What’s next? Some well deserved rest and relaxation.
Task at hand: CIS Championships
Result: Second and third gold medals in program history.
Description: All of the buzz surrounding the U of R’s swim team came courtesy of Noah Choboter, who would capture only the program’s second and third gold medals ever at the national meet. HIs successes came in the 200M backstroke as well as the 100M. When did the program win its first gold? 2003.
On the women’s side, three fourth-place finishes, one by Lexy King and the other two by Eva Madar, kept the squad just off the pace.
What’s next? Knowing swimmers, dry-land training at six tomorrow morning. In the words of Coach Tissira, as quoted in a press release by the Regina Optimist Dolphins Swim Club, “It was a positive step for the UofR Cougar [Sic] Swim Team. The foundation is in place. We have signed Saskatchewan`s top swimmers to the UofR team for 2017 and will continue to move the program forward.”
Task at hand: Canada West semifinal against the University of British Columbia
Result: 2-1 series loss
Description: After coming out firing in the opening game of the series, and winning 3-0 in the process, the Cougars would drop back-to-back decisions to lose their series against the visiting T-Birds. Saturday’s game saw a 1-0 loss, while Sunday’s finale ended at 3-2. A disappointing ending to an up and down season for the team.
What’s next? Preparation, preparations, preparation.
Task at hand: Prepare for their Canada West quarterfinal series against the University of Calgary Dinos
Description: The upcoming series between the Cougars and the Dinos promises to be a good one. Mirroring the men’s team’s situation prior to their games against the Wesmen, both teams have split their series 1-1. The Cougars getting the upper hand in their last game, 83-71 but not before losing 95-83, the highest amount any Canadian team scored against them this season.
What’s next? Two games this upcoming weekend, which will decide who punches their tickets to compete at the Canada West Final Four.
*Some statistics and information courtesy of Braden Konschuh, the University of Regina’s sports information director.