Pete Guarasci’s UBC Okanagan Heat will continue its tune up for the 2013-14 Canada West men’s basketball season with a pair of preseason games this weekend on the Lower Mainland.
On Friday in Langley, the Heat will take on the Trinity Western Spartans in a 7 p.m. tipoff.
On Saturday, UBCO will face the Fraser Valley Cascades in Abbotsford.
Last weekend in Kelowna, the Heat dropped a pair of friendlies to the visiting Seattle Mountaineers Basketball Club.
The opener saw the Seattle team run away with a 96-67 victory. The frontline of the future for the Heat was tested against a formidably strong Seattle frontline, but both Mike Zayonc and Stuart Wallensteen ground their way to eight and seven rebounds respectively, while adding 10 and seven points down in the paint for the Heat.
Vancouver’s Demitri Harris was the main man for the Mountaineers, scoring a game-high 29 points in as many minutes of play.
On Sunday, the Heat had early shooting trouble and turned the ball over eight times in the first half en route to a 95-70 loss to the Mountaineers.
“I thought we had some good moments in the game, especially from our younger players,” said Heat coach Pete Guarasci following the game. “But I think we still have a lot to work on.”
Heat rookies David Manshreck and Ryan Linttell led the way for their new team, with Manshreck netting 11 points and four boards, while Linttell added 10 points and three rebounds.
Heat veterans Yassine Ghomari (injury) and Mitch Goodwin (personal reasons) sat out the second game vs the Moutaineers.
Although the score was a bit one-sided head coach Heather Semeniuk was pleased with the play of her young Heat women’s basketball squad after their first action of the season. The team played a friendly versus the UBC Thunderbirds at Penticton Secondary last Saturday and fell to the Vancouver team 78-41.
Guard Angela White was the leading point getter for the Heat in Saturday’s balanced attack with 10, Tia Sadler and posts Krystal Schouten and Julia Reichert all notched seven.
The Heat, with the graduation of two key players in Roz Huber and Madison Kaneda, both of whom logged major minutes the past few seasons, will be a relatively young team with a lot of minutes for those young players to fill this season.
Semeniuk was pleased following Saturday’s games with the play of some of her talented newcomers, including freshman guard Olivia Johnson and 6-foot 2 post player from Princeton, Julia Reichert.
The next action for the Heat women’s basketball team will be in Kamloops at the Tournament Capital Centre where they will play the home Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Friday, Oct. 11 and the UNBC Timberwolves on Saturday, Oct. 12.