The UBCO Heat women’s basketball team had a historic season opening weekend.
Friday marked head coach Claire Meadows’ CIS coaching debut in Abbotsford against the UFV Cascades, but it was UFV that came away with the 68-50 victory, spoiling Meadows’ first game. Claire Elliot (11 points) and Vanessa Botteselle (10 points) were the top two scorers for the Heat in the loss.
The two teams met again on Saturday, and in the rematch the Heat made history. Emily Kanester’s 17 points and eight rebounds lead the Heat to a 63-59 victory to give Meadows her first CIS win and the Heat’s first win over the Cascades in Canada West Conference play, ending a streak of eleven losses. In fact, it was the first time the Heat had defeated the Cascades since January of 2000.
The women’s team will return home this weekend for their home opener, as they host UNBC on Friday at 6 p.m, and again on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Although the men’s basketball team also opened its season in Abbotsford on the weekend, they were unable to earn a victory over UFV. UFV won Friday’s season opener by a score of 79-67 in a game that saw UBCO nearly come back from a 17 point third quarter deficit. Aldrich Berrios (14 points) and Mitch Goodwin (11 points) paced the Heat in scoring as they were able to draw within six of UFV with two minutes remaining, but just couldn’t complete the comeback. After the game, head coach Pete Guarasci was proud of the way his young team remained composed and showed their maturity during the comeback attempt.
UBCO jumped out to a 37-32 halftime lead on Saturday, but UFV came out of the half as a completely different team, shooting a sensational 90% from beyond the arc in the second half en route to an 84-69 victory. Dean Johnston lead UBCO in scoring in the loss with 19 points. UBCO will look to grab its first victory of the young season on the weekend, as the Heat host UNBC in its home opener on Friday at 8 p.m. The two teams will play again on Saturday at 7 p.m.