October 20 to October 26 /2003
Wesmen Athletes of the Week
Men’s Basketball Dave Brar
The fourth year wing averaged 14.5 points a game and was named an All-star in the Wilfrid Laurier Invitational tournament.
Women’s Basketball Sally Kaznica
The fifth year guard got the nod for an All-star in the Manitoba Invitational Tournament after averaging 9 points and 5.3 assists in three Wesmen victories.
The Wesmen went undefeated through the Bison Invitational Basketball tournament on the weekend. On Friday night Winnipeg took care of Canada West Conference rivals the Alberta Pandas by a 72-61 score. Fourth year guard JoAnne Wells led the way with 18 points and 6 rebounds, while third year forward Kate Daniels added 14 points and 4 rebounds. The game marked Heather Thompson’s return to the floor after missing all of last season with an injury. The fourth year post had 13 points and 5 rebounds in her season debut. On Saturday the Wesmen turned in another winning performance, this time beating Concordia 62-58. In that contest JoAnne Wells was again tops for Winnipeg picking up 18 points to go along with 5 boards. Fifth year point guard Sally Kaznica pitched in with 12 points and 8 assists, while fifth year forward Janet Wells notched herself a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. On Sunday afternoon the Wesmen completed a perfect weekend by knocking off Wilfrid Laurier 75-68. JoAnne Wells continued her fine early season play with 25 points and 9 rebounds while Kaznica added 13 points and 5 assists. Both JoAnne Wells and Kaznica were named tournament All-stars. The next action for the Wesmen is in the Pepsi Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Duckworth Centre on Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.
The Wesmen dropped their first two games of the season in the Wilfrid Laurier Invitational Tournament on the weekend. On Friday night Winnipeg got 19 points from fourth year wing Tosin Opanubi and 14 each from fourth year wing Dave Brar and third year wing Michael Gomez in a 77-62 loss to Waterloo. On Saturday, the Wesmen took the University of Toronto to overtime before bowing out 68-64. Gomez had 25 points to lead the Wesmen attack while Brar added 15. Coach Dave Crook said the team missed third year physical post Phil Swart who went down with an injury in the first game against Waterloo. The Wesmen were also without 6’9” post J.P. Lynch who did not make the trip east. Crook was impressed with the play of rookie guard Matt Opalko, who had 8 points and 8 boards against Toronto.
“Matt looked pretty good out there,” said Crook. “To play 33 minutes in only your second CIS game is impressive.” Opalko also played 18 minutes in the first contest against Waterloo. The Wesmen open their home schedule by hosting the Midway Chrysler Invitational Tournament at the Duckworth Centre this weekend. On Friday night Winnipeg take on McGill at 6:15 p.m. and then on Saturday night battle the University of Mary, again at 6:15 p.m.
The No. 1 ranked Wesmen get an early season test when they face the defending CIS Champions and No. 5 ranked Manitoba Bisons at the Duckworth Centre on Thursday night in its Canada West Conference regular season opener. The two teams lock horns again at the University of Manitoba on Saturday night. The Wesmen are coming off a 12-0 pre-season record, including a 3-0 defeat of the Bisons in the BOB FM Challenge tournament at the beginning of October. Coach Larry McKay credits the strong start to a few factors, one of which is the leadership of the three fifth year players who have set high standards for practice as well as games.
“The play of Cam Dobie, Shawn Scarcello and Stephen Ens has really set the tone for the season,” says McKay.
Third year middle Jarrod Small, returning from a year lost due to injury, has also had a huge impact on the team’s fortunes.
“Jarrod has a renewed determination to be the best middle player he can be,” adds McKay.
And the 15 year Wesmen bench boss has had no trouble keeping his team focused this season.
“Every match is significant for us. We have our sights set on Manitoba and there is nothing more important now on our schedule than that match and the practices leading up to that match. “ Game time on Thursday is 7:30 p.m. at the Duckworth Centre.
The No. 3 ranked Wesmen return to action after a two-week layoff against cross-town rivals Manitoba in its Canada West regular season home opener on Thursday night. The 2002-03 CIS silver medallists beat Manitoba 3-1 in the BOB FM Challenge earlier this month and Coach Diane Scott feels that a solid performance against the Bisons would set the season on the right course.
“This is important,” says Scott. “Every Canada West match is significant with four spots up for grabs for the Nationals at the end of the year.” The Wesmen and Bisons play the return match of the home and home series on Saturday night at the University of Manitoba.