The Quest University Kermodes women’s basketball team continued its strong play in the new calendar year, beating Columbia Bible College (CBC) 79-34 on Friday (Feb. 10) and then defeating Douglas College 59-38 on Saturday (Feb. 11).
The pair of wins set a school record for victories in a single season with nine and the Kermodes also clinched fourth place in the opening round of the Pacwest playoffs.
“I think we came out really strong today,” said forward Nicola Hitchcock, who led the Kermodes with 14 rebounds in Saturday’s win. “Another thing today was our rebounding as a team. We had guards coming in from the three-point line so that was really positive.”
Quest dominated on the boards, outrebounding Douglas 50-33 and 18-9 in offensive rebounds. Hitchcock grabbed 10 offensive rebounds in 26 ˝ minutes of playing time.
Head coach Mike Woollard said he was pleased with his team’s defensive efforts in both weekend games.
“We’re a pretty good team defensively when we want to be,” he said. “The last three weeks we’ve really turned up the defensive pressure and done a really good job with our assignments.”
Woollard said he liked seeing different players on the team step up after injuries to key players Katrin Sandbichler and Hilary Young.
“We’re missing big parts of our team but the next players are stepping in, filling a role and doing well in the minutes they’ve been given,” he said, pointing out the solid defensive play of Charlotte Lau, who had three steals and two assists in limited playing time against Douglas.
Hitchcock said the team is looking forward to the playoffs.
“I think everyone is just really excited,” she said. “It’s the first time a Quest basketball team has ever gone to the playoffs so it’s pretty exciting.”
She added that the loss of Sandbichler is significant but she’s confident that her teammates will step up.
“I think the team will adjust well,” she said. “We have players who have been on the bench and ready. Kelsey [Cooper] has been playing well, Cassidy [Osterling] has been playing well and those are players who maybe didn’t get as many minutes before. The one big thing for me with Kat gone is to stay out of foul trouble.”
It was a positive weekend for the men’s team, which picked up its first win of the season with a 109-80 victory over CBC on Friday and then lost 91-86 to Douglas on Saturday.
Gurminder Kang led the Kermodes on Saturday with 24 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while guard Jose Colorado contributed 21 points of his own, including five three-pointers.
“Outside of the last minute or so of the second quarter I thought we played well,” said head coach Sean Shook on Saturday’s game. “I’m proud of the guys for where we were to where we are. We’re a very young basketball team and if we’re able to keep this core group together, good things could be coming.”
Quest’s win against CBC set a school record for most points in a game and Shook praised the play of Sunny Johal, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
The teams will host two of the top teams in the Pacwest this weekend, with Camosun College visiting on Friday (Feb. 17) and Vancouver Island University coming to town on Saturday (Feb. 18). Friday’s games tip off at 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m for the men — the women hit the court at 1 p.m. on Saturday and the men kick off at 3 p.m.
For more information on Quest athletics, visit www.questkermodes.ca.