Earlier this week the state of Colorado legalized the usage and possession of marijuana but no one got higher (on the score sheet) than Quest's Jose Colorado in the Kermodes back to back wins on Friday (Nov. 9) and Saturday (Nov. 10).
Colorado established a new team record for points scored with 43 against the Columbia Bible College (CBC) Bearcats on Friday and followed that up with a 21 point performance against the Kwantlen Eagles.
As a result, the Quest men's basketball team is off to their best start in school history at three wins and zero losses and Kermodes head coach Sean Shook is pleased with his team's early season showings.
“Winning is a lot more enjoyable,” he said, after the Kermodes 87-82 win over Kwantlen on Saturday. “I'm really proud of the guys, whether it's Jose scoring a bunch of points for us or a guy like [Mike] Zayas coming off the bench for us today with a huge game.”
The aforementioned Zayas exploded for 17 points and 16 rebounds in his first full game as a Kermode. Zayas won a Boys' AAA basketball championship with Richmond's RC Palmer high school in 2011 and Shook said he's going to make a big difference with the team.
“Mike's a guy that really loves the guys he's playing with,” Shook said, noting that issues with paperwork left Zayas unavailable for the season opener last week. “In year's past we just didn't have guys like Zayas or a guy like Michael Powell to come off the bench and give us the depth we need to win games.”
It was on the boards that Quest excelled, out-rebounding the Eagles 63-36, including 24 offensive rebounds.
“The second chance points for us were a big difference,” Shook said. “It was an outstanding effort by our guys on the boards.”
The Kermodes also topped CBC in rebounds 50-44 in Friday's 93-83 win. Home court also seems to be turning into a huge advantage, as the men's and women's teams have now win five out of six games in the “Kermode Kave.”
“I give a ton of credit to our students,” Shook said. “With us winning it's more fun for fans to come out but the gym is getting really loud for our games this year. We feel like we have a real home court advantage and it's great to see.”
Meanwhile, after a disappointing opening night loss to Capilano, the Quest women's team bounced back with back to back wins over CBC on Friday and Kwantlen on Saturday.
The Kermodes cruised to a 78-63 win over CBC on Friday led by Shayna Cameron, who picked up 16 points, two blocks and two steals. Rookie Natasha Weninger also had a strong game with 13 points and six rebounds. Women's head coach Dany Charlery, who picked up the first two wins in his Pacwest career, said it was a good weekend for the girls.
“Today [Saturday] was more of a character game for us,” he said. “We went through a lot but we stuck together and managed to put Kwantlen away.”
Quest had a 13-0 run to start against Kwantlen but the Eagles clawed their way back to within two points after the first half. In fact, the game was tied at 48 with eight minutes to go but the Kermodes went on a 12-0 run and grabbed the 71-57 win.
The Kermodes balanced scoring was on display on both nights, with three players hitting double digits in points on Friday and four on Saturday.
“We have a lot of options and different lineups we can put out there,” he said. “We encourage our kids to be creative and they've done a good job of that offensively so far this year.”
Delainee Behrns led the way on Saturday with 18 points, while Cameron had a solid all-around game with 17 points, nine rebounds, three assists and four steals. She said a busy summer has helped her elevate her game.
“I did a lot of training with Dany and Kim [Land, assistant coach],” she said. “I worked hard all summer and so far it's been paying off.”
Cameron said the team's mood is improving after the season opening setback to Capilano.
“This weekend picked up everyone's spirits,” she said. “We were really playing with a sense of urgency and we need to continue going after every single team, no matter who they are.”
The Kermodes played both games without 2011-12 Pacwest rookie of the year Katrin Sandbichler and her status remains day to day.
“She's a really big asset for us,” Cameron said. “She's an important player for us and really leads by example even when she's on the bench.”
Charlery said he's hoping to get Sandbichler into the lineup as soon as possible.
With the wins, the men's team improved to three wins and no losses and are tied with Langara for first in the Pacwest. The women's team improved to two wins and one loss on the season and are tied for second place in the Pacwest.
The teams will return to action on Friday (Nov. 16) when they host the VIU Mariners, the women tip-off at 6 p.m. and the men at 8 p.m. Quest then hosts the Camosun Chargers on Saturday (Nov. 17) with the women getting underway at 1 p.m. and the men at 3 p.m.
For more information on the teams, visit www.questkermodes.ca.