Five games into the Pacwest season, the Quest University Kermodes women's basketball team’s scoring party is showing no signs of letting up — and the whole team is invited.
Balanced scoring seems to be the theme early for the Kermodes and that trend continued in wins over VIU on Friday (Nov. 16) and Camosun on Saturday (Nov. 17).
Quest had four players with double figures in points on Saturday and six players recorded four or more rebounds. Cassidy Osterling and Courtney Harpur led the way with 13 points each, with Harpur also grabbing eight rebounds. Delainee Behrns added six assists against the Chargers on Saturday.
The game saw Quest fight back after falling behind by nine points at the half to pick up the 69-64 victory. Friday was another feather in the cap for the Kermodes, as it was the first time in school history that the team had defeated VIU, winning 60-51.
“It came down to us playing defence,” said Quest head coach Dany Charlery on Friday, noting that his team grabbed more rebounds and forced more turnovers than did the Mariners.
But he was quick not to heap too much praise on his team.
“They're [VIU] a great team,” he said. “They were missing a couple of key players and we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Shayna Cameron led the charge against VIU with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Harpur put up 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Harpur also had the difficult assignment of covering VIU's Alicia Grossi, who at 6 feet, 5 inches is one of the tallest players in the league.
“It’s about using my strength and trying to make her work hard out there,” Harpur said, when asked about the task of defending taller players.
“The goal was to try and push her as far away from the basket as possible and keep her there,” Charlery said. Grossi was held to four points, so it appears Quest’s game plan worked. Harpur said she likes the way the team is playing early on.
“It seems like a completely different team this year,” she said. “Our rookies are getting a lot of good minutes and are really contributing for us.”
The only thing that may slow the Kermodes down may be injuries. Pacwest rookie of the year Katrin Sandbichler remains on the shelf and guard Hilary Young missed both weekend games with an undisclosed injury.
For the men it was an up-and-down weekend as the Kermodes suffered their first loss of the year to VIU on Friday but then bounced back with a win against Camosun on Saturday.
The Kermodes struggled early on Friday, falling behind 11 points after the first quarter, and never managed to get back in the game, losing 78-62. Jose Colorado continued his torrid scoring pace with 33 points against VIU but head coach Sean Shook said Quest needs others to contribute to compete with teams like the Mariners.
“We really only had one guy scoring today,” Shook said after Friday’s game. “No one else really stepped up and we made too many mental mistakes. Some of that is VIU — they’re a great team.”
Shook said shot selection and the Kermodes’ transition game was poor. He also didn’t like the trend of the team starting games slow. Despite the loss, he said he still sees promise in his team and that promise revealed itself with Quest’s bounce-back 86-74 win over Camosun on Saturday.
Colorado had another outstanding offensive performance, scoring 38 points and snagging six rebounds. Mike Zayas contributed 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench and “Big” Jesse Norris added 10 points, six rebounds and three steals.
Both the men’s and women’s teams stand at four wins and one loss on the season and will now hit the road for the rest of the calendar year. Next up will be arch-rival Capilano on Friday (Nov. 23). The next time Quest will be in the Kermode Kave will be Jan. 4, 2013 when they again battle the Blues.
For more information on the teams, visit www.questkermodes.ca.