The Quest University Kermodes men's basketball team had one of its best opening quarters ever and cruised to a 72-52 win over the Capilano University Blues on Friday (Jan. 4).
Quest dropped 28 points on the Blues in the first quarter and dominated the rest of the way in one of the team's most impressive wins of the season. Head coach Sean Shook said it was nice to see his team start a game strong.
“We've struggled with our starts this year so it was big for us to come out like that,” he said. “We were able to go inside early and attack and guys were making shots.”
It was the Quest debut for Seattle native Cartiea French-Toney and he didn't disappoint, scoring 11 points, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing off four assists and picking up four steals.
“We've never really had a player like Cartiea here at Quest,” Shook said. “I thought he played well today but I think he and Josh Beasley were both great for us. They did a good job getting the ball down court and getting our offense set up quickly.”
The Kermodes offense got a little stagnant in the second quarter but they outscored the Blues 24-8 in the third quarter when Jose Colorado caught fire. Colorado was the Kermodes top scorer, with 24 points on nine of 16 shooting. Justin Tryon was solid with seven points and seven boards, while Mike Zayas-Duran also picked up seven rebounds.
For one of the few times in school history, Shook said the Kermodes have a lot of depth and there will be battles for playing time.
“We actually have a lot of depth and it gives us the ability to be fresher out there,” he said. “We've got Denzel [Laguerta] out right now and we've also got a lot of athletic guys like Tryon and Mike Powell. It's a good problem to have.”
Shook said the team's recent trip to California was a good learning experience and he told his team to emulate the attitude of the teams they took on.
“The teams we played down there have got such a compete level,” he said. “When they get up 10 on a team, they're continuously relentless and that's the way we have to play if we want to be a great team in the Pacwest conference.”
It wasn't quite so easy for the women's team but head coach Dany Charlery will take it.
Quest defeated Capilano 75-72 in overtime, gaining a measure of revenge over a Blues team that beat them on two occasions earlier this year.
“It came down guts and wanting it a little more than them,” he said. “They're a hard team to compete against but Capilano never gave up. We need to find that same sort of attitude.”
The Kermodes got balanced scoring with four different players reaching double digits. Shayna Cameron led the way with 15 points and added five assists and four steals. Courtney Harpur, Delainee Behrns and Cassidy Osterling all scored 11, with Katrin Sandbichler picking up a team high 13 rebounds.
It was the home season debut for Sandbichler, who was out with an ACL injury for the early part of this season. Charlery said she's a welcome addition to the team.
“She brings everything for us,” he said of last year's Pacwest rookie of the year. “She's got the right attitude and she looked good out there even though she's still not 100 per cent.”
Charlery said he's happy with his team's balanced scoring and it gives Quest the chance to ride whoever has the hot hand.
“On offense our goal is to try and keep everyone satisfied,” he said. “Delainee [Behrns] is someone who can step up for us, Shayna can score and Kat is someone we can count on too. I'm happy with our shot selection and we have players who, if they're not shooting well, can fill in other areas for us.”
The evenly played game saw the Kermodes have a key defensive stop to send the game to overtime and then pulled away in the extra frame. The game featured nine lead changes and was tied on five different occasions.
With the wins, both teams improve to five wins and four losses on the season and remain in third place in the Pacwest conference. The teams will hit the road next weekend, with games against Columbia Bible College on Friday (Jan. 11) and the Kwantlen Eagles on Saturday (Jan. 12).
For more information on the teams, visit www.questkermodes.ca.