The Quest Kermodes men’s basketball team will have to play the villain’s role in the team’s first-ever foray into the playoffs.
The Kermodes will take on the host Camosun Chargers in the opening game of the playoffs on Thursday (Feb. 28) night and head coach Sean Shook said his team is feeling good despite having to take on what will likely be the crowd favourite.
“The guys are fairly optimistic,” he said. “We’ve been focusing a lot of Camosun in practice this week and I think we match up fairly well with them. We give them some match-up problems.”
Quest defeated the Chargers all three times the teams met in the regular season and Shook said despite a lack of Pacwest playoff experience, his players do know how to win big games.
“Most of these guys have been in important game situations like this before,” he said, pointing out that rookies Mike Zayas-Duran and Denzel Laguerta won big games in high school.
He acknowledged that playing in front of the pro-Camosun crowd could prove challenging. The Kermodes posted a strong 8-2 record at home in the “Kermode Kave” but were 3-8 on the road.
“We’re expecting the crowd to be with Camosun,” he said. “We need to be able to weather the storms during the game but I’m confident we have every edge to do that.”
Shook said Quest’s dominant play in the fourth quarter during the regular season proved the team’s depth and he hopes that type of late game play will continue in the postseason.
Meanwhile, it should be a wide open field on the women’s side. Only three wins separated the top four teams and Quest head coach Dany Charlery said it’s hard to pick a favourite.
“Everyone has beaten everyone else so it’s hard to say who’s the team to beat,” he said.
The Kermodes picked up wins against Capilano, VIU and Douglas during the regular season and Charlery said he thinks his team can compete against any of them. Up first for Quest will be the Kwantlen Eagles, a team that has given the Kermodes trouble during the season.
“We need to play with urgency throughout,” he said. “We tend to slow things down, especially if we get ahead, but we need to run first and set a lot of plays all game long – especially against a fast team like Kwantlen.”
The women’s team will get underway on Thursday at 1 p.m., while the men tip off in the day’s final game starting at 8 p.m.
Both games will be available to view online at www.sportscanada.tv.