The Quest University Kermodes men's basketball team won a grand total of one game last season, this season they won twice in the postseason alone.
The team capped off a turnaround season by winning the bronze medal at the Pacwest Provincial championships after defeating Douglas College 103-86 in Victoria on Saturday (March 2).
Kermodes head coach Sean Shook said it was a nice win, especially for his departing seniors Brodan Thiel and “Big” Jesse Norris.
“We owed them [Thiel and Norris] our best effort tonight,” he said. “I think we'll enjoy this a little bit, coming off a 1-15 season we're really happy with the bronze.”
It didn't start out the way Quest wanted, as Douglas started the game with a 10-0 run and were up 14-2 mid-way through the opening quarter. The Kermodes clawed backed into the game and trailed 22-14 after one.
The second quarter was where the Kermodes took the game over, exploding for 32 points and proving to be too much offensively for the Royals. Quest took a 46-39 lead into the half and never looked back, cruising to the 103-86 win. Quest forward Mike Powell finished the game off with an exclamation point by dunking with seconds remaining, a move that angered the Royals and saw him receive a technical foul.
Dylan Kular had a team high 20 points in the win, with guard Cartiea French-Toney adding 18 points, five rebounds and 10 assists. Kular said he thinks Quest, who will be hosting Nationals in 2014, has a great chance to pick up some more hardware next season.
“We know that we're capable of winning Provincials next year,” he said. “We don't want to be known as the team that qualified for Nationals just because we're hosting.”
The bronze is the first medal in Quest's history in basketball and is the school's second medal overall after the women's soccer team also picked up bronze back in October.
If the Kermodes have aspirations to win Provincials next season, they will have to compete better against teams like VIU, who outclassed Quest in a semi-final game on Friday (March 1).
The Mariners defeated Quest 81-51 and had no answer for guard Brandon Jones, who scored 32 points on 12 of 18 shooting. Quest shot only 26.9 per cent from the field against VIU and the game fell apart in the third quarter after French-Toney fouled out.
Quest kicked off the tournament with the school's first ever playoff victory by defeating the host Camosun College Chargers 53-50 on Thursday. The back and forth game saw French-Toney make a big steal and bucket to win the game to secure the win. He led Quest with 23 points and six steals in the victory.
The men's gold medal was won by Langara, who defeated VIU 78-74 on Saturday.
For the Quest women, it was a short and not so sweet experience as the Kermodes lost their semi-final game to the Kwantlen Eagles 64-48 on Thursday (Feb. 28). The game was tied 25-25 after the first half but the Kermodes stumbled in the third quarter, falling behind by nine and never recovering. Quest shot poorly the entire game and struggled defensively to control the Eagles post players.
The women's championship was won by VIU, who defeated Capilano 65-55 on Saturday. For more on the tournament, visit www.pacwestbc.ca/basketball2013.