It may have been Valentine’s Day on Friday (Feb. 14), but all the Quest Kermodes men’s basketball team gave the Kwantlen Eagles was a bad case of heartburn.
Quest led from start to finish and destroyed the Eagles 107-52 in a game that was over only minutes after the opening tipoff. The Kermodes had a 10-point lead just over three minutes into the game and never looked back.
“It was a good team win,” said Quest’s leading scorer Shedrick Nelson, who scored 24 points in only 20 minutes on the floor. “It was exciting to get a chance to watch our whole team play and everybody contributed.”
Nelson wasn’t kidding as every single member of the Kermodes had at least one point. Mo Dadfar had 17 points and nine rebounds, while Cartiea French-Toney had 12 points and 12 assists. Sharpshooter Jose Colorado and guard Denzel Laguerta also hit double digits, with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Head coach Sean Shook agreed that it was a good team effort.
“We worked through some stuff that we wanted to do against their zone and we did a great job,” he said. “Five guys were in double digits and our three leading scorers basically didn’t play after the halfway mark of the third.”
Shook said he likes the way his team has played with the playoffs looming.
“I’ve really liked our depth and post play,” he said. “Mo [Dadfar] had a good game for us today and Paul Getz has been starting for us and has just been solid in everything we ask him to do. We shoot the ball so much better at home. We’re comfortable here and as we look forward to nationals next month, we know we’re playing at home.”
He pointed out that Quest got some help on Friday from Langara, which beat second place VIU. The result leaves VIU with one more loss than Quest and means the Kermodes are in control of their own destiny as far as second place and a first-round playoff bye goes.
Nelson said the goal for the Kermodes has been the same since the start of the season.
“From Day 1 our focus has been to win a national championship,” he said. “It’s what everybody on our team is here to do. It’s our goal.”
The men’s team followed that effort with a 120-97 win over the CBC Bearcats on Saturday (Feb. 15).
French-Toney led the way with 28 points, eight rebounds and five steals, while Colorado added 25 points. Getz had a team-high 11 rebounds to go with 14 points. The Kermodes shot 55 per cent for the game and outrebounded CBC 63-34.
Quest now has a record of 16 wins and four losses and is in second place. If the Kermodes win their remaining game, they will place second and receive a first-round playoff bye.
For the Quest women’s team, it was another slow start but a strong finish to pick up the 66-59 win.
The Kermodes were down 21-8 after the first quarter and trailed by eight at half but they fought back in the second half to secure the win over Kwantlen.
Courtney Harpur, Aimee Johnston and Miriam Baumann scored 10 points apiece and Katrin Sandbichler grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds. Quest’s defence was swarming all night, with five players grabbing at two or more steals.
“We weren’t scoring to start off and we weren’t picking up the difference on defence in the first half and it was hurting us,” Harpur said.
Quest shot only 23 per cent in the first half, but the Kermodes found their shooting touch in the second half and shot 46 per cent. Harpur said the team refocused at the half and locking down on defence helped lead them to offence.
“When we focus on our defence, our offence seems to flow and everything seems to work,” she said. “We all banded together in the second half and really got our energy up.”
Slow starts have been an issue for the team at times this season and Harpur agreed it could eventually hurt the Kermodes.
“It’s almost like we need the motivation of being down to get going,” she said. “It’s seemed to work out OK for us so far, but we may hit that point of where it’s too big of a spread to come back from and then it will hurt us.”
Team depth is also an attribute for the women’s team and Harpur said it helps the team remain dangerous.
“Any given night, anyone can go off,” she said. “As soon as they shut down one of us, someone else can take on that role — there’s no one person that we have to get the ball to.”
The women’s team is also fighting for a first-round playoff bye. Harpur said getting the bye would be huge for the Kermodes.
“I feel really great about the team,” she said. “It’s my last year so I want it to be my best year and it would be exciting to finish second, get that bye and have our highest ranking yet.”
The women’s team then laid a beating on the CBC Bearcats, 85-33, on Saturday. The game featured an incredible performance from Cassidy Osterling, who scored 32 points and was seven of 12 from three-point range. Johnston added 10 rebounds and Harpur picked up five steals.
The women’s team improved to 15-5 and is tied for second with Camosun.
Both teams wrap up the regular season on Saturday (Feb. 22) with the Capilano Blues coming to town. The women hit the court at 6 p.m., with the men tipping off at 8 p.m.
For more information on the teams, visit www.questkermodes.ca.