Basketsaurs hip hoppin’ it to the hoop

By Stewart Pallard

The University of Calgary Dinos men’s basketball team kept their perfect home record intact with a pair of victories over the University Collage Fraser Valley Cascades and the Thompson Rivers University Wolf Pack last weekend. With the University of Alberta Golden Bears splitting their weekend series against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, the Dinos stand at first place in the central division of Canada West, which will give them a first-round playoff bye.

Friday’s game against the Cascades quickly turned into the Henry Bekkering show. The forward was a force for which the Cascades had no answer as Henry burned the Cascades for 38 points and led his team to a 90-76 win. The Dinos suffer from slow starts and Henry carried the team early on the in game, as he did nearly all the scoring for his team.

“He carried us the whole first half,” said Dinos head coach Dan Vanhooren. “He had 22 points at the half and he’s just that kind of player. He can explode on a team for a lot of points and he came to play today. He played aggressively and that’s what we need.”

The Dinos led for most of first half but fell behind the Cascades in the second quarter. Rookie Tyler Fidler shot back-to-back three- pointers and gave the Dinos a three-point lead. The Cascades kept the game close but cracked in the second half as the Dinos outscored them 48-37. The Dinos also finished with 45 rebounds to the Cascades’ 26.

“We started out a little sluggish,” said Henry Bekkering. “But in the second half we really started hitting our shots and playing well.”

Henry isn’t the only good player the Dinos have as point guard. Jeff Price came alive in the second half and finished with 14 points and five assists. Henry’s brother Ross finished with 12 rebounds Fidler chipped in with ten points.

The Sat. night game against the Wolf Pack was an ugly affair. The Wolf Pack have been competing in CIS basketball since 2004-05 and only have two wins so far this season. The game had all the makings of a blowout, with one of the best teams in the CIS taking on one of the weakest, but there was an upset as the Dinos neglected their defence and had to claw their way to a 117-100 win.

Ross Bekkering sat out to rest a nagging ankle injury which gave an opportunity for bench players to step up, but the Dinos were out-rebounded for only the second time this season by the lowly Wolf Pack.

“We know who we’re playing,” said Vanhooren. “At the same time we still expect our bench to play hard and quite honestly they do. I thought our starters and our bench for the most part just took them lightly. It didn’t seem to matter who was on the floor.”

The Wolf Pack only trailed by four with four minutes remaining in the game. Then the Dinos went on an 18-4 run to kill any chance of a Wolf Pack comeback.

The Dinos was again led by Hank “The Tank” Bekkering, who racked up 34 points on the night. Jeremy Odland had ten and Robbie Sihota had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Fidler earned player of the game honours with 21 points, nine rebounds and seven steals.

The Dinos face a pair of .500 clubs at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium with the University of Manitoba Bisons and the University of Winnipeg Wesmen paying a visit next weekend. A single victory over either team will keep them at first place in the Canada West conference for the Dinos, something they haven’t done since the 2003-04 season.

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