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Young Timberwolves fall short against physical Cascades

The UNBC Timberwolves put up a much better fight than a night prior, but the UFV Cascades were too big and too relentless, topping the TWolves 93-60 on Saturday, November 4th, 2023 in Prince George, BC.

After falling behind 31-10 in the first quarter on Friday, Sergey Shchepotkin’s team came out more tough and assertive in Saturday’s rematch. Amrit Manak made a pair of triples in the opening frame, while freshman Viktoriia Filatova came off the bench and had five points. Deanna Tuchscherer was strong for the Cascades with six points, and the rest of the UFV offense came from a scoring-by-committee approach as the visitors held a 23-16 lead after ten minutes.

UNBC continued to battle in the second frame, with reserves Bella Mesquita, Halle Tiessen, and Hanna Busic coming off the bench and showing well. But Canada West All-Star Maddy Gobeil was the story, powering her way to 12 points and propelling UFV to a 42-28 lead at half.

In the third quarter, the Cascades used their size advantage and deep bench, pressuring the Timbewolves ball handlers at every opportunity and crashing the glass to create second-chance opportunities. Gobeil got up to 20 points, while senior Natalie Rathler earned points off turnovers with her length and grit.

The TWolves continued to fight, looking to keep pace with one of the top teams in the country. Captain Rebecca Landry and veteran post Sveta Boykova were steadying presences, often playing with entirely first or second year players, with the Russian post finding her youthful running mates for open looks. Despite the brave pushback, it was the mighty Cascades holding a 67-45 advantage with one quarter to play.

In the fourth quarter, UFV continued to apply full court pressure on the young Timberwolves for much of the frame, hunting turnovers and easy buckets. It led to layups for Esther Allison and Google Sidhu, as the deficit grew. Filatova and Mesquita made threes for UNBC at the other end, and Amrit Manak continued to show great strides in her game, but it was not enough against a UFV program likely to appear in this week’s U SPORTS national ranking. Fraser Valley finished with a 93-60 victory to move to 2-0 on the season.

Gobeil led all scorers with 21 points to go along with five steals, while Deanna Tuchscherer added 14 points and seven rebounds. Sidhu chipped in with 13 points and four assists.

For UNBC, it was Manak pacing them offensively with 14 points, while Sveta Boykova had 10 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

UNBC will now enter their bye week, before heading to Edmonton to take on the MacEwan Griffins on November 17 and 18.

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