By Josh Saggau
It was another disappointing loss for the Kwantlen men’s basketball team on Friday night. The Quest Kermodes had never won in the Surrey gym until their 67-61 victory over the Eagles in the first of their two-game weekend set.
The Eagles were hanging tough with the Kermodes all the way till the fourth quarter and even took a lead into the final frame, but it was not to be. The Eagles had a disastrous fourth, allowing 23 points with only eight in response. With the loss, Kwantlen’s record now sits at 1-12 on the season.
It all looked good for the Eagles early on as the team jumped out to a 16-4 lead in the first quarter, thanks to strong play inside from Harpreet Randhawa and a couple of three-pointers from Dylan Kular. Coach Bernie Love has admitted in the past that the Eagles are not good at outside shooting; the points from the outside were a huge boost for the Eagles’ offence. The first quarter ended with the Eagles up 17-9.
In the second, Quest responded in a big way. Kermodes’ rookie guard, Jose Colorado, went on a tear and singlehandedly put the Kermodes back in it. Quest scored 19 points in the second quarter and finally hit some outside shots. They also managed to neutralize Randhawa on the inside.
Coach Love had stressed the importance of minimizing Quest guard John Pankratz, and the Eagles were doing a good job. Pankratz had just seven points at the half. Still, Kwantlen was down 28-27 at the break.
The second half started with plenty of up and down play. The lead changed hands several times as the two teams jockeyed for position. With the score tied at 41, Love called a timeout and ripped into his team for their sloppy play. It worked. The team came back from the timeout and went on a 12-3 run to end the third quarter with a nine point lead, 53-44. Kwantlen was simply outhustling Quest to all the loose balls and grabbing all the rebounds.
But the Eagles were out of gas as the final quarter began. Jose Colorado and Bryce Froberg put on an offensive show in the fourth and forward Jesse Norris shut down the Kwantlen offence. The Eagles mustered just eight points in the fourth, and the Kermodes quickly tied the game and were soon sitting with a nine point lead. The Eagles attempted to make a comeback but Quest’s Froberg was having none of it and put it away after grabbing his own rebound and knocking down two more points to widen the lead to six with just 18.8 seconds left.
The Eagles turned the ball over during their ensuing possession to seal the victory for the Kermodes, who scored 23 points in the fourth quarter for the win. The Eagles will have a chance for revenge on Saturday as the two teams meet again at the Surrey gym at 8 p.m.