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VIU Mariners women win provincial basketball championship

M’s defeat Capilano Blues in final, advance to nationals
VIU Mariners player Harriette Mackenzie looks to put up a shot versus the Capilano Blues in the PacWest final Saturday, March 4, at the Pacific Institute for Sport Education in Victoria. (Athena Pimental/PacWest photo)

VIU’s women’s basketball team is the best in B.C.

The Vancouver Island University Mariners won the Pacific Western Athletic Association championship this past weekend, defeating the Capilano Blues by a 67-61 score in the provincial final Saturday, March 4, in Victoria.

The Mariners handled the Camosun Chargers in the semifinals, 67-44, and in the next day’s final, the M’s got off to a dream start, leading 16-3 after one quarter.

“We executed a game plan, we came out ready to go, we were locked in and I think we were able to kind of overwhelm them a little bit at the start and rode that out,” said Tony Bryce, coach of the VIU women.

The Blues were the No. 1 seed going into the tournament and Bryce said the Mariners knew the opposition was going to make a run and have a chance to get back in the game.

“There’s always sways in the game … so you never feel comfortable,” he said. “But for the most part, I liked our energy and our focus and I felt fairly comfortable most of the night.”

C.J. Buckley led VIU with 23 points and Harriette Mackenzie scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Ranika Guyton added 11 points.

Bryce said winning the PacWest championship felt good, mentioning that the season has been “a journey,” and a challenging one.

“We’ve had some adversity and we’ve had to push through some things as individuals and as a unit and it’s nice to see all that pay off,” he said. “We stuck to the grind and got rewarded.”

Mackenzie was selected tournament MVP, while Guyton and Buckley were all-stars.

The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association national championships will be held March 15-18 at Mohawk College in Hamilton.

READ ALSO: PacWest basketball resumes with ‘Island Rivalry’ games at VIU gym

Meanwhile, the VIU Mariners men’s basketball team took silver at provincials, falling to the Blues 98-95.

Tori Odom scored 24 points in the final, Landon Radliff scored 20, Akoi Yuot had 19 points and 16 rebounds and Richard Henderson scored 19. Yuot and Odom were chosen tournament all-stars.

VIU’s men get a wild-card berth into nationals, and this year’s CCAA championship will be held at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary from March 16-19.

READ ALSO: VIU’s basketball teams finish first half of season in first place

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About the Author: Greg Sakaki

I have been in the community newspaper business for two decades, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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