Staring up at three teams chasing the final two playoff positions, the Kwantlen Eagles will likely need to win twice on Vancouver Island to earn a return trip two weeks later.
The men’s basketball team is 6-13 (won-lost) in the PACWEST (Pacifc Western Athletic Assocaition), tied for seventh place with the columbia Bible College Bearcats, and just a game back of the Capilano Blues and Camosun Chargers.
The top six teams advance to the PACWEST playoffs in Victoria Feb. 28 to Mar. 3
After a split in their final two home games last weekend at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the Eagles will close out the regular season with games tomorrow (Friday) in Victoria against the Chargers and Saturday afternoon in Nanaimo with the Vancouver Island University Mariners.
Kwantlen stayed a game out of a playoff position buy stopping the Douglas Royals 80-65 Saturday night, paced by a trio of Surrey residents.
Aaron Ram was the top scorer with 24 points, adding five rebounds and five assists. Ali Bosir netted 16 points and also had 21 rebounds and six steals, while Nii Engmann chipped in with 15 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Tristan Gruenthaler also scored in double digits, finishing with 11 points while grabbing seven rebounds.
“I knew this rival game would be very intense,” said head coach Stefon Wilson. “I just wanted my guys to use this energy in a positive way. We defended and rebounded the ball very well and I was very happy to get a win on the last home game of the season.”
One night earlier, the Eagles came up short against an 18-1 Langara team in a 100-75 loss.
Gruenthaler, a second-year forward from Abbotsford, had 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Bosir had 16 points and 16 rebounds. Engmann contributed 14 points and four rebounds.
“When playing a team as talented as Langara, you cannot have 26 turnovers,” said WIlson. “I liked the effort and thought that we played hard. But we will have to play a lot smarter in our final (two) games.”
Kwantlen’s women’s team has assured itself of a playoff berth, despite two losses last weekend.
With a 9-10 record, they are two games ahead of both Camosun and Langara, but have won the season series against both teams.
Kwantlen fell 68-62 to the Falcons in overtime, with Haeley Williams leading the way of the home side with 19 points and nine rebounds. Amber-Lee Kavanagh added 12 points, and also collected 13 rebounds. Other standouts included Jessica Villadiego with seven points, eight steals and six assists.
“We came out flat and got down early,” said Eagles head coach, Dan Nayebzadeh. “Langara came out with intensity right from the start.”
Kwantlen also lost Saturday, falling 54-45 to the Douglas Royals. McPhail had 15 points and seven rebounds.
The women’s team will also be on Vancouver Island for their final two games, needing one win to clinch fifth place.