Coquitlams Sparks-Guest ablaze for Blues

The Douglas College Royals pocketed a pair of hard-fought wins to enter the holiday break in second place in the PacWest womens basketball league.

By clipping Capilano University 73-68 and Okanagan College 67-57 last week, the Royals rebounded from a stinging 65-40 setback to nationally-ranked Vancouver Island earlier in the month.

Freshman Sydney Fraess, a guard from Chilliwack, stepped up and led Douglas both nights with 23 and 16 points respectively, to earn the PacWests Womens Basketball Player of the Week award.

The turning point against the expansion Coyotes came late in the third quarter with the visitors ahead 39-37. Douglas Malena Mokhovikova and Julia Sprott nailed back-to-back jump shots to turn the tables. While Okanagan would stay within a bucket for most of the fourth quarter, Fraess hit a pair of treys late in the game to lock it up.

Coming in off the bench and chipping in 11 points was Jessica Castillo. Fifth-year forward Rachel Beauchamp contributed 10 points and 12 rebounds.

A day earlier, Douglas erased a brief five-point deficit early in the third quarter and protected its lead the rest of the way. Beauchamp knocked down 18 points and 10 boards, while Castillo contributed 13.

The Douglas College mens Royals rolled off a pair of convincing wins to stay within striking distance of first place in the PacWest mens basketball league.

The Royals got 24-point performances from Tyrone Asenoguan and Courtney Anderson in downing the Okanagan College Coyotes on Saturday. Chipping in with 17 points was Gurkirat Kular.

Douglas also handed Capilano its first loss of the season, a 93-73 decision, thanks to Asenoguans 21-point effort. Josiah Mastandrea contributed 15 points in the win.

The Douglas College womens Royals Olivia Cesaretti played a big role in her teams twin victories over the Columbia Bible College Bearcats.

The third-year middle delivered a pair of outstanding efforts against the Bearcats. In the first match, she hit .778 with eight kills on nine attempts and lined up eight blocks, two aces and three digs in a 3-0 sweep. She would add another six kills, four blocks a pair of digs and three service aces a day later.

Also racking up valuable stats were Cate McCorkell, with 18 kills, and Vania Oliviera, with 16 kills and 11 digs.

The Royals currently sit in a two-way tie with Camuson for second place at 7-3, and are currently ranked second in the nation, behind undefeated Vancouver Island.

Buoyed by a recent win over archrival Vancouver Island, the Douglas College mens volleyball team kept the momentum going with decisions over the Columbia Bible College.

Max Haronga and Reid Marriott combined for 31 kills in a 3-1 opening win over the Bearcats, and followed that up a day later with a 3-0 shutout.

Coquitlams Denver Sparks-Guest doesnt recall flames shooting out of his fingers, but when the final buzzer sounded in the Capilano Blues 126-117 win over the Okanagan College Coyotes in their PacWest mens basketball game last Saturday, hed scorched 53 points.

The scoring barrage was the second-highest one-game total in PacWest history, behind only Ray Branch of Selkirk College who netted 56 point in a game in 1987.

Sparks-Guest, a fifth-year forward who reached the North Shore via Gleneagle secondary and Simon Fraser University, shot 20 of 29 from the field, 3 of 7 from the three-point line and he was a perfect 10 for 10 on his free throws. 

It felt like a regular game, Sparks-Guest said after the game. I was just doing everything that I was supposed to do and I was hitting all my shots. I dont feel like I forced anything or anything felt rushed, I just kind of played the game the way I was supposed to and all my teammates were able to get me the ball in good spots. A little bit of luck, a little bit of training and it happened.

Sparks-Guest was no doubt aided in his effort by a back-and-forth, frantic, fast-paced game between the first-place Blues and the Coyotes, a new team in the league that was in the middle of their first weekend ever of hosting PacWest basketball games.

There was lots and lots of energy in the gym, and we were just basically trading bucket for bucket the whole game. Lots of points were being put on the board and energies were high. I honestly didnt notice (my totals) that much until after the game. I could see I scored a lot of points and then I looked at the scoresheet and I was like, Whoa.

Capilano head coach Cassidy Kannemeyer echoed his stars assessment that the points all came in the rhythm of the game.

The team was able to get Denver the ball in high percentage situations early in the game, he said. Coming off a loss on Thursday, the team realized that we needed to play more inside out basketball. That team initiative got Denver in a rhythm early and the team never looked back. Whether it was versus man to man or zone, Denver was able to get his shot all night.

The win sent the Blues into the winter break with a 5-1 record, tied for first place in the PacWest league with Vancouver Island University. Capilano is currently ranked No. 12 in the country after reaching a season high No. 7 ranking the previous week.

Sparks-Guest said hes putting it all on the line in his fifth and final college year, and hes expecting big things from the Blues in the second half of the season.

I think the sky is the limit for us, he said. I think we definitely are a team that can go as far as winning the national championship. … Its just a matter of doing everything that we can do, and that means just taking care of our business, staying in the gym, everybody studying up on film and everything like that. With a little bit of luck at the end of the season I think we could definitely put ourselves in a position to do that.