November 18th & 19th
The Grand Prairie Wolves and Nait Ooks braved the Saskatchewan winter to come play the Menâ€™s basketball team this weekend. Friday saw the Clips face off against the Wolves and Caleb Klassen came out on fire, hitting 7 of the first 11 Briercrest points. Briercrest would continue to dominate the Wolves, getting some big rebounds from Jesse Mortensen, and two 3 balls from Kendell Boese, cruising to a 33-16 lead after 1 quarter.
The men never looked back and put on a great show, with Justin Wolverton feeding a nice behind the back pass to Brandon Friesen for the bucket and 1. The next play after a steal he would follow that up with a big dunk off the fast break. Habib would come into the game in the third and tally six quick points off a three, and then an offensive rebound tap in plus the foul. Later Kenny made a couple defenders look silly crossing them up for an easy layup and then stealing the ball and spinning around the hapless victim. The game would get closer in the fourth after a couple Briercrest turnovers but Boese would hit one more 3 to put it in the bank and go on to earn Player of the Game with over 30 points in the 97-89 Briercrest Victory.
The Nait game on Saturday was fast paced from the start. A couple turnovers by Briercrest let Nait jump out ahead early. After a steal by the Clippers, Caleb Klassen would make a sick behind the back feed to Brandon Friesen but got called for a charge. Then on the next drive on a similar play he was called again for another charge. Now I donâ€™t like to come down on the refs, they have a tough job but I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have ever seen a charge called and getting two against Briercrest on back to back plays was pretty surprising. Briercrest would stay in the game due to some great defense, getting a big block from Jesse Mortensen that got the crowd going and then Justin Wolverton took over. He was all over the opposing guard getting a steal, causing two turnovers, and drawing a foul all within a minute that resulted in the guard getting pulled from the game to recollect his thoughts to the delight of the crowd.
In the second half Wolverton would switch over to offense, dropping 7 points in the first minute of the quarter. Mortenson would drive hard to the rim to get 2 and 1 and Briercrest kept chipping away at the Ook lead. In the 4th quarter Klassen would drop back to back 3â€™s to give the men some momentum. Unfortunately the frantic pace of the game would catch up to Briercrest as they would see Klassen, Mortensen, and Friesen all foul out. James Wohlgeshaffen stepped up his game however covering the Ooks top scorer aggressively, was all over the glass and hit a 3 to pull Briercrest within 12. The Clippers got some great support off the bench as well with Habib and Buddingh coming into the game and put some pressure on to cut the lead down to 8 with three minutes remaining. Nait would weather the storm and end up winning the game 94-78. James would earn player of the game honours with 10 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and a block.