Three’s the magic number
The Bison men’s basketball team placed third at the48th annual Wesmen Classic for the second year in a row. The University of Alberta Golden Bears took first place after defeating our city rivals and tournament hosts, the University of Winnipeg.
In quarter-final action, the Bisons defeated the University of Regina Cougars 85-74. Third-year guard A.J. Basi controlled the game, putting up 25 points, connecting five times from beyond the arc, and recording three steals. The Bisons ordered a double-double from Wyatt Anders, who dropped 17 points and 15 rebounds. Manitoba held the lead in all four quarters but narrowly escaped a strong comeback effort by the Cougars in the fourth.
In their semifinal matchup, Manitoba lost a heartbreaker to the Wesmen, 91-77. The Bisons seemed to have the upper hand in the first half, going into the break with a comfortable 47-34 lead. The Wesmen must have received a pretty strong inspirational speech, as they almost doubled the Bisons’ point production in the second half of the game. Despite the loss, A.J. Basi has another strong game, putting up 17 points and two steals. Alfreeman Flowers led the Herd in rebounds with 10.
In their final match, for third place, the Bisons narrowly edged out the Brandon Bobcats in a nail-biter, 77-75. The Herd was led by the usual suspects: A.J. Basi and Wyatt Anders. Basi put up 20 points and earned recognition as a Tournament All-Star for his overall performance. Anders pulled down 15 rebounds and contributed 10 points for his second double-double of tournament play.
All-Stars herded from Bison Hockey
Standouts Jordan DePape and Luke Paulsen from the Bison men’s hockey team have been selected to represent Canada at the 2015 Winter Universiade Tournament in Granada, Spain from February 3-14. Bison coach Mike Sirant was selected as an assistant to Team Canada. Sirant won a bronze medal with Canada in 1997 as head coach.
Canada will face off against 11 of the strongest teams comprised of university students across the world, similar to teams represented in the World Juniors or the Olympics.
Canada has brought home 13 medals in 14 appearances at Universiade and will look to continue their dominant play in February.
The track and field team named their six captains for the 2014-2015 season over the Christmas break.
In his final year as a Bison, Wilfred Samking will serve as captain for a third straight season. The long-time serving captain has qualified for CIS nationals four times.
Also named captain were fifth-year middle distance runner Eric Thacher, third-year triple jump specialist Gee-ef Nkwonta, fifth-year and four-time CIS National qualifier Sarah Huebert, third-year high jumper Tamara Paetsch, and second-year and long distance runner Rebekah Sass.
The new captains will be in action at home Feb. 27 and 28, as the Bisons host the Canada West Track and Field Championships at Max Bell Fieldhouse.
Hall of Fame, High School class
The Manitoba Bisons will be well represented in the Hall of Fame Class of 2015 for the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association, with four former Bison athletes and the current head coach for the football team being inducted.
Coach Brian Dobie, formerly of Churchill High School, has been inducted under the Builder category. Dobie has played a key role in building the Bison Football program that has seen nothing but success under his reign.
Former Bison athletes that received induction were Bryon Goodwin (Grant Park High School – track); Scott Koskie (Dakota Collegiate – volleyball, basketball, track, curling, and soccer); Linda Pttaert (Dakota Collegiate – cross country, volleyball, basketball, and track & field); and former NFL player Israel Idonije (Vincent Massey High School – football).