VIU basketball laying it all on the line

Playoff basketball is high-stakes basketball.

The Vancouver Island University Mariners men’s hoops team (15-1) was all but unbeatable over the course of the regular season, but those games were all just a precursor to the real season – playoffs.

The Pacific Western Athletic Association championships this weekend (March 1-3) in North Vancouver are of the utmost importance to the M’s.

If they have success, they accomplish their goal of a return trip to nationals. If they don’t have success, then the season is over. And not just the season – this is the last playoff run in college basketball for graduating players Jacob Thom and Patrick McCarthy. It’s also the last playoff run for coach Tony Bryce, who announced last month he’ll be stepping down at season’s end.

Even still, it doesn’t make this post-season any different from past years, said the coach.

“Not at all. We go in and prepare and we deal with the day and the task at hand,” said Bryce.

“I fully expect our guys to leave it all on the floor and what will be will be. You’ve got to live for the moment and that’s what we’ll do. We’ll deal with after when after takes place and we’re hoping after is in a few more weeks.”

Thom said he isn’t really treating this tournament any differently, either.

“I don’t really think of it, to be honest. I’m just playing every game like it’s my last,” said the point guard.

“I don’t want to lose, regardless. If it’s my first year I’m not trying to lose and if it’s my fifth year I’m still not trying to lose.”

COURT SHORTS … VIU Mariners women’s players Brittany Knievel and Richelle Rafnkjelson are also playing in their final post-season in college hoops … Thom, Richard Townsend Gant, Kayla Gromme and Shayna Worthington were named PacWest first-team all-stars and Jocelyn Jones was selected as a second-team all-star. Bryce was chosen as PacWest Coach of the Year.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

V.I. Raider Girls make the team
Redmen comeback attempt comes up just short
Basketball Mariners feeling energized
Afghan leader makes rare reference to Taliban
City acts on three nuisance properties
Flu season may be early this year
Carihi makes soccer history
Teacher strike cheques in the mail
Greater Victoria cross-country skier medals at B.C. race

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.