The Heat men took the floor following the Women’s tough loss to Lethbridge, in an important match-up which may be a sign of things to come. Their opponent was a familiar one, Vancouver Island College, whom they had last faced in the Provincial championships. Last season’s VI team had been undefeated until UBC O toppled them in the final, and they were looking for revenge tonight. However, without some of their key players from last season, it was unclear if they had the firepower to match the Heat’s gunners.
Both teams exploded out of the gate, and action see-sawed until late in the 1st quarter when the Heat took the edge and held on to halftime, when they led 46-38. The Heat came out strong in the second half and pushed their lead to 64-48 late in the 3rd due to some inspired play by Dave Joseph on the outside, and Jon Zaleski who provided some strong rebounding down low. They cruised through the 4th for the win, for a final score of 77-71.
Both teams made good use of their bench, with Vancouver Island flooring all 12 players, and UBC-O playing 11 of their 14. It was a typical exhibition game, with both teams playing a bit loosely and committing more turnovers than they’d like, but the overall quality of the play was good and the tempo was impressive for this early in the season.
The Heat scorers were led by Ryan Fahandeg who finished with 16 points off the bench, on 6 for 12 shooting. He was followed by Dave Joseph and Iain Con who both finished with 11 points, with Con shooting 3 for 4 from three-point territory. Black-belt Jon Zaleski had a strong inside game with a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds. Simon Pelland also had a strong game off the bench, with 10 points on 4 for 5 shooting.
When reached for comment, Assistant Coach Cary Mellon had this to say: “It’s exhibition, and it’s a little bit ugly, but I feel that if we can hold teams to under 70 points, we can give ourselves a good shot at winning in this league.”