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CapU Blues trio earn PACWEST awards

Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures
Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures

CJ Pentland, CapU Sport Information Director

A pair of veterans and a rookie on the Capilano University Blues men’s basketball team have been honoured among the PACWEST’s best on Wednesday afternoon.

For the second season in a row, forward Denver Sparks-Guest has been named a First Team All-Star. The fifth-year took his game to a new level in 2018-19 and delivered in all facets of the game, which included a number of huge individual performances. He finished second in the league in scoring with an average of 25.8 points per game, fourth in rebounds with 9.1 and fourth in steals with 1.9, also posting seven double-doubles. He finished with a 49.4 field goal percentage, and he scored the most field goals, third-most free throws, and 12th most three-pointers.

On November 17 he set the CapU men’s basketball single-game record with 53 points against Okanagan College, which is also the second-highest mark in PACWEST history. The next game he followed that up with 49 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Douglas College. Across the entire season, he set the Blues single-season record for points with 465, breaking the old record held since 2000-01.

Joining Sparks-Guest is his high school teammate Brenden Bailey, who earned his first all-star nod after being voted to the second team. Having always been an offensive threat with his ability to penetrate and shoot from the perimeter, Bailey had his best season in the PACWEST by stepping up his perimeter defence, rebounding and passing to become a leader for the Blues on both sides of the court. He averaged 14.3 points, 2.7 assists and 1.4 steals, scoring a career-high 28 points on February 2 against Camosun.

Rounding out the award winners is first-year guard Chris Schneller, who was voted to the All-Rookie Team. Playing like a seasoned vet in the eyes of head coach Cassidy Kannemeyer, the Arts & Sciences student provided key minutes off the bench all season as a role player. One of the team’s top rebounders – averaging 9.2 boards per 40 minutes – he hit big shots all season, both from long range and at the rim. He was also a defensive standout, finishing 10th in the league in steals per 40 minutes.

CapU will now enter this week’s PACWEST Championships as the #3 seed and will face #6 Okanagan College at 3:00pm on Thursday, February 28. The Blues dropped their last two meetings to OC, but won their first meeting 126-117 back in November. A win would advance them to Friday’s semifinal against the hosts Douglas College.

All tournament games are in New Westminster at Douglas College, and can be streamed online at pacwestbc.tv.