Brent Mutis, CapU Sport Information & Compliance Officer
Coming off a bye week, the Capilano Blues were challenged with a wonky PACWEST road trip and despite being woefully shorthanded due to injuries, they managed to pull off a split of games at Okanagan College (OC) and Columbia Bible College (CBC).
Martin Bogajev was bombs away from three-point land Saturday at CBC, making nine threes on his way to a 31-point night. Sam Bailey was a monster on the glass, grabbing 18 rebounds including seven on the offensive end.
The Blues served notice early, scoring 30 in the first quarter while allowing just 13. Bogajev was 3-for-4 from downtown in the first quarter and after being relatively quiet in the middle two quarters, he drained five more in the fourth as the Blues pulled away.
"That's why Martin is so dangerous; if he hits one, he can hit three, four in a row," said Blues head coach Cassidy Kannemeyer.
Saturday's win at CBC was an important one as it gives the Blues the win in the season series against the Bearcats, two wins to one. If the teams remain tied in the standings, the tiebreaker would go Capilano's way as a result. That's big news with the teams neck and neck for the final PACWEST playoff berth.
In Friday's opener, the result was another narrow setback as Okanagan College claimed a 77-75 home win. The game was played in Penticton instead of OC's regular home gym in Kelowna but it seemed the South Okanagan setting suited Coyotes tandem of Hunter Hughes and Matthew Lafontaine as they went for 20 and 21 points respectively.
A sleepy second quarter by the Blues was their undoing at OC as they made just one bucket, courtesy of Marko Cosic, and got outscored 27-2 in the frame. Capilano made it into a ballgame in the third with a furious comeback as they poured in 44 points including 10 from Nathan Bromige and 14 from Bogajev. The rally turned a 35-point halftime deficit into a two-point game.
OC did just enough in the fourth quarter to hang on and hand the Blues their fourth defeat of three points or less this season.
Bailey was close to a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds and further filled the stat sheet with five assists, a steal and a block. His production on the weekend was a good indicator for a Blues team that was without his services in the first half of the season owing to his transfer to CapU from SFU.
"Sam and I have had several conversations lately about what kind of player we want him to be and what kind of player he wants to be," said Kannemeyer. "He wants to be someone who can impact the game in every tracked statistic... and if that's what Sam wants, I'll help him get there."
Bailey will have his next chance to make an impact Friday as the Blues play at Langara College. They finish the regular season the next night, also at Langara.