CJ Pentland, CapU Sport Information Director
On the heels of a successful 14-4 regular season, four members of the Capilano University Blues women’s basketball team have earned PACWEST awards, as announced by the league on Wednesday.
A trio of Blues were named to the PACWEST All-Star team, led by fourth-year guard Reiko Ohama who earned a spot on the First Team. Taking on an expanded role this season for CapU, the Arts & Sciences was a consistent threat in all facets of the game. Her 14.4 points per game were third-best in the conference, and she ranked second in assists with 4.4 per contest and fifth in steals with an average of 1.9. Difficult to guard on offence thanks to her versatility, she scored the second-most three-pointers and drew the second-most fouls – also ranking fifth in free throw percentage and eighth in three-point percentage. This is Ohama’s first all-star selection.
Joining Ohama as all-stars are Mackenzie Smith and Sherrie Errico, who both were voted to the Second Team.
Much was asked of Smith heading into her second season, and she improved by leaps and bounds both on and off the court to meet those demands. Her 55.2 field goal percentage was tops in the league, and she finished seventh in scoring with 12.3 points per game and seventh in rebounding with 5.9. A member of the PACWEST All-Rookie Team last season, Smith’s strong play in the post helped power Capilano’s offence, as she also has the passing and ability to see the floor to find open shooters when opponents key in on her down low.
For Errico it marks her second all-star nod, having been voted to the second team back in 2016-17. As the team’s only senior she took on more of a leadership role and excelled as a stable, consistent force. Errico scored at least eight points in all but one game and hit at least one three-pointer in all but two – hitting two or more in 11 of 16, which led to her league-leading total of 32. The Legal Studies student finished fifth in the PACWEST in points and assists with averages of 12.5 and 2.9, respectively, and her 33.7 three-point percentage was also fifth-best.
Rounding out Capilano’s award winners was Alessia Brutto, who was named PACWEST Rookie of the Year. A starter since week one, Brutto played every position on the court and packed the stat sheet every night, finishing first in the league in steals (2.4), second in blocks (1.3), second in rebounding (9.8), fourth in field goal percentage (44.2), ninth in points (11.9) and 15th in assists (1.9). A Business student from Bassano del Grappa, Italy, she was also the team’s top defender, guarding the opposition’s top player each night. Brutto is the second CapU women’s basketball player to be Rookie of the Year, joining Jordana Miltimore who won in 2002-03.
Last season’s gold medalists, CapU now enters the PACWEST Championships as the #2 seed and has a bye to the semifinals. They will face the winner of the quarterfinal between #3 Camosun College and #6 Okanagan College, with tip-off on Friday, March 1 at 12:30. All tournament games are at Douglas College in New Westminster, and can be viewed online at pacwestbc.tv.