VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC–The Vancouver Island University Mariners have been nothing short of dominant this season, and they brought their regular season play to a close with a convincing 82-63 victory over the Camosun Chargers finishing 17-1. The Mariners head into the BCCAA Championships as one of the top teams in the nation, and they will pose a serious threat to the powerhouse OCAA schools once nationals begin in mid-March.
The Mariners have been lead all season by the three-pronged attack of Andrew Kaban, Jacob Thom and Mike Wohlers. All three averaged more than 15 per game during the season, with Kaban leading the league in scoring at 22 PPG.
Here is a special that local A-News put together on Kaban.
While Kaban has been busy pouring in the points, Thom has been leading the Mariners all over the court. He leads the BCCAA with six dimes a game and also the leading rebounder on the team, grabbing seven per contest.
VIU now has some time off to prepare for the provincial championships, held this year in Abbotsford. The Mariners will face stiff competition at provincials, especially from the UNBC Timberwolves, who are currently the #8 ranked NPH team in the nation.
The Mariners lost their only game of the season in league play to the Timberwolves on November 10th, when they battled to a 91-89 final. The teams clearly have some unfinished business to deal with, so fans around the BCAA are surely anticipating a Mariners-Timberwolves final this year in Abbotsford. Last year, the two programs faced off in the finals; UNBC prevailing with a convincing 84-65 victory, and the Mariners are hungry for revenge this year.
After both the Humber Hawks and the Algonquin Thunder of the OCAA suffered losses in recent weeks, VIU has been able to work their way up the national rankings. Along with the Lethbridge Cougars, NAIT Ooks and the Mount St. Vincent Mystics out of Alberta, the CCAA national championships are gearing up to be a serious competition this year.
While the Ontario teams have the benefit of only having to travel to Durham College in Oshawa, the teams from around the country will be trying to take home the championship with them. March 17-19 will be the days that decide the champion, with all participating squads putting forth deserving seasons thus far.
I will be on location at the national championships, and will be filing daily reports. Follow me on Twitter @LD10 for up to the minute results from the CCAA Championships, as well as the OCAA Championships in Sault Ste. Marie March 3-5.
Photo Courtesy: VIU Athletics