TRU says goodbye to fifth-years and hello to playoffs

The TRU Men’s basketball team clinched playoffs and honoured their fifth years on Saturday night

TRU will surely miss the presence of their fifth-year athletes on the Men’s Basketball team. (TRU Athletics)

It was an action-packed weekend for the TRU Wolfpack basketball program which saw both the men’s and women’s team lose their games to the UFV cascades. The pair of losses bring the women’s team to a season record of 7-9 and the men’s team to 11-7. Despite the poor results, the men’s team has already clinched playoffs while the women’s team battles for their spot. Both teams played their final home games of the season and the Wolfpack paid tribute to their fifth years Joe Davis (Kamloops, B.C.), Micheal Rouault (Vernon, B.C.), Anton Bilous (Cerkassy, Ukraine), Kyrin Cybenko (Saskatoon, Sask.), Emma Piggin (Kamloops, B.C.) and Leilani Carney (Burnaby, B.C.).

“It’s a crazy, bittersweet feeling,” said all-time leading scorer Joe Davis. “On the one hand, I’m happy to conclude such an amazing chapter of my life, but on the other, I know I am going to miss it like crazy.”

The games also paid tribute to basketball Alumni where former players who played for the Cariboo College Chiefs, University College of the Cariboo Sun Demons and Wolfpack were celebrated. The whole evening had a rich feeling, which felt like the passing of the torch from one age to the next.

“It feels surreal. I don’t even feel like I’m done,” said Anton Bilous, who dropped 40 points over the weekend.

“Whether you’re talking about games, practice, plane rides, or hotel rooms, their contributions have been huge,” stated head coach Scott Clark. “Just the way they conduct themselves in the community is outstanding. Leadership is not a sometimes thing, it’s an all-the-time thing. It’s about doing things the right way all the time and they are able to do that. I am happy to have coached those guys.”

The Wolfpack played in front of a crowd of 800 at the TCC, but unfortunately could not get the job done. Despite the loss, the men’s team have secured their playoff spot and are looking forward to playoffs on the road. The women are still battling for a spot but remain hopeful. The female fifth years also felt the full emotions of playing their last games at TCC.

“I had a flurry of emotions heading into the game,” said Emma Piggin. “After the fifth-year ceremony, I was really emotional. This has been my home for a long time.”

“The thing I’ll remember most is the friendships with my teammates,” said Leilani Carney. “Those are the type of things that will last a lifetime. We will always remember what we have done here together.”

The Wolfpack will hit the road this upcoming weekend to play against the Lethbridge Pronghorns. The men’s team will then head into playoffs Feb. 14. Opponents are to be decided based on this weekend’s results. If you would like to watch the away games, you can cheer on the Wolfpack via live stream at cw.yaretv.com.

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