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Varsity Sports Roundup: Bears and Pandas track have solid weekend

Bears Basketball

Bears basketball earned a much-needed sweep against the lowly Brandon Bobcats this past weekend, pushing their record above .500 with a 72-65 win on Friday night, and a 68-54 victory on Saturday.

Brody Clarke was the catalyst for the Bears on Friday night, scoring a game high 30 points, while Mamadou Gueye chipped in 20 points and nine rebounds. The Bears used a strong third quarter where they outscored the Bobcats 23-14 to pull out the seven-point victory.

On Saturday, the Bears once again used a strong third quarter performance to come out on top, this time outscoring the Bobcats 22-11 in the third frame. Gueye led the green and gold in scoring with 18 points to go along with seven rebounds. Clarke posted a double-double, chipping in 12 points and 10 boards.

The Bears will look to keep the momentum going next week when they travel to Lethbridge to take on the Pronghorns. — Zach Borutski

Pandas Basketball

The Pandas improved to 12-1 this past weekend courtesy of a sweep of the Brandon Bobcats.

The green and gold found themselves down 10 after the first quarter, but roared back in the second, outscoring the Bobcats 24-3 to take a 36-25 lead into the half. After that, the Pandas were able to hold on for the 64-54 victory. Jessilyn Fairbanks led the Pandas with 17 points, while Megan Wickstrom and Brooklyn Legault each chipped in with 12.

The Pandas continued their winning ways on Saturday, holding the Bobcats to their lowest point total of the season in a 59-44 win. It was a defensive battle from the outset, with the Pandas holding the Bobcats to just 17 points in the first half, while building a healthy lead.

Maddie Rogers led all scorers with a modest 13 points, while Renee Byrne was the only other scorer in double figures with 10 points.

The Pandas will head on the road next weekend to take on the Lethbridge Pronghorns. — Zach Borutski

Bears Hockey

Bears hockey got back on track this past weekend, sweeping away the last place Regina Cougars. The green and gold opened with a convincing 4-1 win on Friday night, getting goals from Thomas Carr, Jayden Hart, Jordan Rowley and Dylan Bredo. The Bears peppered Cougars goalie Dawson MacAuley all night, firing 57 shots on net. By comparison, Luke Siemens only had to make 18 saves to record his 12th win of the season.

It was more of the same on Saturday, with the Bears winning 5-1 on the back of two goals from Levko Koper, with Mitch Topping also contributing a goal and an assist as well.

The Bears now sit more firmly established in second place in Canada West, now three points clear of Mount Royal, who currently sit in third place.

The Bears will look to build off this strong showing going into a home-and-home series against the Calgary Dinos this upcoming weekend. — Zach Borutski

Pandas Hockey

Looking to get back on track after being swept by the UBC Thunderbirds last weekend, the Pandas hockey team could only muster a split against the Regina Cougars.

The weekend started well enough for the Pandas, as Alex Poznikoff’s goal halfway through the third period helped the green and gold edge out a 2-1 victory. Hannah Oleynk scored the other goal for the Pandas, and Lindsay Post made 16 saves for her 10th win of the season.

The Pandas couldn’t close out a sweep on Saturday however, falling 4-3. Goals four minutes apart in the third period from Emma Waldenberger and Kylie Gavlin ultimately proved to be the difference for the Cougars, and they were able to salvage a split.

Post had an uncharacteristically tough game, getting stuck with the loss after allowing four goals on 24 shots.

The Pandas will look to get back on track next weekend when they face the Calgary Dinos in a home-and-home series. — Zach Borutski

Bears and Pandas Track and Field

See more photos from the track meet here.

Both the Bears and Pandas track teams had a successful meet last weekend at the U of A, with five athletes qualifying for CIS nationals. These athletes included Spencer Allen, Nathan Filipek, and Paige Ridout in the pole vault, Leah Walkden in the women’s 300 metre dash, and the women’s 4×200 metre relay team of Cassandra Grenke, Ashley Whiteman, Alexa Hrycun, and Daniella Clonfero.

Walkden took home a gold medal in the women’s 300 metre dash, while Allen and Filipek won silver and bronze respectively in men’s pole vault. Ridout captured silver in the women’s pole vault, while the women’s 4×200 metre relay team won gold in their event.

In the team standings, the Pandas also finished first overall with 70.5 points, while the Bears finished third with 51. 

With these solid results on the weekend, both the Bears and Pandas will be now looking towards the Canada West championships on Feb. 26 and 27, and then the CIS national tournament, which will run March 10-12. — Oumar Salifou

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