If you can stop University of Regina Cougar Basketball star Kevin Gilroy, the rest of the CIAU wants you.|
"His success last year makes him think he can be successful," said James Hillis, Cougars head coach.
Gilroy was unstoppable as the Cougars won the toughest Cougar Classic basketball tournament in recent memory. The Cougars also extended their home winning streak to 29 games.
In the first game last Friday against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, Gilroy scored 29 points in a 103-87 Cougar victory. Gilroy had the PAC on its feet when he scored on an alley-oop pass from Steve Podwin late in the second half of the Cougar victory.
"Kevin Gilroy in an all-Canadian kid. There can't be many better players in the country or many better people," said Dave Crook, Pronghorns head coach.
Gilroy, however, had already begun to think about the Cougars game the next night against the defending CIAU champion University of Victoria Vikes.
"I think the whole team is excited to
| play U of Vic at home. The 28 straight (home) wins bring a lot of confidence," said Gilroy after Friday's game.|
The Cougars dominated the Vikes winning 83-72. The Cougars led the game by as many as 26 points at one point in the second half.
"[The Cougars] are very poised when they run their offense," said Vikes guard Ral Carter-Chillious, who scored 22 points for the Vikes.
Eric Hinrichsen, who was the 1996/97 player of the year, did not play for Victoria last weekend. Hinrichsen injured his shoulder and stayed behind in Victoria.
"It would have been a big difference, (if Hinrichsen was in the Vikes line-up). Our post guys are good, but they are young and inexperienced," said Carter-Chillious.
Gilroy scored 35 points, pulled down 11 rebounds, and made 68% of his shots from the floor.
"He was a top five player last year. He's got to be in the top two or three this year," said Hillis.
Bill Johnson also had a big game for the Cougars against the Vikes. Johnson scored 24 points, pulled down eight
| rebounds, and was named the game's MVP along with Gilroy.|
"It's a game that really means a lot to our team," said Johnson. "This is the biggest win in the program's history."
The other interesting side plot in the game against the Vikes was the fact Cougar guard Chris Warnecke played. Earlier in the day, Warnecke helped the Regina Rams football club defeat the Windsor AKO Fratmen in Windsor Ontario.
Warnecke then flew with the Rams back to Regina and rushed to the PAC for the basketball game. Warnecke arrived two minutes before game time but got dressed and was ready to play at tip off.
When Warnecke got into the game, he almost body-checked a Vikes player into the wall.
"I thought I was blocking for a running play. I was taking him out to the sidelines," said Warnecke.
Even though the Cougars never played the University of Minot State Beavers, the Cougars won the tournament because Minot was 0-2 and could not have won the tournament.