Mariners haul in Bball awards

February 23rd, 2014

Mariners haul in league honours

Awards include coach of the year, player of the year and several all stars as playoffs set to begin

Ben Ingram / Daily News
February 27, 2014

Vancouver Island University's Mariners basketball programs have hauled in a pile of league awards, just in time for playoffs.

The Pacific Western Athletic Association's provincial basketball championships begin today at Douglas College and VIU will come armed with a host of all stars, a player of the year and a coach of the year.

After a record breaking season, the Mariners (20-1) saw Bill McWhinnie named women's basketball coach of the year and point guard Jocelyn Jones chosen as player of the year.

Jones was also named to the 1st All Star team, alongside teammate and the league's leading scorer, Shayna Worthington.

Fifth year guard and Nanaimo native Heather McCarthy was named to the 2nd All Star team.

From the men (16-5), point guard Brandon Jones was named to the 1st All Stars after he tied Cartiea French-Toney of the Quest Kermodes for the league lead in points, with 453 this season.

This season brought Mariners fans many reasons to celebrate, even before playoffs get underway.

The women's team smashed the PacWest wins record of 18 with a 20-1 finish, their shot at a perfect record dashed by a 70-61 loss to the second place Camosun Chargers (16-5) in the final regular season tilt.

The Mariners have been dominant on offence all season long and have outscored opponents by 391 points this year.

Leading the way has been Worthington, who finished with a league-best 406 points. The Mariners rounded out the top two with Jones' 360 points.

Jones was also the league leader in assists with 112, nearly twice as many as the league's number two producer.

Worthington finished fifth in PacWest with 162 rebounds.

"Going into the season, my number one goal was to have no regrets," said Jones. "I think my teammates expect me to run the floor and be the best point guard I can be."

Jones and Worthington's combined 766 points were crucial to the Mariners' dominance over opponents in this year's regular season.

The two have found chemistry on and off the court and both said it has helped them keep opposing teams on their toes.

"We do spend a lot of time together," said Worthington. "We just read each other well in what we're thinking on the court. As a team, we all have the same mindset and goals we want to accomplish, which helps."

Mariners fans will look for more of that chemistry on Friday, when VIU will face either the Capilano Blues (10-11) or the host Douglas College Royals (8-13) in the semi-final, depending on the outcome of the Thursday quarterfinals.

The Mariners and the Chargers both secured a bye to the semifinal. While Camosun finished the season second in the PacWest standings, VIU is likely considered the team to beat.

VIU heads into provincials ranked number seven in the nation by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association. The Mariners were previously in the number three spot, before their sole defeat, at the hands of Camosun.

Worthington and Jones both credited their coach's own development as a central contributor to the team's success. "In my last five years since I've been here, I've really seen him grow," said Worthington. "(He) understands his players, knows what works and what doesn't. .. He definitely puts in more than enough work."

McWhinnie said success as a coach can be measured in the improvements athletes make during their careers. For him, the wins and losses come later, once a team has built chemistry and learned the importance of hard work.

"That's why they've been successful. They've been a tight group, great team chemistry and they work hard every day," he said.

He pointed to fifth-year Mariner McCarthy's being named to the All Star team as an example.

"That's the best thing, when you see a kid work hard and reap the rewards," he said. "(She's) gone from a deep bench player to all star in her last year. .. That's super rewarding for me."

The Mariners planned to ship out for Douglas College on Thursday. Both teams will see action in the semi finals, with the women playing at 6 p.m. and the men earlier in the day at 3 p.m.

Vancouver Island University's Mariners basketball programs have hauled in a pile of league awards, just in time for playoffs.

The Pacific Western Athletic Association's provincial basketball championships begin today at Douglas College and VIU will come armed with a host of all stars, a player of the year and a coach of the year.

After a record breaking season, the Mariners (20-1) saw Bill McWhinnie named women's basketball coach of the year and point guard Jocelyn Jones chosen as player of the year.

Jones was also named to the 1st All Star team, alongside teammate and the league's leading scorer, Shayna Worthington.

Fifth year guard and Nanaimo native Heather McCarthy was named to the 2nd All Star team.

From the men (16-5), point guard Brandon Jones was named to the 1st All Stars after he tied Cartiea French-Toney of the Quest Kermodes for the league lead in points, with 453 this season.

This season brought Mariners fans many reasons to celebrate, even before playoffs get underway.

The women's team smashed the PacWest wins record of 18 with a 20-1 finish, their shot at a perfect record dashed by a 70-61 loss to the second place Camosun Chargers (16-5) in the final regular season tilt.

The Mariners have been dominant on offence all season long and have outscored opponents by 391 points this year.

Leading the way has been Worthington, who finished with a league-best 406 points. The Mariners rounded out the top two with Jones' 360 points.

Jones was also the league leader in assists with 112, nearly twice as many as the league's number two producer.

Worthington finished fifth in PacWest with 162 rebounds.

"Going into the season, my number one goal was to have no regrets," said Jones. "I think my teammates expect me to run the floor and be the best point guard I can be."

Jones and Worthington's combined 766 points were crucial to the Mariners' dominance over opponents in this year's regular season.

The two have found chemistry on and off the court and both said it has helped them keep opposing teams on their toes.

"We do spend a lot of time together," said Worthington. "We just read each other well in what we're thinking on the court. As a team, we all have the same mindset and goals we want to accomplish, which helps."

Mariners fans will look for more of that chemistry on Friday, when VIU will face either the Capilano Blues (10-11) or the host Douglas College Royals (8-13) in the semi-final, depending on the outcome of the Thursday quarterfinals.

The Mariners and the Chargers both secured a bye to the semifinal. While Camosun finished the season second in the PacWest standings, VIU is likely considered the team to beat.

VIU heads into provincials ranked number seven in the nation by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association. The Mariners were previously in the number three spot, before their sole defeat, at the hands of Camosun.

Worthington and Jones both credited their coach's own development as a central contributor to the team's success. "In my last five years since I've been here, I've really seen him grow," said Worthington. "(He) understands his players, knows what works and what doesn't. .. He definitely puts in more than enough work."

McWhinnie said success as a coach can be measured in the improvements athletes make during their careers. For him, the wins and losses come later, once a team has built chemistry and learned the importance of hard work.

"That's why they've been successful. They've been a tight group, great team chemistry and they work hard every day," he said.

He pointed to fifth-year Mariner McCarthy's being named to the All Star team as an example.

"That's the best thing, when you see a kid work hard and reap the rewards," he said. "(She's) gone from a deep bench player to all star in her last year. .. That's super rewarding for me."

The Mariners planned to ship out for Douglas College on Thursday. Both teams will see action in the semi finals, with the women playing at 6 p.m. and the men earlier in the day at 3 p.m.

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