It’s like trying to test an older car off the lot against an updated version of the same model.
Sure, what’s been used before has more experience. But eventually all of those extra miles will add up.
Like a fresh new set of wheels, the current edition of the UNBC men’s basketball team out-worked, out-performed and outscored the former Northern Timberwolves in the men’s alumni game on Saturday evening.
The final score at the Northern Sport Centre read 89-60, much to the delight of winning coach Mike Raimbault.
“I was definitely happy with the effort and the focus on the things that we’ve been emphasizing the last couple of weeks, and the energy,” he said.
With 12 points each, three players led the Timberwolves offensively on Saturday Second-year players Francis Rowe and Sam Raphael, and Didier Sam. Sam, a forward, and guard Sebastien-Kevin Louis are third-year players who joined the Timberwolves after playing at Montreal-based John Abbot College last season.
Fourth-year guard Matt Mills and another off-season recruit, third-year guard Jose Araujo, chipped in with 11 points on Saturday. A former Toronto resident with an El Salvadorian background, Araujo committed to the Timberwolves in May. Another out-of-town recruit is Abdu Benrabah, a forward who played high school basketball at Mount Douglas Secondary in Victoria.
The UNBC men’s basketball roster also features rookies Kevan Madsen and Daniel Stark, a couple of local recruits who suited up for the Kelly Road Roadrunners last season.
Stark’s older brother Dennis is among a core group of returnees that includes Inderbir Gill, Jesse Smith, Joel Rybachuk, Rowe and Mills.
In a losing cause, alumnus Jeff Dolan led all scorers with 23 points in the game. Former Timberwolves coach Zane Robison coached the alumni team.
“(The former players) had a chance to share different points of wisdom that they picked up during their time,” Raimbault said. “Our guys are now going through the same sort of experiences that they have completed and moved on to the next phase of their lives. It’s just a chance to learn from some guys that have been in our position.”
The UNBC men’s pre-season schedule begins with a game against the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack in Kamloops on Oct. 8. They play at Fraser Valley University on Oct. 9 before travelling to Vancouver to scrimmage with the UBC Thunderbirds on Oct. 10.
On Oct. 16 and 17, the Timberwolves are in Calgary for two games against SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology). After another weekend in the Lower Mainland, where they’ll meet the Douglas College Royals and Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles, the Timberwolves will take the weekend of Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 off. They open their 2009-10 B.C. Colleges Athletic Association regular season Nov. 6 in Vancouver against the Langara College Falcons.
In the women’s game, which preceded the men’s contest, the current Timberwolves defeated the alumni squad 76-41. First-year guard Mercedes Van Koughnett, who graduated from Duchess Park Secondary this year, led all scorers with 16 points.
Jaclyn Nazareno, who wrapped up a five-year tenure at UNBC in the spring, tallied 15 points to lead the alumni team.