Women Hoopsters Eyeing First Place
By DALE WOODARD
Herald-Tribune sports editor
First Place? Why Not?
As they blaze their way up the ACAC North Division women's basketball standings with a sizzling 15-3 record, it's a goal that has the GPRC Wolves thinking big.
Fresh off a pair of wins over The King's University College Eagles that give them a stranglehold on second place in the ACAC North Division and puts them just six points behind the front-running Grant MacEwan Griffins with two games in hand, Wolves head coach Mark Catling said the prospect of first place has been on the minds of his players.
"We talked with the girls afterwards that we're really trying to focus in on finishing in first," said Catling.
"Let's not just be happy being in second, let's really strive to get that first place spot. Grant MacEwan is six points up on us, but we probably
should have won both games against them in the first semester. We have them in a couple weeks, so we're really looking forward to the games coming up."
As they continue to chase the Griffins for top spot, the Wolves take their game on the road to Camrose this weekend to face the 2-16 Augustana University College Vikings.
"Augustana has played tough. They've only had two wins all year, but they've had a lot of tough games," he said. "They've lost a couple overtime games at home. Anytime you have to get on the bus and travel for six hours and you go to a foreign place, a lot of different things come into play. So it's going to be another test, but we just have to go in there and prepare to play and take care of business."
Take care of business, and try not to do too much scoreboard watching to see that the 18-2 Griffins are doing or how close the third place 14-6 Eagles are behind them.
"We've tried to talk to the girls about doing too much scoreboard watching," said Catling. "We have to just focus in on our games I think we've done a really good job of preparing the team each week for the opponent we're playing. Whether they're 2-16 or they're 18-2, we're taking the same approach each week so the girls get some kind of consistency with the video and the scouting report. So we're really trying to stay focused in on game-to-game and not worry about what other teams are doing below us or ahead of us. We just take care of the games we play and let the chips fall where they fall."
And so far those figurative chips have fallen into place nicely for a Wolves team that has had the luxury of having a not only deep, but athletic, bench to go to.
"When you look back (to the beginning of the season) we all kind of threw in our two cents as to where we thought we would be and I thought we would definitely be a playoff team. I really liked our athleticism and I had been been preaching since the beginning that our depth has really been the key to the team," said Catling. "Our versatility has really helped us out, but our athleticism has been the big difference. It is a little surprising to be 15-3, but at the same time we've got all the pieces in the puzzle. It's just a matter of coming out every game and playing well."