Wolves serve court notice
Split with division-leading Thunder has hoops coaches excited
Women's basketball teams across the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, be warned.
Members of the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves have just had a glimpse of how good they really can be.
And they like it.
Looking to claw their way above the .500 mark, the Wolves headed to Edmonton on the weekend for the task of facing the North Division-leading Concordia University College Thunder Friday and Saturday.
The weekend didn't start as they would have hoped, with the Thunder posting am 84-66 victory Friday night.
But even in defeat, Wolves head coach Kim Gravengard and assistant coach Dave Waknuk gave their squad rave reviews.
In turn, the Wolves parlayed that thumbs-up from their coaches into a victory Saturday afternoon, silencing the Thunder with an 81-78 win.
With the weekend split the Wolves maintain their .500 record, at 3-3, while the Thunder remain two points ahead of the MacEwan Griffins for first place at 6-2.
Gravengard said it was a standout weekend all around.
"I couldn't have been more happy with my girls last weekend," she said. "Even though we lost on Friday, the girls played an excellent game. We executed our offence and hustled on defence and we forced Concordia to really step it up in their game."
It was the Thunder's firepower from beyond the three-point line that made the difference in Friday's match as the hosts threw up a bundle of threes.
"They literally won from the big outside shots," said Gravengard. "They had a very high percentage – 42 per cent – shooting outside on the threes and that's a high percentage for any basketball team.
"The score didn't reflect how we played on Friday. I was very happy with the girls and at the end of the game I have very little to complain about. I just said that we just had to be a little more aggressive and shoot more."
The Wolves executed the playbook to a 'T' Saturday, resulting in a 'W.'
"They executed everything," said Gravengard. "They were patient on offence, picking off passes, pressing them, they had a great game. This is the start of real good rotation for them.
"They're the number one team and it shows," she said of the Thunder. "They've got depth like us. They're the next-most veteran team out there. (Guard) Cailin Lissel is a great player and she proved it. She's got hustle and spunk and my guards did a great job D-ing her up. I rotated them around continuously and had three different people guarding one person (and) she gets a little tired after 40 minutes."
The fact her chargers were able to rebound and stay positive in Friday's game also had Gravengard smiling Monday morning.
"They were saying 'It's there' and it showed," she said. "They came out and (said) 'I'm not letting them take two. It's not happening. We deserve the win and we're getting it because we are as good as they are' and it showed. My girls played exceptionally well."
The offence was balanced throughout the lineup.
"We spread the playing time across and as it got down to each quarter the shifts became a little different in rotating and changing players, but everybody played well and everybody played as a team and that's been the big thing we're trying to stress this year and it showed. Our scorers were spread across the board," said Gravengard.
The Wolves host the 5-1 MacEwan Griffins Friday and Saturday at the GPRC gymnasium.