For some, the holidays meant turkey and egg nog. For the Wolves, the holidays meant packing their bags and spending five days in Toronto, competing in the "2008 Seneca Sting Basketball Classic". Not a bad way to spend a winter break at all.
Afters months of preparation and anticipation, the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves Women's basketball squad flew across country to compete against some of the best teams in Eastern Canada, while at the same time, experiencing the city of Toronto. The Wolves competed in the annual Seneca College Sting Basketball Classic that featured four nationally ranked squads, including the top two teams from the Ontario conference.
GPRC started off their week with an exhibition game against the host team, the #11 ranked Seneca College Sting. Being that it had been a full month since their last league action, the Wolves had some rust to shake off early but actually led by five at halftime. However, the athletic Sting team kept battling, eventually beating the Wolves 62-56 in a tightly contested affair. The game gave GP a great chance to use everyone and to adjust to the different style of basketball played out east. Jen Seemann led the way for GPRC with seventeen points and seven rebounds, while guards Melissa Buhler and Melanie Patterson each had nine points.
The Wolves opened the tournament playing against the John Abbott College Islanders from Montreal, Quebec. GP played aggressive defence early, playing uptempo basketball on both ends for forty minutes. The squad got strong performances from several players, seeing five players score in double figures, including Jen Seemann (20 points, 10 rebounds), Melissa Buhler (19 points, 5 assists), Leah MacNeil (12 points, 5 rebounds), Lisa Denault (11 points) and Erica Rude (10 points, 4 assists). The Wolves advanced to the semi-finals with the 82-54 victory, while John Abbott College Islanders went onto play in the consolation final, losing by ten to the #14 ranked Fanshawe Falcons from Ontario.
Knowing they were to face the highest ranked team in the tournament and the number seven team in the country, the Wolves were focused for a battle against the Dawson College Blues. The game was a forty minute war, with both teams playing relentless defence and fast paced offense. Once again, the Wolves led another national contender at halftime, holding the high powered Blues to only 29 points at half. However, the talented Blues heated up in the second half, making for an exciting conclusion. After free throw shooting, the final score read 75-65 for Dawson College but Grande Prairie did turn alot of heads with their strong performance against a top squad. Melissa Buhler had a strong game with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists. Jen Seemann had thirteen points & fifteen rebounds, while Erica Rude had eight assists to go alongside her six rebounds and five points.
When not in the gym, the Wolves got a chance to experince Toronto by seeing some of the cities biggest attractions - like the CN Tower, Yonge Street and the Hockey Hall Of Fame. However, the highlight was attending a NBA Game at the Air Canada Center, as the Detroit Pistons defeated the Toronto Raptors. Plenty of pictures were taken and plenty of memories made during the five busy days in Ontario.