The Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves women's basketball team got physical – minus the cheesy 1980s headbands and leg warmers, of course.
Hosting the King's University College Eagles Friday and Saturday at the GPRC gymnasium, the Wolves turned the weekend-opener into a bona-fide battle under the boards.
That can-do mindset under the basket proved beneficial as the Wolves rolled to a 73-64 victory.
They kept up the intensity in the rematch Saturday and were once again rewarded, this time with a 78-72 victory to improve to 14-8, six points up on the Eagles for third place in the ACAC North Division.
"We came out in the first quarter and banged hard," said Wolves head coach Kim Gravengard. "We put each other against the boards going for loose balls and being a little more patient on offence and things fell into place. They're not a team you can take lightly."
With an abundance of shooters on her roster – and a slew of solid rebounders should those shots not fall – taking it to the hoop just makes sense, said Gravengard.
"We have people that can shoot the ball and we have the same backup that can get the boards. So I want those girls to take that chance. If you're open and you're there, take the chance because we have good people that can crash the boards and get that shot if it doesn't go."
The physical play, combined with an up-tempo game, took its toll on a depleted Eagles roster.
"They've come up with a bunch of injuries this year," said Gravengard.
"They were a team of 14 and they're down to nine players now with injuries. So we had to tire them out and that's what we did. We upped the speed a little bit and made it a fast-paced game. You have to push it to the end. Eventually it's going to be the team with the most gas left in the tank."
The end result was two wins and a little more breathing room in the standings over an Eagles team that was nipping at the Wolves' heels heading into the weekend.
"It was a great way to end our last games at home," said Gravengard.
"A sweep was what we wanted and that's what the girls did. They all stepped up to the plate and played really well this past weekend."