Wolves split with Griffins
Ladies maintain their .500 season with showdown for third looming
The Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves drew first blood.
But coming up second-best in a battle of the boards during the rematch ultimately translated into a 1-1 weekend for the women hoopsters.
Following a rock-solid performance the weekend prior in Edmonton where they split with the ACAC North Division-leading Concordia University College Thunder, the Wolves returned home to host the 5-1 Grant MacEwan Griffins Friday and Saturday at the GPRC gymnasium.
The Wolves carried the momentum from the previous weekend into Friday’s game, downing the Griffins 68-65.
The Griffins rebounded Saturday, both figuratively and literally.
They beat the Wolves on the backboards and the scoreboard, successfully earning their weekend split with a 74-61 victory.
With the split the Wolves maintain their .500 record on the season, at 4-4. They are tied for third in the North Division standings with the King’s University College Eagles.
The Thunder own top spot, with an 8-2 record.
“Everybody played well on Friday,” said Wolves head coach Kim Gravengard. “It’s tough. Everybody is tight in the North, so we just picked away and made sure we stayed up on top and executed our offence and played good defence.
“The difference between Friday’s and Saturday’s game was rebounding. Everything else we matched up with, from turnovers to shooting percentage to foul-shot percentage. But they out-rebounded us Saturday. We just couldn’t seem to get the momentum to get in there. We had six offensive boards and they had 18. That’s 18 more times to get another shot.”
Saturday’s loss aside, the buzz remains in the women’s Wolves camp as the team now heads back to Edmonton to take on the Eagles Friday and Saturday, in what has shaped up to be a huge series in respect to the overall standings.
“It was a good weekend for us. The momentum was still going,” said Gravengard. “It (Saturday) was just that kind of game. Offensively we did things really well but our shots weren’t falling for us and if your shots aren’t falling you have to go for boards. When you’re not getting those offensive boards and the other team is, that shows you where they get those few extra shots.”
Gravengard said her team can take solace in the fact that they know exactly why they lost Saturday, rather than groping for answers.
“You can zone in a lot better,” said Gravengard. “That was a big thing in Saturday’s game. The girls ran the plays and listened to the coaches on the bench.
“They were executing things, we just weren’t pushing hard enough to get our own offensive boards. We’d take the one shot and not get another opportunity and when you’re playing a team like that and it’s going to be a tight game you have to be aggressive and take those chances and we missed them.”