Wolves struggle on Ooks' floor
They were poised to bust out the brooms.
But unfortunately for the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves men's basketball team, they were unable to sweep up those four available road points.
After an 0-2 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season opener against the Lakeland College Rustlers two weekends ago, the Wolves boarded the bus and headed to Edmonton for a two-game showdown with the NAIT Ooks Friday and Saturday.
And while the Wolves were able to post their first victory of the regular season – 83-77 over the Ooks Friday – NAIT came gunning right back Saturday with a scoring outburst in the second quarter to pace themselves to a 71-61 victory, denying the Wolves the weekend sweep that was there for the taking.
"It definitely could have been a sweep, we're disappointed it wasn't," said Wolves Cameron Wharram. "It's good to get the first win, but we were definitely looking for the sweep. But we'll build from here. We just worked really hard. The execution wasn't perfect, but we just stuck with it. Everybody played really hard."
The Wolves held a 13-11 lead after one quarter of play Saturday.
But the Ooks lit up their opponents 24-6 in the second quarter and took a commanding lead en route to the 10-point win.
"In Saturday's game we were down 16 points at halftime and made up 12 points in the third quarter," said Wharram. "We're an up-and-down team. It's tough to try and have some sort of consistency. But hopefully we'll get there eventually."
While the men were able to salvage a split, that wasn't the case for the Wolves women's team, who were downed 74-63 Friday and 75-74 Saturday on a last-second buzzer-beater.
The shots were there in Friday's game but they just weren't falling, said Wolves head coach Kim Gravengard, whose team now sits at 2-2.
"Friday we just weren't shooting the ball like we should have been. We shot 23 per cent or lower," she said.
"They were good shots and the girls were taking lots. They were playing very well defensively.
"We just couldn't buy a basket if we tried and it makes it really tough when players just aren't getting the shots they want. It wasn't like we were taking bad shots. We just couldn't get a single one to fall."
Still, a mere four games into the season and currently at 2-2, Gravengard wasn't about to push the panic button over one 0-2 weekend in October.
"This is a good team and we have lots of depth and we're going to go a lot further than people might think we are. It's still early in the season and people are making it sound like it's game over. We have 20 games of league play left.
"It's a long season and the North is very strong, always has been. You have to come out ready to play every team. The girls were ready to play, we just couldn't get things to happen for us offensively."