Weekend sweep vaults Wolves over .500 mark
Wolves guard Erica Rude looks for a lane while Augustana University College Vikings wing Megan Hogendoom keeps a sharp eye on her during ACAC action Saturday afternoon.
Bust out the brooms, the split monkey on the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves women's basketball team's back has been swept away.
Wanting to show those win-one, lose-one weekends the door in their final homestand before the Christmas break, the Wolves did just that as they hosted the Augustana University College Vikings on the weekend at the GPRC gymnasium.
Now, thanks to a 73-66 downing of the Vikings Friday night and an 85-65 decision in the rematch Saturday afternoon, those 1-1 weekends that have dogged the Wolves were kicked to the curb.
"We haven't had a sweep since our first home game," said Wolves head coach Kim Gravengard, whose team improved to 7-5 and moved into a tie for third place in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference North Division with the King's University College Eagles. "So it's nice to get the sweep. The girls had momentum and it pushes them. They can say they're not just a Friday team, but a solid team for the weekend and we can push it."
Following the closer win Friday, the Wolves quickly assumed control in the rematch Saturday, pulling away from the Vikings in the third quarter.
"We went out there making sure we were executing our plays and making sure everybody was doing their job and that's what we did," said Gravengard.
Even in crunch time, the Wolves didn't get rattled, a facet of their game Gravengard was happy to see.
"We didn't get panicked or stressed. There were a couple moments when things got tight. Friday's game was a little tighter and Saturday's was better.
"At home that's been a struggle for us. Friday is usually really good and Saturday is the struggle."
Friday's game proved what Gravengard has said all along this season – anybody can beat anybody in the tight ACAC North Division.
"They're a good team and they push really hard," said Gravengard of Augustana. "We dug deep by pulling up our defence. We really put a lot of pressure on them and tried to shut them out of their three-point game. There were a few moments where they got on a run and we probably had four or five turnovers in a row. We just made some quick substitutions and line changes so people could relax. It was probably at about the six-minute mark and from then on we kept the momentum flowing. There were no fancy plays, we just stuck with the basics and got the job done. That showed them they were capable of handling any kind of pressure."
Heading into the weekend, Gravengard stressed cooling off the Vikings' outside shooting game.
"They shot pretty good (Friday), which forced us to be tighter," said Gravengard. "(Saturday) we did a really good job defensively on forcing them to play a part of their game which they don't. They don't use their post players as much and they don't do the drives.
"They look to shoot outside and swing and penetrate and we really restricted that motion out of their game."
The Wolves are back on the road this weekend as they head to Lloydminster to clash with the 3-8 Lakeland College Rustlers.
Gravengard said she'd like to see a repeat performance.
"Hopefully it's going to carry on to next weekend when we have to travel on the road," she said.