PETE LUCAROTTI - Herald-Tribune sportswriter
The first semester of the GPRC Wolves women's basketball season is officially in the books.
With a two-game sweep of the Lakeland Rustlers last weekend boosting the Wolves record to 10-4, there's not much for the Wolves too complain about with regards to their first half of the season.
"The only weekend we'd like to do over is the MacEwan weekend where we got swept," said Melissa Buhler.
"Other than that 10-4 is a really good record. We're proud of ourselves for that and we've taken the games we needed to take."
The Wolves won 81-68 on Friday and 74-68 on Saturday, but made life hard for themselves by allowing the now 1-12 Rustlers to stick around until the final minutes of both games.
"Consistency is a big thing. Our coaches have been talking to us over and over again about how we want to win four quarters. So far we've only been winning two or three quarters and keeping games really close," Buhler said.
That problem was on full display on Saturday. After dominating the Rustlers in the first quarter, the Wolves looked lost in the second. The Wolves scored just eight points while the Rustlers put up 25 to give Lakeland a four-point lead heading into halftime.
"We were not executing. We made eight points in the second quarter so our shooting percentage was terrible," said Wolves head coach Kim Gravengard.
"We were coming down and forcing shots, we weren't reading situations, we weren't patient."
In the end, however, the more experienced Wolves were steady down the stretch against the younger Rustlers.
"That's why Grande Prairie is so successful. They have those older girls that can help lead their girls in a lot of games," said Rustlers head coach, Chris King.
The Wolves veterans have led the way all season.
Buhler has been particularly impressive. In her fifth year playing in the ACAC she sits fifth in the entire league in scoring, averaging more than 16 points per game. She's also fourth in the North Division in steals, averaging nearly three per game.
They're the kind of numbers that could result in Buhler being named as an all-conference player.
"After five years in the league it's expected of me and I expect it of myself to make sure that I have a lot of poise and veteran leadership," Buhler said.
"For me I'm just where I need to be right now."
The Wolves will get a break until just after Christmas when they'll travel to Arizona.
"So far as we know we're getting into some good competitive games that are the equivalent of Alberta college basketball," Buhler said.
"We're just going down there to play our game because we don't know a lot about our competition."
Lenka Rohova should be back in the lineup for the games and will use them as a means to shake off the rust after nursing a broken right arm back to health.
"She'll have a good warm up time and be ready for our second half of league play," Gravengard said.