Wolves head to Lloydminster to open hoops season
TERRY FARRELL - Herald-Tribune sports editor
October 9, 2008
The Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves men and women open their respective basketball seasons in Lloydminster this weekend, with games against the Lakeland College Rustlers and already, Kim Gravengard is going out on a limb.
“If our girls play as well as they did in Lethbridge, there’s no reason to think that we can’t take both games (in Lloydminster),” said the Wolves head coach. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to predict that. I think they’re capable of it. Lakeland has a new coach and they’ll do well, but as long as we’re prepared to play 40 minutes, we should come out on top.”
Wolves men’s coach Chris Nicol was a little more cautious.
“I’m fully expecting us to go in and compete hard, but to come out and predict a victory for us or for them would be pretty hard at this point,” he said.
The Rustlers were at the same tournament as the Wolves, in Red Deer, Sept. 25-26, but trying to gauge a comparison based on that weekend’s results is difficult.
Both teams lost to Lethbridge. The Rustlers beat Red Deer and lost to St. Mary’s, while the Wolves lost to Red Deer and beat St. Mary’s.
“I saw Lakeland at that tournament,” Nicol said. “They’re an up and down team right now – a lot different than what they were last year. They’re smaller, quicker and will press a lot more.
“They’re the type of team that will want to get out and run and we will have to defend against that.”
Nicol expects another tough season ahead.
I’ve seen every team other than Augustana now and I think we have the potential to do very good things, but in order to do that. we’ll have to really commit to the idea of playing tougher defence,” he said. “We have the skill, but without the work ethic, skill can only take you so far.”
Gravengard’s main concern is the schedule. She would have liked a couple more weeks of preparation.
The girls are itching to play, but it does weigh a bit of concern, how early we start the regular season,” she said. “It would be nice to have a couple more weeks to prepare, but that’s the way it is in the North. But the girls are excited. They’re eager to win and they’ll be prepared to accept the roles that they are given. They may be dressed ,but some might not see (the) floor. Games are to win now and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
Game times are 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday for the women. The men play immediately following