Home court for playoffs at stake as Wolves face Thunder
The GPRC Wolves women’s basketball team begins a crucial stretch of the season this weekend in Edmonton, against the Concordia Thunder, to determine playoff position and home-court advantage.
Two wins and the Wolves move into sole possession of second place in the North Division.
Two losses and the Wolves sit four points back of the Thunder and coach Kim Gravengard’s goal of hosting at least one playoff series becomes much more difficult to reach.
“It’s a key thing to make sure we get those splits. Every team for the next three weekends, we’re all fighting for the top spots,” Gravengard said.
“We want to be hosting come playoffs. It’s a lot easier to host in the home gym than travel south where you’re never going to be sure what you’re going to get.”
The last time the teams played was in late October. The Wolves won the first game of the weekend by five points and Concordia responded by winning the second by six.
Gravengard isn’t expecting anything different this time around.
“They’re equally matched with us,” she said.
“For me to come across and say this is going to be a walk in the park weekend for us is unrealistic. They’re a top-calibre team. They’re coached very well. We’ve got to play our ‘A’ game.”
Gravengard believes her rookies may give the Wolves the advantage this weekend. First-year players like Chelsea Thorn played well leading into the Christmas break and have been rewarded with more time on the floor.
“I’m not sure they’re going to have the same kind of depth we do,” Gravengard said. “I think we’re going to be able to use those first-year players. They’re going to step in and be able to meet that challenge.”
This weekend is one in a series of key match ups coming up on the Wolves schedule. Three of its next four opponents are playoff bound and all sit within two points of each other.
Gravengard is confident her team is peaking at the right time to take as many of the games with playoff implications as possible.
“We’ve paced ourselves appropriately and we’re going to be coming together and gelling at the best moments during the season,” Gravengard said.
“I think that’s happening for us now.”