Wolves sweep Camrose - Women hoops squad takes both games; men split
TERRY FARRELL - Herald-tribune sports editor
It was not as easy as anticipated, but the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves got their sweep over the weekend.
"That second game put a scare into us, for sure," said Wolves women's basketball coach Kim Gravengard. "But it shows the tenacity of the Augustana program to respond from a 30-point loss on Friday (93-63) and make it a three-point game (74-71) Saturday.
"They're a hard-working team. They have a first-year coach who is a past player for Augustana (Leanne Shenton). She was a phenomenal player when she was there and she's doing a good job building a program there. They did not let that game on Friday affect them whatsoever and that's a sign of good coaching."
The Wolves almost did themselves in, in the first quarter of Saturday's match.
"We came out and, for whatever reason, we could not shoot," said Gravengard.
The Vikings could, and after 10 minutes the Wolves found themselves down 28-13.
The Wolves did not panic.
Instead, they focused quarter by quarter and won every subsequent period.
They closed the gap to 12 points by the half and by the end of the third quarter, it was a two-point game, with the Wolves trailing 54-52.
"We pushed through when we needed it," said Gravengard.
"With six seconds remaining, it was still a one-point game. They deflected their own pass and it went out of bounds. They had to foul Mellisa (Buhler) and she made her two foul shots. So we were up by three with .6 on the clock. It was that close."
The difference between the two games was not so much in effort on the part of the Wolves – only in execution.
"Friday we shot over 45 per cent – it was great. Saturday we were down to 32 per cent and 20 per cent from three-point range. Nothing was going in and we still won," said Gravengard. "So we were still working the floor well. We just weren't finishing."
Case in point, Buhler. The Wolves' leading scorer on the season was held to only four first-half points.
"She ended up with 20, so she found her touch in the second half. Our scoring came eventually, it just took us a little longer on Saturday."
Everyone had the touch from the outset in Friday's game. Eleven of the 12 Wolves scored at least two points, with five girls hitting double digits.
Tia Gerwatowski led the way, with 16 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots.
Jaelle Duinker had her fifth straight double-digit game, scoring 11 points. Buhler (14), Erin Slemp (14) and Laura Dunsdon also hit double digits.
The wins give the Wolves an 8-4 record to complete the first half of the ACAC basketball season. They are tied with the Concorida Thunder for third place in the North Division. MacEwan leads the division, at 10-2, with King's one game back (9-3).
"We were 7-5 at the halfway point last season, so there is an improvement," said Gravengard.