Kayla Forsyth's last home game with the TRU WolfPack was one of her best.
She would be glad to have the chance to do it again in the Canada West playoffs.
The WolfPack women's basketball team finished off a sweep of the Victoria Vikes with a 53-44 victory at the Tournament Capital Centre on Saturday. TRU beat the Vikes 62-59 on Friday.
The victories - both upsets - have actually vaulted the WolfPack back into playoff contention. TRU (9-13) will have to win at least once during its doubleheader against the UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver on Friday and Saturday, something that doesn't seem to far-fetched considering the WolfPack wasn't supposed to beat Victoria.
But Saturday was about reflection for Forsyth, a 5-10 guard from Vernon who played five seasons with the WolfPack. With a large cheering section behind her, Forsyth starred, ending with 18 points and six rebounds.
"I just really wanted to leave it all on the court tonight," said Forsyth, 22, "so we could finish and sweep Vic. That was just the cherry on top of it."
She started hot, making four of her first five shots and helping the WolfPack to a 15-4 first-quarter lead. At one point during the second quarter, the WolfPack had 18 points - and Forsyth had 13 of them.
She actually scored the game's first basket - a layup 34 seconds in - and her team's last, another layup with 11 seconds remaining.
She provided a spark, and the WolfPack rode the wave to an impressive victory.
"She was outstanding," said WolfPack head coach Scott Reeves. "She has always had the ability to shoot the ball this year, and she's had some very good games. I figured tonight she was going to turn it on and she did."
Forsyth was honoured following the game, which will definitely be her last at the TCC.
But the WolfPack, which appeared dead in the water following a home sweep by the Calgary Dinos on Jan. 27 and 28, might actually make the playoffs.
TRU holds the eighth and final playoff spot in Canada West, but the ninth-place Fraser Valley Cascades (8-12) have two easy ones left against the Brandon Bobcats (0-20), so likely will finish with at least 10 victories. Calgary (10-10) is seventh, but has four tough games remaining.
The T-Birds (13-7) already have clinched a playoff spot.
"Calgary hurt, there's no question," he said, "We're not out of it yet, mathematically. We could have folded the tent after Calgary, but we never did it and I'm very proud.
"We have to get to 10 wins, there's no question."
On Saturday, TRU looked nothing like the team that lost 10 straight games following a 7-3 start. The WolfPack held the Vikes, a 15-7 team, to four points in the first quarter and five in the third.
And whenever UVic made a run in the fourth quarter to cut the lead, TRU actually had an answer.
And, for once, it was able to make stops on defence when it needed them, and got some help from Victoria, whose 24 per cent was boosted by a 9-for-18 fourth quarter.
"Our switches on their ball-screen stuff, that was our adjustment," Reeves said "They weren't getting nearly as much stuff going to the basket.
"To give up 44 points to a team that was a former No. 1, our defence was very good."
Jen Ju had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists in the victory, and Lindsay Dekoff had six points and seven rebounds.
Sarah Semeniuk and Carmen Lapthorne each scored 12 points for Victoria, and Debbie Yeboah had 11 points. Semeniuk also had 15 rebounds.
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Greg Stewart's last home game was similar to a lot of the rest - the big man was dominant, scoring 24 points and grabbing 15 rebounds, but the WolfPack lost 78-67 to the Vikes.
Stewart played five seasons with the WolfPack/UCC Sun Demons program, and set a bunch of team and conference records along the way.
He was one of three graduating players - Connor Agnew, who played five seasons, had eight points in 23 minutes, and Tim Unaegbu, who played 25 minutes, had three rebounds and also sang an excellent rendition of O! Canada! before the game, were the others.
Chas Kok had 15 points and nine rebounds for TRU (4-18), and Kevin Pribilsky had 12 points.
Ryan MacKinnon had 18 points to lead the Vikes (15-7), while Marco Dolcetti scored 17 and Mike Berg added 15.
The WolfPack will finish the season against the T-Birds in Vancouver on Friday and Saturday.
© Kamloops Daily News