With two weekend victories, the TRU WolfPack remains in the hunt for a Canada West men's basketball playoff spot.
"What we've done is put ourselves in position to be in position," said WolfPack head coach Scott Clark on Sunday, a day after his men defeated the Calgary Dinos 85-81 at TRU Gym.
The victory - coupled with Friday's 90-81 triumph over the visiting Lethbridge Pronghorns - lifted the WolfPack to 6-7. TRU is fourth in Canada West's Pacific Division, from which four teams will make the playoffs.
It was an important weekend for the WolfPack. Losses to the Pronghorns (6-6) and Dinos (5-7) would have left TRU's playoff chances on life support.
But the two victories have given the WolfPack a shot in the arm heading into its toughest road trip of the season. On Friday, the WolfPack will be in Edmonton to play the Prairie Division-leading Alberta Golden Bears (10-2). On Saturday morning, TRU will fly into Saskatoon for a night game with the host Saskatchewan Huskies (8-4).
Clark, who preaches the old "one-game-at-a-time" cliché like a wily veteran, isn't really thinking about what the games mean for the WolfPack's playoff chances.
"The good thing is, if the season ended today, we would be in playoff position. But the season doesn't end today," he said. "You just prepare the best you can for what's in front of you."
If he were one to look past this weekend, Clark would notice an important stretch of games coming up.
On Jan. 25-26, the WolfPack will play host to the Victoria Vikes (7-5), before playing host to the Trinity Western Spartans (4-8) on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. After that, it will play the Fraser Valley Cascades (7-5) in Abbotsford on Feb. 8-9, before finishing the regular season against the UBC-Okanagan Heat (2-11) in Kelowna on Feb. 16.
Seven games, six of them against teams in the playoff picture in the Pacific Division.
On Saturday, Kevin Pribilsky had 20 points to lead a balanced WolfPack attack. Brett Rouault added 15 points, Akeem Pierre and Zach Usherwood each had 11 and Troy Grant scored 10.
Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson had 24 points for the Dinos, who got 14 from Josh Owen-Thomas and 11 apiece from Thijin Moses and Jasdeep Gill.
Clark was pleased with what was a scrappy TRU effort.
"To be a good team, who have to win with incidental baskets," he said. "Incidental baskets occur because of hustle - getting to loose balls, offensive rebounds, plays that aren't designed.
"That's what you need, that energy, and we had that."
It was alumni night at TRU, and three former players were honoured with leadership awards for their contributions to the university and the community.
Former TRU/UCC players Lindsey Karpluk, Ryan Porter and Skye Buck were honoured. Karpluk and Porter are coaches at schools in Kamloops, while the late Buck coached a team in Clearwater, where he taught.
Buck died in a car accident near Clearwater last month. His parents were at Saturday's game to accept the award.
he WolfPack women's basketball team won its sixth straight game, 69-60 over the Dinos at TRU on Saturday evening.
It was a banner victory for the WolfPack, which has won a program-high 10 games this season and beat Calgary, the No. 10-ranked team in the country. TRU (10-3) is on the road next weekend, playing the Alberta Pandas in Edmonton on Friday and the Huskies in Saskatoon on Saturday.
Diane Schuetze had 20 points and 19 rebounds to lead the WolfPack. Taiysa Worsfold scored 17 points, while Jen Ju had 12 points. Tracy Kocs added 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Jorri Duxbury had eight points and seven assists.
Jessica Franz, who started her CIS career at TRU, had 15 points to lead the Dinos, with Alex Cole scoring 14 and Ashley Hirons adding 11.
TRU is second in Canada West's Pacific Division. Calgary (10-2) is second in the Prairie Division.
As part of alumni night, the WolfPack alumni association honoured three former players - Sarah Cameron, Sheila Balson and Sandra Redford.
he Huskies made quick work of the visiting WolfPack on Saturday, winning a women's volleyball match in three sets (25-21, 25-7, 25-14).
Katarina Osadchuk had eight klls to lead the WolfPack (0-14). Kayla Tucholiz, with 14 kills, and Candace Hueser, with 13, led the attack for the Huskies (3-11).
TRU is scheduled to play host to the UBC Thunderbirds (13-1) on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, 6 p.m., the teams will play at the Tournament Capital Centre, before facing off at TRU Gym on Saturday at 5 p.m.
he WolfPack men's volleyball team also lost in three sets on Saturday, with host Saskatchewan winning 25-17, 26-24, 25-22.
Brad Gunter had 12 kills for the WolfPack. Bryan Fraser had 12 kills to lead the Huskies.
The WolfPack (5-9) is set to play host to the T-Birds (9-5) on Friday and Saturday. Friday's match, scheduled for 7:45 p.m., will be played at the TCC. On Saturday, 6:45 p.m., the teams will play at TRU Gym.
he WolfPack has lost five straight B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League games after a 6-4 loss to Trinity Western in Langley on Saturday.
Trinity rushed out to a 5-0 lead before TRU came back with four goals. Tyler MIller iced the victory with a late empty-netter.
Ryan Valdes, Mattias Schmitt, Jamey Kreller, Tristano Falbo and Matthew Ius also scored for Trinity Western, which got 37 saves from Tim Zwiers. Nathan Wiebe had three assists, and Bradley Bakken had two helpers.
Joshua MacDonald, with two, Duncan Schulz and Travis Herlein had TRU's goals. Schulz, Herlein and Curtis Tonello each had two assists. Riley Wall stopped three of five shots, before Shane Mainprize came in and stopped 24 of 27.
The WolfPack is at home to Victoria on Friday, 8:30 p.m., at Memorial Arena.
© Kamloops Daily News