Wiser WolfPack ready for Dinos

MARK HUNTER / Kamloops Daily News
February 21, 2013 01:00 AM


he TRU WolfPack will try to find the brighter side of things this time around.

The WolfPack is to leave this evening for Calgary, where it will play a best-of-three Canada West women's basketball quarterfinal series against the host Dinos. Game 1 is Friday, with Game 2 on Saturday and a third game, if needed, on Sunday.

This is only the second trip to the postseason for the WolfPack, and the first one didn't last very long. Last February, TRU went into Saskatoon and was swept away in two games by the Saskatchewan Huskies.

Scott Reeves, head coach of the WolfPack, will tell you just how different things are this season. His team, with more experience and a 15-7 record behind it, also has a glass-half-full approach.

"Preparing yourself for best two out of three, I don't think we had our heads around that (last season)," Reeves said Wednesday. "It wasn't just two games, it's kind of like, 'Lose two and you're done, the season's over.'

"We're aware of that right now, it's just that we don't look at it in a negative way. We look at it like if we win two, we move on."

What is on the line this weekend is a spot in the Canada West Final Four, which likely will be held in Regina on March 1-2. As Reeves has told his team, three victories will likely get it into the CIS championship, to which Regina will play host from March 15-17.

But that's a long way away, and the formidable Dinos are standing in the way.

The Dinos, who finished tied with the Regina Cougars for the conference's top record, are ranked No. 5 in Canada. But in going 19-3, the Dinos lost in Kamloops on Jan. 12, the WolfPack winning 69-60 on throwback night at TRU Gym.

This doesn't have the WolfPack feeling extremely confident, but it doesn't hurt TRU's mindset.

"There's some sense of, 'Hey, we've played with these guys, we've beaten these guys,' " Reeves said. "There's a familiarity with Calgary, and I do like our matchups on the perimeter and inside."

Reeves admitted that his team was a little nervous ahead of its first playoff game last season, which the Huskies won 66-59. But there were so many things going on with the WolfPack in the days leading up to the playoffs.

TRU, which was 9-9 in 2011-12, didn't clinch its playoff spot until the final weekend, meaning it didn't really have time to prepare for playoffs.

This time around, the WolfPack had all but guaranteed itself a playoff spot by the end of the first half, and locked it up in January.

"We knew we were in a few weeks ago; last year, it was the last weekend," Reeves said. "We won on the Friday, then had to play on the Saturday . . . then came all the travel arrangements and getting their studies in order, when are we leaving, when are we back . . .

"We got caught up the turmoil of playoffs last year. Right now, it was just a transition to playoffs."



t will be the final homestand of the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League season when the WolfPack plays twice at Memorial Arena this weekend.

TRU, which is 9-9-3 and will finish third, is set to play host to the Selkirk Saints on Friday, 8:30 p.m., and Trinity Western on Saturday, 8 p.m. Both games are at Memorial Arena.

After this weekend, TRU will only have one regular-season game remaining -it will play Simon Fraser in Burnaby on March 2. It will open the playoffs, also against Simon Fraser (15-5-2), likely on March 8 or 9.


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