The Dinos women b-ballers abandoned mercy last weekend, as they killed the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns' remote playoff hopes with two decisive victories in front of the 'Horns' home crowd.
The Dinos exploded into a 14-0 run to end the first quarter of the Fri., Jan. 12 game, and they never relinquished their lead, holding on for the 92-81 road win. Once again the Dinos dominated the boards. Whitney Haswell led the way with a double-double (13 pts, 10 boards), but as a team the b-ballasaurs were tenacious, out rebounding Lethbridge 50-34.
According to coach Shawnee Harle, it was all part of the game plan.
"We came out in a full-court press--that often gets you off to a fast start--and the game plan worked out well," said Harle. "When you're pressing, it forces turnovers and bad shots. If all goes according to the plan, you get more rebounds. The press increases the tempo of the game and that always works in our favour."
The plan was perfectly executed Sat., Jan. 13 in Calgary's 100-53 massacre of the Pronghorns. The press was so effective one has to wonder if the Dinos were playing fair.
"No drugs, [we're] just working hard and getting in position," chuckled co-captain Haswell, whose rebound totals in the last few games have been Barry Bonds-esque, grabbing as many as 17 boards in one game against the University of Alberta. "Friday they had the energy to come back, but Saturday we wore them down."
That has been the story of this basketball team for the last five games. The Dinos have won four of their last five games by whittling down the opposition with their speed and toughness. Undersized, maybe, but take it from 'Whittles,' the Dinos are riding their size 'disadvantage.'
"Before I came [here] I was a three guard, I am undersized as a post," said Haswell, while fighting off a rouge tint in her cheeks after revealing her nickname. "Most of the girls in my position are bigger and wider than I am, [but] I am a lot quicker than the girls that guard me."
This philosophy is what is winning basketball games. Coach Harle has instilled an immeasurable work ethic, and now, an aggressive, scrappy defense that will give the U of A Pandas or the University of Saskatchewan Huskies nightmares come playoff time.
This weekend the Dinos will host the first place Huskies in the Jack Simpson Gym Sat., Jan. 20, but first they will have to climb over the Brandon University Bobcats Fri., Jan. 19. The bottom feeding Bobcats are looking for their first win of the year on Friday, and in all likelihood they won't get it on the road against a Calgary team that is rolling. The Saskatchewan prairie dogs will be a test, but the Dinos' new life in the paint and their home crowd advantage might be just enough to shut down the second-best offence in the country.
Expect an aggressive start from the 'Saurs.
"I expect to use [the full-court press] for the next couple of weeks." said Harle. "My philosophy is: if it isn't broke don't break it."