Homecomings seem to be the theme for the Dinos women’s basketball team.
Last weekend, the Dinos played their first-ever regular season games at Brandon University, where Shawnee Harle coached before joining the Dinos. This weekend, the Trinity Western University Spartans will be in town, bringing with them former Dinos Denise Page and Heidi Suderman.
The Dinos went into Brandon on a 10-game winning streak, and few expected the Bobcats to put up much of a fight. Both games went to the Dinos, 66-43 on Friday and 75-49 on Saturday, but the scores, of course, don’t tell the whole story.
"In the second half of both games, we played very well," explained Harle. "But in the first half, we were probably average."
Harle wasn’t particularly worried about the Dinos’ lacklustre openings.
"It’s nothing I’m overly concerned about," she said, adding that on Saturday, the Dinos had some starters foul out early, which helped the Bobcats to a two-point lead at the half.
"In the second half, we came out and blew the game open in the first two minutes."
Fifth-year guard Cathy Payne felt the Dinos struggled somewhat in their own end.
"We didn’t really get our defense going," she said. "It wasn’t as consistent as it could be. You can’t take away from Brandon too much; they put up a great fight."
Still, noted Payne, the team’s victory total increased, which is always the goal.
"It’s two wins, and you can’t fault that too much."
The Dinos were led by Leighann Doan, who poured in 24 points on Friday and 22 on Saturday. Doan added eight rebounds on Friday, while Laura Jablonski pulled down 11 on Saturday.
When the Spartans visit this weekend, a pair of familiar faces will be in the lineup. Ex-Dinos Denise Page and Heidi Suderman transfered to the Langley, British Columbia university and are now playing for the first-year Canada West team.
Fifth-year guard Page is leading the Spartans in scoring. She ended her Dino career in 1997, after four years with the team. Suderman played two years with the Dinos, but is remembered as an impact player. She signed on with the Spartans after the winter break.
Payne is one of a few current Dinos who played with Page and Suderman.
"Denise is a tenacious fighter," said Payne, "and she can shoot. Heidi only played here for a year. She can penetrate well, and she has good court sense–she could create really well."
Page is happy to be back in the sport and is looking forward to playing her former team.
"It’s exciting," she said. "It’ll be the weirdest thing, sitting on the visitors’ bench."
Although the Spartans don’t have a winning record, Page is pleased with their progress.
"I think we’re doing really well, considering how [we] did last year, in the middle of the pack as a college team."
The Dinos hope to have starting forward Alison McGinn back in the lineup against TWU. McGinn missed the Brandon games after suffering a concussion against Lethbridge the previous weekend.
"She makes contributions in so many ways," said Harle. "We always miss her when she’s injured."
Dinos fans–and anyone who wants to see Page and Suderman in action–can catch the team this Friday and Saturday at 6:30 a.m. Games this weekend are in the Red Gym, so whatever you do, don’t go to the Jack Simpson.