Lady Dinos stay close but not close enough over the weekend

About half the Dinos women’s basketball team calls British Columbia home, including two of their regular starters and their Head Coach. You’d think that on their only road trip into B.C. this season, there would be some kind of a happy homecoming–but such was not the case last weekend when the Dinos visited the University of Victoria Vikes.

In a pair of defensive battles, the Vikes dropped their visitors 57-53 and 53-44. The two games marked the Dinos’ lowest offensive outputs of the season, atypical for one of the most potent scoring teams in the conference.

“It was the best defence we played all year,” summed up Dinos Head Coach and former Vikes guard Shawnee Harle. “It makes me very optimistic going into this weekend and playoffs.”

“It was one of our worst offensive efforts,” echoed Dinos guard and Chilliwack native Tanya Hautala.

Hautala was one of the few bright spots on offence for the Dinos, notching 15 points to lead the way on Friday, and adding 10 to tie Jessica Foltinek for the lead on Saturday. Foltinek had 12 points on Friday. Cory Bekkering put together a double-double with ten points and ten boards on Friday and led the Dinos in rebounds on Saturday with eight.

For the Dinos to beat the UBC Thunderbirds in the first round of the playoffs this weekend, they’ll need to match their usual offence with a defensive effort similar to that of last weekend.

“I know we can do both, and we’re very capable of that,” said Hautala.

The Dinos haven’t played the Thunderbirds yet this season, so both teams will be going into the weekend blind. Still, Harle knows what it will take to advance to the second round.

“There are no magic tricks,” she stated. “We have to play tough, physical, hard-nosed, unified basketball.”

Harle thinks the Dinos’ unorthodox style will give them a big advantage over UBC.

“They’ll have trouble preparing

for us,” she said. “We play very atypical basketball, and they’re a what-you-see-is-what-you-get team.”

Hautala agreed. “If we focus on us and play our game, then we’ll be fine”

While careful not to look beyond this weekend, Harle is anticipating a long playoff run. The Dinos need only win two games this weekend and one the weekend after to be virtually guaranteed a spot in the national final eight.

“I’ve already booked our tickets to nationals,” she noted confidently.

The Dinos and Thunderbirds will meet up in the Jack Simpson Gymnasium at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday this weekend. If necessary, game three will be played on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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