By Ryan Laverty
If you’re going to get wet, you may as well dive in, because sitting on the edge and easing into the cool depths of Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s basketball is only going to cause you pain.
In their first true test of the
2001/02, season the Dinos chose the friendly confines of the Atlantic Ocean as their swimming hole and the Helen Campbell Tournament at the University of New Brunswick as their springboard to what should be another solid year. Last Thurs., Oct. 13 the women headed for the "other" coast and were welcomed to Fredricton, New Brunswick by the Dalhousie University Tigers in a Friday night face-off.
"It was a good test for us in our first game back," explained fifth-year guard Jen Goldade. "To come out and face a game like that and know we can come out on top gave us a lot of confidence in ourselves."
The ladies faced a tough Tigers’ side who challenged the young Calgary squad all the way to the end of double-overtime, when our heros took the game 92-90. The Dinos should have had the game in the bag earlier but nearly let the win slip through their fingers. At the close of the first overtime, our gamers put the Tigers on the line for a triple-try. The Maritimer made her first two free throws and missed her third. Unfortunately, the Dinos were called with a technical violation and the Tigers were awarded yet another shot. The fourth attempt was enough to force yet a second frame of extra time.
"It was a little frustrating," said Goldade. "But in the end we pulled it out."
Saturday’s confrontation was with the tourney hosts, and whether due to a tough opening night, or some other pool-related problem, the girls were a little water-logged, and dropped the game 90-69.
The third game was another dominant display of athleticism for the Dinos, handing the Brock University Badgers a 77-64 loss–their only defeat of the tourney.
"It wasn’t our best performance, we wanted to come out with three wins," admitted Goldade. "But we learned a lot from the tournament. Sometimes you can go to these type of tournaments, win every game, and never learn a thing about your team or what you need to improve on."
It was after all, only a pre-season tournament. While the real test doesn’t come for a couple of weeks. Goldade is confident the team will be ready.
"For us to do what we did last year, we are going to need the biggest team effort I’ve seen in my five years here," she mused. "We have veteran and rookie talent. It’s just a matter of bringing it together."
If they do, it could be the rest of Canada West that ends up all wet.