July 18th, 2024

Pronghorns using final weekend as a playoff tune-up

By Lethbridge Herald on February 7, 2024.

Herald photo by JUSTIN SEWARD University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Danielle Nadeau attempts to drvie the hoop during practice on Wednesday.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s basketball team are coming off a bye-week and are preparing not only for the regular season finale this weekend but playoffs in a couple of weeks.

Second-year guard, Piper Dobbelsteyn, said it’s really important with bye weeks to kind of keep the intensity up.

“A lot of the times it can be kind of an excuse to back off, but I know for us, we were in the gym working hard and pushing each other just to make sure that competition stays up, and that  we’re ready for the next couple of weeks coming,” said Dobbelsteyn.

The Horns are going into this weekend with lots of respect for their opponents in the University of Alberta Pandas.

“I think we also have a lot of intensity and grit and we just have to … punch first ,” said Dobbelsteyn.

“So kind of come out, be the aggressor and I think we can shock a lot of people.”

Dobbelsteyn thinks playing as a team will be key for them this weekend.

“A big thing this year we’ve noticed is when we play unified and together is when we see the best results,” she said.

Head coach Dave Waknuk says U of A is a great team.

“They’re well coached, they (have)  got a lot of great players (and) a lot of senior players that are very tough,” said Waknuk.

“So for us it’s trying to establish our tempo, trying to play at our own speed, trying to control the tempo that we play at. They’re very good at executing what they do. We have to guard hard to try to disrupt some of that and then we have to find our tempo.”

The Horns are taking a step-by-step approach with this weekend ahead of playoffs.

“So obviously leading into playoffs, we take each game, each quarter kind of as that one step further,” said Dobbelsteyn.

“Whether that’s a specific goal like intensity or like cohesion on the court like I was saying. So I think building on that each time, like getting better each time we step on the court, is our priority.”

The Pronghorns want to get better going into playoffs.

“There’s still things that we’re trying to figure out (and) to perfect a little bit ourselves. So we just have to keep finding that as we go,” said Waknuk.

Waknuk wants the team also to work on taking care of the basketball on the offensive side of the ball and be more sound defensively.

The Horns have a record of 12-6 and sit in seventh place going into the weekend and it is anticipated they will finish between fifth and seventh  heading into the playoff tournament  at the University of Fraser Valley from Feb. 22-25.

U of L hosts U of A tomorrow at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m.

The Horn men’s games go at 8 p.m on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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