July 12th, 2024

Horns ready for battle at Canada West Championship

By Lethbridge Herald on February 20, 2024.

Herald Photo by Justin Seward UHerald file photo University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Kamryn DeKlerk attempts to keep the ball in bounds while being defended by Jayden Tanner of the University of Alberta Pandas during a game earlier this month.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s basketball team begin their quest for a Canada West Championship in B.C. today.

The seventh place Horns will tip off against the 10th place University of Victoria Vikes in a play-in game today at 4 p.m.at the championship host site in Abbotsford at the University of Fraser Valley.

“I think (the )biggest thing is realizing  that you have to keep improving and it only gets tougher,” said Dave Waknuk, Horns head coach.

“I think where I’ve noticed a big difference is scoring goes down in playoff games and defence, the importance of it goes up. I think you have to be able to guard, I think you … need some luck on your side and stay healthy, there’s going to be big moments you’re going to have to be good in… I think it’s a combination of those things.”

The Horns will look to use their deep bench which has been successful for them all year long.

“We’ve had the ability … where if somebody isn’t going that day, somebody else is ready to step up and we’ve had days where you almost have a streak of a different score or a different threat every game we play,” said Waknuk.

“So I think trying to keep that same mentality. I don’t want it to come off as we’re going to just completely change our entire game plan and our identity come playoffs. So we’re still going to rely on the strength of the team and I still think we’re going to ask the same players to step up the way they have all year. So for me it’s not really one person, it’s going to be the collective and I think that’s what made us strong this year.”

Waknuk said you don’t have a lot of room for error.

“You need to get off to a good start obviously, you need to find your stride right away,” he said.

“I think what’s important in playoff games is realizing you’re not going to win it in the first 10 minutes, you’re not going to win it  in the first couple plays, you got to ride the wave and there’s going to be runs in these games, and you’re playing all good teams from here on in.”

The winner will move on to play the UBC Thunderbirds  in a quarterfinal on Thursday at 4 p.m. while the loser goes home.

The 12-team tournament will conclude with the bronze and gold medal games on Sunday.

Results can be found at canadawest.org under the team sports tab.

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