TRU WolfPack: Playoff berth — help wanted

Debbie Yeboah (left) of the Victoria Vikes drives to the basket with the TRU WolfPack’s Jen Ju pressuring on defence on Friday, Feb. 11, at the Tournament Capital Centre.  - Dave Eagles/KTW
Debbie Yeboah (left) of the Victoria Vikes drives to the basket with the TRU WolfPack’s Jen Ju pressuring on defence on Friday, Feb. 11, at the Tournament Capital Centre. 
— image credit: Dave Eagles/KTW

The TRU WolfPack women’s basketball team wants to make the playoffs like Christina Aguilera wants another shot at the Star Spangled Banner.

“It’s pretty exciting to know that we’re still in the hunt,” said Pack head coach Scott Reeves, whose squad is in Vancouver for a weekend series with the UBC Thunderbirds (13-7).

“We’re kind of in control, but not really. We need some help from some other teams.”

The Pack (9-13) need help from the Saskatchewan Huskies (18-2) and the Alberta Pandas (15-7), as both teams play the Calgary Dinos (10-10) twice before season’s end.

Calgary and TRU, which vaulted into playoff contention after sweeping the Victoria Vikes last weekend (Feb. 4 to Feb. 6), are fighting for the eighth and final Canada West playoff spot.

The Pack would finish the season with a record of 11-13 if they can sweep the T-Birds this weekend.

Saskatchewan, which is jostling for playoff position atop the standings, is favoured to take care of the Dinos, which would leave Calgary with a 10-12 record heading into the last week of the season.

Then it would be up to the Pandas, who are also trying to improve their playoff seeding, to sweep the Dinos and put TRU into the post-season.

Reeves described the Pack’s ideal scenario: “If we can get to 11 wins, that’s one ahead of [Calgary]. Then, they pretty much have to lose out and we’re in.”

If Calgary and TRU finish the season tied on wins, the playoff berth will be decided by tie breakers, the first being head-to-head competition (they split the series), the second being records against common opponents, which cannot be determined until the season is over.

It is all a little bit confusing, but make no bones about one thing: Not making the playoffs would be painful for TRU’s women, especially for Kayla Forsyth.

She is the only fifth-year player on the team and Forsyth has never played in a playoff game.

Forward Diane Schuetze talked about what it would mean to help her teammate reach the post-season.

“It would be huge, for sure,” said Schuetze, a Vernon product.

“With her being here for five years . . . she didn’t get the chance. This is the closest she’s been.”

Reeves said his team has only itself to blame for being in a position where its playoff destiny is controlled by others.

“The disapointments come in the shortcomings throughout the entire year,” said Reeves, who has been at TRU since 2006.

“The game at Manitoba the second night (a 67-63 loss), we were feeling good after the first night (a 73-58 win) and maybe took them a little too lightly, which was a mistake. The Fraser Valley loss at the buzzer, where their kid got the offensive rebound.

“Those kind of games. If you didn’t let those slip away, we wouldn’t be in this situation right now.

“We would already have secured a playoff spot.”

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