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Thunder Women’s Basketball Short Handed vs GPRC

Posted on: Mar 2, 2015

This past weekend the Thunder took to the hardwood for their final two games of the 2014-15 season, travelling up to Grande Prairie to take on the Wolves. The Thunder hit the court shorthanded, with only eight players dressed for the first game on Friday night. It was also the first if the final two games that veterans Meagan McIntosh and Karolina Wieczorek would play. Right from the tip off, the Wolves 'emerged from their Den and took the first bite'. "They were looking to prove to us that they were the better team," opened Head Coach Robbie Valpreda. "They shot the ball extremely well and couldn’t miss in the first quarter." Going into the second quarter, the Thunder would struggle only scoring two points in 10 minutes of play. “We got in a funk. We had good looks but nothing would fall. (It was) very frustrating.” As a result, the Thunder went into halftime down 20 points. “I told the team that we needed to have more effort out there; we needed to play with urgency," continued Valpreda. "This is our last weekend of play. Let's leave it all on the court.”  The Thunder came out in the second half and played with more pride and urgency and were able to cut the deficit to eight points. But in the end, they just ran out of gas and weren't able to make the complete comeback. "Playing on the road is tough in this league and Grande Prairie is among the most challenging venues of them all. We just didn’t have the bodies or the energy tonight. We were much better in the second half as a team but we need to be better tomorrow for the final game,” concluded Valpreda. The final score was 66-46 with graduate Karolina Wieczorek being named as the Player of the Game.
On Saturday, the Thunder steeled themselves for their last game of the season. “I have had the pleasure and the wonderful opportunity to coach these girls,” stated Coach Valpreda. "We as coaches have seen them grow through the season and go through struggles and adversity. It has helped us build the character and life lessons for future success.”  The Thunder were much better out of the gate than they had been the night before, going up 11-7. But in the final minutes of the quarter, GPRC fought back to take a 13-11 lead into the 2nd quarter. “Early foul trouble hurt us but the girls off the bench played well and continued to keep us in the game.” Going into halftime, the score was 31-25 for GPRC. “One thing we need to be better at next season is playing the game when our backs are against the wall. We are a young team and timid at times, but games like this help us to understand what we need to do.” Going into the final quarter of the game the Thunder battled back, getting within 10, “Shy was our leader tonight. She was great on defense, got steals and had them create turnovers. Karolina once again led the team in scoring with 23 points and everyone on the team would score and contribute. GPRC took advantage of their home gym. They had the support from the fans and played well; the ball bounced their way all afternoon." In the end, the Thunder lost 65-51. “We need to remember these games; remember what it felt like to lose and use that as motivation in the off season. We have a lot of work to do but we will be back and better next year," concluded Valpreda.  Once again, congratulations go to Karolina Wieczorek for being named Player of the Game.
Next up, the Thunder will be holding their annual ID Camp at the Ralph King Athletic Centre on Saturday, March 28th.