The Quest University Kermodes women’s basketball team is so close the players can taste it.
The team’s magic number is now one to qualify for the Pacwest playoffs after picking up wins on the road against Kwantlen on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 27 and 28). The wins improved the Kermodes’ record to seven wins and four losses on the year and either a Quest win or a Langara loss will clinch a spot in the postseason for the team.
“It’s something we’ve been building on since I arrived here,” said head coach Mike Woollard. “It’ll be a big point in our program. We’re not there yet but I’m confident that we’re everything but mathematically in at this moment.”
Quest blasted the Kwantlen Eagles 76-55 in the team’s biggest offensive output since November and Woollard said the key was the team’s strong defensive play in the first half.
“We executed our game plan well defensively and that allowed us to get out and run,” he said. “We got some open looks and hit a lot of them but it was a very physical game.”
The Kermodes shot 52 per cent in the first half and after a slow third quarter, roared back in the fourth with 25 points. Guard Delainee Behrns led the team with 16 points and Woollard praised the fourth-quarter play of guard Maja Smiljic, who added 14 points.
It was a completely different game on Saturday as Quest took part in a defensive battle against the Langara Falcons, winning 48-39.
“We may have played the best defensively that we’ve played all year,” Woollard said. “Offence became a little ugly at certain points of the game but we continued to get defensive stops and defended extremely well.”
Langara’s top three scorers were a combined 11 for 42 from the field and Woollard said the defensive prowess of Quest guard Andrea Eidsvik was remarkable. Eidsvik also contributed with 12 points, while Katrin Sandbichler led the Kermodes with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
The men’s team’s struggles continued, as Quest lost 82-76 to Kwantlen on Friday and 99-81 against Langara on Saturday. The team remains winless in 11 games this season.
Next up for both teams will be a trip up north to take on the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) Timberwolves on Saturday (Feb. 4). It should be a tough test for both squads, as the UNBC women’s team is undefeated and the men’s team is ranked third.
“It should be a challenge but it’s going to tell us where we are,” Woollard said. “We feel we’re in the same ballpark as UNBC, VIU and Capilano, but we haven’t proven it yet. We’ll go out there, play hard and see what happens.”
For more information on Quest athletics, visit www.questkermodes.ca.