CHRIS JASTER/ BRANDON SUN
Brandon Bobcat Kinsley Ransom, who’s from Boissevain, tries to drive past a Red River Rebel defender during Sunday’s game at the Bobcats’ tip-off pre-season tournament at the Healthy Living Centre.
The Brandon University Bobcats women’s basketball team were looking to gain some experience and confidence at their tip-off pre-season tournament at the Healthy Living Centre on the weekend, and that’s exactly what they did.
The Bobcats posted a 2-1 record at the round-robin event to finish second. They fell 66-58 to the University of Winnipeg Wesmen on Saturday, but closed out the event with a convincing 68-41 victory over the Red River College Rebels, a Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference team, on Sunday.
The Bobcats gave their backups a lot of court time on the weekend and fifth-year forward Jaynell Gillett believes the team can gain a lot despite playing two college teams and one CIS squad.
"Playing college teams is good because you can run through things and see what you’re capable of," said Gillett, who’s captaining the team with Stephanie Haynes.
"It’s nice to get out and run. Against Winnipeg, it’s good to see someone we’ve played in the past and been beat by and see where we stand against them."
Gillett had 10 points and 12 rebounds against Red River. Ambrea McDonald-Okoro led the team with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Bobcats head coach Novell Thomas believes his team needed these games to prepare for the season opener on Nov. 1, when they host the Victoria Vikes.
Although he’s impressed with his team’s perimeter play at the tournament, he knows the squad needs to improve a lot under the basket.
"We have to be stronger inside and defensively we have to be tougher inside and rebound better," he said. "That will come with time."
The Bobcats will have lots of opportunities to get stronger as they have more pre-season games set for each week heading into the Canada West opener.
They’re on the road next weekend at a tournament at the University of Winnipeg, in which they’ll play the host Wesmen, the Manitoba Bisons and Lakehead Thunderwolves.
Although the Bobcats were glad to face some competition this weekend, they’re really looking forward to facing other CIS teams in Winnipeg.
"I’m really excited for next weekend to play three teams that are in the CIS," Gillett said. "I think (it will be a big test)."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 7, 2013