The Brandon University Bobcats women’s basketball team’s season was summed up by their Canada West finale on Saturday night at the Healthy Living Centre.
For five minutes, the Bobcats were able to keep pace with the third-ranked Regina Cougars before the Cougars (19-3) took control and rolled to a 79-28 victory to leave the Bobcats winless at 0-22.
Bobcats coach Novell Thomas hoped to have a competitive team this season, but games like Saturday’s left him disappointed in how the year went.
"It was very symbolic of previous games where we compete for a while, and then whether it’s conditioning or them adjusting and us not counter-adjusting, who knows what it is?" he said. "We’ll reflect on all that and be better in that department next year.
"We have to play smart for four quarters. We play well for five minutes right now ... There’s a huge difference there. Again we’ll just reflect and hope to make changes for next year."
There’s plenty of blame to go around for the Bobcats’ struggles this season and Thomas put some of it on his players and some on himself.
While he wasn’t happy with the season, the team did make some strides over last year. Fourth-year forward Chantel Gaslard, who led the Bobcats with 11 points Saturday, said progress was made this season — despite the winless record — and thinks they will take another step forward next year.
"I’ve very impressed with how the team is coming along," she said. "Next year is going to be even better. We’ll have new recruits in there and Aleah (Bridges, an American point guard who red-shirted with Brandon in the second semester) will be able to play. We’ve come a long way, especially with all our coaching issues and now we have a steady coach. I think it will be really good for our program."
Thomas will now focus on recruiting and finding ways to improve his team next season. He just hopes the off-season won’t seem too long.
"We’ll let the girls recover from injuries and rest and settle down and get back into practising and improving for next year," he said.
CAT SCRAPS: Brandon F Aimee Johnston made 15 free throws in 60 seconds during halftime of the men’s game on Saturday to raise $385 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation through the team’s Shoot for a Cure fundraiser.