- BC Games
Spartans eye post-season after four-year absence
After a record-setting season last year, the Trinity Western Spartans know they can count on forward Holly Strom.
The fifth-year forward set six TWU program records and led the Canada West conference in scoring with 19.2 points per game in 2012/13.
But while Strom may be a focal point of the offence for the women’s basketball team, the Spartans need help from those around her if they hope to return to the post-season after a four-year absence.
“We have to take advantage of some of the skills that we have,” said coach Cheryl Jean-Paul, adding scoring and height are two of those skills which her team possesses.
Last season saw the team finish 7-15, which was sixth in the Canada West’s Pacific Division. And only two starters — Strom and guard Janelle Traber — are back for 2013/14.
“The two of them will be a big part of our offence,” Jean-Paul said.
Two other returnees, Chantelle Martin and Laurissa Weigl, combined with Traber to average 16.7 points from the guard position. That number should go up with increased minutes.
The point guard position is expected to be manned by former Brookswood Bobcat Luca Schmidt. The second-year guard played a limited role last year but so far through the pre-season, she has been playing nearly 30 minutes a night.
Jean-Paul said the team will employ a more attacking style.
“We are using more ball screens this year, which is different than what we have done in the past,” she said. “That is going to create some different looks for us.
“We are scoring in transition, we are trying to push the ball as much as possible.”
Making the playoffs will be a daunting challenge considering the depth and quality of teams in the conference.
“If you look at the (national) top 10, five or six teams are from our conference,” Jean-Paul said.
“There are no easy games; every week is going to be a dogfight.
“Every game matters and every game is the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs, that is how we have to approach every weekend.”
The Spartans open the season with a pair of home games at the Langley Events Centre: Nov. 1 against the Calgary Dinos and Nov. 2 versus the Lethbridge Pronghorns.