It was a season of renewal and youth for the Briercrest Clippers women’s basketball team.
The team wrapped up their season with a sweep over St. Mary’s University College over the weekend, but the Clippers will not partake in the conference playoffs this year.
“It was year of growth and we are going to have a bunch of girls back next year, so having a second year in the league is always an improvement,” said Clippers coach Chad Romanuk. “We were really young. We only have one third year, four second years and the rest were first year players.”
With such a young team, Romanuk was able to see how the team came together through the first half of the season to the second semester.
“Understanding how they need to practice and that it starts in practice to be successful,” he explained. “On the court, our decision making when we are young is hard…learning to make good decision when being pressured is something we are continuing to learn.”
Setting goals were a big part of this season for this Clippers team. Although they had hoped to be playing in the playoffs, this season was somewhat of a success. The Clippers posted a 5-15 record and that is their best record since the 2000-2001 season.
“We just really wanted to improve from last year. Briercrest women’s basketball doesn’t have the greatest record and my goal was to build something for the future,” he said. “We got five wins, which is actually the most wins that Briercrest women’s basketball has had since 2000-2001. That was encouraging and hopefully with all our returnees, we can roll that into next year.”
Romanuk was a bit disappointed knowing that the Clippers were essentially three wins away from making the playoffs. Games against teams in the North Division are worth two points and teams in the South Division are worth one point.
“There were a couple games against Keyano and Grande Prairie…if we would have won those and if we didn’t split with Red Deer, we would have been right there,” he explained. “It is disappointing, but also encouraging to end with five wins. I was hoping to finish with five wins because I think that is huge for our program.”
Now that the season is over, Romanuk and the Clippers basketball program will turn to next season and building the future. Much of the off-season focus will be on recruiting girls that want to be part of this program for many years.
“I am excited about who I have returning. There are seven girls returning and one more year under everyone’s belt is going to huge for us,” said Romanuk. “There is a lot more recruiting to do too. Lauren Jordan will be coming from King’s University College and she is good leader. She has experience, but she was injured last year. She will bring some skill and coming from a team that was successful will bring a lot to our team.”