Women’s basketball team has a tough road ahead
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
With the taste of gold still on their tongues, the women’s basketball team comes into this week with a yearning for even more. They’re looking for CCAA Gold, and they have quite the lineup ahead of them to get there.
The PACWEST standing with the CCAA in terms of women’s basketball has not been a smooth one of late. You have to go back to 2006 to see the last time a PACWEST team won a medal. You have to go back even further to see when a PACWEST team had won gold. Try 1998. As such, the Royals enter the tournament criminally under-rated at the sixth seed.
Right off the bat, the team faces a tough challenege. Their first match is with the surprise winners from the ACAC, the Lethbridge Kodiaks. As the third seed, the Kodiaks definitely had a scary season. They went 21–0 on their way to a crushing win at the ACAC Provincial tournament, led by pure scorer and ACAC Player of the Year Logan Moncks. The Royals most definitely have a challenge on their hands. Locking down a single player should be fine for the Royals, though. It’s about how the Kodiaks lock down the Royals.
There is absolutely no way Rachel Beauchamp doesn’t get double guarded from the start of the game. But the Royals have proven game after game that they aren’t just the Beauchamp express. If Ellen Fallis and Amber Beasley can get rolling, Sarah Jorgenson can focus on lockdown, which she does so well. Moreover, getting shots will let Rachel Beauchamp go to work, picking up boards and just tossing them in.
Should they win, they’ll likely face the Normades de Montmorency from the RSEQ in Quebec. Yeah, it’s hard to see this matchup going the Royals’ way. The Normades have won three CCAA Championships in the past four years. That kind of talent can’t be ignored. Nonetheless, the same keys remain for the Royals. Get the rest of the team rolling, get shots, let Rachel put up rebounds and put away balls. They’re going to have to be at their best for this one.
If they lose, they still have bronze to play for. But even that has a scary team. The NAIT Ooks, hosts of the tournament, come into it seeded eighth. But they definitely don’t play like an eighth-seeded team. The squad went 23–1 at the ACAC level before being upset at their regional championships. You can bet that they’re coming for blood. And if they lose against the Humber Hawks, it’s going to be a bronze medal they’re gunning for.
Should the Royals make the bronze final, the same rules remain. Get the team rolling, get shots, let Rachel do her thing. That has been the winning formula, with different players in similar roles from time to time. But that’s what needs to happen should the team have a chance of winning.
Honestly, it’s going to be a hard tournament for the Royals. Their odds aren’t too great. I’d say they have a 25–1 chance of winning the tournament, and a 10–1 chance of finishing bronze. The numbers may look blown out, but teams have done it before. The Camosun Chargers women’s volleyball team took their seventh seed and ran all the way to the gold medal match just last weekend. So while it may not be Leicester City odds, the Royals will have to do a ton of upsetting on their way to CCAA glory.