Eagles stumble in provincial waiting

Kwantlen’s women’s basketball team loses its final home games, in waiting  for the playoffs.

By The Runner

It wasn’t exactly how they planned to leave home.

The Kwantlen Eagles’ women’s basketball team hosted a defeated weekend, giving way to the Langara Falcons and Douglas Royals respectively in the final home games of the season.

Eagles' Haeley Williams plays past the Douglas Royals Saturday

Eagles’ Haeley Williams plays past the Douglas Royals Saturday

The Eagles fell to the seventh ranked Langara Falcons Friday.

After pulling up to an even 59-59 in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter, a tired home team surrendered the game 68-62 in overtime.

The Eagles led the first half of their Saturday match-up against the second ranked Douglas Royals.

Keeping in steady form and pace, the Eagles held off the Royals 29-23 by the end of the second quarter, only to give way to gaining opponents late in the third.

The Royals wrapped the game 54-45.

The Eagles now hold a 9-10 record, 19 games into the 21 game regular season.

They maintain a fifth place ranking in PACWEST, above the Camosun Chargers, the Falcons, and the Columbia Bible College Bearcats.

Not ideal – also, not sizeably troubling.

“It doesn’t mean much. It doesn’t mean too, too much. We’re in the playoff at this point,” said head coach Dan Nayebzadeh.

Ideally, it wouldn’t hurt to get the additional wins going for the Eagles, who now look to improve their ranking heading into the playoffs.

Realistically, Nayebzadeh explains, wether the team moves up or maintains position, their options in opposition are deafeatable heading in the provincial championship tournament later this month in Victoria.

“Wether we’re fifth or fourth, we play the same competition in the first round – really doesn’t make a big different in the big picture,” Nayebzadeh said, “but in the little picture, it’s just fixing those little things we make mistakes on so that we can be better.”

The attention, marking its transition past the regular season, also appears to have shifted weight onto a team ready to focus on provincial success.

“There is that pressure on us to keep our spot in the playoff,” said second-year guard Jessica Villadeigo. “But it’s a lot tougher when we’re trying to gear up for provincials.”

The Eagles face sixth place Camosun College Chargers (7W-12L) Friday, and third place Vancouver Island Mariners (13W-6L) Saturday, in the final games of the regular season.

The Women’s tip-off begins at 6 p.m. at Camosun and at 1 p.m. at VIU.

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