Jefferson Hagen / MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – If simply looking at the boxscore from the Griffins women's basketball team's preseason lid-lifter against Calgary on Sept. 17, you might think it would be a game they'd rather forget.
The visiting Dinos scored early and often in piling up a 76-35 victory.
But it's a result that has become a valuable early measuring stick for a young, retooled Griffins squad that boasts eight players in their first year of university eligibility.
"You look at the scoreline and you think 'that game wasn't (so good) or maybe much benefit.' It didn't look too good on us," said Griffins head coach Katherine Adams.
"But it really was a win for us in a lot of areas that this was these girls' first introduction to competition at this level. We know Calgary's been training since the beginning of July.
"It was eye opening for the girls to see this is the pace they have to play at," she continued. "You do your best to replicate that in practice, but you don't know what exactly you're trying to replicate, so it was a really good learning experience for us in that regard. I think we've really seen a change in the tone and tempo of our practices since then."
So, when the Griffins host Brandon for a pair of preseason contests this weekend (7 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday, Atkinson Gym), Adams is really looking forward to seeing how far they've progressed.
"This replicates our in-season play – same opponent back to back weekends," she noted. "So it gives us a chance to go through our pre-game prep, video of the day after watching ourselves.
"It's the first time these girls have really done in-depth video breakdown analysis of our play and be asked to make changes. It's an opportunity to learn and grow and experience that before the end of October before play starts."
Brandon brings a veteran team to the table and will offer a stern test – just what a young group needs to get further used to the level.
"It's going to be a lot for us to handle, but I'm excited for the challenge and what our girls bring to the table," said Adams.
And if there's a historical lesson in not paying too much attention to exhibition boxscores, one only has to look back a year. MacEwan also lost big to Calgary in their 2016 preseason slate but beat them 64-59 five months later in the final weekend of the regular season to solidify a playoff spot.