Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – After a glimpse into the type of team they're capable of being in a hard-fought 63-62 win over UFV their last time out, the MacEwan Griffins surge forward into a new weekend of Canada West women's basketball play with renewed optimism.
Certainly, their bread and butter is still star guard Kayla Ivicak. She led them last Saturday with 19 points and 13 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.
But complementary production is the real key to MacEwan's success. Having others producing – like on Saturday when they got 12 points from Hannah Gibb, eight from Mackenzie Farmer, seven from Ellie McCarthy and six from Anna Mbuyi – opens everything up for Ivicak.
"We've talked about it throughout the season that Kayla is obviously a huge part of our success, but Kayla is best when the people around her are contributing," said head coach Katherine Adams. "We're lucky enough that we can go deep into our bench and find contributions from a lot of different people. That is only going to help Kayla be better and do what she's good at."
As evidence of that depth, Adams notes that nine different players have hit double digits for the Griffins in regular season and preseason play in 2018-19.
"That's a lot. That shows we have a lot of people who are capable of stepping up and finding ways to contribute," she said.
"The opponent always changes things with matchups, but we take some comfort knowing we have a lot of different areas where we can attack."
That depth will be key this weekend as the Griffins (2-6) travel to Calgary to take on the Mount Royal University Cougars (2-6) on Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (4 p.m., both on Canada West TV).
The teams met in preseason at the University of Waterloo's Naismith Classic with the Cougars emerging with a narrow 59-57 win.
"We know it's going to be a good game," said Adams. "They're familiar because we've played them this year. We know their style of play, we know how they look to score, we know their tough, in your face, gritty defensive intensity. We know what to expect in that sense.
"So, it's knowing that and then preparing ourselves as best as possible, so we can carry on that momentum earned from a big team win last Saturday over Fraser Valley."