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Providence basketball teams sustain setbacks in Minnesota
2015-12-15
Despite solid showings in provincial action so far this season the Providence Pilots basketball teams lost all four matches they played in Minnesota last weekend.
 
The men’s side—currently atop the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference Standings—dropped successive games to Faith Baptist Bible College and Association Free Lutheran Bible School and Seminary and saw a key player go down to injury in the process.
 
Top-scorer Daniel Dekleva sustained an ankle knock in the first half against Faith, which ended 36-36 after the Eagles took 14-0 lead to open the contest. As head coach Colten Gryba explained, the game swung back and forth until the final five minutes, when his players struggled to find the basket.
 
Faith went on to win 82-72.
 
The Pilots experienced similar trouble against AFLBS—conceding early points before fighting back and eventually running out of steam. The Conquerors also proved lethal from three-point positions en route to the 93-80 victory.
 
“We battled two of the toughest teams we’ve played this semester—on the road and short-handed,” said Gryba. “But to be in a position to win both games near the end was encouraging for me.”
 
He added: “We still need to work on some little things, but overall I was very encouraged this semester and we have a good chance to be in the mix for a championship at the end of the season.”
 
Ditto the women’s team, which is second in the MCAC going into the break. And like their counterparts they fell to both Faith and AFLBS in Minneapolis, while also losing an important player.
 
Against the Eagles they faced an opponent that hit 78 per cent from the free-throw line—something head coach Joel Coursey pointed to as the determining factor in the Pilots’ first National Christian College Athletic Association contest of the season: a 62-57 loss.
 
In the follow-up match Providence ran into a Conquerors side that claimed most of their points off a trio of dominant players. The Pilots’ Amber Harms, meanwhile, had to leave the game with a head injury—a massive loss given her 18 points and 14 rebounds against Faith.
 
“We were leading for most of the game but fell behind in the third quarter and couldn’t come back,” said Coursey, whose side was outscored 65-53. “I think we ran out of gas in the second half and had nothing left to make a comeback.”
 
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