With just one month remaining in the Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association season, the St. Martin de Porres Kodiaks senior girls’ basketball team is hitting its stride.
After an extended break due to exams, the Kodiaks returned to the court Feb. 1 and have since strung together a pair of wins to remain near the top of the Division 3 standings.
“I feel like the girls are playing their best basketball,” said head coach Tammy Paulence. “They are growing together as a team for sure, (but) we still have things we could always be working on.
“The girls have confidence, but they don’t gloat about it. They know it’s anyone’s game and the dynamics of the game changes on your rest, who’s sick or injured, and they get that there are hard teams we are going to play.”
The Kodiaks took on the winless Queen Elizabeth Knights at home Feb. 1, in a David and Goliath showdown. The Kodiaks dominated from start to finish, earning a 79-29 victory.
Paulence said the dominant play from her team allowed the entire bench time on the court, which helped the girls get back into game headspace and gave less experienced players a chance to improve.
“For the girls that don’t see the court that often, they were really showing up for the game,” Paulence said.
The Kodiaks didn’t have much of a break between games, as the team was back on the court Feb. 5 to take on the St. Timothy Thunder in Cochrane.
With the Kodiaks and Thunder both having suffered only one loss heading into the matchup, Paulence said she anticipated a much closer game than the matchup with the Knights.
After finding itself in a deficit, the Kodiaks fought its way back in the fourth quarter to take a 48-46 win from the Thunder.
“(The team) didn’t come out with a full defence the whole game,” Paulence said. “If we could get that from start to finish, we would have better results.”
Nail-biting finishes have been the norm for the Kodiaks this season, as the team has had three of its five wins decided by six points or fewer.
Paulence said the close games could be an advantage for the team, as it knows how to come from behind and secure the points needed to gut out a win.
“I always tell the girls the score is 0-0 no matter what you see up (on the scoreboard),” Paulence said.
With the two wins, the Kodiaks improve to 5-1 this season and sit tied for first in the Division 3 standings with the 5-0 Central Memorial Rams.
“Even though it seems like we have won a lot of games, (the team) knows we have some tough teams coming,” Paulence said.
The Kodiaks take to the court Feb. 13, playing host to the Henry Wise Wood Warriors at 5:30 p.m.