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Pilots Flight Report: Women’s Basketball - NIAC Championships

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Wbb News

Pilots Flight Report: Women’s Basketball - NIAC Championships

We came in 2nd but we weren’t leaving short of 1st. Highly motivated and confident, we entered the tournament with 3 games in mind. We were very familiar with Red River and had a strong game plan for them, which paid off in a big win. Sisseton was next and we were prepared, knowing they would be tough at home but through 40 minutes we would be the stronger team. Last came Cinderella, a Trinity team who was riding a pair of tournament upsets, most recently the #1 CMU Blazers. Long time friends and rivals, these teams knew more about each other then most others in the tournament. As quoted later by Katelin Thiessen, “we bent but didn’t break.” Trinity went on a run in the 3rd to cut into our lead but we finished the quarter on a run of our own, and held ground in the 4th.

Game #1 NIAC Quarter-Finals
GAME: #2 Providence Pilots vs #6 Red River Rebels
SCORE: W 65-36
DATE: Friday February 15
LOCATION: Sisseton, SD

Taylor Goodbrandson 17 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl
Katelin Thiessen 13 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 4 Stl

Game #2 NIAC Semi-Finals
GAME: #2 Providence Pilots vs #3 Sisseton Wahpeton College Mustangs
SCORE: W 74-68
DATE: Saturday February 16
LOCATION: Sisseton, SD

Taylor Goodbrandson 19 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast
Esther Ruchegeza 13 Pts, 18 Reb, 1 Ast

Game #3 NIAC Finals
GAME: #2 Providence Pilots vs #5 Trinity Bible College Lions
SCORE: W 73-60
DATE: Sunday February 17
LOCATION: Sisseton, SD

Alison Zajac 8 Pts, 15 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl
Taylor Goodbrandson 14 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast

“Two years ago, my assistant coach Joey Traa and I, began talking about our two year plan. We knew we had something special with a group of three 3rd year players, who were committed to graduating. We ended last season on a high note, with a program matching record of 3rd place at the ACCA national tournament. That finish played a significant role in building the confidence needed to take the next step this season. We ended our conference schedule with an outstanding 12-2 record, good enough for 2nd place entering the tournament. Fueled by our photo finish loss to the Blazers, one week prior, we entered the tournament with a high level of confidence and motivation to perform. Each game called for a great deal of preparation, and the team adapted well to our game planning. We were tested during the season and found ourselves experienced in a variety of challenging situations. We felt that our greatest challenge came while playing the host and 3rd seeded, Sisseton Wahpeton College. It is always difficult playing the host school in the postseason and we haven’t had the greatest track record in those games. I think the best decision we made this season, was to make the trip down earlier in the semester to play the Mustangs, instead of taking the forfeit wins when they were unable to travel to us. That trip gave us the lay of the land and helped to prepare us for the tournament. This weekend gave us proof that we are doing things the right way and gives encouragement for the future success of the program.” - Coach Joel Coursey

“This weekend was something special, and I think everyone felt that way. The girls all had a spark and a fire after last weekend. We wanted this win not only for ourselves, but also for our coaches and our program. It wasn’t an easy weekend, we had to come out and compete for 40 minutes, 3 games in a row against some tough competition. In the end, there was no way we were going home without the title. We have such a great group of girls (and coaches). Something that we wanted to focus on this weekend was that each one of us has a unique role on the team. This was something that we wanted to showcase in our games. Every one of us played our best games, and left our hearts on the court. I couldn’t be more proud of this team, and I know we’re all fired up and ready to compete at regionals next weekend.” - Alison Zajac, 4th year forward

“Winning this weekend was just the icing on the cake. We came off of a hard loss in the MCAC final last weekend which fueled our hunger. We faced numerous adversities but as coach of the year, Joel Coursey said, at the end of our final game, “we may have bent but we did not break.” As I said earlier, winning was simply the peak. Providence was represented so well this weekend. We had rookies stepping up the plate for crucial moments of our games, multiple awards given out to teams. Jordan Lawson throwing down in the dunk competition, T Goody coming in second in the 3 point competition as well as other Pilots competing. We had a crowd who travelled and made sure their voice would be heard, and a coach of the year award to none other than our head coach, Joel Coursey. It really does take a village. We truly played a selfless style of basketball this weekend and did it for each other, the Providence community, and to glorify God in all we do. I’m honoured to be able to play alongside these girls and coaches, to be represented by the men’s team as well, and to wear the Pilots logo wherever I go. We only get hungrier.” - Katelin Thiessen, 2nd year guard

NEXT UP: NCCAA Regionals
DATE: February 21-23

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Author - Tory Walker

Tory Walker

Coordinator of Athletics Information

Tory serves as the Coordinator of Athletics Information and the Head Coach for Women's Soccer.