Langara Falcons basketball teams hope for positive playoffs experience
Langara coaches looking ahead to playoffs with pride after testing season
By Meharwaan Manak
The Langara Falcons women’s basketball team heads into the post-season PACWEST Championships on a high note, having won three of its last four games to cling onto sixth place in the league standings and earn themselves a berth in the PACWEST Championships.
The men, meanwhile, moved into fourth place in the rankings despite losing half of its last four games. As a top-six team, they will also make the championships.
The men’s team have bowed out in the quarterfinals at the last two PACWEST Championships, while the women made the semi-finals in their last two post-season outings.
The Pacific Western Athletic Association PACWEST Championships, which begin March 2 at Camosun College in Victoria, are the next stop for both teams. Going into the post-season, the men first play Douglas College on March 2. The women also travel to Victoria on the same day, taking on Camosun in what will be a challenging first playoff game.
The women’s new head coach, Cameron MacGillivary, could not be more proud of his players’ development in light of a bumpy start to the season.
“The team is awesome, they’re fun to be with,” he said. “We’ve worked hard and we’ve improved a lot.”
The highlight of the season for the women’s team was their early-season away victory against Capilano University, with the final score of 62-58. MacGillivary had previously been part of Capilano’s coaching staff.
“We definitely had our battles with them in previous seasons and especially Cam coming from Capilano, to beat them in their home court made us feel good that we gave that win to him,” said Katelyn Lafleur, a third-year guard.
Teamwork has been key to the women’s team’s performance.
“No matter how bad the feedback is, coach is always saying, ‘I know we can do this, I know we’re capable,’” Lafleur said.
The men’s team managed to improve its position in the standings despite having an up and down season, finishing with a 9-9 record.
Joey Dhillon, who was promoted to head coach this season, said he was proud of the team dynamic and how the players have adjusted to his leadership. They lost by single digits seven times throughout the season, something Dhillon said could have demoralized the team.
“When you have that many close losses, it’s possible for a team to fall apart and all it has done is bring us closer together,” said Dhillon.
In the last four games, the men’s team squandered a chance to finish the season off strong, with two losses in four games against last place Columbia Bible College and second place Camosun College.
These wins would have improved their playoff positioning and potentially allowed for an easier first round opponent.
“Games play out the way they play out and no one really has full control over it,” said Jas Dhudwal, co-captain and leading rebounder for the team this season.
Mentality key to success
Going into the post-season, the team will focus on mental strength and composure.
Dhudwal said the coach is “big on composure.”
“He’s been trying to teach us that aspect,” Dhudwal said. “We have the skill, half of the game is mental, and as a young coach he understands that.”