Women’s basketball drops Kwantlen
By Eric Wilkins, Sports Editor
Every team needs some time to come together. Results don’t always come immediately and the process isn’t always fun to watch. However, on the evening of November 16, the women’s basketball team showed they are well on their way.
“I think we’re definitely on the rise right now. We had a really rough start but I think we’ve improved a lot within the last couple of weeks. So if this keeps up, I think we’re going to go really far,” said Garaline Tom of the squad’s recent performance.
The first half was a tightly contested affair with neither side holding more than a six-point lead at any given time. Some turnovers would lead to coach Curtis Nelson later describing the matchup as, “a little sloppy on both sides—typical of an early season game. But a lot of good play as well.”
Regardless of mistakes on the court, the Royals finished the half strongly, with Chloe Kennedy knocking down a big three near the end to put them up 33-27.
The Royals surrendered the first points of the second half, allowing the Eagles within three, before a run of strong play led to a seven-point cushion. Kwantlen took advantage of a lapse shortly after, though, managing to tie the game at 42—that was as close as they would get to a lead for rest of the night. Lauren Sollero and Kennedy helped the team pull away with a pair of three’s before seeing the quarter finish with a scoreless run for both sides: 48-44. The fourth again showed some jitters for the teams, but the host Royals managed to maintain both their lead and their confidence.
Kennedy commented that, “We kind of broke down at the end. Started making mistakes that we don’t usually make. But we pulled through in the end.”
With the score 57-54 and under a minute left in the game, Adelia Paul coolly drained two free throws to secure the win. Final score: Douglas 63 – Kwantlen 54.
“I felt like we had a combined team effort but we had certain players that really stepped up their game. I think our rookies are really starting to figure it out and come into their roles on the team so that’s really helping us out too,” said Sollero.
Coach Nelson was also pleased with the effort and the direction the team is taking. “I thought our girls did a great job of gutting out the effort… if you have a good effort and a good mindset then you’re probably going to end up in a good spot. There was some brilliant play today. And we shot the ball a little bit better tonight. The first three games of the season I think we were shooting low 20 per cent—you’re not going to win taking 90 shots in a game but you’re only hitting 18 or 20 of them. The last two games that we’ve had we’ve been hitting shots.”
As to the season in general, he remarked, “I think they’re finding themselves. We’re pretty hit with injury right now, so I think early in the season the injury bug played a pretty big role in where we were. Of course, the other teams were ready to play us. We played, out of the first three games, two teams that are ranked in the top 15 in the country.”
Nelson also said of the 0-3 start, “Losses are not a bad thing in among themselves if you take the right things out of them.” Now that the team is riding a two-game win streak, signs seem to indicate that the squad is doing just that.