Women’s basketball loses to VIU but improving
By Eric Wilkins, Sports Editor
On November 29th the women’s basketball team lost to the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners 57-42. Despite the loss, it was a game the Royals could come out of feeling optimistic about the rest of the season.
“[The Mariners are] the number five team in the country right now and I thought we played very well. We matched up well and we brought good energy. We didn’t shoot a very good percentage tonight but we had a lot of good looks at the basket,” said coach Curtis Nelson.
Decked out in their whites, the host Royals sent out Adelia Paul, Chloe Kennedy, Lauren Sollero, Jettie McLaughlin, and Garaline Tom to start the game against the undefeated league-leading Mariners. If VIU was expecting an easy one, they were about to be in for an unpleasant surprise. Douglas made it rain three’s in the first quarter, with Simran Bir and Paul draining a handful from beyond the arc. Paired with some stiff defence, the Royals finished the quarter down 12-11. In the second, it continued to be a tight game as Douglas refused to let up. Even role players were up for the game, as evidenced by plays such as Ellen Fallis briefly subbing in and coming up with a big rebound before putting it home. VIU tried to make it into the half up four, but a lovely spin by Kennedy off her check before draining her shot took the teams into the break 24-22 for the visitors.
The second half was a slightly different story. The Mariners came out flying and pulled out to a 35-23 lead. True to their “no quit” attitude, the Royals clawed their way back though. A run started by McLaughlin slipping a gorgeous pass to Nanaya Miki in the paint brought the hosts within four at 38-34; that would be it for the comeback though. The quarter finished 41-34 and in the fourth the Mariners held a comfortable lead throughout, taking the game 57-42 in the end.
“I thought we battled really hard throughout the game. It was really consistent work and we played solid defence. It just came down to hitting our shots,” commented Bir.
Recent injury returnee Mackenzie Brenner shared her thoughts on the team heading into Christmas. “I just feel like we’re heading up. We had a rocky start but we’ve had some difficult teams so far. And it’s not like we’re just going to take this time off; we’re going to be hitting the gym even harder.”
Nelson expressed his feelings on the team to date as well, “We say in our program, ‘We want to get better every Monday.’” And the girls have done that week by week. Very proud of the girls and how they’ve hustled through. If we weren’t competing or we didn’t have that energy or that mentality to come out and compete, I’d be more concerned. We do have that.”
Speaking to a common theme for Douglas squads this year, Nelson also remarked on the development of the group. “We’re a young team. For some of these girls this is their seventh college game. Tonight, Simran Bir, one of our rookies, stepped up and knocked down some big shots for us. More importantly though, I thought she played some really good defence and rebounded well. I think the future is very bright.”
The Royals took on Camosun on November 30 and head into the break with a 2-6 record.