Mama said knock you out
By Ian Ross
In a tough two-round title fight in Guelph Wednesday night, the women's hoopsters landed a knockout punch in the second half throwing the Guelph Gryphons to the canvas in a 76-67 Mustang victory. This brings the team's record to a stunning 8-0 in the regular season as it continues to wear the CIAU title belt as No. 1 team in the country.
In what seemed to resemble more of a heavyweight bout, both teams pushed and attacked each other as they attempted to intimidate their rivals and gain an important edge in the game.
"Our games over the years with Guelph have traditionally been scrappy and physical," Western head coach Bob Delaney explained. "It has a lot to do with both teams having kids that played high school together, who tend to play tough against kids they dislike."
This left the referees catching their breath at the end of the game, as they called 50 fouls in total, leaving dozens more overlooked. Two players, including Western rookie sensation Cindy Scott, fouled out of the game.
"They're a physical ball club and that's the way we like to play, so it suits us to play that way," Delaney said.
Although the referees spent half the game blowing the whistle, Guelph head coach Angela Orton felt that ever more air should have been exasperated.
"I think it's really important for the refs to maintain control in the game and I feel they overlooked too many things that should have been called," she said.
As the end of the first half drew to a close, both teams had refused to give in to the intimidation factor and the outcome of the game was still up in the air. After circling their prey for 30 minutes, the final moments became a test on how hungry the Mustangs were to keep their title belt and the result saw them attack the Gryphons with aggressive focus and determination.
"The difference was that we composed ourselves finally, got on the boards and Angela [Nobes] managed to calm us down on defence," veteran Nadia Pezzolo said.
Team Captain Nobes, last week's OWIAA athlete of the week, led the team with 18 points, as she directed the on-court attack against the Gryphs. In her fourth season with the team, Nobes has adapted well into her leadership role and has received high acclaim from her teammates and coach.
"Her leadership has been fantastic," Delaney proclaimed. "She's both a great person and player and that has rubbed off on everyone else."
Nobes and the rest of the team will face their next challenger on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall, when the lightweight 1-6 Brock Badgers come to town.
©Gazette File Photo
COMING FROM DOWNTOWN. Mustang guard Angela Nobes fires up a shot during Western's 76-67 victory of the Guelph Gryphons.