Chalk up another on the board
©Geoff Robins /Gazette
YEAH, BUT WHAT ABOUT THAT GUY? Angela Nobes was typical Angela Nobes Saturday as Western added another victim to its undefeated season.
By Mike Sikorski
After playing a tough game in Guelph last Wednesday, the Western Mustang women's basketball team welcomed the less-than-stellar Brock Badgers to Alumni Hall Saturday for some free pizza. Then, the squad won by a comfortable 87-70.
The game had all the ingredients for a blowout but some gritty play by the Badgers and some unusually sloppy play by the Mustangs resulted in an interesting affair.
The Mustangs saw their lead get slashed on a couple of occasions and had to rely on their veterans to shut down Brock in the final minutes.
"I'm disappointed that I had to put my starters out to finish the job but our lead went from about 23 points to about 10 or so," Mustang head coach Bob Delaney said.
With nothing to lose, the Badger team gave a valiant effort going for the upset. However, giving its starters so much court time eventually took its toll and allowed Western to run away with the game.
"Western is definitely a stronger team," Badger coach Chris Critelli said. "As for us, we're kind of like the [Toronto Maple] Leafs, in that we know something's wrong but we don't quite know how to fix it."
Tight defence led to some big Mustang steals that helped cap their performance. Forward Nadia Pezzolo managed to snatch a couple of brutal Brock inbound passes and the Mustangs were able to amass an impressive total of 21 steals, compared to a measly total of eight for Brock.
Also with big games were scoreboard-lighting Jennifer Haylor with 25 points and Tanneke Blaauboer, who terrorized the boards on both ends of the court with 13 rebounds, many of them converted into Mustang baskets.
"Jen's been a great player for us, she has been really consistent with her shooting," Mustang Adriana Pompa said. "On the other hand Tanneke is a very strong player down low and can really use her size to her advantage. She's a great defensive player."
Although the scores in recent games have been rather close right up until the last five minutes or so, captain Angela Nobes still sees room for improvement and waits for the day everything meshes perfectly.
"Once we start running our offence more consistently and on a regular basis, that's when we will start to blow teams out," she said.
Their biggest test thus far comes this weekend with undefeated Lakehead travelling to London for a two-day doubleheader, giving the Nor'westers two shots at knocking Western off of its top-ranked CIAU perch.
With the CIAU finals in Thunder Bay, Ont. just over a month away, expect the upcoming matchup to be an interesting one with both teams checking each other out. The next time the two teams will meet will likely be in the OWIAA playoffs to be held in Waterloo and a good bet is that the setting of that match will be the finals.