Volume 91, Issue 81
Wednesday, March 4, 1998
Nobes bids farewell to Western
MAKE WAY FOR LADY LIBERTY. Western guard Angela Nobes has been an exciting attraction during her five-year tour with the Mustang women's basketball squad. On Saturday, she played out her final home game as a Mustang at Alumni Hall.
By Alan Russette
The Western women's basketball team closed out the regular season at home Saturday evening against the Waterloo Athenas with a 64-56 victory to secure first place in the Ontario West division.
With a high level of electricity filling Alumni Hall even before tip-off, it was clear this particular game was special for both teams since Waterloo desperately needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive and Western was saying thank you to four outstanding graduating players.
The Athenas came out firing in the first half, matching Western basket for basket behind the sharp perimeter shooting of Leslie Mitchell. Western seemed unfocused for much of the half, making mental errors which allowed the Athenas to take a 34-29 lead into the break.
However, the bottom dropped out for Waterloo in the second half as a determined Mustang squad went on an 11-2 run to start the half and never looked back.
Fourth-year senior Jenn Haylor led all scorers with 20 points while her fellow seniors each contributed 12 points to the winning cause.
Mustang head coach Bob Delaney attributed his team's slow start to the emotions of what he termed "Senior Night."
"It was a special night. We had to get through that ceremony at half-time and I think that once we did that a lot of the pressure was off the kids to play well," he said. "We really started to play in the second half."
Tanneke Blaauboer, Nadia Pezzolo and Haylor were honoured at half-time as graduating seniors, but are expected to return next season to play out their fifth year of eligibility. However, the game marked the end of an era as Mustang Angela Nobes, a second-team All-Canadian point guard last season and team co-captain, played her last game in Alumni Hall.
Waterloo head coach Tom O'Brien was full of praise for Nobes, who has frustrated his team for years.
"She's a tough kid who stays focused. Some people say Angela sometimes starts trying to do too much herself, but I think that comes from the fact that she just wants to win so badly," O'Brien said. "I think she has had a great career and I'm going to miss her being around, but as a coach I'm not going to miss her playing against us."
Teammate Haylor feels fortunate to have played in such high company. "Being able to play with her, you don't realize just how lucky you are to have a point guard who's that good," Haylor said. "It'll be a major loss for us to lose her. For me to come back next year and not have her is going to be really strange."
Nobes credits Delaney for her success at Western and has no regrets about her choice of schools. "It's been a great five years. Each year I've played with tremendous players and that's thanks to [Delaney]. I've always been with a winning program and it's great to finish up winning here in Alumni Hall," she said. "I wouldn't have done my five years anywhere else and I think that sums it all up. I'm happy with my choice, I'm happy with my team and I'm happy with everything else that's gone on here at Western."
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