Volume 91, Issue 84

Tuesday, March 10, 1998

Summer lovin'


Mustangs find silver lining

©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

I LEARNED THIS ONE BACK IN MY GLOBETROTTER DAYS. Mustang Sonya Doherty [6] pulled a three-point shot from her bag of tricks on Sunday to carry Western into overtime in the gold medal game.

By Ian Ross
Gazette Staff

Angela Nobes was knocked down, but her Mustang women's basketball team stood tall, capturing a berth to the national championships by placing second at the Ontario championships in Sudbury over the weekend.

After leading Western to a 76-67 win over the Ryerson Rams on Friday in the quarter-finals, co-captain Nobes' aggressive style of play continued to prove successful into the semifinal match-up with the University of Toronto Blues – with the winner being handed an invitation to the Canadian title tournament.

But a routine scramble for a loose ball during the second quarter resulted in a serious injury after the fifth-year student became tangled with Toronto's all-Canadian Liz Hart.

"When she went out, we thought she would come back," co-captain Nadia Pezzolo said. "But Toronto thought they had the game won when she didn't return. We never gave up and pulled it through in the end."

Even with Nobes' experience and leadership missing from the court for the remainder on the game, she felt second-year guard Cindy Scott stepped up to the challenge to replace her. "She filled in the point guard role spectacularly. She was very composed," Nobes said of her replacement.

Lacking one of their top offensive threats, the Mustangs turned up their defensive attack and did not allow Toronto to take the lead during the 73-64 win.

"Winning bronze at the nationals last year was amazing. This was something that equaled that experience," Pezzolo said. "Our senior players played like seniors. We all know what its like to lose that game."

While the victory guaranteed a trip to Lakehead next weekend, the celebration was tarnished by the news that Nobes' fall had broken both her nose and her left eye orbital bone – leaving her unable to return for the finals.

Without Nobes and labelled as underdogs for the second day in a row, the Mustangs foiled several attempts by the Laurentian Lady Vees to pull away in the Ontario finals – tying the game at 63 by the end of regulation. "Angela Nobes is a great player and her missing from the line-up was definitely a factor in the game," said Laurentian head coach John Campbell. "However I thought Scott and [Sonya] Doherty really stepped up to help."

In the end, foul trouble and a lack of depth with Nobes sitting on the sidelines sabotaged Western's goal of an Ontario championship, losing 75-71 in overtime.

"I'm glad my jersey wasn't in reach. Being my last Ontario championship, it was very hard to watch," Nobes said.

With a re-match with the Lady Vees already scheduled for the first round of the national championships at Lakehead on Friday, Nobes added that she plans to return to the court no matter how serious her injury. "Being my last opportunity at the nationals, I'm not going to let it pass by."

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998