Volume 92, Issue 73
Friday, February 5, 1999
Young Badgers give Western a scare
HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY. Guard Jenn Haylor  saved the Mustangs from the biting Brock Badgers by scoring 31 points in a thin 68-66 victory.
By Ian Ross
Wednesday night was the battle of the ages literally.
The cagey veterans of the Western women's basketball team struggled to keep in line the youthful whipper-snappers from Brock University and came within seconds of being sent to the old age home, with a slim 68-66 victory in St. Catharines.
The differences between the two teams is striking. The Badgers boast only one player on their roster beyond second year, forward Tracey Swift. From the total opposite end of the spectrum, the Mustangs rely heavily on veteran experience and leadership only one player in the regular rotation is lower than third year.
In the end, experience ruled. Fifth-year guard Jenn Haylor scored 31 points for the Mustang cause and gave Brock a headache they could not tame.
"I try to stress with the team that when we are getting frustrated on offence, the ball should be going into Haylor's hands," said Western head coach Bob Delaney. "The team knows she is the go-to player."
Brock head coach Chris Critelli said she was forced to use rookies to defend Haylor which proved to be the team's Achilles heel.
"I think having a lot of first and second-year players offers a lot of enthusiasm to a team but unfortunately not a lot of experience."
While inexperience hurt the Badgers, the youthful energy certainly did not. Playing with a nothing-to-lose attitude, Brock rallied late in the game from a nine-point deficit and came within one point with seconds remaining.
"We had a couple of chances at the end but I think we panicked. We are still a young team so it's understandable," Critelli said.
Lucky to escape the Niagara peninsula with a win, the Mustangs improved their record to 6-1, tying them for second place in the tight Ontario West division. The youngest member of the Western starting line-up, sophomore guard Tricia Young, said the team was disappointed with their effort after several positive outings against Waterloo and McMaster to start the new year.
"We came out really flat," she said. "It was not a lack of effort, it just seemed things were not going our way. They are a decent team but it wasn't them it was us."
Western assistant coach Don Coleman agreed with Haylor. "I think we took them a little lightly," he said. "We just didn't have the same intensity."
The Mustangs will look to get back on track and challenge for first place in the Ontario West division on Saturday when they face-off against the Guelph Gryphons at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999