Volume 92, Issue 82

Thursday, March 4, 1999


No Testa, no title

Murtaugh defines hockey excellence

Pride drives Mustangs to first place

Curlers go hard for OUA medals

Western rewind

Canada's March Madness hits Alumni Hall

Pride drives Mustangs to first place

By Ian Ross
Gazette Staff

Pride was on the line for the women's basketball team over slack week.

The team, which has traditionally been the powerhouse squad from the Ontario West division, dropped their second game of the year against the McMaster Marauders 75-68 on Feb. 20. With that, they found themselves wavering in the standings and looking at the possibility of finishing out of top spot in the division for the first time in six years.

The team needed a rallying call and it was tradition which filled the void, said sophomore guard Tricia Young. "Pride was a huge factor," she said. "We've always kept on top of the league."

The team responded with two victories over the Guelph Gryphons 73-51 and the Windsor Lancers 78-49. The two victories handed Western the division bragging rights for another season and a first place seeding heading into this weekend's Ontario West championships.

Pleased with his team's ability to bounce back this season when they needed to the most, Western head coach Bob Delaney gave his team a grade worthy of top of the class honours. "We are playing some of the best basketball we have played all season," he said.

Young echoed the sentiments of her coach. "This is crunch time," she said. "Fortunately everything has fallen together at the right time."

The difference, Delaney said, was the Mustangs have turned their focus to working as a unit and not individuals. Fifth-year post player and co-captain Nadia Pezzolo has been out of action with inner-ear trouble for the past two weeks. A major contributor on the floor, her absence created the requirement for every member of the team to step it up. The results have been very positive, Delaney said.

"The ball is being distributed," he said. "The bench is extremely enthusiastic and they understand their roles.

"It was a great turnaround from Saturday [in McMaster] to Wednesday [in Guelph]."

Gryphon head coach Angela Orton admitted her team had trouble containing Western's attack on Feb. 24.

"Western did a good job shooting the ball," Orton recalled. "[Mustang forward Holli] Clarkson stepped up and had a good game. Defensively we broke down and on offence we had no discipline."

Guelph dropped their next game to McMaster 64-48 and dropped from first to third place within a week in the Ontario West while Mac ended the season in second. The Lakehead Nor'Westers took fourth, Brock fifth and Waterloo sixth.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999