Volume 94, Issue 51
Wednesday, November 29, 2000
Lady hoopsters fold - again
OK GUY, WHO WANTS THIS? The women's basketball team suffered a 76-74 loss against the Guelph Gryphons in weekend action.
By Robert Wolfson and Jessica Leeder
The Western Mustangs and Guelph Gryphons threw knock-out blows like two hardcourt heavyweights, only to have Guelph's women's basketball team remain the standing champions this past weekend.
In their first encounter of the regular season, both teams traded baskets throughout the game. The biggest lead for either team was only seven points which came during the second half.
Western hit a three-pointer with just two seconds to go in the contest, but Guelph held on for a two-point victory, 76-74, to up their record to 7-0, while Western fell to 3-2.
The Mustangs put a plethora of points on the score-sheet, but it was the team's inconsistent play that hurt them. "We need some consistency in our play that's the biggest thing. We have a second-year team with a nucleus of a few fifth-year players. They just need to get some experience to really gel," said Don Coleman, Western's assistant coach.
On Guelph's side of the court, point guard Pat Maracello led the Gryphons with 19 points. "Maracello is a fiery competitor and she sets the tone for our success," said Guelph head coach Angela Orton. "Every team could use a player like Pat for great ball-handling, tough defence, good rebounding at the one-position, and great scoring.
"Pat was our knight in shining armour, but it was our balanced attack that clinched the win. Four players scored in double figures," she said.
"We have great depth and a solid rotation with eight or nine players making significant contributions. Our inside-out game has been the key to our success so far. With sharp guards and an offensive presence inside, we have a very formidable offence."
The return of point guard Lindsay Kennedy was key for Western. "She is a great athlete. Coming back from an injury, she played her heart out. She's tough, agile and just about everything else you can ask for in a star," said Orton.
Laura Verbeeten, a fifth-year shooting guard for Western, agreed Kennedy's presence was a huge lift to the team, but realized that they are still not playing their 'A' game.
"Lindsay is a key to our success and she's back in the lineup now, but we still have to work on some kinks and make some quicker cuts and harder screens."
Don Coleman, assistant coach for Western, said he feels Kennedy's comeback provided stability. "Our starting line-up will take a little more shape with the return of Kennedy and hopefully we will become more consistent. Kennedy's presence alleviates pressure off of the other players."
The Western women's basketball team goes to Laurier on Wednesday and then returns home to face Waterloo on Saturday.
Although, the loss might linger in the Mustangs' memory, the team must look ahead to their next challenge in Waterloo. "Guelph, McMaster and Western are the top three teams in the division. Waterloo is making a case to be part of that elite group," Orton said.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000