Volume 94, Issue 86

Tuesday, March 6, 2001


SPORTS

Western whips Waterloo to end series

Hard luck on hard court - Western season comes to an end

Maybe the CFL isn't so bad after all

Sports Briefs

Hard luck on hard court - Western season comes to an end

By Colin Butler
Gazette Staff

"It's not a fun way to end your career," were the words of disappointed fifth-year forward Holli Clarkson.

The women's basketball semi-final game, which saw Western pitted against MacMaster in Hamilton last Thursday, was a tough, contentious competition, where Western's ladies worked hard to maintain a good defence against a vigorous Marauder offence. However, Mac eventually prevailed, beating Western 64-51.

Clarkson, the Mustangs co-captain, said although her team played a spirited and competent game, it wasn't enough in the face of a staunch MacMaster defence.

"Our offence had no movement. We weren't shooting very well; shots weren't falling."

Western's head coach, Bob Delaney, said the team's offence just was not its regular self. "We went cold shooting," he said. "We missed some easy shots, the team got tired. It was a tough game."

"We wanted to make Western really work hard to get the ball up the court," said MacMaster head coach, Theresa Burns. She added the Marauder team tried to keep the pressure on Western for the entire game, attributing an up-tempo game as MacMaster's formula for success all year.

"We've been battling injury all season and a lot of really good players were out," Delaney said, despite taking the loss. He added the team was missing some key players, and the veterans of the contingent had to work extra hard in order to compensate for the weakness.

"On that night [MacMaster was] better than us. They deserved to win."

Burns said she thought her team played superbly and added that the team's extensive practices have paid off. "We executed our game plan really well," she said. When asked about factors that helped in MacMaster's win, Burns noted fatigue as a factor that affected Western. "Western got fatigued in the second half and our kids really dug deep. They could have used some fresh legs out there. It's too bad they had to rely on their starters for most of the game."

"I thought we broke the press really well," Clarkson said, adding the game was somewhat of an endurance match for her team. She said her team knew well in advance they would be facing a formidable defence from MacMaster.

MacMaster's victory over Western ended up carrying them all the way to the championship against Guelph, where the Marauders barely beat Guelph, 59-56.

Thursday's 64-51 loss for Western marks the last game of the season. For Clarkson, the other co-captain, Cindy Scott, forward Laura Verbeeten and guard Stephanie Howard, it also marks the last game of their Mustang careers.

Even though the women's basketball team will be losing some of its best players, Delaney said he is not worried about the future. He said there is a healthy amount of new blood to fill the holes in the ranks left by veteran players leaving next year.

He said that among some of the improvements the team is making for next season is recruiting. "One thing is, we didn't recruit, recruiting is the most important thing," Delaney said, adding that the care taken [in] recruiting today is an investment in the team of tomorrow.








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