Women find ways to win
Shocked in the wolves' den
Swimmers heat up the pools
Squash balls are bouncing in
Nimble sporty thumbs
Women find ways to win
By Ryan Dixon
Don't ever think for a moment that sports is about anything more than the bottom line.
For evidence of this, look to the Western women's basketball team, who took two games from the Lakehead Thunderwolves on the weekend.
"The only thing we did right Friday was win the game," Western's head coach Bob Delaney said. "We played dreadful we were never on top of our game. It seemed like perhaps the travel took something out of us. We had sufficient leads at certain points, but we just couldn't hold them."
Western did hang on in the end for a 70-66 win, followed by a 63-52 triumph on Saturday, despite a game marred by injuries to key players.
BASKETBALL CAN BE A VERY CAPTIVATING SPORT. Western's Julie
Lamparski waits for gravity to do its thing. The Western women
remain undefeated with two wins against Lakehead this weekend.
Despite the poor play, Delaney said his role players came through in fine fashion. "With about four minutes left, we had the game in hand. I went to those players and congratulated them for the job they did," he said.
"I told [my role players] they did the job they need to do when key players go down to injury or are not performing well."
Lakehead coach Bob Main said Western showed him what he anticipated they would.
"We saw tough, aggressive defence and that was what we thought we'd see. They lived up to our expectations," he said.
The Thunderwolves' bench boss said, if Lakehead hopes to reverse their weekend performance, his players had better improve their aim. "I think our shooting was brutal," he said. "We had one starter go 0-11[on Saturday]. That's also a credit to the Western defence."
The city of Thunder Bay definitely proved to be a tough place to play for the Mustangs. Whether the Thunderwolves fans are just rabid about their basketball or whether they were just trying to stay out of the cold, the Lakehead gym was home to a raucous crowd.
"There was a lot of heckling, the gym was packed," said Western co-captain Michelle Crowley. "You hear a lot of people shouting 'you suck', behind you, but [Delaney] prepared us for that. It's kind of fun to play in that environment and be exposed to it."
Perhaps the hostile surroundings caused the Mustangs to gel because, as Crowley pointed out, the team meshed. "We really came together, especially in the second game. Young players like Alana Juzenas really stepped it up. She can control the whole court," Crowley said.
With a rash of players including co-captain Lindsay Kennedy, out with injury, it would appear the exam period will be a welcome break for the Western women. However, there is still the matter of their game tonight in Windsor.
"We set the short-term goal of going 6-0 before the exam break and we have a chance to accomplish that. We haven't played any of the top four teams, but we've done what we need to do and that's given us a confidence boost," Delaney said.
The bottom line is, Western's women will try to find a way to win no matter what.