‘Injuries are a part of the game’
Despite an injury-laden lineup that saw them without their four top players, Kimberley Yeldon, Doreen Bonsu, Courtney Bruce and Whitney Ellenor, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s basketball team secured two wins this weekend to start off the regular season.
The team opened their season Friday against the Algoma Thunderbirds, who were looking to prove themselves as they competed in their first ever Ontario University Athletics (OUA) game after being part of the Ontario College Athletic Association (OCAA), but they fell short as the Hawks took the lead early on and never gave it up on their way to a 52-39 win.
“The first half we got outworked, I was much happier in the second half where our defence was much better,” said Laurier head coach Paul Falco. “We didn’t make a lot of shots that we have been making, which was probably just a little bit of first game anxiety, but overall much better second half.”
Third-year Samantha Jacobs led the Hawks with a game-high nine points along with three steals, while overall both team shot poorly from the floor, with Laurier shooting 30 per cent and Algoma finishing at just over 34 per cent.
“I thought Samantha Jacobs had an overall strong game and Nicole Morrison gave us some good minutes off the bench to ignite our transition game,” said Falco. “Other than that I think everyone did some good things but I don’t think anyone had a superb game.”
Saturday saw a much better game from Laurier, as they defeated the Laurentian Voyageurs 75-54. First-year guard Sarah Dillon led the team with a game-high 16 points and the team overall shot 44.9 per cent from the field.
Although the injuries will be an issue, coach Falco is confident in his team.
“Injuries are part of the game, you have to rely on your depth and rely on your bench,” he said. “The girls that maybe weren’t going to get as many minutes are stepping up and getting some good experience. Some of the younger ones, as well.”
With four players still out from their lineup, Laurier is left with 12 players, four of them being rookies.
“That’s really all we can do and hopefully we get them back later in the year, but we have to go with the group that we have,” he added.
Laurier looks to continue their strong start to the season against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in Toronto this coming Friday, before meeting with the Ryerson Rams on Saturday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Tipoff for both games is scheduled for 6 p.m.