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A single win or loss doesn’t define the season

Tuesday, Jan. 21, the Gee-Gees women’s basketball team took on the Carleton Ravens at the annual Capital Hoops Classic at the Canadian Tire Centre. Our Gees played a hard-fought battle as they finished the game with a win and defeated the Ravens with a final score of 57–47. This game marked the second Capital Hoops win for the U of O women since it began in 2008. Although the Gees do not have a great record for the Classic, the U of O has finished ahead of Carleton in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) finals and at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) nationals for the past several years.

“Four times we’ve gone to nationals over the last five years, and four times in the last five years we’ve lost that game.” said head coach Andy Sparks. “When we look at our history, this game has not made or broken our season at all.”

Back in 2010, the U of O ended Carleton’s season in the OUA East final with a win of 59–54. The Gees went on to win a silver medal at the OUA finals, which earned them a spot at nationals. That year, the women finished sixth in the country. In 2012, they won the OUA gold medal, defeating the previous national champions the Windsor Lancers, and beat the Calgary Dinos in the CIS finals to finish third in the country. Last year, the Gee-Gees finished the OUA finals with a silver medal and beat the Ravens in their semi-final game with a 17-point comeback. Again, the Gees finished sixth in the country.

It was only two years ago, in 2012, that the Gee-Gees captured their first win at the Capital Hoops Classic. That year was one of the biggest games in the Classic’s history, as the Ravens and Gee-Gees were nationally ranked sixth and seventh, respectively. The garnet and grey captured their win with a final score of 59–55. Capital Hoops will always be known as a bragging right, but the true satisfaction of the teams is finishing ahead of the other by the end of the season.

Sparks said before the game this year that most importantly, the girls have to enjoy the experience of playing at Capital Hoops. This game is just another league game in the middle of January.

It’s important that the fans also remember this, instead of measuring the team by vague impressions based on their performance at Capital Hoops.  The Gee-Gees have historically out-performed the Ravens when it mattered most.

“The season is not made on this game and we said that many times before,” said Sparks. “Do you want to win? Absolutely. Is it bragging rights in Ottawa? Absolutely. But bragging rights come at the end of the year.”