Despite not claiming the gold, the Gees ended their season heads held high. Photo: Parker Townes.
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Garnet and Grey return from U Sports nationals with third-place finish

The Gee-Gees women’s basketball wrapped up their fantastic season Sunday, March 10 after winning a bronze medal at the U Sports national tournament in Toronto.

After beating the Regina Cougars by a slim 65–63 margin in the quarter-finals, they were defeated at the hands of the Laval Rouge et Or in the next round, denying the Gees a shot at the gold medal. Laval went on to earn silver, falling to the McMaster Marauders in the championship game.

In the initial loss to Laval, Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu stepped up with 17 points, while six-foot-five centre Angela Ribarich had 12 points.

Following the game, Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks preferred concentrating on positives and spoke to the media about how proud he was of the “unbelievable” support his team had in Toronto and in the last month in Ottawa.

“I’ve been at the school for 11 years and I’ve never seen anything like it this last month,” Sparks told media after the game. “I’m so proud of the school — they’ve stepped up, they did travel well, we had a whole section there that was hugely supportive and we felt it. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The bronze medal game the next day featured the Gees taking on the Saskatchewan Huskies. It was an exciting come-from-behind victory for the U of O.

The Garnet and Grey went into halftime down 41-27, had an outstanding third quarter on both sides of the court, and managed to just edge out the Huskies by a single point.

Sarah Besselink, playing in her final game as a Gee-Gee, led the way with 13 points, while Emily Carr had 10.

With the win, the Gee-Gees’ season ends on a high note. Look for an upcoming feature on the graduating players for the squad this season.