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Gee-Gees show promise on return from winter break

Photo Credit: Richard Whitterkar

The women’s basketball team finished the first half of the season with a 5-3 record good enough for a first place tie in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) North division before travelling to Halifax to take part in one of the more competitive mid-season tournaments.

During the first match, the Gees faced the Acadia Axewomen, a struggling team in last place of the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) standings. The garnet and grey showed flashes of their potential in a 72-56 win led by guard Sarah Besselink, who netted 27 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the game.

The Gee-Gees would go on to face a familiar foe in the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, and this time it would be point guard Julia Soriano’s turn to lead the team. She put up 14 points, with seven rebounds and four assists, and played stringent defence in the 77-50 win.

Fourth-year Kellie Ring also posted a double-double against Toronto, scoring 17 points to lead all scorers with 10 rebounds.

Advancing to the tournament final, the Gees faced the Lakehead Thunderwolves, a 4-3 middle-of-the-pack team in the OUA Central. The T-Wolves proved how deep the OUA can be as they topped the Gee-Gees by 10 points in an 83-73 win to capture the tournament championship.

The Gees had three players earn tournament honours as Krista Van Slingerland was named an all-star, Kellie Ring earned top rebounder—tallying 18 in the final—and Julia Soriano took home top `defensive player.

Earlier in the season, head coach Andy Sparks said he expected more from his veterans on the team. The squad was making common sense mistakes, and it was costing them games.

But this tournament proved the break had done well for the experienced players. As they struggled most of the first half of the season with defending and rebounding, the Gee-Gees looked stronger, and this can only have positive effects for 2015.

Transitioning into the next phase of the season, the Gee-Gees will open the second half by taking on the Carleton Ravens for the top spot in the OUA North. With the promise shown in midseason competition, there’s a chance the Gees could see a deep run into OUA playoffs, and possibly the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) final eight in March.

Tip-off against Carleton will be at on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at Montpetit Hall.