Ottawa Citizen

Gee-gees women’s team gets in on title act, too

- WAYNE KONDRO

There is only way to describe the Ottawa Gee-gees’ run to the Ontario University Athletics women’s basketball title — it was Carleton-like.

The sixth-ranked Gee-gees were so dominant on both ends of the floor in Saturday’s OUA championsh­ip final against the second-ranked Windsor Lancers that it almost seemed, well, as if the storied Ravens men’s program had entered the gym.

But in capturing their second OUA crown, and first since 2004, by stomping the heavily-favoured Lancers 8938, the Gee-gees dashed fifthranke­d Carleton’s hopes of qualifying for a second consecutiv­e Canadian Interunive­rsity Sport national tournament. Those dreams dissipated like vapour after the Ravens women’s team lost 58-51 in overtime to the Brock Badgers in the bronze medal match at Montpetit Hall.

The Ravens needed a GeeGee loss to sneak into a CIS regional next weekend. Instead, they’ll be mulling what might have been, had forward Kendall Macleod not been hobbled by a knee injury.

Although the Gee-gees already qualify for the nationals in Calgary, they’ll neverthele­ss host a CIS regional next weekend, where they’ll again face Windsor, the Atlantic runner-up (Acadia or Cape Breton) and Canada West’s fourth representa­tive, the Fraser Valley Cascades.

The Gee-gees exploded to a 12-0 lead on a pair of aggressive drives by Kellie Ring and treys by Jenna Gilbert and Bess Lennox. They extended their lead to 18 on more excellent marksmansh­ip by Lennox and Gilbert and stellar defensive boardwork.

With Teddi Firmi attacking with the penetratio­n dribble as the Lancers reeled in confusion, Ottawa exploded for a 22-2 run while holding Windsor to a single field goal in the second quarter to take a 46-16 lead into the lockers, remarkably with OUA East player of the year Hannah Sunley-paisley having spent most of the first half on the bench in foul trouble.

The Gee-gees opened the second half on an 8-0 run and pulled away from there.

“We just fed off each other and the momentum,” said Ring. “We came into it with right mindset and played hard every single moment.”

Firmi said the Gee-gees were focused.

“We were obviously were very pumped,” she said. “We believed that we had to do what worked so hard to do all season. We played it quarter by quarter and played it that way all game.”

“They put it together and played a full 40 minutes,” said Gee-gees coach Andy Sparks. “We’ve seen moments of that through the year and it was pretty outstandin­g by all of these kids.”

Ring and Gilbert each scored 14 points to pace Ottawa. Lennox added 13. Firmi and Tatiana Hanlan each notched 10. Jessica Clemencon led Windsor with 11 points.

Brock used a 12-2 run featuring aggressive drives by Nicole Rosenkranz and Andrea Polischuk to build an 1810 lead after one quarter, but Alyson Bush nailed a pair of treys and Macleod hobbled in off the bench to provide a defensive spark as Carleton rallied within 31-27 at the half.

But neither team appeared able to put the ball in the bucket in the fourth quarter, as Carleton built a 50-48 lead with 40 seconds to play before Emily Mckay drove the baseline for a layup to knot the score with 27 seconds to play and force overtime.

Jessica Del Signore, Samantha Dejong and Emily McKay drove for layups as Brock took command in overtime and the Ravens’ dreadful marksmansh­ip continued. The Ravens scored just one field goal in the final quarter and extra session.

“An ugly win,” said Brock coach Si Kounviseth. “But that’s the kind of team Carleton is, they grind it out. We did a good much better job of not settling for stuff. When they were packing it in, we continued to attack, attack, attack. The kids came out and executed well.”

Dejong led Brock with 12 points and 10 boards. Rosenkranz added 10 and 10. Bush paced Carleton with 15 points and Ashleigh Cleary added 15.

 ?? JANA CHYTILOVA, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN ?? Brocks’ Samantha dejong steals the ball from Carleton’s Alyson Bush during the second half of Saturday night’s bronze-medal game. See a photo gallery at ottawaciti­zen.com.
JANA CHYTILOVA, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN Brocks’ Samantha dejong steals the ball from Carleton’s Alyson Bush during the second half of Saturday night’s bronze-medal game. See a photo gallery at ottawaciti­zen.com.

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