The Thunder women’s basketball team enters the mid-season break with a record of 4-5 after a 72-69 loss to the St. Lawrence Vikings on Friday, Dec. 22.
The end of last season came to a disappointing end for the Thunder after finishing first place in the East, with an 88-87 loss to the Mohawk Mountaineers in the bronze-medal game. The loss came to fruition in the third quarter after Algonquin blew a 13-point lead.
That loss seems to have carried into this season after the Thunder once again had a poor third quarter and allowed SLC to weave themselves back into the game.
“We didn’t stick to our game plan,” said Laura Bond, head coach of the Thunder.
“We let their key players shoot the ball, we allowed their best attackers to get to the rim, and we didn’t adjust well enough in the third quarter and we had to do some catching up.”
The Thunder found themselves in trouble early after falling behind 12-4 in the first quarter, only to pick themselves back up early with strong offensive play by Nya Gathoth and Amoney Abakar.
Coming into halftime, the Thunder had outscored the Vikings by 12 points, and carried a tremendous lead. But a lack of athleticism and focus led to their downfall.
“The beginning of the first quarter didn’t go well at all,” said Thunder forward Amoney Abakar. “We turned the ball over early, but eventually we started passing the ball well and coming into the third quarter, we always know that we don’t come in with the same level of intensity that we do in the beginning of the game.
“That’s happened to us in the past, we’ll have a lead going into halftime and than come into the second half and blow the lead.”
The game against SLC was the first game back for Bond, who has been away on maternity leave after giving birth shortly after their falling out in the OCAA championships last season. So, getting back into OCAA contention may take some time.
“It’s kind of a new situation to me, because this is my first game,” said Bond. “It’s a coaching adjustment for me just stepping back into it. But you know that was the number one team, and their undefeated and I can tell you that we gave them that win and I believe in the second half (of the season), we’ll be right back in it.”
Katie Flansbury, a fourth-year veteran for the Thunder, says that continuing to play a strong game is essential going into the second half of the season.
“We need to keep working hard, keep working out and getting in better shape,” said Flansbury. She added that they must stop letting teams come back on them to find success.
The loss against SLC came just a week after a 74-70 win against the Durham Lord’s at home on December 2. Abakar finished that game with a team high 25 points.
The Thunder head into the second-half of the season with a 4-5 record and a fifth-place position in the East division. Their next game is on Jan. 20 versus George Brown College as they hope to surge through the standing and get back to playing Algonquin basketball.