By:  Hillary Robert

Stacy Poapst goes for the layup but a Fanshawe forward is attempting to block her efforts.

Though the Falcons played their best game of the tournament, it was no match for the undefeated Thunder women’s basketball team.

The Algonquin Thunder women’s basketball team dominated their final match at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Championships against the Fanshawe Falcons on March 2. Winning 74-42 and capturing the gold medal.

It was a game with high energy and enthusiasm coming from both teams.

The Falcons, who were lacking on defence, weren’t able to stop the strong offence laid on by the Thunder.

Guard Jesa Rada, who was named player of the game, scored a whopping 15 points. Rada was an outstanding key player in the final match, showing consistency in her abilities to work with her teammates.

Forward Sandre Bascoe, who won the championship’s award for most valuable player, was a scoring powerhouse in the final match.

Bascoe boosted the team’s offense and used all her skill to bring in 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. She was quick and precise in her execution on the court.

“I’m pretty happy about the award,” said Bascoe. “But I’m more happy about the team winning and the way we played.”

The team had their sights set on bringing home the gold medal and their undivided attention on the court made their win a cinch.

Team members worked in unison, being in the right place to catch passes that were thrown into open space.

While the Falcons played their best, the coordination in teamwork was lacking compared to the structure and organization the Thunder brought to the court.

“Some of the girls who got a lot of floor time (in the final,) it’s their first year,” said Kelly Adams, team educational psychologist. “They were able to maintain their composure which is really hard under that kind of pressure.”

Algonquin’s defence was flawless in the gold medal game. Forward Stacey Poapst was a tower of destruction when it came to blocking Fanshawe’s attempts.

It seemed as though every time a Falcon player came swooping in to make a basket, Poapst quickly swatted the ball down from above. Once the Thunder saw Poapst in action, it gave them, along with their scores, a boost.

Players and coaching staff were thrilled with the performance in the final game, stating that they had really stepped it up from the beginning of the tournament.

“I thought it was one of our best games so far,” said head coach John MacInnis.

“As a coach, there’s nothing more satisfying than when your teams plays their best game in the most important game.”

The team went on to celebrate their third consecutive OCAA tournament win.

“We played really well, hit some shots which we weren’t doing in the first two games,” said Ron Port, administrator of athletic operations.

“I mean, we were good enough to win, but we didn’t play like this in either of those two games. It gets a lot tougher from here on in.”