By: Rory MacDonald-Gauthier

Second-year Thunder guard Holly Ryerse led Algonquin to a thrilling victory over the MSVU Mystics in Algonquin’s second game of the tournament. Ryerse scored 24 points in the match, drained the game-winning free-throws and converted on 75 per cent of her three-point attempts en route to earning game MVP honours.

With just five seconds left in overtime and the score tied 69-69 between the Algonquin Thunder and Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics, Holly Ryerse stepped up to the free-throw line and sank two shots, bringing the score to 71-69 and winning the game for the Thunder.

Ryerse was in her element. After sinking six out of eight three-point shots, the second-year guard was determined to succeed. She sunk both shots effortlessly to secure the win for the Thunder and was awarded MVP of the match.

“I feel amazing,” said Ryerse. “I’ve never had a game like this before. My team played unreal.”

While Ryerse acknowledged that she had a fantastic game, she was quick to comment that if it weren’t for her teammates, none of this would be possible.

“We came together as a family today and stayed confident,” said Ryerse. “Truly, we just played as a team. That’s been our motto for the whole year. We stick together, we play together.”

“It’s always a team effort but Holly carried us first half and then hit those two big free throws at the end of the game,” noted Coach John MacInnis. “She won the game for us.”

After a high-flying offensive tilt between both teams and a score of 16-14 at the end the first quarter, MacInnis knew that it was going to be close game.

“It was like a prize fight – there were knockout blows back and forth but everyone kept standing up,” said MacInnis.

Holly Ryerse drains the game-winning shot in overtime, keeping the Thunder’s chances of a bronze medal alive. The Thunder’s next game is Saturday, March 16, at 12:15 p.m.

In order for a victory tomorrow, MacInnis and Ryerse believe that the team needs to work on smarter passes, communication and team defensive plays.

The Thunder plays their next game on Saturday at 12:15 p.m. against the loser of Dawson College and St. Thomas University. If victorious, the Thunder will advance to the bronze medal game at 6 p.m. Ryerse believes that her team’s drive and ambition is what will get them the bronze medal.

“Hard work pays off. We have to stick together as a family and hopefully come home with the bronze,” said a confident Ryerse.