Algonquin’s women’s basketball team did not disappoint in front of a crowd full of supporters in their home opener Nov. 7, with a convincing 83-55 win over the Durham Lords, and remain unbeaten on the season.
The impact of the crowd could be felt even before tip-off. The banging of thundersticks distributed to fans before the game combined with their constant and boisterous cheers made it feel like a cheering stampede was rolling through the gymnasium.
“It took us a little while to get the nerves out,” said head coach Laura Bond. “But the energy was awesome and once we got going we were able to feed off it, and a lot of good things happened.”
This was evident on the court, as the two teams traded baskets back-and-forth in the first quarter. But midway through the second quarter the Thunder went on a run where they appeared unstoppable from the field, leading to a 46-32 lead at halftime. They would not look back from there.
“It was nice to see everyone get to play and contribute,” said Thunder guard/forward Lindsay Whittaker. “Especially our rookies, who came in and stepped up big.”
Thunder guard Francesca Bellehumeur-Moya led the way for the team in scoring, dropping 19 points, and attributes her team’s success to focusing on a specific target in the win.
“We prepared all week for the game, and really practiced on how we’d contain number 20 (Lords guard, Lindsay Panchan), because she’s their main scorer,” said Bellehumeur-Moya. “I think we did a pretty good job of doing that, which led to a big team win.”
Although this was a victory in which the Thunder appeared to do a lot right, Bond still feels there is room for improvement.
“For next game our focus has to be on rebounding. We only grabbed five of 10 rebounds and that’s not really acceptable if we want to be a championship team.”