Thunder guard Melissa Gilligan looks for an open pass during a game Feb. 2.

The Algonquin Thunder women’s varsity basketball team defeated the Seneca Sting 77-70 on Feb. 2, in what was a physical and spirited affair. Katie Flansbury led the way offensively with 26 points, along with six rebounds and four assists. Sierra Peck contributed 14 points, five rebounds and two steals, while Desiree Groulx chipped in with 14 points and four assists.

The Thunder got off to a slow start, giving up an early 6-0 lead, but quickly rebounded and finished the first quarter leading 21-12. The second quarter was equally impressive for the Thunder, as they headed into halftime ahead 40-24.

Much like the first half, things started off slowly for the Thunder in the third quarter, but they were able to regroup and took a 56-49 lead into the fourth quarter. The final frame was a close and competitive one, as Seneca attempted to claw their way back into the game.

The Thunder, however, would not be denied their seventh win of the season, using a strong defensive effort to hold off the Sting’s comeback attempt.

“The girls stepped it up big today. We made a big focus on tonight’s victory coming from defence first, and that’s what they did,” said coach Jaime McLean. “That first half, holding a team to 24 points was huge. This is a team that beat us by 20-something the last time, so to come back and be able to really use the video work that these girls have done and put it all together is huge.”

The majority of the game was very physical, with a few rough falls, which McLean thinks adds to the energy of the game.

“There was a lot of bumping, a lot of grinding,” he said. “But you know what?ometimes that makes it really fun and exciting, and for some players, they can handle it and for others, it gets under their skin. Luckily, today we handled it.”