Thunder women’s basketball edge out first-place Huskies, remain top of OCAA

Six points separated the George Brown Huskies and the Thunder women’s basketball teams Saturday, with Algonquin edging a 67-61 victory on home court. Thunder guard Michaela Branker was the home team’s best performer, having notched 14 points to go along with her four assists and four rebounds in the game. She said , however, that […]
Photo: Darius Shahheydari
Thunder's Rita Sibo drives to the basket. She was one of Thunder's five players to break double-digit points this game.

Six points separated the George Brown Huskies and the Thunder women’s basketball teams Saturday, with Algonquin edging a 67-61 victory on home court.

Thunder guard Michaela Branker was the home team’s best performer, having notched 14 points to go along with her four assists and four rebounds in the game.

She said , however, that the victory was a collective effort.

“Everyone had lots of good numbers on the board,” she said. “And yeah, we really played as a team and I think that’s what helped us out.”

Five of Thunder’s players hit double-digit points in the game. Branker’s fellow guard, Sylvie Strong, was the team’s second highest scorer with 14 points. She also lead the team in three pointers, hitting four shots from behind the arc.

“I personally probably had the best game this season so far, even though I’m still sick,” she said.

According to Thunder head coach Jaime McLean, Strong was not his only player to be feeling under the weather.

“We play with about 50 per cent of our roster actually sick, blowing their nose on every time out.” he said.

McLean said he thinks there were moments in the game where his team looked at their potential, but there were also moments where they let the Huskies be able to rack up points, bailed them out with fouls and gave them free lanes.

“We know how to run our sets – the IQ portion is there,” he said. “It’s now about making sure every player’s at the best potential they can be at.”

The Huskies are second in the standings – four points behind the league leaders, the Algonquin Thunder.

“I think we played really well considering it was the second place team we had to play,” said Thunder guard Sylvie Strong.

Algonquin’s performance drew some appreciation from the fans as well. Second year police foundations student Matt Daines came to watch the team play for the first time.

“The girls are playing well,” he said with a smile and a nod. “It’s an exciting game to watch,”

Thunder, along with the rest of the OCAA women’s basketball teams, is heading into a winter break. Beginning in January, three of the next four Thunder games will be away from home.

“We won’t have our fans backing us up,” said Strong, “but I think having us cheering on the bench will be good.”

Branker said that the break came at the right time. “We need this break right now,” she said. “We all need a lot of rest.”

The next game for the Thunder women’s basketball team will be away at Seneca on January 18.

“I think that going into the next semester, we need to keep the same intensity, the same energy and really step it up.” said Branker.

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