Leah Hirst (right) defends the ball as the Wolves close out their opening game of the season. Photo credit: Kolbe Devaux

The Algonquin Wolves women’s basketball team opened its season with a win on Friday night, defeating the St. Lawrence Surge 73-48 in front of an engaged home crowd.

The hosts scored 12 straight points to end the first quarter, 17-7 and went into halftime leading 40- 20.

Head coach Jaime McLean was pleased with his team’s offensive effort in their season opener.

“Offensively we were playing well,” he said. “We were running through things and we stayed within ourselves which created points for us which was great. During the preseason when we broke out of what we do we were turning the ball over because we didn’t know where our teammates were. Today we played within our systems and we knew where to find teammates.”

Forward Libby Hirst, who scored 10 points in the game, agreed with her head coach’s thoughts on the team’s offense.

“I think we’re happy with that (73 points),” she said. “We didn’t really set goals for our offensive points but for defensive points we said we would try to limit the other teams to 45 points a game, so we just missed the mark on that. But offensively I think we’re happy with that.”

Dasia McDonald (left) led all scorers with 26 points against the St. Lawrence Surge
Dasia McDonald (left) led all scorers with 26 points against the St. Lawrence Surge Photo credit: Kolbe Devaux

In the second half, the Wolves continued to score, opening up a 28-point lead early in the third quarter, and never led by less than 19 through the rest of the game.

However, both player and coach were critical of the team’s defensive performance.

“It feels good to win but one of our coaches said it. We only won that game because the other team couldn’t score very well. We weren’t playing together on defense. Our communication wasn’t very good. Our help rotations and our rebounding all need improvement for tomorrow,” said Hirst.

McLean agreed.

“There’s a lot of good in terms of the overall result,” he said. “Defensively though there’s two things we need to work on. Number one is communication. We’re not communicating properly.”

“The other is 100 per cent rebounding. In every game, if you don’t win the rebounding battle, you’re not giving yourself a good chance to win the game, even if you’re playing worse teams or better teams. If you’re not winning that battle first, you’re not giving yourself second chances, you’re not preventing the second chances. It’s a major factor in every game,” said McLean.

The head coach was very grateful to play in front of a home crowd.

“Honestly to have energy on Day 1 is amazing, I really hope we get more people out now they’ve got the first experience and people seeing what we can do and what we’ve got. I really hope they enjoyed today,” said McLean.

The Wolves next play the Seneca Sting on Nov. 5, at 4 p.m. at the Jack Doyle Athletics and Recreation Centre.