Last weekend, the Gaels (11-7) played games on Friday and Saturday against Kitchener’s Waterloo Warriors and the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks.
On Friday, Jan. 31, Waterloo (3-15) took to the ARC’s hardwood. Historically, the Queen’s women’s basketball team is 10-1 against the Waterloo Warriors. In fact, the Gaels haven’t lost to them since 2008.
Friday night was par for the course. The Warriors, last place in the OUA West, were bested.
In the first quarter, Queen’s dominated on both ends of the court. They forced shot clock and backcourt violations on defence, and rattled off 19 unanswered points to start the game. All Waterloo could muster was a three by Aphia Ward. The quarter ended 24-3 for the Gaels.
In the second quarter, Queen’s was getting buckets on the inside. On their first possession, 6’1” forward Julia Chadwick got the ball in the post, bodied a Warrior to create some space, and sunk the hook shot.
Waterloo’s interior defense suffered—they were incapable of holding down the Gaels’ forwards in the paint.
The Warriors put together a small run, but Queen’s Abbey Hetherington put an end to it with a mid-range jumper off an inbound pass. Chadwick hit a three shortly after, making it 33-8. The team then decided to run a full-court press on defense, forcing a turnover.
Queen’s read the Warriors’ passing lanes with eagle vision. Forward Natalie Froese intercepted a pass, pushed the ball up the court, and got fouled while shooting. She hit both free throws. Waterloo called their third timeout of the game.
The third quarter opened up with a miss from Waterloo. Queen’s got possession and missed, but Chadwick grabbed the offensive rebound and her putback put the Gaels up 43-22.
Gaels’ forward Sophie de Goede scored repeatedly by shoving down two dribbles, spinning, and putting it in the basket. Waterloo’s Aphia Ward seemed like their only hope, hitting another three-pointer mid-way through the quarter.
The Warriors turned over the ball twice in back-to-back possessions. The quarter ended with the Gaels leading 65-39.
There wasn’t much offensive production from the Warriors in the fourth quarter besides a Sonja Matthews three-pointer.
The game ended as a win for the Gaels, 85-56.
In an interview with The Journal after the game, Head Coach James Bambury talked about giving players advice late in a blowout win. “If there’s an opportunity for someone to get a little bit better, or understand something a little better […] we’re constantly wanting to do that,” he said. “One of the ongoing themes [for the team] is progression, not perfection.”
After a blowout win, there could be a tendency towards complacency. Bambury assured otherwise: “They’ll definitely not get comfortable. I can promise you that.”
And they didn’t. Queen’s dominated the Laurier Golden Hawks the next night.
At the beginning, this game was closer than the last. Laurier’s 6’4” Kate Moran won the tip-off for the Hawks, and blocked a Gael on Queen’s first offensive possession.
Although Queen’s got the game’s first bucket on a fast break, they were still missing a lot of shots and had three or four air balls in the opening minutes.
Sophie de Goede was scoring consistently for the Gaels, bullying the Hawks with spin moves on back-to-back offensive possessions to score a quick four points.
It was the beginning of the end when de Goede hit Hawk Alliasen Miscione with a crossover that dropped her to the floor. De Goede then laid the ball up with ease.
Julia Chadwick blocked a Hawk, and the quarter ended 16-9 for Queen’s.
At the end of the second quarter, Chadwick flashed her moves in the post on back-to-back possessions, then stole the ball off an ensuing inbound pass, and was fouled while shooting only to nail both free-throws at the line. It was 40-22 at the half for Queen’s.
The third quarter opened up with Laurier’s Moran towering over Gaels’ Chadwick to hit a midrange jumper. On the next possession, Moran blocked Chadwick.
Gaels’ de Goede and Chadwick continued to be physical in the post and score relentlessly, and forward Myriam Fontaine hit two threes, generating lots of energy and noise from the crowd
The fourth quarter opened with the Gaels ahead 61-34, and it ended 80-44, a 36-point blowout.
“I’ve been coaching in this league for 10, 11 years now. Laurier’s a team you just don’t do that to,” Coach Bambury told The Journal after the game.
Julia Chadwick recorded 18 points, 21 rebounds, five blocks, and two steals against Laurier.
She concluded, “This was a good weekend for our team to just come together. After coming off of two losses [last weekend], we really wanted to prove ourselves. Going up against Laurier was a good opportunity to do so.”
Next, the Gaels will ride these big team wins to Sudbury on Friday, Feb. 7 to face the Laurentian Voyageurs.
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