Queen’s set sights high

Despite rough start to season and mounting injuries, Gaels turn the page on 2010 with win over the York Lions

Guard Liz Boag is one of the many rookies helping the Gaels this season through injuries and team development.
Guard Liz Boag is one of the many rookies helping the Gaels this season through injuries and team development.
Journal File Photo

A disappointing start to the season saw the women’s basketball team go 2-9 but the Gaels are looking to start fresh in 2011. After losing to the Laurentian Lady Vees 74-50, Queen’s rebounded with a 71-62 victory over the York Lions.

“I don’t think the first half of the season was what we expected it to be,” said post Hanna Koposhynska who scored a career high 20 points in the victory. “I definitely think we learned that each game really matters … [and] you can make it into the playoffs by just one game. … We’re really going to try to move forward as a team.”

The Gaels competed in the Concordia Women’s Basketball Tournament over the holidays in Montreal. Playing three games over three days, Queen’s prevailed over Bishop’s University and Memorial University of Newfoundland. Their only loss came against the University of British Columbia. With a tournament that saw the Gaels enjoy as much success as they had all season, head coach Dave Wilson was frustrated to see Queen’s lose in their first game back.

“[I] was really very disappointed with how we played against Laurentian,” Wilson said. “We were very flat. ... There seemed to be a whole lack of intensity, lack of execution and lack of focus when we played Laurentian. I thought all those things came back in our York game.”

Queen’s benefited from four Gaels posting points in the double-digits. Guards Paige Robinson and Brittany Moore scored 12 and 11 points respectively while post Jill Wheat recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds. With their win against York, the Gaels are now 3-8 and sit in fifth place in the OUA East, tied with Laurentian.

The Gaels have been suffering through injuries and the growth of a young team. Four players have been shelved for the season including guard Meaghan MacDougall who suffered a knee injury at the end of November.

Wilson said leadership from the veterans is only more important as many players experience a difficult start to their rookie season.

“In terms of play, the veterans are really comfortable,” he said “With the young players that we’ve brought in, [the veterans] know they can play.” “I think the leadership aspect [is] helping them through these [difficulties],” he said. “It’s a much longer season than they’re used to, a lot more physically demanding and along with the academics that goes on here as well. They need to help them through that, through all those tough things.”

The Gaels look to move forward in their season and make a push for the playoffs. Even with the loss of players to injury and the youthfulness of the team, Wilson said the Gaels’ future looks bright.

“We’re definitely getting better,” he said. “We’re just very, very young. But we’re definitely getting better. We still have consistency issues obviously, as the Laurentian game pointed out. But we’re also capable of beating everyone in our league.”

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