New Year, same results: Women’s Basketball dominates

How the Gaels got to the top and how they can stay there

Julia Chadwick is an unstoppable force.
Credit: 
Supplied by Robin Kasem

Queen’s Women’s Basketball is the team to watch this season. They laid the perfect foundation for gold before the break and bounced back from the holidays with an easy win last weekend to remain undefeated.

The Gaels are unrufflable and consistent. However, their success doesn’t come from a lack of worthy competition. Here’s a look at their early season success, the players who stand out, and the biggest obstacles standing between the Gaels and gold.

Queen’s started dominating the court in November; their many pre-season games prepared them for early OUA success.

In the first half of the regular season, Queen’s ended their games against Laurentian, Nipissing, Ontario Tech, TMU, U of T, and Brock up by 10 or more points. Meanwhile, their matches against McMaster, Carleton, Laurier, and Waterloo were closer and ended within the 10-point range.

Close game or not, consistency helped them secured the win. Head Coach Claire Meadows is leading a team that easily replicates results.

Julia Chadwick is a forward in her fifth year who has captured attention from across the province. She’s recorded a double-double in six of her last eleven games, currently averaging double digits in both points and rebounds.

After a tough first game with only three points, Chadwick has turned her game around and dominated ever since.

Chadwick does it all, but she doesn’t have to.

Queen’s is successful because they translate individual success into team success with ease. It’s when Chadwick’s rebounding is paired with Laura Donovan’s scoring and Bridget Mulholland’s defensive work that the Gaels win as a team.

Where the opposition is concerned, the TMU Bold—last year’s provincial and national champions—are once again a team to watch, having won six of their last seven games after losing the first four games of their season. Although the Bold are a threat, the Gaels are responsible for TMU’s only loss in those seven games.

In the weeks ahead, Queen’s is set to face their biggest threats of the season.

uOttawa is also undefeated this season and sits next to Queen’s at the top of the OUA East division. The Gaels will play the Gee-Gees in Ottawa on Jan. 29 and need to be ready for a fight.

Like Chadwick, uOttawa’s Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu has recorded several double-doubles this season already. Gee-Gee Oksana Gouchie-Provencher is a resilient rebounder, and Alana Renon is back from her wrist injury. Together, these three will be a deadly force on the court.

Queen’s next biggest threat comes from the west: the Guelph Gryphons.

Gryphon MacKeely Shantz brings the energy and sets the tone for her team. Her hustle brings results, and she—just like Chadwick—has recorded multiple double-doubles this season. In following Shantz’s lead, the Gryphons have found immense success—their only loss was last week against the Bold. Queen’s will play in Guelph on Feb. 3.

Although the Gaels have yet to face some of their toughest competition, their consistent results and recent win against TMU prove they are ready. As long as Queen’s continues playing to its strengths, their domination will continue.

You can catch the livestream of their 4 p.m. game on Jan. 14 against the Algoma Thunderbirds on OUA.tv.

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