Cougars lose in quarterfinals


author: nathan mccarville | sports writer

A bitter end to what was a dominant season / nathan mccarville 

Women’s basketball team loses close game to Gee Gees 

The Cougars women’s basketball team participated in the USPORTS championshipS held in Toronto at the Mattamy Athletic Center of Ryerson University.  

The Cougars entered the championship ranked fifth among the teams competing for the top spot. First off were the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, the fourthranked team. The Gee-Gees gave Regina’s team a hard time on the court, though the Cougars were sure to give it right back to Ottawa. The game ended with a score of 65-63 in favour of the Gee-Gees, unfortunately for the Cougars, as the 2point deficit was unavoidable by the final buzzer of the game.  

Despite the loss, many Cougars were able to put plenty of points on the scoreboard in one of their last games against the season. Macaela Crone led the pack with 21 points, followed by Christina McCusker with 16 points, and Michaela Kleisinger with 12 points for the game. By the half, the Gee-Gees led with a score of 37-24. In the last two quarters, the Cougars picked it up and outpaced the Gee-Gees, scoring 22 points in the third, and 17 points in the fourth, compared to the Gee-Gees 15 points as a team in the third, and 13 in the fourth. Gee-Gees appearing on the scoreboard included Amelie Hachey with a big 26 points, McAlear-Fanus with 16 points, followed by Lefebvre-Okankwu with eight points.  

With their loss, the Cougars had to settle with playing in the consolation semi-finals. The Cougars played for third place as in their second game of the tournament. The Cougars faced off against the hosts for the next game, the Ryerson University Rams. The Rams put on a great game against the Cougars, eventually coming out on top, winning the game with a score of 63-45. The hosts stayed on top for the entire game, outpacing the Cougars baskets in every quarter except the second, where the Cougars scored 14 points compared to the Rams’12 points. Other than that, the Rams stayed ahead and even doubled the amount of points the Cougars could get in the third, scoring 24 points to put them ahead in the quarter where the Cougars scored 12 points. McCusker scored a 19 points in the second game, followed by Alexi Rowden with eight points, and Michaela Kleisinger with seven points.  

Continuing on to the conclusion of Canada’s women’s basketball champions, the Gee-Gees, who had beaten the Cougars in the first round, found themselves losing in the next game against the University Laval Rouge et Or in a game that ended with a close result of 60-56 in favour of the players from Quebec. The game’s top scoring players included Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu with 17 points for the Gee-Gees, and Sarah-Jane Marois with 20 points for Laval, followed closely by teammate Jane Gagne with 16 points.  

The Gee-Gees went on to play for bronze in their next game against the Saskatchewan Huskies, where the Gee-Gees won with a nail-biting score of 63-62 over the Huskies. Saskatchewan’s top scorers included the familiar name, Sabine Dukate with 15 points followed by teammate Summer Maskewich who scored a fair 14 points. Nearly every playing player put points on the scoreboard for this close game, nine of the Gee-Gees scoring points, while eight of the Huskies represented themselves on the scoreboard.  

On to the finals, Laval’s Rouge et Or moved on to the USPORTS final game after beating the Gee-Gees. Playing against the McMaster Marauders, who had previously beaten the Saskatchewan Huskies to win the top playoff spot with a game ending score of 73-66, Laval set the stage to play one final game for the year, the number-one-ranked Laval playing off against the number two-ranked McMaster.  

It was an intense game between the two best teams in Canada, according to the standings of USPORTS and how the tournament turned out. There was a slow start with both teams on the defense as much as they were on the offense, the Marauders led by a single point after the first point with the score standing at a bland 11-10. The next quarter was when Laval picked up the pace; scoring 23 points in the quarter, the Marauders could only keep up with 16 points.  

After the half, and probably some good counsel from the coaches, the Marauders came back, exploding on the court, scoring 17 points the next quarter and 26 in the fourth, driving home the win. When it was all said and done, the score at the end of the game was 70-58 in favour of the Marauders. As for the top scoring players in the game, the Marauders’ own Linnaea Harper and Sarah Gates both scored high with 18 points each, followed by fellow Marauders Christina Buttenham with 13 points, and Hilary Hanaka with 12 points. As for Laval’s top scorers, Sarah-Jane Marois scored 21 points, Claudia Emond with 15 points, and Caron-Goudreau with 10.  

Bringing the season to a close, basketball pre-season is set to commence in September with the regular season starting in October.  

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