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Thunder Women’s Basketball Come Up Short Against NAIT

Posted on: Jan 12, 2015

The second half of the ACAC Women’s Basketball season tipped off this past weekend with the Thunder hosting a double header with the NAIT Ooks. In a rare Thursday evening match up at the “Thunder Dome”, the hoopsters from Concordia were focused on starting where they left off at the end of the Fall semester. “We were playing well but as a team, we need to play for forty minutes,” opened Head Coach Robbie Valpreda. At the tip off, the Thunder came out looking like the team that defeated Keyano on November 22nd. “We moved the ball on offense we played tough defense and we found ourselves up 26-13 at one point.” However, the Ooks made a run at the end of the half to tie it up 26. “They're a veteran team. They know how to get back into games; they don’t give anyone a lot of light inside the key as they just put everyone in there. Overall, we played well and we couldn’t ask for a better position going into halftime,” stated Valpreda.  The Ooks came out flying in the second stanza, making two three-pointers right off the bat. “We got comfortable; due to our inexperience, we came out flat.” The Thunder found themselves down ten points quickly and were never able to catch up, losing the battle to the tune of a 71-51 defeat. “We were great for about 33 minutes out of the full forty; we had a great first half and fourth quarter but we found ourselves in too deep after the third," concluded Valpreda. Congratulations to Meagan McIntosh for being named Player of the Game.
On Saturday the Thunder took to the court for a 1 PM start. “We have to be better than the last game, we need to make the little adjustments and be able to compete and fight for the entire game,” declared Valpreda. The game began with the Ooks jumping out to a quick 20-6 lead after one quarter. “We knew they were going to try and make a statement. We knew they were going to be physical with us and we didn’t answer in the first quarter.” In the second quarter, the Thunder started to get back into the game. “We battled, we finished and we countered their physicality with our transition, getting out and running the ball. Our kids coming off the bench did a great job for us getting us back into the game.” Going into halftime the Thunder found themselves down just nine points.  In the second half, the Thunder started right where they left off, winning the hustle plays and attacking the Ooks on the perimeter. “Aly did a great job attacking their defense. They tried to guard her with taller players but she was too quick for them and we took advantage.” The Thunder cut the lead down to one (37-36) after Bridgeman made some clutch free throws, but once again the Ooks veteran players helped them pull away. “They were patient, they exploited our mistakes and took advantage. That’s what experience does for you.”  The Thunder battled back to cut the deficit to ten points, but came up short losing 65-47. In summary, the Thunder are seeing results even though it isn't showing up yet on the score board. “We're getting better; our players from last season are doing great things and our rookies are finally getting the hang of it. We were able to stick with one of the better teams in our Conference. We felt we should have won one game at least but we're getting there. The development of our players is looking quite promising for future success”. Congratulations to Alyssa Bridgeman for being named the Player of the Game.
Things don’t get any easier for women's hoops as the Thunder will face 2nd place Lakeland this weekend in a home and home series with the Rustlers.  Action at the Ralph King gets going at 6 PM on Saturday, January 17th.


Photo Courtesy of John McIntosh