Thunder Women’s Basketball Drop Two to Powerhouse MacEwanPosted on: Feb 10, 2014
The Thunder Women's Basketball team were looking to get back to their winning ways this past weekend but had their hands full with the ACAC North's first place MacEwan Griffins. The Griffins – who are also ranked 6th in the national collegiate standings, played host to the Thunder for the first of the two game set on Friday night. From the first tip off, the Thunder looked to be up to the challenge and found themselves down by just 4 points at the 6 minute mark. However, the relentless attack and high percentage shooting of the Griffins stretched out the scoring gap and the Thunder found themselves down by 22 going into the half. "At half we knew we were ok; we had to be better though to close the gap,” commented Coach Valpreda. As the second half started, the Griffins came out like the top team they are, hitting shot after shot. "We didn’t box out, we didn’t finish lay-ups or free throws," lamented Valpreda. “This is what happens when we don’t show up. We didn’t give ourselves any momentum because we couldn’t make lay-ups and when we had the chance to get buckets, we couldn’t make free-throws." In the end, the shell-shocked Thunder fell to the Griffins 96-44.
On Saturday, Concordia was back home in the 'Thunder Dome' knowing they had to be better. "Our message before the game was simple…be better than yesterday!” The Thunder took that clear directive to heart and came out competing and traded basket for basket. With only 2 minutes left before the half, the Thunder were down by just 7 points. “We were better tonight but we were (still) not disciplined enough. We put them to the free throw line 15 times, where they made 14 of those shots," observed Valpreda. The half time score was 36-21 for MacEwan. As the second half unfolded, the Thunder regained some of their moxie, finding the bottom of the basket and competing point for point with the Griffins. After 3 quarters the Thunder had not lost anymore ground but still found themselves down by 15. As the final quarter played out, the Thunder did an excellent job finishing their shots but could not close the gap on the galloping Griffins. The final score was 69-46. “Even though we lost tonight, we did play much better overall,” said Coach Valpreda. "They're a good team and we held them to 69 points. Last night we gave up 96; I can live with that because of the way we competed tonight. In spite of this being a loss, it has been a confidence booster to see how much we can improve as a team in just 24 hours."
The Thunder will now close out the regular season with a home and home series against the King's Eagles. Game times are 6 PM on Friday night at Kings and Saturday night back home at the RKAC.
Photo Courtesy of John McIntosh